Opportunities to diagnose fibrotic lung diseases in routine care: a primary care cohort study

Mark G. Jones, Anjan Nibber, Christopher R.T. Hillyar, Alison Chisholm, Andrew Wilson, Toby Maher, Alan Kaplan, David Price, Simon Walsh, Luca Richeldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background and objective: Temporal trends of healthcare use in the period before a diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis are poorly understood. We investigated trends in respiratory symptoms and LR HRU in the 10 years prior to diagnosis. Methods: We analysed a primary care clinical cohort database (UK OPCRD) and assessed patients aged ≥40 years who had an electronically coded diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis between 2005 and 2015 and a minimum 2 years of continuous medical records prior to diagnosis. Exclusion criteria consisted of electronic codes for recognized causes of pulmonary fibrosis such as CTD, sarcoidosis or EAA. Results: Data for 2223 patients were assessed. Over the 10 years prior to diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis, there was a progressive increase in HRU across multiple LR-related domains. Five years before diagnosis, 18% of patients had multiple healthcare contacts for LR complaints; this increased to 79% in the year before diagnosis, with 38% of patients having five or more healthcare contacts. Conclusion: There are opportunities to diagnose pulmonary fibrosis at an earlier stage; research into case-finding algorithms and strategies to educate primary care physicians is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1274-1282
Number of pages9
JournalRespirology
Volume25
Issue number12
Early online date11 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • clinical epidemiology
  • clinical respiratory medicine
  • cough
  • pulmonary fibrosis
  • respiratory function tests

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