Negligible Benefit for Oxygen in Patients With Mild COPD

This article originally appeared here.
Share this content:
Negligible Benefit for Oxygen in Patients With Mild COPD
Negligible Benefit for Oxygen in Patients With Mild COPD

THURSDAY, Oct. 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Oxygen therapy may not help patients in the less severe stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to research published in the Oct. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Robert Wise, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues randomly assigned 738 COPD patients to receive supplemental oxygen or not. All of the patients had moderately low oxygen levels in their blood -- either persistently or when they were physically active.

Over the next six years, the researchers observed no evidence that the oxygen-therapy group fared any better. Oxygen therapy did not improve patients' quality of life, forestall hospitalization, or lengthen their lives. Two patients had to be hospitalized after tripping over their oxygen equipment, and five patients reported fires or burns.

"Since a lack of evidence of effect is not evidence of a lack of any clinical effectiveness, a trial of oxygen use might still be appropriate in selected patients with moderate exertional hypoxemia and intractable breathlessness despite appropriate evidence-based treatment," writes the author of an accompanying editorial. "I think that the oxygen treatment should be evaluated by means of blinded exercise tests while the patient is breathing ambient air or oxygen and discontinued if the patient perceives no benefit during the test or within a day or two after it."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »


Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

More in Home

Hospitals Vary Widely in Moving Stroke Patients to Comfort Care

Hospitals Vary Widely in Moving Stroke Patients to ...

Doctors more apt to suggest it sooner for older, white, female, and uninsured patients

Peri-Op IV Acetaminophen May Reduce Post-Op Pain in Sinus Sx

Peri-Op IV Acetaminophen May Reduce Post-Op Pain in ...

Reduction in immediate postoperative pain after endoscopic sinus surgery, but results inconclusive

Location of Body Fat Can Indicate Obesity-Related Cancer Risk

Location of Body Fat Can Indicate Obesity-Related Cancer ...

Where fat is carried is as strong a predictor as BMI, researchers suggest

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »