Background — Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with significant mortality. It is currently the fourth leading cause of death in Canada and the world.
Objectives — To describe the mortality of elderly patients in Ontario after hospital admission for COPD.
Methods — A retrospective cohort study was conducted using the Discharge Abstract Database from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Patients aged 65 years and older who were admitted to hospital between 2001 and 2004 with primary discharge diagnoses labelled with International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes 491, 492 and 496 were included in the study.
Results — Mortality rates were 8.81, 12.10, 14.53 and 27.72 per 100 COPD hospital admissions at 30, 60, 90 and 365 days after hospital discharge, respectively. Mortality also increased with age, and men had higher rates than women. No significant differences in mortality rates were found between different socioeconomic groups (P>0.05). Patients with shared care of a family physician or general practitioner and a specialist had significantly lower mortality rates than the overall rate (P<0.05), and their rates were approximately one-half the rate of patients with only one physician.
Conclusions — Hospitalization with COPD is associated with significant mortality. Patients who were cared for by both a family physician or general practitioner and a specialist had significantly lower mortality rates than those cared for by only one physician, suggesting that continuous and coordinated care results in better survival.
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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Social determinants of health