To identify demographic characteristics of patients with repeat Emergency Department (ED) attendance for asthma exacerbation.
Analysis of computer database records of all patients that were treated and discharged from the ED of a tertiary hospital over 6 months in year 2004 for asthma. Data analyzed included demographic characteristics such as age, sex, ethnicity and ED attendance in the past 40 days and past 24hrs for acute asthma.
750 patients with Male: Female of 1:1 was seen at the ED for asthma exacerbation and 195 had previous attendances. Out of these 195 patients, 132 had past attendance within 40 days, 64 had past attendance within last 24 hrs and 1 had past attendance in the last 40 days and within last 24 hrs. The median age for our patients was 32 years (range 2 to 92 years). 42% of the patients were Chinese, 29% were Malays, 23% were Indians and 7% were of other ethnicity. Male patients had a significantly higher repeat ED attendance compared to female patients (34.3% vs 13.8%, p < 0.0001).There was also a significantly higher proportion of Malay patients with repeat attendance when compared to Chinese, Indians and other ethnicity (35.3% vs 23.3% vs 22.2% vs 16.4% respectively, p = 0.002).Patients of age 21 years and below were also found to have higher repeat attendance for asthma when compared to those above 21 years of age (39.3% vs 21.3%, p < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis showed that male sex (OR 3.03, p < 0.0001), Malay ethnicity (OR 2.30, p = 0.04) and age 21 years and below (OR 1.61, p = 0.015) were associated with increased risk of repeat ED attendance.
Male sex, Malay ethnicity and young age of 21 years and below were associated with higher risk of repeat ED attendance in our asthmatic patients.
Further studies should be conducted on this high risk group to identify factors which contribute to their frequent ED visits in order to optimise their asthma control.
Lee Lan Phoa, None.