Bronchiectasis in Europe

Results of the European Bronchiectasis Registry [EMBARC] have just been published in The Lancet. 

The EMBARC registry is the largest and most detailed collection of data about patients with bronchiectasis worldwide, and provides a detailed description of bronchiectasis characteristics in patients from 28 countries.

The study shows the most common causes of bronchiectasis are as expected – idiopathic (that is, we do not know the cause) or previous lung infections such as pneumonia, whooping cough or tuberculosis, which together cause about 60% of cases.  Asthma and COPD were also frequently reported as causes of bronchiectasis and these patients tended to have more severe problems associated with their lungs with worse outcomes. Which bacteria were causing chest infections in patients with bronchiectasis varied between countries, perhaps due to differences in the climate and other environmental features. There were large differences between individual countries in how common bronchiectasis was, with the condition being commonest in European countries where also the patients were most likely to have infective exacerbations and be admitted to hospital. Central and Eastern European patients, in particular, had more severe disease, but found getting appropriate treatment more difficult than other parts of Europe.

The EMBARC study has given medical researchers and doctors a better understanding of how bronchiectasis affects patients and identified particular areas that need more research to improve treatment of affected people. Some of these research studies are ongoing in the UK, including at UCLH.

You can find the full article .  


[May 2023]

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