Morbidity and mortality among people with COPD occurs most often in the context of exacerbations. A study identified an approximately 50% 5-year mortality following hospitalisation for COPD exacerbation.[234] Re-hospitalisation and/or mortality have been associated with lower FEV1, higher PaCO2, lower PaO2, lower body mass index, older age, comorbidities, and low physical activity levels.[235][236][237][238][239][240][241] The multidimensional CODEX (comorbidity, obstruction, dyspnoea, previous severe exacerbations) index can predict readmission and survival at 3 months and 1 year after hospitalisation for COPD exacerbation.[242]

Acute exacerbations range from very mild to severe and life-threatening.

Patients who have had a significant exacerbation of COPD may not always recover back to their pre-illness functional status. Pulmonary rehabilitation may be required to improve exercise tolerance, physical ability, and quality of life after discharge.

Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer