Objective: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the third most common cause of death in the world, is a multi-component disease with pulmonary and extrapulmonary manifestations. The red blood cell distribution width (RDW) conveys important information for short- and long-term prognosis through a variety of medical conditions. Anemia can be seen in patients with COPD due to systemic inflammation and malnutrition. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of RDW and RDW/Hgb in the prediction of mortality in patients with exacerbated COPD.
Materials and Methods: Between December 2015 and December 2017, 97 patients admitted to the Department of Chest Diseases at the Ufuk University Medical Faculty, with a diagnosis of COPD exacerbation were evaluated retrospectively. The demographic, clinical, laboratory characteristics, pulmonary functional tests, and arterial blood gases were noted. The RDW values and RDW/Hgb ratios were compared between patients who had died and those who were still alive.
Results: About 79.4% of the patients (n=77) were male and the rest of them 20 (20.6%) were female. The mean age was 73.01±9.54 years. The RDW values of patients with mortality were higher than the living COPD patients (p<0.001). The RDW/Hgb ratio was found to be higher in patients who had died than those who were living (p<0.001). The levels of C-Reactive protein were significantly higher in patients with COPD with mortality (p=0.034).
Conclusion: The elevated RDW levels and the RDW/Hgb ratio were associated with an increased annual number of attacks, comorbidities, and an increased PO2 and PCO2 mortality risk in patients with COPD.