The following is a summary of “Burden of pulmonary hypertension due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Analysis of exacerbations and healthcare resource utilization in the United States,” published in the NOVEMBER 2023 issue of Pulmonology by Klinger, et al.
Understanding the prevalence of pulmonary hypertension (PH) in the context of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains uncertain. For a study, researchers sought to evaluate PH’s clinical and economic implications in patients with COPD.
They conducted a retrospective examination of adults with COPD using the Optum® Clinformatics® Data Mart data covering the period between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2021. Patients diagnosed with PH were categorized into the PH-COPD cohort, while those lacking a PH diagnosis were grouped in the COPD cohort. Various outcomes were scrutinized and compared between these cohorts. These included the incidence of exacerbations, healthcare resource utilization (HCRU) for all-cause and COPD-related conditions, and the associated monthly costs per patient. They employed a descriptive analysis to examine both baseline characteristics and study outcomes. Significance testing used Student’s t-tests for continuous variables and Chi-square tests for categorical data.
The study involved 1,627 patients with PH-COPD, who were matched 1:1 with COPD patients without PH. Among the PH-COPD patients, there was a significantly higher prevalence of COPD exacerbations compared to the COPD cohort (P < 0.001). The PH-COPD cohort also exhibited a higher number of both total (P < 0.001) and severe exacerbation-related visits per patient per month (PPPM) (P < 0.001). HCRU related to all-cause and COPD-specific issues showed increased estimates PPPM in the PH-COPD cohort compared to the COPD cohort (P < 0.01). Moreover, the total costs associated with all-cause (P < 0.001) and COPD-related issues (P < 0.001) were significantly higher in patients with PH-COPD compared to those with COPD alone.
The study underscored the pressing need for targeted interventions to manage and prevent pulmonary hypertension in individuals with COPD. Patients with PH-COPD experienced higher rates of severe exacerbations, hospitalizations, and associated costs when contrasted with COPD patients without PH. The findings highlighted the urgency of addressing the impact of PH on patients with COPD, both clinically and economically.