Original Article

Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 1829-1834

First online:

Predictors of Mortality in Patients with Stable COPD

  • Cristóbal EstebanAffiliated withPneumology DepartmentServicio de Neumología, Hospital de Galdakao-Usansolo Email author 
  • , José M. QuintanaAffiliated withResearch Unit, Hospital Galdakao-Usansolo-CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP)
  • , Myriam AburtoAffiliated withPneumology Department
  • , Javier MorazaAffiliated withPneumology Department
  • , Mikel EgurrolaAffiliated withPneumology Department
  • , Pedro Pablo EspañaAffiliated withPneumology Department
  • , Julio Pérez-IzquierdoAffiliated withPneumology Department
  • , Alberto CapelasteguiAffiliated withPneumology Department

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To determine which easily available clinical factors are associated with mortality in patients with stable COPD and if health-related quality of life (HRQoL) provides additional information.


Five-year prospective cohort study.


Five outpatient clinics of a teaching hospital.


Six hundred stable COPD patients recruited consecutively.


The variables were age, FEV1%, dyspnea, previous hospital admissions and emergency department visits for COPD, pack-years of smoking, comorbidities, body mass index, and HRQoL measured by Saint George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire (CRQ), and Short-Form 36 (SF-36). Logistic and Cox regression models were used to assess the influence of these variables on mortality and survival.


FEV1%(OR: 0.62, 95% CI 0.5 to 0.75), dyspnea (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.2 to 3), age (OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.6 to 3.6), previous hospitalization due to COPD exacerbations (OR 1.53, 1.2 to 2) and lifetime pack-years (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.2) were independently related to respiratory mortality. Similarly, these factors were independently related to all-cause mortality with dyspnea having the strongest association (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.2). HRQoL was an independent predictor of respiratory and all-cause mortality only when dyspnea was excluded from the models, except scores on the SGRQ were associated with all-cause mortality with dyspnea in the model.


Among patients with stable COPD, FEV1% was the main predictor of respiratory mortality and dyspnea of all-cause mortality. In general, HRQoL was not related to mortality when dyspnea was taken into account, and CRQ and SGRQ behaved in similar ways regarding mortality.


chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality health-related quality of life