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

NTproBNP Levels Are Significantly Lower in Blacks

NTproBNP Levels Are Significantly Lower in Blacks

Higher NTproBNP levels linked to increased risk of death; this association did not differ by race

Data May Weigh on Pros/Cons of Expanded Care Optometry

Data May Weigh on Pros/Cons of Expanded Care ...

Majority of residents in Kentucky, Oklahoma, New Mexico live within 30 minutes of ophthalmologist

Gaps Seen Between Hearing Loss, Receipt of Medical Evaluation, Tx

Gaps Seen Between Hearing Loss, Receipt of Medical ...

About 20.6 percent of those with hearing less than excellent/good had visited doctor for hearing issues

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »