Fatigue, the lack of physical energy or mental concentration, is the second-most common symptom of COPD, after breathlessness. A new study out of the Repatriation General Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, reports that fatigue levels can correspond to the severity of one’s COPD and influences an individual’s frequency and duration of hospitalization.
The study, published by the European Respiratory Journal on June 13, found that patients with the most severe COPD were 14 times more likely to be admitted to the hospital within 20 months than those with milder forms of COPD. Those individuals also had longer hospital stays than their counterparts.
Researchers believe these findings are critically important, as reports of fatigue are currently under-emphasized, potentially leading to improper symptom management and higher rates of hospitalization. They argue that greater attention to fatigue in patients will have a positive impact on the quality of life and economic consequences of the disease.
What are your experiences with fatigue? Share your stories with us!
SOURCE: European Respiratory Journal, news release, June 13, 2012