To assess the burden of hospitalization for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma.
This study used a 2001 nationally-representative U.S. hospital discharge survey of over 7 million observations to evaluate rates of hospitalization, use of mechanical ventilation, and mortality for admissions with a listed primary diagnosis of COPD or asthma.
We projected 570,000 and 386,000 discharges associated with COPD and asthma, respectively, accounting for over 4 million hospital days (3.0 million and 1.3 million) and $7.3 billion in costs ($4.4 billion and $2.9 billion). Hospital stays for these two conditions comprised about 3.0% of all hospitalizations observed in 2001. The public sector paid for 80% of COPD hospitalizations and about 50% of asthma hospitalizations. Rates of COPD hospitalization were highest among those who were white and those 65+ years of age, whereas the highest rates of asthma hospitalization were found among children and African-Americans. Mechanical ventilation was used in 4.4% of COPD hospitalizations and 2.0% of asthma hospitalizations. The two respiratory conditions accounted for an estimated 18,000 in-hospital deaths in 2001, with case-fatality rates of 2.9% and 0.3% for COPD and asthma, respectively.
Both COPD and asthma contribute to the burden to hospitals and the healthcare system as a whole.
Compared with asthma, the burden of hospitalization for COPD is larger and falls primarily on the public sector.
J.P. Marton, None.