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Associations Between COPD Severity and Work Productivity, Health-Related Quality of Life, and Health Care Resource Use

A Cross-Sectional Analysis of National Survey Data

Dhamane, Amol D. MS, BPharm; Witt, Edward A. PhD; Su, Jun MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2016 - Volume 58 - Issue 6 - p e191–e197
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000735

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and increasing COPD severity with work productivity and activity impairment (WPAI), health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and health care resource use (HCRU) in employed adults.

Methods: Employed adults aged at least 40 years from the 2010 to 2012 US National Health and Wellness Survey were selected for this study. Associations of interest were assessed using multivariate regression models.

Results: The study sample consisted of 60,389 respondents with 4.1% reporting a physician diagnosis of COPD. Of these, 55.4%, 37.6%, and 7.0% reported their COPD severity was mild, moderate, and severe, respectively. The presence of COPD and increasing COPD severity was associated with higher WPAI, lower HRQoL, and higher HCRU (all P < 0.001).

Conclusion: In an employed population, presence of COPD and increasing COPD severity negatively impacts health outcomes, particularly work productivity.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., Ridgefield, Connecticut (Mr Dhamane and Dr Su), and Kantar Health, Princeton, New Jersey (Dr Witt).

Address correspondence to: Edward A. Witt, PhD, Kantar Health, 1 Independence Way Suite #220, Princeton, NJ (

This work was funded by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Amol D. Dhamane is an employee of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. Jun Su was an employee of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. when this study was completed. Edward A. Witt is an employee of Kantar Health and was paid for his consultation on this study by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Copyright © 2016 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine