The impact of COPD on health status: Findings from the BOLD study

Christer Janson, Guy Marks, Sonia Buist, Louisa Gnatiuc, Thorarinn Gislason, Mary Ann McBurnie, Rune Nielsen, Michael Studnicka, Brett Toelle, Bryndis Benediktsdottir, Peter Burney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to describe the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on health status in the Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) populations. We conducted a cross-sectional, general population-based survey in 11 985 subjects from 17 countries. We measured spirometric lung function and assessed health status using the Short Form 12 questionnaire. The physical and mental health component scores were calculated. Subjects with COPD (post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity <0.70, n=2269) had lower physical component scores (44 ± 10 versus 48 ± 10 units, p<0.0001) and mental health component scores (51 ± 10 versus 52 ± 10 units, p=0.005) than subjects without COPD. The effect of reported heart disease, hypertension and diabetes on physical health component scores (-3 to -4 units) was considerably less than the effect of COPD Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease grade 3 (-8 units) or 4 (-11 units). Dyspnoea was the most important determinant of a low physical and mental health component scores. In addition, lower forced expiratory volume in 1 s, chronic cough, chronic phlegm and the presence of comorbidities were all associated with a lower physical health component score. COPD is associated with poorer health status but the effect is stronger on the physical than the mental aspects of health status. Severe COPD has a greater negative impact on health status than self-reported cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1472-1483
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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