What is the mortality rate for bronchiectasis?

Updated: Jul 23, 2019
  • Author: Ethan E Emmons, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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In the preantibiotic era, mortality was high, and patients most often died within 5 years after the onset of symptoms. Indeed, a study of 400 patients in 1940 revealed a mortality rate greater than 30%, with most patients dying within 2 years and being younger than 40 years. [72] By comparison, a retrospective study in 1981, after the widespread use of antibiotics, reported a mortality of 13% after diagnosis. [73]

In the late 1990s, researchers in Finland reported no increased mortality in patients with bronchiectasis versus patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Mortality rates for bronchiectasis, asthma, and COPD were 28%, 20%, and 38%, respectively. [74, 75]

Current mortality is difficult to estimate, given the difficulty in identifying prevalence and the lack of definitive studies. Overall, the prognosis for patients with bronchiectasis is good, but it varies with the underlying or predisposing condition. Bronchiectasis associated with CF carries a worse prognosis.

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