The COPD Assessment Test (CAT) can be used for patients with mild airflow obstruction and newly diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to a study published in Chest.

The researchers also found that CAT scores could distinguish between genders and patients who experience frequent and infrequent exacerbations.

The study, led by Jean Bourbeau, MD, MSc, FRCPC, of the Center for Innovative Medicine at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, included 716 patients with COPD, 72.5% of whom had not been previously diagnosed. The researchers administered the CAT questionnaire 3 times: at baseline, at 1.5 years, and at 3 years. The CAT score was determined for sex, age groups, smoking status, Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) classification, exacerbations, and comorbidities.

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The mean CAT scores were 5.8 ± 5.0, 9.6 ± 6.7, and 16.1 ± 10.0 for GOLD 1, 2, and ≥3, respectively. Women, current smokers, ever-smokers, and those who had been previously diagnosed with COPD had higher CAT scores compared with their counterparts.

“These results suggest that the CAT, originally designed for use in clinically symptomatic COPD patients, can also be used in individuals with mild airflow obstruction and newly diagnosed COPD,” wrote the researchers.


  1. Gupta N, Pinto L, Benedetti A, et al. The COPD Assessment Test: can it discriminate across COPD subpopulations? Chest. Published June 30, 2016. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.06.016 [Epub ahead of print]