Table 1

Baseline characteristics of the patients with two severe AECOPDs for the overall cohort and the three groups (patients without steroid use before both AECOPDs (group 1), patients with steroid use before both AECOPDs (group 2) and patients who used steroids either before the first AECOPD or before the second AECOPD (group 3))

Patients with at least two severe AECOPDOverall
n=237
Group 1
n=106
Group 2
n=32
Group 3
n=99
P value
Age: mean in years (SD)68.2 (10.1)67.9 (9.6)68.7 (11.0)68.3 (10.4)0.924
Man (number (%))135 (57.0)60 (56.6)15 (46.9)60 (60.6)0.397
Current smoker (number (%))72 (30.4)37 (34.9)8 (25.0)27 (27.3)0.386
Pack-years: median (IQR)34.5 (20.9–51.2)34,5 (22.0–50.3)34.2 (17.3–55.3)35.5 (23.3–53.0)0.633
BMI: mean (SD)26.1 (5.3)25,9 (4,9)25.5 (4.5)26.5 (5.9)0.548
Lung function
 FEV1 in litres: mean (SD)1.1 (0.5)1.1 (0.5)1.0 (0.3)1.2 (0.5)0.009
 FEV1% predicted: mean (SD)43.8 (15.8)43.6 (16.9)37.9 (11.6)46.0 (15.4)0.040
 FEV1/FVC in percent: mean (SD)40.2 (12.8)38.2 (24.3)37.9 (11.2)41.5 (13.6)0.345
GOLD stage (number (%))0.129
 I5 (2.1)2 (1,9)0 (0.0)3 (3.0)
 II74 (31.2)34 (32.1)5 (15.6)35 (35.4)
 III114 (48.1)46 (43.4)19 (59.4)49 (49.5)
 IV44 (18.6)24 (22.6)8 (25.0)12 (12.1)
Inhalation corticosteroid use (number (%))206 (86.9)94 (88.7)24 (75.0)88 (88.9)0.115
Time between AECOPD: median in days (IQR)296 (76–691)317 (74–802)120 (44–536)318 (142–681)0.041
Previous AECOPD (number (%))*0.010
 0–1 AECOPD95 (42.2)51 (50.1)6 (20.0)38 (40.4)
 ≥2 AECOPDs130 (57.8)50 (49.5)24 (80.0)56 (59.6)
Previous severe AECOPD (number (%))*0.405
 ≥1 severe AECOPD54 (22.8)21 (19.8)10 (31.3)23 (23.2)
  • *In year before recruitment (missing data of 12 patients).

  • AECOPD, acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; BMI, body mass index; FEV1, forced expiratory volume in 1 s; FVC, Forced Vital Capacity; GOLD, Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease.;