Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience significant changes in lung function during the winter influenza season, according to a new study. Researchers from 20 US Veterans Affairs Medical Centers enrolled 2,215 veterans with COPD, all of whom received the TIV vaccination. In addition, subjects were randomly assigned to receive either the LAIV vaccination (TC group) or a placebo (TP group). Clinical evaluation, spirometry, and serum collection were then performed for 3 to 4 weeks following immunization. In this double-blind study, subjects with influenza-caused illness (LDI) were compared with those who had non-LDI respiratory illness or no illness. Subjects were evaluated when they experienced either three symptoms of acute respiratory illness or fever plus two symptoms, and severity of illness was assessed via the chronic lung disease severity index (CLDSI). Researchers found that in this influenza-vaccinated population, non-LDI illness contributed to longer-term effects of respiratory disease, while LDI was associated with worse changes in obstruction to airflow and functional status. Patients in the TC group also showed better CLDSI scores. This study appears in the October issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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Newsbriefs from the journal Chest: October 2006

Contact: Deana Busche
American College of Chest Physicians

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