Predictors of 6-month mortality in elderly patients with mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease discharged from a medical ward after acute nonacidotic exacerbation

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2008 May;56(5):909-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.01683.x. Epub 2008 Apr 1.


Objectives: To identify clinical outcomes and variables associated with 6-month mortality in very elderly patients admitted for nonacidotic acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD).

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: General medicine acute care ward.

Participants: Two hundred forty-four elderly patients with COPD (mean age+/-standard deviation 82+/-7, 55.7% female) admitted to the hospital because of non-acidotic AECOPD.

Measurements: Cognitive and mood status and physiological variables were measured. Self-reported comorbidities were assessed using the Charlson Comorbidity Index. In-hospital and long-term mortality and clinical outcomes were recorded.

Results: At admission, this elderly population with AECOPD had low cognitive performance (mean Mini-Mental State Examination score 21+/-5), no presence of significant depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale score 4+/-3), good nutritional status (body mass index (BMI) 25.1+/-5.5), moderate comorbidity (Charlson Comorbidity Index 4.0+/-1.9), high functional disability (Barthel Index (BI) 52+/-34), and moderate severity of acute exacerbation (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score 9.7+/-4.2). Two hundred twenty-five inpatients with AECOPD were successfully discharged, whereas 15 were transferred to the intensive care unit, and four died in the hospital. The 6-month cumulative mortality rate in discharged patients with AECOPD was 20%. Multivariate Cox analysis shows that lower BMI (beta=-0.16; 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.73-0.99), higher APACHE II score (beta=0,17; 95% CI=1.03-1.36), and lower BI at discharge (beta=-0.02; 95% CI=0.96-0.99) were independently associated with 6-month mortality.

Conclusion: Malnutrition, severity of exacerbation and disability status could be identified as risk factors associated with 6-month mortality of elderly patients admitted for nonacidotic AECOPD.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / mortality*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / mortality*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome