BODE index and quality of life in advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease before and after lung transplantation

Antoine Eskander, Thomas K Waddell, Marie E Faughnan, Noori Chowdhury, Lianne G Singer
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 2011, 30 (12): 1334-41

BACKGROUND: The BODE index (Body mass index, Obstruction, Dyspnea, Exercise), predicts the risk of death in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and is used to identify candidates for lung transplantation. We hypothesized that a higher BODE index would be associated with worse health-related quality of life (HRQL) in advanced COPD, and with larger improvements in HRQL after transplantation.

METHODS: In this cohort study (n = 112), we administered the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), 36-Item Short Form (SF-36), Visual Analog Scale, Standard Gamble and EuroQol Group 5-Dimension (EQ-5D) index to otherwise healthy COPD patients with a FEV(1) <50% predicted. We compared mean HRQL values across BODE score groups, and tested for linear trends. In patients who received lung transplants during the study period, we compared SGRQ scores before and early (mean 4 months) after transplantation.

RESULTS: BODE was directly associated with SGRQ and inversely related to all other HRQL measures (p < 0.05). Early post-transplant improvements in HRQL were also seen across the spectrum of BODE scores from 5 to 10.

CONCLUSIONS: The BODE score is a significant predictor of HRQL in patients with severe COPD. We noted dramatic improvements in HRQL after transplantation, which appeared similar in magnitude for patients with pre-transplant BODE scores of 5 or 6 and 7 to 10, despite the difference in expected survival between these two groups. The association of the BODE score with HRQL further supports its use in identifying potential candidates for lung transplantation.

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