Low maximal expiratory flow helps predict chronic bronchitis, HF
A low maximal expiratory flow at 50% of forced vital capacity helped predict risks for respiratory symptoms in patients without spirometry-confirmed COPD, according to study results.
The diagnostic tool also appeared to help identify unrecognized heart failure in those patients, according to researchers.
Gülmisal Güder, MD, of the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care at University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands, and colleagues used data from a prospective cohort study to determine if the use of maximal expiratory flow at 50% of forced vital capacity (MEF50) proved viable in individuals with respiratory symptoms but without COPD.
The analysis included 405 adults aged 65 years or older with a general practitioner’s diagnosis of COPD http://www.healio.com/pulmonology/copd/news/online/%7B26ae6d94-19f7-4521-aad2-e8c292e726af%7D/majority-of-patients-with-copd-unaware-of-risks-associated-with-the-disease, of which 161 did not have spirometry-confirmed COPD.
Less than half of those patients (37.9%) had a MEF50 less than 60%. A reduced MEF50 increased the odds of newly detected heart failure at assessment (29.5% vs. 15.6%, P = .045).
The diagnostic tool helped predict risks for episodes of acute bronchitis http://www.healio.com/pulmonology/bronchitis/news/online/%7Bc7cea458-8b29-42da-a370-81593ad48d11%7D/copd-patients-with-chronic-bronchitis-have-worse-quality-of-life-symptoms (aHR = 2.54; 95% CI, 1.26-5.13), pneumonia http://www.healio.com/pulmonology/pneumonia/news/online/%7Be90fdfb7-b98b-4591-a373-7fbae51664d6%7D/secondhand-smoke-exposure-increases-pneumonia-severity-in-children (aHR = 2.14; 95% CI, 0.98-4.69) and hospitalizations for pulmonary reasons (aHR = 2.28; 95% CI, 0.93-5.62).
MEF50 is a valuable tool in helping to predict respiratory symptoms and heart failure in patients without spirometry-confirmed COPD, according to researchers.
“Low maximum MEF, easily obtained by spirometry, showed clinical utility to identify patients with previously undiagnosed heart failure and patients at risk for pulmonary events,” the researchers wrote. “MEF50 should also be evaluated when obtaining spirometry in persons aged [older than] 65 years with shortness of breath.” – by Ryan McDonald
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.
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