Welcome to Scientific American
Health After 50 Alerts

Sign Up For FREE Alerts!


Get the latest health news sent straight to your inbox for FREE. Check all the boxes below for the topics that interest you.
We value your privacy and will never rent your email address

Health After 50

One Flare-Up May Lead to Another

Comments (0)

If you have a flare-up of COPD, there's a chance you'll have another one within two months, a new study suggests. The study was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (Volume 179, page 369).

Researchers looked at daily symptom diaries that were kept for at least one year by 297 COPD patients. They found that 27% of initial COPD flare-ups (as opposed to a relapse due to failed treatment of an exacerbation) were followed by a second event within eight weeks. These recurrent flare-ups occurred despite full recovery from the preceding event.

The researchers also found that exacerbations were more common in the winter than in the summer and that "isolated" flare-ups (an exacerbation that was neither preceded within eight weeks nor followed within eight weeks by another exacerbation) tended to be about 25% more severe than the first of a series of flare-ups.

COPD exacerbations can lead to hospitalization, serious complications, and lung function decline. Many patients never fully recover the lung function lost during a flare-up. The eight weeks after a COPD flare-up appears to be a crucial time for monitoring and follow-up to prevent or minimize further events. If you experience a COPD flare-up, stay in close contact with your doctor over the next two months, and quickly report any signs of a new exacerbation to your doctor.

Posted in Lung Disorders on September 30, 2010
Reviewed January 2011


Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer


Notify Me

Would you like us to inform you when we post new Lung Disorders Health Alerts?

Post a Comment

Comments

Health After 50 Alerts registered users may post comments and share experiences here at their own discretion. We regret that questions on individual health concerns to the editors cannot be answered in this space.

The views expressed here do not constitute medical advice, and do not represent the position of Scientific American Health After 50 or Remedy Health Media, LLC, which has no responsibility for any comments posted on this site.


Post a Comment


Already a subscriber?

Login

Forgot your password?

New to Health After 50?

Register to submit your comments.

(example: yourname@domain.com)

Log-in:

Forgot Password?

Health Topic Pages