Impact of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Emphysema on Outcomes of Hospitalized Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pneumonia

Temple University COVID-19 Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Comorbid disease is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection, however, initial rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in case series were low and severity of COVID-19 in COPD patients was variable. Methods: We performed a retrospective study of patients admitted with COVID-19 and evaluated outcomes in those with and without COPD and/or emphysema. Patients were identified as having COPD if they had a diagnosis in the medical record and a history of airflow-obstruction on spirometry, or a history of tobacco use and prescribed long-acting bronchodilator(s). Computed tomography scans were evaluated by radiologists. Propensity matching was performed for age, body-mass index (BMI), and serologic data correlated with severity of COVID-19 disease (D-dimer, C-reactive protein, ferritin, fibrinogen, absolute lymphocyte count, lymphocyte percentage, and lactate dehydrogenase). Results: Of 577 patients admitted with COVID-19, 103 had a diagnosis of COPD and/or emphysema. The COPD/emphysema cohort was older (67 vs 58, p<0.0001) than the other cohort and had a lower BMI. Among unmatched cohorts those with COPD/emphysema had higher rates of intensive care unit (ICU) admission (35% vs 24.9%, p=0.036) and maximal respiratory support requirements, with more frequent invasive mechanical ventilation (21.4% vs 11.8%), but no significant difference in mortality. After propensity-matching there was no difference in ICU admission, maximal respiratory support requirements, or mortality. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses yielded similar results. Discussion Our propensity-matched retrospective cohort study suggests that patients hospitalized with COVID-19 that have COPD and/or emphysema may not have worse outcomes than those without these comorbid conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-268
Number of pages14
JournalChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • COPD
  • COVID-19
  • Co-morbidities
  • Emphysema
  • Outcomes


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