Background: Limited comparative data exist on the outcomes of patients presenting with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations with or without radiological pneumonia.
Objective: To examine the outcome differences amongst these patients.
Methods: We analysed 2008 U.K. National COPD audit data to examine the characteristics, management and outcomes, inpatient- and 90-day mortality and length of stay of patients admitted with COPD exacerbations.
Results: Of 9,338 admissions, 16% (1,505) had changes consistent with pneumonia indicated on the admission chest X-ray. They tended to be older (mean ages 75 vs. 72 years), male (53 vs. 50%), more likely to come from care homes, with more disability, higher BMI and co-morbidity, lower albumin but higher urea levels, and less likely to be current smokers. COPD exacerbations with pneumonia were associated with worse outcomes: inpatient mortality was 11 and 7% and 90-day mortality was 17 and 13% for pneumonia and non-pneumonia patients, respectively (p < 0.001). After adjusting for factors that are significantly different between the 2 groups, including age, sex, place of residence, level of disability, co-morbidity, albumin and urea levels, estimated risk ratios for inpatient and 90-day mortality for pneumonia compared to non-pneumonia cases in this series were 1.19 (1.01,1.42) and 1.09 (0.96,1.23), respectively. The adjusted risk ratio of a prolonged acute hospital stay of more than 7 days was 1.15 (1.07, 1.23).
Conclusions: Patients who present with radiological pneumonia have worse outcomes compared to those admitted without pneumonia in exacerbation of COPD.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.