November 21, 2016 – COPD and Oxygen


Anchor lead: For some with COPD, oxygen isn’t helpful, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is in the top causes of death worldwide. For some people whose disease is still moderate, can supplemental oxygen help? Robert Wise, professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, looked at that question in people with COPD whose blood oxygen levels drop, or desaturate, when they exercise.

Wise: Those individuals who desaturate when they exercise are very frequently prescribed oxygen. Our question is whether prescribing oxygen to these patients who have COPD plus oxygen desaturation would benefit. The main finding of this study was that there was no benefit in terms of survival or rate of hospitalization in individuals who were given long term oxygen therapy. :30

Wise says the study suggests an alternative mechanism for progression in COPD other than low oxygen levels. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.