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Understanding resource utilization and mortality in COPD to support policy making: a microsimulation study

Bond EG, Abrahamyan L, Khan MKA, Gershon A, Krahn M, Li P, Mian R, Mitsakakis N, Sadatsafavi M, To T, Pechlivanoglou P; Canadian Respiratory Research Network. PLoS One. 2020; 15(8):e0236559. Epub 2020 Aug 20. DOI:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) poses a significant but heterogeneous burden to individuals and healthcare systems. Policymakers develop targeted policies to minimize this burden but need personalized tools to evaluate novel interventions and target them to subpopulations most likely to benefit. We developed a platform to identify subgroups that are at increased risk of emergency department visits, hospitalizations and mortality and to provide stratified patient input in economic evaluations of COPD interventions. We relied on administrative and survey data from Ontario, Canada and applied a combination of microsimulation and multi-state modeling methods. We illustrated the functionality of the platform by quantifying outcomes across smoking status (current, former, never smokers) and by estimating the effect of smoking cessation on resource use and survival, by comparing outcomes of hypothetical cohorts of smokers who quit at diagnosis and smokers that continued to smoke post diagnosis. The cumulative incidence of all-cause mortality was 37.9% (95% CI: 34.9, 41.4) for never smokers, 34.7% (95% CI: 32.1, 36.9) for current smokers, and 46.4% (95% CI: 43.6, 49.0) for former smokers, at 14 years. Over 14 years, smokers who did not quit at diagnosis had 16.3% (95% CI: 9.6, 38.4%) more COPD-related emergency department visits than smokers who quit at diagnosis. In summary, we combined methods from clinical and economic modeling to create a novel tool that policymakers and health economists can use to inform future COPD policy decisions and quantify the effect of modifying COPD risk factors on resource utilization and morality.

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