Cohort Study in COPD: Introduction to COPD Cohorts (The KOLD and COPDGene Study) and Collaborative Approaches
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COPD is regarded as an umbrella term containing heterogeneous clinical, radiographic, and physiological features. Heterogeneous phenotypes and even endotypes of COPD have been identified and characterized through various COPD cohort studies.
While observational cohorts including birth cohorts may have merits on identifying etiologic exposure and incidence of targeted disease, majority of currently active COPD cohorts showed great outcomes in clarifying the clinical characteristics of COPD. Additionally combining case-control design and comparing with the healthy smokers, they revealed new findings contributing to the development and disease progression of COPD.
KOLD (Korean Obstructive Lung Disease) study is the first large well-organized Korean COPD cohort and COPDGene study is one of the largest studies to investigate the genetic factors of COPD in Americans. The KOLD and COPDGene are leading long-term prospective cohort investigating heterogeneity of COPD in Asia and America. A lot of clinical, radiographic, and genomic studies can be performed through these COPD cohorts.
Despite the contribution of current COPD cohorts, a collaborative cohort study has become to be mandatory in COPD research area to overcome the heterogeneity of COPD and achieve the sufficient statistical power based on the technical advances and expansion of our knowledge on COPD. Collaboration among cohort study can be activated entire the course of cohort study from designing the cohort to final analysis, and the collaborative approaches are expected to compensate the limitations of current COPD cohorts.
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