Comparison of the variability of the annual rates of
change in FEV1 determined from serial
measurements of the pre- versus postbronchodilator
FEV1 over 5 years in mild to
moderate COPD: Results of the lung health study
- Author(s): Tashkin, Donald P
- Wang, He-Jing
- Halpin, David
- Kleerup, Eric C
- Connett, John
- Li, Ning
- Elashoff, Robert
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1465-9921-13-70
AbstractBackgroundThe impact of interventions on the progressive course of COPD is currently assessed by the slope of the annual decline in FEV1 determined from serial measurements of the post-, in preference to the pre-, bronchodilator FEV1. We therefore compared the yearly slope and the variability of the slope of the pre- versus the post-bronchodilator FEV1 in men and women with mild to moderate COPD who participated in the 5-year Lung Health Study (LHS).MethodsData were analyzed from 4484 of the 5887 LHS participants who had measurements of pre- and post-bronchodilator FEV1 at baseline (screening visit 2) and all five annual visits. The annual rate of decline in FEV1 (±SE) measured pre- and post-bronchodilator from the first to the fifth annual visit was estimated separately using a random coefficient model adjusted for relevant covariates. Analyses were performed separately within each of the three randomized intervention groups. In addition, individual rates of decline in pre- and post-bronchodilator FEV1 were also determined for each participant. Furthermore, sample sizes were estimated for determining the significance of differences in slopes of decline between different interventions using pre- versus post-bronchodilator measurements.ResultsWithin each intervention group, mean adjusted and unadjusted slope estimates were slightly higher for the pre- than the post-bronchodilator FEV1 (range of differences 2.6-5.2 ml/yr) and the standard errors around these estimates were only minimally higher for the pre- versus the post-bronchodilator FEV1 (range 0.05-0.11 ml/yr). Conversely, the standard deviations of the mean FEV1 determined at each annual visit were consistently slightly higher (range of differences 0.011 to 0.035 L) for the post- compared to the pre-bronchodilator FEV1. Within each group, the proportion of individual participants with a statistically significant slope was similar (varying by only 1.4 to 2.7%) comparing the estimates from the pre- versus the post-bronchodilator FEV1. However, sample size estimates were slightly higher when the pre- compared to the post-bronchodilator value was used to determine the significance of specified differences in slopes between interventions.ConclusionSerial measurements of the pre-bronchodilator FEV1 are generally sufficient for comparing the impact of different interventions on the annual rate of change in FEV1.