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Editorial |

Treat the Brain to Improve the Lungs?: Mental Illness as a Risk Factor for Readmission in COPD

Abebaw Mengistu Yohannes, PhD, FCCP; Iracema Leroi, MD
Author and Funding Information

FINANCIAL/NONFINANCIAL DISCLOSURES: None declared.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Abebaw Mengistu Yohannes, PhD, FCCP, Department of Health Professions, Manchester Metropolitan University, 53 Bonsall Street, Manchester M15 6GX, England


Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.


Chest. 2016;149(4):887-888. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2015.08.022
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COPD is a major cause of increased morbidity, hospital readmission, mortality, and health-care use. In 2010, the direct cost of COPD in the United States was estimated to be in excess of $49 billion per year. Data from the United States inpatient nationwide sample from 2001 to 2012 revealed that hospitalization rates for common cardiovascular disorders, pneumonia, and lung cancer were reduced significantly, whereas for COPD the rehospitalization rate increased during the same period. The primary cause of hospitalization and emergency health-care admissions in patients with COPD is severe acute exacerbation, defined by increased dyspnea, increased cough, and purulent sputum present for at least 48 h. Readmission to short-term care for this group of patients is common and costly and is associated with impaired quality of life and increased burden to the caregiver. Furthermore, severe exacerbations that trigger hospital readmission may represent a life-threatening event and use of the ICU.

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