Mortality Predictive Factors in Subjects With COPD After a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program: A 3-Year Study

Catia Saraiva, Tiago Tavares de Abreu, Djamila Neves, Fátima Rodrigues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: COPD is a high-mortality disease and projected to become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030. Our aim was to evaluate predictors of 3-y mortality and factors associated with early (1 y) and late (second and third year) mortality in subjects with severe COPD who completed a pulmonary rehabilitation program. METHODS: A historical cohort study was performed with subjects with COPD who were admitted to a day-hospital for chronic respiratory failure for a pulmonary rehabilitation program, from January 2008 to December 2010. The population was characterized based on sociodemographic factors, body mass index, smoking habits, lung function tests, respiratory failure, comorbidities, bacterial colonization, Modified Medical Research Council dyspnea index, 6-min walk test, mechanical ventilation, noninvasive ventilation, long-term oxygen therapy, hospital admissions, and mortality. RESULTS: From 183 patients who completed a pulmonary rehabilitation program, 93 had COPD. Our cohort had 78 male and 15 female subjects. The mean age +/- SD was 68.6 +/- 8.9 y, ranging from 43 to 85 y. After the pulmonary rehabilitation program, there were fewer, although not statistically significantly different hospital admissions (2.1 vs 1.7, P =.17). Three years after the pulmonary rehabilitation program, 34 subjects died (36.6%). Hypercapnic respiratory failure (P = .02), noninvasive ventilation (P = .002), lung cancer (P = .001), shorter 6-min walk distance (P = .03), and higher number of previous hospital admissions (P textless.001) were associated with a higher mortality rate. CONCLUSION: There is a high mortality rate in late-stage patients with COPD. The most relevant factors associated with mortality were lung cancer, respiratory failure and noninvasive ventilation, severe exacerbations with hospitalization, and lower functional exercise capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1185
Number of pages7
JournalRespiratory Care
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016


  • COPD
  • pulmonary rehabilitation
  • mortality
  • functional exercise capacity
  • lung cancer
  • respiratory failure
  • noninvasive ventilation
  • exacerbations


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