Robert A. Stockley
European Respiratory Journal 2021 57: 2003758; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.03758-2020
COPD is a highly prevalent chronic disease with increased mortality and morbidity. The chronic symptoms result in impaired quality of life interspersed with episodes of acute worsening (exacerbations), which increase patient stress, and the likelihood of hospital admissions and death. These episodes are not only dangerous but also worsen background quality of life, increase the general healthcare burden and lead to disease progression [1, 2]. Therefore, they represent a key target in patient management and have become a primary clinical outcome measure in pharmaceutical drug registration.
The definition of frequent exacerbators has changed with time. The use of previous history to identify frequent exacerbators is far from robust and has implications for the instigation of therapy based on the current GOLD algorithm. https://bit.ly/33TfGxg
Conflict of interest: R.A. Stockley has nothing to disclose.