Long-term changes in bronchodilator response in people with mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were assessed in this study. Changes in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) in response to isoproterenol was measured in 4,194 participants in the Lung Health Study annually for 5 yrs, and again 11 yrs after study entry. Responses were quantitated in terms of mL (absolute), as per cent of the pre-bronchodilator value (relative), and as a per cent of the predicted normal value (% predicted). At baseline, the mean pre-bronchodilator FEV1 was 75.4% predicted, and responses were small. Relative and percentage predicted responses were similar in males and females; and correlated positively with methacholine reactivity, and negatively with smoking intensity and age. Baseline bronchodilator responses did not correlate with subsequent decline in FEV1. There was a substantial increase in response over the first year of the study, largely due to smoking cessation, with larger increases in those who stopped smoking. After the first year absolute responses changed little in those who maintained smoking cessation, but increased in those who did not. Mean relative and percentage predicted responses increased in all participants throughout the study. There was substantial annual variability of absolute response, and it was poorly reproducible in individual participants. In conclusion, smoking cessation increased bronchodilator response, and response did not predict the rate of decline of forced expiratory volume in one second.
- Forced expiratory volume in one second
- Methacholine reactivity