4-10 April 2022

COPD

Vestergaard AHS, Christiansen CF, Neergaard MA, Valentin JB, Johnsen SP. Healthcare utilisation trajectories in patients dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure or cancer: a nationwide register-based cohort study. BMJ Open. 2021 Nov 24;11(11):e049661. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-049661. PMID: 34819282; PMCID: PMC8614146.
Objectives: To investigate illness trajectories as reflected by healthcare utilisation, including hospital and intensive care unit admissions, consultations in general practice and home care provision, before death comparing people dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure and cancer.
Design: Nationwide register-based cohort study.
Setting: Data on all hospital admissions, including intensive care unit admissions, consultations in general practice and home care provision were obtained from nationwide Danish registries.
Participants: All adult decedents in Denmark dying from COPD, heart failure or cancer between 2006 and 2016.
Outcome measures: For each day within 5 years before death, we computed a daily prevalence proportion (PP) of being admitted to hospital or consulting a general practitioner. For each day within 6 months before death, we computed PPs of being admitted to intensive care or receiving home care. The PPs were plotted and compared by regression analyses adjusting for age, gender, comorbidity level, marital/cohabitation status, municipality and income level.
Results: Among 1 74 086 patients dying from COPD (n=22 648), heart failure (n=11 498) or cancer (n=139 940), the PPs of being admitted to hospital or consulting a general practitioner showed similar steady progression and steep increase in the last year of life for all patient populations. The PP of being admitted to intensive care showed modest increase during the last 6 months of life, accelerating in the last month, for all patient populations. For patients with COPD and heart failure, the PP of receiving home care remained stable during the last 6 months of life but increased steadily for patients with cancer.
Conclusion: We found limited differences in healthcare resource utilisation at the end of life for people with COPD, heart failure or cancer, indicating comparable illness trajectories.This supports the need to reconsider efforts in achieving equal access to palliative care interventions, which is still mainly offered to patients with cancer.

Whittaker H, Rubino A, Müllerová H, Morris T, Varghese P, Xu Y, De Nigris E, Quint JK. Frequency and Severity of Exacerbations of COPD Associated with Future Risk of Exacerbations and Mortality: A UK Routine Health Care Data Study. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2022 Mar 3;17:427-437. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S346591. PMID: 35264849; PMCID: PMC8901192.
Background: Studies have shown that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation events are related to future events; however, previous literature typically reports frequent vs infrequent exacerbations per patient-year and no studies have investigated increasing number of severe exacerbations in relation to COPD outcomes.
Objective: To investigate the association between baseline frequency and severity of exacerbations and subsequent mortality and exacerbation risk in a COPD cohort.
Methods: Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) Aurum and Hospital Episode Statistics data were used to identify patients registered at general practices in the UK, who had a diagnosis of COPD, were over the age of 40 years, were smokers or ex-smokers and had data recorded from 2004 onwards. Frequency and severity of exacerbations in the baseline year were identified as moderate exacerbations (general practice events) and severe exacerbations (hospitalised events). Patients were categorised as having: none, 1 moderate only, 2 moderate only, 3+ moderate only, 1 severe (and any moderate), 2 severe (and any moderate), and 3+ severe (and any moderate exacerbations). Poisson regression was used to investigate the association between baseline exacerbation frequency/severity and exacerbation events and mortality over follow-up.
Results: Overall, 340,515 COPD patients were included. Patients had higher rates of future exacerbations with increasing frequency and severity of baseline exacerbations compared to no baseline exacerbations. Adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRR) for patients with 1, 2, and 3+ moderate exacerbations compared to 0 exacerbations were 1.70 (95% CI 1.66-1.74), 2.31 (95% CI 2.24-2.37), and 3.52 (95% CI 3.43-3.62), respectively. Patients with increased frequency of baseline exacerbations were more likely to die from all-cause, COPD-related, and cardiovascular-related mortality in a graduated fashion.
Conclusion: Increasing number and severity of exacerbations were associated with increasing risk of subsequent exacerbations, all-cause mortality and COPD-related mortality. Even a single moderate event increases the risk of future events, illustrating that every exacerbation counts.

