A Phenotyping Cocktail Study to Assess Cytochrome P450 Function in Patients with Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Status: Complete
Year: 2019
Funded: $82,448
Grant Type: Major Project Grant
Non-Infectious Diseases

Most medicines are removed from our bodies by metabolism. The rate of metabolism of a medicine affects the dose, but can be altered by other medicines, genetics or diseases. Therefore understanding how diseases affect metabolism is important in selecting doses of medicines. 

This is one reason some people have side effects from the same dose of a medicine other people manage well. These side-effects are a major cause of hospital admissions. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a severe lung disease affecting up to 15% of New Zealanders, and the fourth leading cause of death in New Zealand. It is not known if, or how much, COPD affects drug metabolism. 

This study will examine the effect of COPD on drug metabolism. This is important because people with COPD may be treated for other conditions with almost any medicine. Understanding the effects of COPD on drug metabolism could inform better dosing guidelines for patients with COPD. More accurate dosing can make treatments more effective and reduce side effects. With over 200,000 New Zealanders living with COPD, even small improvements will make a big difference. 

Researcher // Dr Richard McNeill – Canterbury District Health Board


What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a type of obstructive lung disease characterized by long-term breathing problems and poor airflow. The main symptoms include shortness of breath and cough with sputum production. COPD is a progressive disease, meaning it typically worsens over time. Eventually, everyday activities such as walking or getting dressed become difficult. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are older terms used for different types of COPD. The term “chronic bronchitis” is still used to define a productive cough that is present for at least three months each year for two years. Those with such a cough are at a greater risk of developing COPD. The term “emphysema” is also used for the abnormal presence of air or other gas within tissues.

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New Zealanders aged 45 and over were hospitalised due to COPD in 2017.
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COPD is often undiagnosed, and for this reason at least 15% of the adult population may be affected.
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Hospitalisation rates are highest for Māori, at 3.5 times the non-Māori, non-Pacific, non-Asian rate for hospitalisation, and 2.2 times the rate for mortality.
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COPD is the fourth leading cause of death after ischaemic heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.

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