Surprising Factors Associated With COPD Lung Disease Life Expectancy

COPD Lung Disease Life Expectancy Factors

COPD Lung Disease Life Expectancy is a topic that many patients may not want to talk about. But, if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with COPD, then you’ve probably spent a great deal of time wondering about it. And why wouldn’t you? Understanding the prognosis of a disease motivates many people to make much-needed lifestyle changes that may improve their quality of life and help them live longer. So, can implementing positive lifestyle changes also influence COPD Lung Disease Life Expectancy?

The Importance of Early Diagnosis and Smoking Cessation:If diagnosed early enough and a person quits smoking, COPD prognosis is relatively favorable and lung function decline is similar to anyone else of the same sex, age, height, and weight. It is only when a person continues to smoke that lung function decline progresses at a much faster rate, which ultimately shortens COPD Lung Disease Life Expectancy.

Here are the factors that are associated with COPD Lung disease life expectancy

The BODE Index: A Tool For Predicting COPD Lung Disease Life Expectancy

Although clinical evidence is limited regarding the prognosis of COPD (meaning how long people live after diagnosis), the BODE Index has been developed as a practical tool to measure a patient’s degree of lung impairment, capture their perception of respiratory symptoms, and express how the disease negatively affects the entire body as a system.

Understanding the BODE Index for¬†COPD Lung Disease Life Expectancy;The following details each variable of the BODE Index along with some examples of research supporting the concept. The good thing about understanding the BODE Index is that with understanding comes the ability to do something about those aspects of your life that don’t support a healthy lifestyle.

Airway Obstruction:The degree of airway obstruction COPD Lung Disease Life Expectancy Factor that is present in COPD patients is measured by a simple pulmonary function test known as spirometry. One part of the test measures forced expiratory volume in one second or FEV1. There are numerous studies which confirm that FEV1 is a strong predictor of survival in the COPD patient. In one such study involving 270 patients (232 were COPD patients with low oxygen levels and severe airway obstruction) who received long-term oxygen therapy, overall survival was poor: 70, 50 and 43 percent at 1, 2 and 3 years respectively. This means that 70% of the patients studied were still alive after 1 year, 50% at 2 years and only 43% at 3 years.

How can COPD patients slow lung function decline and prevent airway obstruction from worsening? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Quit smoking – quitting smoking is the single most effective (and least expensive) way to prevent COPD and/or slow the progression of the disease. Research supports that lung function decline in COPD actually normalizes once you quit, meaning it declines at that same rate of anyone else of the same age, height, weight, and gender.
  • Avoid secondhand smoke – a known airway irritant, secondhand smoke is a risk factor for the development of COPD.
  • Join a smoking cessation support group – research reports that joining a quit smoking support group can increase your chances of quitting and remaining abstinent.

Body Mass Index:Body mass index, or BMI, is a tool that that allows you to measure the amount of body fat you have in relation to your height and weight. Low BMI (being too thin) has been associated with poor prognosis in patients with COPD.

What are some steps that you can increase your body weight if you are too thin:

  • Add healthy fats in your diet
  • Eat more eggs with COPD.
  • Pick lean meats
  • Try spreading peanut butter on toast or bagels.
  • Put some joy into eating by indulging in a little dessert.
  • Some experts recommend adding cheese to sandwiches, pastas, and casseroles, or mixing dried milk powder into recipes.

Dyspnea: Dyspnea COPD Lung Disease Life Expectancy Factor reflects a patient’s perception of their own COPD symptoms and the degree to which one experiences dyspnea can actually be measured on a scale (the MMRCgoes from 0 being the least breathless to 4 being the most). While FEV1 has previously been regarded as the best way to predict COPD mortality, there is some evidence that a patient’s dyspnea level is even more significant when predicting survival than is FEV1. It is for this reason that some researchers believe that dyspnea should be included, in addition to FEV1, when evaluating COPD mortality.

Exercise Tolerance:COPD, especially in its later stages, can dramatically affect a patient’s ability to exercise. Reduced exercise tolerance is often measured in patients with chronic illness by the 6-minute walk test, and, along with BMI, is a factor that expresses the consequences of COPD that go beyond lung damage. Some evidence suggests that reduced exercise tolerance alone, can predict the risk of death in patients with certain chronic diseases, such as COPD, CHF, and pulmonary hypertension.