Wollsching-Strobel M, Schwarz SB, Mathes T, Majorski DS, Heidari P, Kroppen D, Magnet FS, Windisch W. Anemia Severely Reduces Health-Related Quality of Life in COPD Patients Receiving Long-Term Home Non-Invasive Ventilation. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2021 Oct 28;16:2963-2971. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S328404. PMID: 34737561; PMCID: PMC8560082.
Purpose: To assess the influence of anemia on health-related quality of life (HRQL) in COPD patients receiving long-term non-invasive ventilation (NIV).
Patients and methods: In this prospective single-center cohort study, COPD patients on long-term NIV were analyzed between June 2015 and May 2020. Linear multiple regression analyses were performed using the results of the Severe Respiratory Insufficiency Questionnaire (SRI) along with the following variables: sex, age, body mass index, duration of NIV, exacerbation history (≤1 versus >1 in the previous year), the updated Charlson comorbidity index, hemoglobin levels and anemia (WHO criteria).
Results: Anemia was identified in 32.8% (N=128). Anemia (mean difference -8.4, 95% CI -2.0/-14.9 SRI points, P=0.011) and exacerbations (mean difference -9.9, 95% CI -4.3/-15.5 SRI points, P=0.001) each had a negative impact on SRI summary scores. Exacerbations were negatively associated with six out of seven SRI subscale scores, while anemia was negatively associated with four out of seven. SRI summary scores dropped by 1.5 points for every g/dl of hemoglobin (P=0.08). No other variables had an influence on the SRI scores.
Conclusion: The present study has shown that within a cohort of COPD patients undergoing long-term NIV, one-third were identified as anemic. Furthermore, anemia, like exacerbation history, was found to have a considerable negative impact on HRQL that is specific to patients with chronic respiratory failure.

You L, Niu H, Huang K, Dong F, Yang T, Wang C. Clinical Features and Outcomes of Acute Exacerbation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients with Pulmonary Heart Disease: A Multicenter Observational Study. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2021 Oct 22;16:2901-2910. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S325925. PMID: 34712043; PMCID: PMC8547596.
Purpose: To identify clinical features and outcomes associated with pulmonary heart disease among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation (COPD), which may help reduce economic burden accrued over hospital stay and shorten length of stay (LOS).
Patients and methods: Totally, 4386 patients with acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) classified into pulmonary heart disease (PHD) group and non-pulmonary heart disease group, were included from the ACURE registry, a prospective multicenter patient registry study. Clinical features and outcomes were compared between groups.
Results: PHD patients had a more severe profile, including having higher scores of COPD assessment test and modified British Medical Research Council, worse lung function, more patients hospitalized more than once in the past year due to acute exacerbation of COPD, and more comorbidities. Furthermore, drug cost was higher and length of stay was longer in AECOPD patients with PHD.
Conclusion: AECOPD patients with PHD had a more severe profile and worse clinical outcomes, including higher drug cost and longer LOS. PHD is an independent risk factor of drug cost and LOS. Complicated with PHD in COPD/AECOPD patients with PHD means heavier disease burden and worse prognosis. It merits further study to focus on PHD management in COPD/AECOPD patients.

Zhou T, Liu P, Dhruva SS, Shah ND, Ramachandran R, Berg KM, Ross JS. Assessment of Hypothetical Out-of-Pocket Costs of Guideline-Recommended Medications for the Treatment of Older Adults With Multiple Chronic Conditions, 2009 and 2019. JAMA Intern Med. 2022 Feb 1;182(2):185-195. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.7457. PMID: 34982097; PMCID: PMC8728660.
Importance: Most adults 65 years or older have multiple chronic conditions. Managing these conditions with prescription drugs can be costly, particularly for older adults with limited incomes.
Objective: To estimate hypothetical out-of-pocket costs associated with guideline-recommended outpatient medications for the initial treatment of 8 common chronic diseases among older adults with Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs).
Design, setting, and participants: This retrospective cross-sectional study used 2009 and 2019 Medicare prescription drug plan formulary files to estimate annual out-of-pocket costs among hypothetical patients enrolled in Medicare Advantage or stand-alone Medicare Part D plans. A total of 3599 PDPs in 2009 and 3618 PDPs in 2019 were included after inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. Costs associated with guideline-recommended medications for 8 of the most common chronic diseases (atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes), alone and in 2 clusters of commonly comorbid conditions, were examined.
Main outcomes and measures: Annual out-of-pocket costs for each chronic condition, inflation adjusted to 2019 dollars.
Results: Among 3599 Medicare PDPs in 2009, 1998 were Medicare Advantage plans and 1601 were stand-alone plans; among 3618 Medicare PDPs in 2019, 2719 were Medicare Advantage plans and 899 were stand-alone plans. For an older adult enrolled in any Medicare PDP in 2019, the median annual out-of-pocket costs for individual conditions varied, from a minimum of $32 (IQR, $6-$48) for guideline-recommended management of osteoporosis (a decrease from $128 [IQR, $102-$183] in 2009) to a maximum of $1579 (IQR, $1524-$2229) for guideline-recommended management of atrial fibrillation (an increase from $91 [IQR, $73-$124] in 2009). For an older adult with a cluster of 5 commonly comorbid conditions (COPD, hypertension, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes) enrolled in any PDP, the median out-of-pocket cost in 2019 was $1999 (IQR, $1630-$2564), a 12% decrease from $2284 (IQR, $1920-$3107) in 2009. For an older adult with all 8 chronic conditions (atrial fibrillation, COPD, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, heart failure, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis) enrolled in any PDP, the median out-of-pocket cost in 2019 was $3630 (IQR, $3234-$5197), a 41% increase from $2571 (IQR, $2185-$3719) in 2009.
Conclusions and relevance: In this cross-sectional study, out-of-pocket costs for guideline-recommended outpatient medications for the initial treatment of 8 common chronic diseases varied by condition. Although costs generally decreased between 2009 and 2019, particularly with regard to conditions for which generic drugs were available, out-of-pocket costs remained high and may have presented a substantial financial burden for Medicare beneficiaries, especially older adults with conditions for which brand-name drugs were guideline recommended.

Gomez N, James V, Onion D, Fairclough LC. Extracellular vesicles and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a systematic review. Respir Res. 2022 Apr 5;23(1):82. doi: 10.1186/s12931-022-01984-0. PMID: 35382831.
Background: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by irreversible airflow limitation, ranking the third highest cause of death worldwide. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are important intercellular communication mediators released by cells into their extracellular environment with the capacity to transfer biological signals. EVs involved in COPD hold great potential to understand disease pathogenesis and identify important biomarkers. This systematic review aims to examine all available research on EVs in the pathogenesis and diagnosis of COPD to identify existing knowledge and support further research within the field.
Methods: Publications were searched using PubMed and EMBASE with the search terms (Exosomes or extracellular vesicles or microvesicles or microparticles or ectosomes) AND (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD or emphysema or bronchitis).
Results: Initial search yielded 512 papers of which 142 were manually selected for review and 43 were eligible for analyses. The studies were divided into groups according to the role of EVs in pathogenesis, EV origin and cargo, their role in COPD exacerbations and their diagnostic utility. EVs were found to be involved in the mechanism of pathogenesis of COPD, derived from various cell types, as well as containing modified levels of miRNAs. EVs also varied according to the pathophysiological status of disease, therefore presenting a possible method for COPD diagnosis and progress monitoring.
Conclusion: The current findings show the limited but good quality research looking at the role of EVs in COPD, demonstrating the need for more studies to better define and provide further insight into the functional characteristics of EV in COPD pathogenesis

Owusuaa C, Dijkland SA, Nieboer D, van der Rijt CCD, van der Heide A. Predictors of mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Pulm Med. 2022 Apr 4;22(1):125. doi: 10.1186/s12890-022-01911-5. PMID: 35379214; PMCID: PMC8978392.
Background: Better insight in patients’ prognosis can help physicians to timely initiate advance care planning (ACP) discussions with patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We aimed to identify predictors of mortality.
Methods: We systematically searched databases Embase, PubMed, MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central in April 2020. Papers reporting on predictors or prognostic models for mortality at 3 months and up to 24 months were assessed on risk-of-bias. We performed a meta-analysis with a fixed or random-effects model, and evaluated the discriminative ability of multivariable prognostic models.
Results: We included 42 studies (49-418,251 patients); 18 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Significant predictors of mortality within 3-24 months in the random-effects model were: previous hospitalization for acute exacerbation (hazard ratio [HR] 1.97; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.32-2.95), hospital readmission within 30 days (HR 5.01; 95% CI 2.16-11.63), cardiovascular comorbidity (HR 1.89; 95% CI 1.25-2.87), age (HR 1.48; 95% CI 1.38-1.59), male sex (HR 1.68; 95% CI 1.38-1.59), and long-term oxygen therapy (HR 1.74; 95% CI 1.10-2.73). Nineteen previously developed multicomponent prognostic models, as examined in 11 studies, mostly had moderate discriminate ability.
Conclusion: Identified predictors of mortality may aid physicians in selecting COPD patients who may benefit from ACP. However, better discriminative ability of prognostic models or development of a new prognostic model is needed for further large-scale implementation.

