Does the 2013 GOLD classification improve the ability to predict lung function decline, exacerbations and mortality: a post-hoc analysis of the 4-year UPLIFT trialReport as inadecuate

Does the 2013 GOLD classification improve the ability to predict lung function decline, exacerbations and mortality: a post-hoc analysis of the 4-year UPLIFT trial - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

BMC Pulmonary Medicine

, 14:163

COPD and occupational lung disease


BackgroundThe 2013 GOLD classification system for COPD distinguishes four stages: A low symptoms, low exacerbation risk, B high symptoms, low risk, C low symptoms, high risk and D high symptoms, high risk. Assessment of risk is based on exacerbation history and airflow obstruction, whatever results in a higher risk grouping. The previous system was solely based on airflow obstruction. Earlier studies compared the predictive performance of new and old classification systems with regards to mortality and exacerbations. The objective of this study was to compare the ability of both classifications to predict the number of future total and severe exacerbations and mortality in a different patient population, and to add an outcome measure to the comparison: lung function decline.

MethodsPatient-level data from the UPLIFT trial were used to analyze 4-year survival in a Weibull model, with GOLD stages at baseline as covariates. A generalized linear model was used to compare the numbers of exacerbations total and severe per stage. Analyses were repeated with stages C and D divided into substages depending on lung function and exacerbation history. Lung function decline was analysed in a repeated measures model.

ResultsMortality increased from A to D, but there was no difference between B and C. For the previous GOLD stages 2–4, survival curves were clearly separated. Yearly exacerbation rates were: 0.53, 0.72 and 0.80 for stages 2–4; and 0.35, 0.45, 0.58 and 0.74 for A-D. Annual rates of lung function decline were: 47, 38 and 26 ml for stages 2–4 and 44, 48, 38 and 39 for stages A-D. With regards to model fit, the new system performed worse at predicting mortality and lung function decline, and better at predicting exacerbations. Distinguishing between the sub-stages of high-risk led to substantial improvements.

ConclusionsThe new classification system is a modest step towards a phenotype approach. It is probably an improvement for the prediction of exacerbations, but a deterioration for predicting mortality and lung function decline.

Trial NCT00144339 September 2, 2005.

KeywordsCOPD GOLD classification 2007 GOLD classification 2013 Exacerbations Lung function decline Mortality AbbreviationsAICAkaike information criterion

BMIBody mass index

CATCOPD assessment test CAT

COPDChronic obstructive pulmonary disease

GOLDGlobal initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease

mMRCModified British medical research council questionnaire

SGRQSt. Georges respiratory questionnaire SGRQ

UPLIFTUnderstanding potential long-term impacts on function with tiotropium.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2466-14-163 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Lucas M A Goossens - Inge Leimer - Norbert Metzdorf - Karin Becker - Maureen P M H Rutten-van Mölken


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