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Social distancing led to reduced number of exacerbations in bronchiectasis patients - Medical Conferences

Home > Pulmonology > NLC 2022 > Social distancing led to reduced number of exacerbations in bronchiectasis patients

Social distancing led to reduced number of exacerbations in bronchiectasis patients

Conference
NLC 2022
Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the exacerbation risk in bronchiectasis patients. The daily symptoms that these patients experience, such as phlegm and cough, were not significantly reduced. Besides, patients did not experience a heightened sense of anxiousness as a result of social distancing.

The COVID-19 pandemic highly influenced the lives of everyone, and in particular of patients living with lung disease. For instance, it is known that social distancing, which was introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19, led to a reduction in exacerbation risk for COPD patients [1]. Also, respiratory viral-associated exacerbations decreased [2]. Although this may be regarded as a beneficial effect of the imposed social distancing measurements, the downside was that patients experienced an increased sense of loneliness due to social distancing [3]. If this was the case for COPD patients, what would the effect of the pandemic and its measures be in patients with bronchiectasis?

Vestergård et al. conducted a study on 306 Danish patients using the Bronchiectasis Health Questionnaire, which features 10 questions. The median age of the participants was 68 years and 68% of participants were women. The period covered by the study was divided into 5 segments: December 2020–February 2021, March–May 2021, June–August 2021, September–November 2021, December 2021–February 2022, and March–May 2022.

The mean number of exacerbations declined from December 2020 to February 2021 to rise again in the period between September and November 2021, increasing until May 2022. Differences in the number of antibiotics used for the past 12 months – with December 2020–February 2021 being the reference group – showed a substantially lower P-value in the periods September–November 2021 and December 2021–February 2022 (P=0.052 and P=0.003, respectively). Regarding coughing bouts and phlegm in the chest, no significant reduction was observed over the various periods. No correlation between a sense of anxiousness and social distancing could be found in this study [4].

  1. Saeed MI, et al. Epidemiol. 2022;191(5):874–885.

  2. Tan JY, et al. Thorax. 2021;76(5):512–513.

  3. Kusk KH, et al. COPD. 2021;18(5):549–556.

  4. Vestergård C. Exacerbations in bronchiectasis during and after COVID-19 lock-down. Nordic Lung Congress 2022, 01–03 June, Copenhagen, Denmark.

 

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