ASTHMA

1: Domingo C, Maspero JF, Castro M, Hanania NA, Ford LB, Halpin DMG, Jackson DJ,
Daizadeh N, Djandji M, Mitchell CP, Crikelair N, Jacob-Nara JA, Deniz Y, Rowe
PJ, Ortiz B. Dupilumab Efficacy in Steroid-Dependent Severe Asthma by Baseline
Oral Corticosteroid Dose. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2022 Apr
7:S2213-2198(22)00332-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2022.03.020. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 35398549.
Background: Dupilumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody, blocks the shared receptor component for interleukin-4/-13, key and central drivers of type 2 inflammation in multiple diseases. In phase 3 VENTURE study (NCT02528214), dupilumab vs placebo reduced oral corticosteroid (OCS) dose and improved clinical outcomes in patients with OCS-dependent severe asthma. Dupilumab efficacy in patients with varying disease burden (defined by baseline OCS dose) has not been assessed.
Objective: This post hoc analysis of VENTURE evaluated dupilumab efficacy across subgroups defined by baseline OCS dose.
Methods: OCS dose, proportion no longer needing OCS at week 24, annualized severe exacerbation rate, and least squares mean change from baseline in pre- and post-bronchodilator FEV1 at week 24 were evaluated in VENTURE patients with OCS-dependent severe asthma receiving dupilumab 300 mg every 2 weeks vs placebo, categorized by baseline OCS dose <10 or ≥10 mg/day.
Results: Dupilumab reduced daily OCS dose from baseline at week 24 in both dose groups. In dupilumab-/placebo-treated patients with a baseline OCS dose <10 and ≥10 mg/day, 72%/42% and 37%/23% stopped OCS by week 24 (P < .01/P < .05), respectively. Dupilumab significantly reduced the annualized severe exacerbation rate by 71% and 48% (P < .01/P < .05). At week 24, dupilumab improved pre- and post-bronchodilator FEV1 in patients in both dose groups.
Conclusions: In patients with OCS-dependent severe asthma receiving lower or higher baseline OCS doses, dupilumab significantly reduced the OCS dose and improved the likelihood of no longer requiring OCS, while also reducing exacerbations and improving lung function.

2: Park HJ, Huh JY, Lee JS, Lee JS, Oh YM, Lee SW. Comparative efficacy of
inhalers in mild-to-moderate asthma: systematic review and network meta-
analysis. Sci Rep. 2022 Apr 8;12(1):5949. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-09941-z. PMID:
35396495.
The comparative effectiveness of different inhaler therapies in mild-to-moderate asthma remains unclear. To assess this, we performed a systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on the use of inhalers for mild-to-moderate asthma by searching PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase. A total of 29 trials including 43,515 patients and 12 types of inhaler therapies were included. For the prevention of severe and moderate-to-severe exacerbations, inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/long-acting β2-agonist (LABA) as maintenance and reliever (SMART) showed the highest rank for effectiveness. As-needed ICS/LABA or short-acting β2-agonist (SABA) was similar to low-dose ICS and superior to as-needed SABA or LABA for the prevention of severe and moderate-severe exacerbations. As for lung function (FEV1), low-dose ICS/LABA had the highest rank; as-needed ICS/LABA was inferior to regular low-dose ICS but superior to placebo. Higher-dose ICS had a superior effect on the Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) scores, and as-needed ICS/LABA and as-needed SABA or LABA had lower ranks in p-rankogram than did the regular use of low-dose ICS. As-needed ICS with LABA or SABA was more effective than a similar dose of regular ICS for preventing exacerbation in mild-to-moderate asthma. As-needed ICS showed some weakness in improving lung function and controlling asthma symptoms.

