Association between bronchiectasis and COPD

The EMBARC multi-centre team has recently published an article in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, entitled ‘The Association Between Bronchiectasis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Data from the European Bronchiectasis Registry (EMBARC)’.

Patients with bronchiectasis are also often diagnosed as having COPD as well. In this study using information obtained from over 16,000 patients from the EMBARC bronchiectasis research registry, they have shown that about a quarter of patients with bronchiectasis have also been given a diagnosis of COPD. However, about 45% of the patients with a diagnosis of bronchiectasis and COPD do not fulfill the criteria for COPD, either because they have never smoked (in which case their changes in lung function are most likely caused by the bronchiectasis alone) or because their lung function tests are not abnormal. However, patients with bronchiectasis and ‘proper’ COPD or with lung function impairment purely due to bronchiectasis both had less stable bronchiectasis and were more likely to have exacerbations of their bronchiectasis.

This study highlights the importance of making an accurate diagnosis of associated lung problems in patients with bronchiectasis.

Full article details:

You can read more about the European Bronchiectasis Registry here

[Posted May 2024]

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