Newly published data from the Long-Term Oxygen Treatment Trial (LOTT) show that oxygen use is not beneficial for most people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and moderately low levels of blood oxygen. It neither boosted their survival nor reduced hospital admissions for study participants.
Previous research showed that long-term oxygen treatment improves survival in those with COPD and severely low levels of blood oxygen. However, a long-standing question remained whether a different group of COPD patients—those with moderately low levels of blood oxygen—also benefit.
“This important study addressed a common patient care question for which there was very little data in the literature,” said Rick Albert, MD, professor of medicine and vice chair of clinical affairs at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus who took part in the study. “The results should help guide providers when they encounter patients who have moderate hypoxemia (those whose oxygen levels are not normal but are higher than those meeting CMS criteria for oxygen administration) as well as those who only have oxygen desaturation during exercise.”