3: Cropper KJ, Davis BE, Cockcroft DW. Effect of daily tiotropium on allergen-
induced early asthmatic responses and airway inflammation. Ann Allergy Asthma
Immunol. 2022 Apr 5:S1081-1206(22)00296-4. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2022.04.001. Epub
ahead of print. PMID: 35395397.
NO ABSTRACT

4: Harper V, Trayer J. Breathing exercises for adults with asthma. Clin Exp
Allergy. 2022 Apr 6. doi: 10.1111/cea.14141. Epub ahead of print. PMID:
35388565.
NO ABSTRACT

5: Vesper SJ, Wymer L, Coull BA, Koutrakis P, Cunningham A, Petty CR, Metwali N,
Sheehan WJ, Gaffin JM, Permaul P, Lai PS, Bartnikas LM, Hauptman M, Gold DR,
Baxi SM, Phipatanakul W. HEPA filtration intervention in classrooms may improve
some students’ asthma. J Asthma. 2022 Apr 10:1-8. doi:
10.1080/02770903.2022.2059672. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35341426.
Objective: The School Inner-City Asthma Intervention Study 2 (SICAS 2) tested interventions to reduce exposures in classrooms of students with asthma. The objective of this post-hoc analysis was limited to evaluating the effect of high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filtration interventions on mold levels as quantified using the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) and the possible improvement in the students’ asthma, as quantified by spirometry testing.
Methods: Pre-intervention dust samples were collected at the beginning of the school year from classrooms and corresponding homes of students with asthma (n = 150). Follow-up dust samples were collected in the classrooms at the end of the HEPA or Sham intervention. For each dust sample, ERMI values and the Group 1 and Group 2 mold levels (components of the ERMI metric) were quantified. In addition, each student’s lung function was evaluated by spirometry testing, specifically the percentage predicted forced expiratory volume at 1 sec (FEV1%), before and at the end of the intervention.
Results: For those students with a higher Group 1 mold level in their pre-intervention classroom than home (n = 94), the FEV1% results for those students was significantly (p < 0.05) inversely correlated with the Group 1 level in their classrooms. After the HEPA intervention, the average Group 1 and ERMI values were significantly lowered, and the average FEV1% test results significantly increased by an average of 4.22% for students in HEPA compared to Sham classrooms.
Conclusions: HEPA intervention in classrooms reduced Group 1 and ERMI values, which corresponded to improvements in the students’ FEV1% test results.

RHINITIS-ALLERGY-ALLERGIC ASTHMA

1: Sweiss K, Naser AY, Alrawashdeh HM, Alharazneh A. Hospital admissions due to
vasomotor and allergic rhinitis in England and Wales between 1999 and 2019: an
ecological study. Ir J Med Sci. 2022 Apr 7. doi: 10.1007/s11845-022-02996-x.
Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35391654.
Background: Allergic rhinitis is among the most prevalent chronic disorders in high-income countries. Its estimated cost is €30-€50 billion annually in the European Union and in the UK, it is approximately €1.8 billion per year.
Aim: To study hospital admissions for vasomotor and allergic rhinitis in England and Wales during the past 20 years.
Method: This was an ecological study using publicly available data extracted from the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) database in England and the Patient Episode Database for Wales (PEDW). The trend in hospital admissions was assessed using a Poisson model.
Results: Admission rate increased by 2.14-fold [from 2.59 (95% CI 2.46-2.73) in 1999 to 8.16 (95% CI 7.93-8.39) in 2020 per 100,000 persons, trend test, p < 001]. The most prevalent hospital admission reasons were allergic rhinitis due to pollen, other allergic rhinitis, and unspecified allergic rhinitis, which accounted for 56.4%, 22.3%, and 15.7%, respectively. The age group 15-59 years accounted for 69.5% of the total number of admissions. Admission rate between males increased by 2.25-fold. Admission rate between females increased by 2.02-fold.
Conclusion: Vasomotor and allergic rhinitis are common cause of hospital admissions in England and Wales that showed a clear increase in the rate of their admissions in the past 20 years. Allergic rhinitis due to pollen was the most dominant cause of admission, which warrants further investigation to identify its preventable risk factors and decrease the probability of the exacerbation of patients’ cases and the need for hospitalization.

