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Table 4 Systemic corticosteroid prescribing by patient characteristics for exacerbations of asthma (39 patients) and COPD (40 patients)

From: Predictors of treatment with antibiotics and systemic corticosteroids for acute exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in primary care

  Asthma n(%) P-value COPD/Both n(%) P-value All n(%) P-value
All 12/39 (30.8)   17/40 (42.5)   29/79 (36.7)  
Baseline characteristics
Age       
≥65 years 1/13 (7.7) 0.03 10/23 (43.5) 0.5 11/36 (30.6) 0.2
<65 years 11/26 (42.3)   7/17 (41.2)   18/43 (41.9)  
Gender       
Male 3/13 (23.1) 0.4 8/13 (61.5) 0.09 11/26 (42.3) 0.3
Female 9/26 (34.6)   9/27 (33.3)   18/53 (34.0)  
Smoking status       
Never smoker 3/16 (18.8) 0.5* 0/7 (0) 0.2* 3/23 (13.0) 0.1*
Current smoker 5/9 (55.6)   10/17 (58.8)   15/26 (57.7)  
Ex-smoker 4/14 (28.6)   7/16 (43.8)   11/30 (36.7)  
Spirometry       
FEV1/FVC < 0.7 3/5 (60.0) 0.1 15/25 (60.0) 0.004 18/30 (60.0) 0.001
Characteristics at exacerbation
Respiratory symptoms       
Dyspnea, bothersome or very bothersome 11/35 (31.4) 0.6 17/38 (44.7) 0.3 28/73 (38.4) 0.3
very bothersome 4/9 (44.4) 0.3 9/12 (75.0) 0.01 13/21 (61.9) 0.006
Phlegm, bothersome or very bothersome 10/28 (35.7) 0.2 14/31 (45.2) 0.4 24/59 (40.7) 0.2
very bothersome 2/7 (28.6) 0.6 5/7 (71.4) 0.1 7/14 (50.0) 0.2
Purulence 7/17 (41.2) 0.2 7/18 (38.9) 0.2 14/35 (40.0) 0.4
Coughing, bothersome or very bothersome 12/35 (34.3) 0.2 17/36 (47.2) 0.09 29/71 (40.8) 0.02
Very bothersome 5/14 (35.7) 0.4 9/13 (69.2) 0.02 14/27 (51.9) 0.04
Anthonisen criteria combined       
Type III 2/11 (18.2) 0.08* 3/8 (37.5) 0.8* 5/19 (26.3) 0.1*
Type II 3/14 (21.4)   7/16 (43.8)   10/30 (33.3)  
Type I 7/14 (50.0)   7/16 (43.8)   14/30 (46.7)  
Chest findings       
Prolonged expiration 7/13 (53.8) 0.03 12/23 (52.2) 0.1 19/36 (52.8) 0.006
Wheezes/rhonchi 7/14 (50.0) 0.06 13/26 (50.0) 0.2 20/40 (50.0) 0.01
Diminished breath sounds 4/4 (100) 0.006 7/12 (58.3) 0.2 11/16 (68.8) 0.004
Crackles 4/8 (50.0) 0.2 12/17 (70.6) 0.003 16/25 (64.0) 0.001
Any abnormal chest finding 9/21 (42.9) 0.08 15/33 (45.5) 0.3 24/54 (44.4) 0.03
Lung functiona       
FEV1% predicted < 50 0/1 (0) 0.8* 5/10 (50.0) 0.08* 5/11 (45.5) 0.1*
FEV1% predicted 50-80 4/9 (44.4)   10/22 (45.5)   14/31 (45.2)  
FEV1% predicted ≥ 80 7/23 (30.4)   0/6 (0)   7/29 (24.1)  
C-reactive proteinb       
<8 mg/L 7/21 (33.3) 0.4* 7/21 (33.3) 0.02* 14/42 (33.3) 0.01*
8-39 mg/L 4/11 (36.4)   3/10 (30.0)   7/21 (33.3)  
≥40 mg/L 1/1 (100)   6/6 (100)   7/7 (100)  
Oxygen saturation (SpO2)c       
>95% 8/24 (33.3) 0.3* 6/23 (26.1) 0.004* 14/47 (29.8) 0.003*
93-95% 1/3 (33.3)   2/6 (33.3)   3/9 (33.3)  
<93% 1/1 (100)   7/8 (87.5)   8/9 (88.9)  
  1. *P-value calculated using linear-by-linear Chi-Square tests otherwise P-value calculated using Fisher’s Exact Test.
  2. a8 missing, 6 in asthma group and 2 in the COPD/Both group.
  3. b9 missing, 6 in asthma group and 3 in the COPD/Both group.
  4. c14 missing, 11 in asthma group and 3 in the COPD/Both group.