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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: Smoking is the major known causative factor for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of our study was to evaluate the differences in functional status and level of dyspnea between the COPD patients who smoke and those who do not.
Methods: In the cross-sectional study, we assigned randomly selected 74 ambulatory patients (48 females; mean age was 44.1 ± 12.2 years) in 3 groups: group I (26 patients) - nonsmokers; group II (20 patients) - current smokers; group III (28 patients) - ex-smokers. Patients' functional status was determined by standardised questionnaire DAL (List of Daily Activities), that consists of 11 questions about physical daily activities. Its score depend of the number of positive answers (from 0 to 11). The lower the score, the better the physical performance and the patients' functional status. The main COPD symptom - dyspnea was assessed by MRC scale, which scores range from 0 to 4, with a higher score indicating a greater dyspnea.
Results: Mean DAL (and MRC) scores were 5.42 (1.54) in group I, 6.8 (2.23) in group II and 7.21 (2.23) in group III. Statistically highly significant difference between the average DAL (and MRC) scores with regard to the patient groups was established by means of ANOVA (F = 5.25, p = 0.007; and F = 5.22, p = 0.008, respectively).
Conclusions: The functional status in COPD patients, that could be well determined by the DAL questionnaire, strongly reflects their tobacco consumption and could be successfully used in clinical research and practice.