(HealthDay News) – For patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), fatigue is significantly associated with disease severity, and predicts the risk of hospitalization.

Johanna S. Paddison, PhD, from the Repatriation General Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, and colleagues examined the importance of fatigue as a clinical indicator in COPD using data from 100 consecutive patients attending an assessment clinic before pulmonary rehabilitation.

The researchers identified a significant correlation between fatigue and severity of COPD. Reports of fatigue predicted subsequent risk of hospitalization. The third of patients reporting the most intense fatigue had a 10-fold increase in the risk of hospitalization, compared with the lowest third of patients (fatigue experiences hazard ratio, 10.2; fatigue impacts hazard ratio, 10.7). Fatigue scores in the COPD sample were of similar intensity to patients with colorectal cancer and HIV-positive patients.

“While fatigue is significantly related to COPD functional severity, fatigue data also capture independent information,” the authors write. “Fatigue reports can contribute to predictions of hospitalization risk.”

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