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Methods: An observational cohort analysis of 986 bronchiectasis patients across four European centres was performed for score derivation. Comorbidity diagnoses were based on standardised definitions obtained on full review of hard copy and electronic records, prescriptions and investigator definitions. Weibull parametric survival analysis was used to model the prediction of 5-year mortality to construct the Bronchiectasis Aetiology Comorbidity Index (BACI). We tested the BACI as a predictor of outcomes and explored whether the BACI added further prognostic information when used alongside the Bronchiectasis Severity Index (BSI).
Findings: Median number of comorbidities per patient was 4 (IQR 2-6), range 0-20. Thirteen comorbidities independently predicting mortality were integrated into the BACI. The overall hazard ratio for death conferred by a one point increase in the BACI was 1.18 (1.14-1.23), p<0.0001. The BACI predicted 5-year mortality, hospitalisations, exacerbations and health-related quality of life across all BSI risk strata (p<0.0001). When used in conjunction with the BSI, the combined model was superior to either model alone. The BACI was validated in two independent international cohorts.
Interpretation: Multimorbidity is frequent in bronchiectasis and can negatively influence survival. The BACI complements the BSI in assessing mortality and disease outcomes in patients with bronchiectasis.