Objective: We aim to analyze changes in incidence, comorbidity profile, length of hospital stay (LOHS), costs and in-hospital mortality (IHM) of patients hospitalized for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AE-COPD) over a 5-year study period in Spain.
Methods: We selected all hospital admissions for AE-COPD between 2006 and 2010 from the National Hospital Discharge Database covering the entire population of Spain.
Results: We identified a total of 215,835 patients. Overall crude incidence had decreased from 2.9 to 2.4 exacerbations of COPD per 10,000 inhabitants from 2006 to 2010 (p < 0.001). In 2006, 17.9% of patients had a Charlson Index >2 and in 2010, the prevalence had increased to 25.0% (p < 0.001). Regarding to treatment, we detected a significant increase in the use of non-invasive ventilation from 2.1% in 2006 to 5.3% in 2010 (p < 0.001). The median LOHS was 7 days in 2006 and it remained stable until 2010. During the period studied, the mean cost per patient increased from 3747 to 4129 Euros. Multivariate analysis showed that incidence of hospitalizations for AE-COPD and IHM had significantly decreased from 2006 to 2010.
Conclusions: The current study provides data indicating a decrease in incidence of hospital admissions for AE-COPD in Spain from 2006 to 2010 with concomitant reduction in IHM, despite increasing comorbidity during this period, with no variations in LOHS. The mean cost per patient has risen significantly.
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