Chronic Obstr Pulm Dis. 2021 Mar 26. doi: 10.15326/jcopdf.2020.0200. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Comorbid disease is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection, however, initial rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in case series were low and severity of COVID-19 in COPD patients was variable.
METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of patients admitted with COVID-19 and evaluated outcomes in those with and without COPD and/or emphysema. Patients were identified as having COPD if they had a diagnosis in the medical record and a history of airflow-obstruction on spirometry, or a history of tobacco use and prescribed long-acting bronchodilator(s). Computed tomography scans were evaluated by radiologists. Propensity matching was performed for age, body-mass index (BMI), and serologic data correlated with severity of COVID-19 disease (D-dimer, C-reactive protein, ferritin, fibrinogen, absolute lymphocyte count, lymphocyte percentage, and lactate dehydrogenase).
RESULTS: Of 577 patients admitted with COVID-19, 103 had a diagnosis of COPD and/or emphysema. The COPD/emphysema cohort was older (67 vs 58, p<0.0001) than the other cohort and had a lower BMI. Among unmatched cohorts those with COPD/emphysema had higher rates of intensive care unit (ICU) admission (35% vs 24.9%, p=0.036) and maximal respiratory support requirements, with more frequent invasive mechanical ventilation (21.4% vs 11.8%), but no significant difference in mortality. After propensity-matching there was no difference in ICU admission, maximal respiratory support requirements, or mortality. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses yielded similar results.
DISCUSSION: Our propensity-matched retrospective cohort study suggests that patients hospitalized with COVID-19 that have COPD and/or emphysema may not have worse outcomes than those without these comorbid conditions.