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Questionnaire for diagnosing asthma-COPD overlap in COPD: Development of ACO screening questionnaire (ACO-Q).

BACKGROUND: The considerable prevalence and worse outcomes of asthma-COPD overlap (ACO) in COPD have been reported, and optimal introduction of ICS is essential for ACO. However, diagnostic criteria for ACO consist of multiple laboratory tests, which is challenging during this COVID-19 era. The purpose of this study was to create a simple questionnaire to diagnose ACO in patients with COPD.

METHODS: Among 100 COPD patients, 53 were diagnosed with ACO based on the Japanese Respiratory Society Guidelines for ACO. Firstly, 10 candidate questionnaire items were generated and further selected by a logistic regression model. An integer-based scoring system was generated based on the scaled estimates of items.

RESULTS: Five items, namely a history of asthma, wheezing, dyspnea at rest, nocturnal awakening, and weather- or season-dependent symptoms, contributed significantly to the diagnosis of ACO in COPD. History of asthma was related to FeNO >35 ppb. Two points were assigned to history of asthma and 1 point to other items in the ACO screening questionnaire (ACO-Q), and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.883 (95% CI: 0.806-0.933). The best cutoff point was 1 point, and the positive predictive value was 100% at a cutoff of 3 points or higher. The result was reproducible in the validation cohort of 53 patients with COPD.

CONCLUSIONS: A simple questionnaire, ACO-Q, was developed. Patients with scores ≥3 could be reasonably recommended to be treated as ACO, and additional laboratory testing would be recommended for patients with 1 and 2 points.

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