2: Chen Z, Ke X, Wang X, Kang H, Hong S. LncRNA JPX contributes to Treg/Th17
imbalance in allergic rhinitis <i>via</i> targeting the miR-378g/CCL5 axis.
Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2022 Apr 6:1-6. doi:
10.1080/08923973.2022.2055566. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35387544.
Aim: T-regulatory (Treg)/T-helper (Th) 17 imbalance contributes to the pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis (AR). Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) participate in the progression of AR. Herein, the effect of lncRNA JP X on Treg/Th17 balance in AR was explored.Methods: CD4+ T cells were isolated from patients with AR and healthy control. The percentage of Treg and Th17 cells were examined by flow cytometry. The levels of JP X, miR-378g, CCL5, T GF-β, and IL-17A were tested using qRT-P CR. The protein expression of Foxp3 and RORγt was measured by western blot.Results: The data showed that an imbalance of Treg/Th17 was associated with AR. Upregulation of JP X was found in AR, and knockdown of which improved the imbalance of Treg/Th17. Furthermore, JP X functioned as a sponge of miR-378g to upregulate CCL5. Inhibition of miR-378g reversed the effects on Treg/Th17 induced by silencing of JP X. Moreover, overexpression of CCL5 reversed miR-378g-induced effects.Conclusion: In conclusion, depletion of JP X promoted Treg/Th17 balance in AR via regulating the miR-378g/CCL5 axis. The findings provided a novel therapeutic insight for AR.

3: Hoang MP, Chitsuthipakorn W, Seresirikachorn K, Snidvongs K. As-needed
intranasal corticosteroid spray for allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and
meta-analysis. Rhinology. 2022 Apr 5. doi: 10.4193/Rhin21.355. Epub ahead of
print. PMID: 35379997.
ackground: As-needed intranasal corticosteroid spray (INCS) is commonly used by patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) who have suboptimal symptom control. This systematic review aimed to assess the effectiveness of as-needed INCS for treating AR.
Methodology: Systematic searches for randomized controlled trials studying the effects of as-needed INCS compared to regular INCS, as-needed antihistamine, or placebo were performed. Primary outcomes were total nasal symptom score (TNSS) and disease-specific quality of life (DSQoL).
Results: Eight studies (882 participants) met the criteria. Regular use of INCS showed greater improvements than as-needed INCS in TNSS, DSQoL, nasal peak inspiratory flow, sneezing, and nasal congestion scores with small effect sizes. There were no differences between regular and as-needed INCS usage for ocular symptoms, symptom-free days, nasal itching, and rhinorrhea scores. As-needed INCS was superior to as-needed antihistamine and placebo with medium effect sizes. There were no differences in risk of adverse events between the groups in all three comparisons.
Conclusions: Regular use of INCS improved total nasal symptoms score and DSQoL better than as-needed INCS. However, as-needed INCS improved TNSS better than as-needed antihistamine and placebo. The effects of as-needed INCS were closer to regular INCS usage than to placebo or as-needed AH usage.

CHRONIC COUGH

1: Leuppi J, Guggisberg P, Koch D, Favre-Bulle A, Fabiani M, Heinz S, Zeller A.
Understanding the knowledge and perception of chronic cough from a physician’s
perspective in Switzerland. Curr Med Res Opin. 2022 Apr 4:1-18. doi:
10.1080/03007995.2022.2057154. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35369836.
Background: Cough is one of the most common health issues for which medical attention is sought. A chronic cough (CC) is understood as a cough that lasts longer than 8 weeks. CC encompasses two subsets referred to as refractory chronic cough (RCC) and unexplained chronic cough (UCC). This study aims to assess the current understanding and perceptions of a RCC and UCC, from a physician’s perspective in Switzerland and how this understanding and practical work leads to the relevant diagnosis and treatment.
Methods: In October 2020, 549 GPs and 338 pulmonologists in Switzerland, received an invite to participate in the online-based quantitative survey. Data collection was carried out through a 25-minute online survey. The questionnaire was based on structured questions, and conducted on a randomized sample of doctors (general practitioners -GPs and pulmonologists) in the German- and French-speaking part of Switzerland.
Results: Overall, 33 pulmonologists and 52 GPs participated in the online survey. Only 38% of GPs, but 73% of pulmonologists, defined chronic cough as a cough lasting 8 weeks or longer. The majority of physicians (72%), especially pulmonologists (88%), perceived a clinical gap regarding the treatment of persistent cough. 74% of the sampled physicians agreed that persistent cough is a high burden of disease for patients. Based on the answers, the annual number of new patients with RCC and UCC in Switzerland is estimated at 9,322 patients.
Conclusions: Results of this study have highlighted differences in the terminology used to describe CC (RCC and UCC), in the diagnostic tests used and, in the treatments used between GPs and pulmonologists. These findings suggest the need to align the current language regarding the disease to facilitate a standardised approach for diagnosis and treatment and towards improving patient care and reduce burden of disease for CC (RCC and UCC) patients.

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