A new tool that would help predict a patient's risk of dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been developed by researchers.
What's more, it would also help determine the effective level of treatment.
Boffins have come up with an ADO index that can help physicians assess the severity of the illness.
Presently, the BODE index is used by chest physicians to estimate a patient's risk of death from COPD. It assesses body-mass index, airflow obstruction, dyspnea and exercise capacity.
However, the BODE index is rarely used in primary care settings where most patient treatment options are managed, because exercise capacity cannot be easily measured in the typical doctor's office.
"The burden from COPD is so enormous that we need to reach out to any doctors who care for COPD patients," The Lancet quoted Dr Milo A. Puhan, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and lead author of the study.
"The ADO index can be used in any setting and we hope that it will serve as a basis for more individualized treatment selection in the near future," Puhan added.
For the study, Puhan and colleagues developed a simplified BODE index and the ADO index, which included age, dyspnea and airflow obstruction.
The research team compared the predictions of the BODE index with the 3-year risk of all-cause mortality from 232 COPD patients from Switzerland.
The updated BODE index and the new ADO index were then validated with a cohort of 342 COPD patients from Spain.
The findings showed that updated BODE and ADO indices accurately predicted 3-year mortality compared to the original BODE index, which performed poorly at predicting 3-year risk of mortality.