A retrospective analysis to identify predictors of COPD-related rehospitalization

BMC Pulm Med. 2016 Apr 30;16(1):68. doi: 10.1186/s12890-016-0231-3.


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is often associated with recurrent hospitalizations. This study aimed to identify factors related to COPD rehospitalization.

Methods: A national US claims database was used to identify patients, aged ≥40 years, hospitalized for COPD. Their first COPD-related hospital admission date in 2009 was set as the index date, with post-discharge COPD-related rehospitalization assessed for 180 days post-index date. Data were analyzed for: 1) all eligible patients in whom early COPD-related rehospitalization was evaluated (1-30 days post discharge; all-patient cohort) and 2) a patient subset not rehospitalized early in whom late COPD-related rehospitalization was evaluated (>30 days post discharge to 180 days post-index date; late cohort). Logistic regressions controlling for age and sex assessed potential COPD-related rehospitalization predictors. Variables from the 360-day pre-index period and index hospitalization were evaluated for each cohort, and 30-day post-discharge variables evaluated for the late cohort.

Results: Of 3612 patients with an index hospitalization, 4.8 % (174) had an early COPD-related rehospitalization, and of the remaining 3438 patients, 13.7 % (471) had a late COPD-related rehospitalization. Several pre-index variables were predictive of early COPD-related rehospitalization including: pneumonia; comorbidities; COPD-related drug therapies; and prior hospitalizations. In patients not rehospitalized early, the strongest predictor of late COPD-related rehospitalization was pre-index COPD-related hospitalization (OR = 3.64 [P < 0.001]). The strongest index hospitalization factors predictive of late COPD-related rehospitalization were use of steroids (any route: OR = 1.62 [P = 0.007]) and nebulizers (OR = 1.65 [P = 0.007]); neither predicted early COPD-related rehospitalization. Generally, factors predicting COPD-related rehospitalization were similar in both cohorts.

Conclusions: Several pre-index variables were associated with COPD-related rehospitalization. A strong predictor of COPD-related rehospitalization was prior hospitalization during the pre-index period, particularly with a primary COPD diagnosis, whilst other predictive factors related to increased COPD severity; these may be useful indicators for COPD-related rehospitalization risk assessment. Some factors, e.g., recurrent pneumonia and exacerbations, may be modifiable.

Keywords: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); Comorbidity; Exacerbations; Readmission predictors; Rehospitalization; Utilization.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Readmission / trends*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology