Inhaled Corticosteroid Withdrawal and Change in Lung Function in Primary Care Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in England

Hannah R. Whittaker, Kevin Wing, Ian Douglas, Steven J. Kiddle, Jennifer K. Quint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Rationale: In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are associated with pneumonia, highlighting the importance of investigating subgroups of patients who may benefit from prolonged ICS use. Despite this, the WISDOM (Withdrawal of Inhaled Steroids during Optimized Bronchodilator Management) trial found a greater decline in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) in patients with COPD who withdrew from ICS compared with patients who remained on triple therapy. Objectives: We investigated the association between ICS withdrawal and the rate of FEV1 decline in patients with COPD using routinely collected electronic healthcare records. Methods: Using CPRD (Clinical Practice Research Datalink) Aurum and Hospital episode statistics, we included patients with COPD who had been on triple therapy for at least 4 months. Patients were categorized into those who withdrew from ICS and those who remained on triple therapy during follow-up. Three cohorts were created: 1) patients meeting the WISDOM trial eligibility criteria; 2) patients with COPD not restricted by the WISDOM trial eligibility criteria; and 3) patients who would have been excluded from the WISDOM trial on the basis of their comorbidities. Mixed linear regression was used to model the association between ICS withdrawal and the rate of FEV1 decline (ml/year) adjusted for baseline characteristics. Results: A total of 6,008 patients with COPD met the WISDOM eligibility criteria, of which 9.0% withdrew from ICS. Mean rates of FEV1 declined -7.8 ml/year (95% confidence interval [CI], -19.7 to 4.1) for withdrawers and -15.2 ml/year (95% CI, -18.7 to -11.8) for those who remained on triple therapy (difference, P = 0.264). A total of 60,645 patients with COPD were not restricted by the WISDOM eligibility criteria. The mean rate of FEV1 decline was -32.6 ml/year (95% CI, -33.6 to -31.5) for withdrawers and -36.4 ml/year (95% CI, -39.4 to -33.4) for those who remained on triple therapy. A total of 32,882 patients with COPD were included in the last population representing those who would have been excluded from the WISDOM trial because of their comorbidities. The mean rate of FEV1 decline was -29.4 ml/year (95% CI, -30 to -28.1) in withdrawers and -31.3 ml/year (95% CI, -35 to -27.5) in those who remained on triple therapy. Conclusions: The rate of FEV1 decline was similar between patients on triple therapy and patients who withdrew from ICS regardless of the specific COPD population studied. In routine clinical practice, few patients with COPD meet WISDOM eligibility criteria, and few patients are withdrawn from ICS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1834-1841
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Volume19
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • COPD
  • epidemiology
  • lung function

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