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      Frailty is a predictive factor of readmission within 90 days of hospitalization for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a longitudinal study

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          Readmission after hospital discharge is common in patients with acute exacerbations (AE) of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although frailty predicts hospital readmission in patients with chronic nonpulmonary diseases, no multidimensional frailty measures have been validated to stratify the risk for patients with COPD.


          The aim of this study was to explore multidimensional frailty as a potential risk factor for readmission due to a new exacerbation episode during the 90 days after hospitalization for AE-COPD and to test whether frailty could improve the identification of patients at high risk of readmission. We hypothesized that patients with moderate-to-severe frailty would be at greater risk for readmission within that period of follow up. A secondary aim was to test whether frailty could improve the accuracy with which to discriminate patients with a high risk of readmission. Our investigation was part of a wider study protocol with additional aims on the same study population.


          Frailty, demographics, and disease-related factors were measured prospectively in 102 patients during hospitalization for AE-COPD. Some of the baseline data reported were collected as part of a previously study. Readmission data were obtained on the basis of the discharge summary from patients’ electronic files by a researcher blinded to the measurements made in the previous hospitalization. The association between frailty and readmission was assessed using bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression models. Whether frailty better identifies patients at high risk for readmission was evaluated by area under the receiver operator curve (AUC).


          Severely frail patients were much more likely to be readmitted than nonfrail patients (45% versus 18%). After adjusting for age and relevant disease-related factors in a final multivariate model, severe frailty remained an independent risk factor for 90-day readmission (odds ratio = 5.19; 95% confidence interval: 1.26–21.50). Age, number of hospitalizations for exacerbations in the previous year and length of stay were also significant in this model. Additionally, frailty improved the predictive accuracy of readmission by improving the AUC.


          Multidimensional frailty predicts the risk of early hospital readmission in patients hospitalized for AE-COPD. Frailty improved the accuracy of discriminating patients at high risk for readmission. Identifying patients with frailty for targeted interventions may reduce early readmission rates.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Reducing rates of rehospitalization has attracted attention from policymakers as a way to improve quality of care and reduce costs. However, we have limited information on the frequency and patterns of rehospitalization in the United States to aid in planning the necessary changes. We analyzed Medicare claims data from 2003-2004 to describe the patterns of rehospitalization and the relation of rehospitalization to demographic characteristics of the patients and to characteristics of the hospitals. Almost one fifth (19.6%) of the 11,855,702 Medicare beneficiaries who had been discharged from a hospital were rehospitalized within 30 days, and 34.0% were rehospitalized within 90 days; 67.1% [corrected] of patients who had been discharged with medical conditions and 51.5% of those who had been discharged after surgical procedures were rehospitalized or died within the first year after discharge. In the case of 50.2% [corrected] of the patients who were rehospitalized within 30 days after a medical discharge to the community, there was no bill for a visit to a physician's office between the time of discharge and rehospitalization. Among patients who were rehospitalized within 30 days after a surgical discharge, 70.5% were rehospitalized for a medical condition. We estimate that about 10% of rehospitalizations were likely to have been planned. The average stay of rehospitalized patients was 0.6 day longer than that of patients in the same diagnosis-related group whose most recent hospitalization had been at least 6 months previously. We estimate that the cost to Medicare of unplanned rehospitalizations in 2004 was $17.4 billion. Rehospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries are prevalent and costly. 2009 Massachusetts Medical Society
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              Untangling the concepts of disability, frailty, and comorbidity: implications for improved targeting and care.

              Three terms are commonly used interchangeably to identify vulnerable older adults: comorbidity, or multiple chronic conditions, frailty, and disability. However, in geriatric medicine, there is a growing consensus that these are distinct clinical entities that are causally related. Each, individually, occurs frequently and has high import clinically. This article provides a narrative review of current understanding of the definitions and distinguishing characteristics of each of these conditions, including their clinical relevance and distinct prevention and therapeutic issues, and how they are related. Review of the current state of published knowledge is supplemented by targeted analyses in selected areas where no current published data exists. Overall, the goal of this article is to provide a basis for distinguishing between these three important clinical conditions in older adults and showing how use of separate, distinct definitions of each can improve our understanding of the problems affecting older patients and lead to development of improved strategies for diagnosis, care, research, and medical education in this area.

                Author and article information

                Ther Adv Respir Dis
                Ther Adv Respir Dis
                Therapeutic Advances in Respiratory Disease
                SAGE Publications (Sage UK: London, England )
                29 August 2017
                October 2017
                : 11
                : 10
                : 383-392
                Division of Pneumology, Hospital General Universitario Jose M Morales Meseguer, Avda. Marqués de los Velez s/n. Murcia 30008, Spain
                Departamento de Fisioterapia, Facultad de Medicina, Campus de Espinardo, Universidad de Murcia, España
                Departamento de Fisioterapia, Facultad de Medicina, Campus de Espinardo, Universidad de Murcia, España
                Hospital General Universitario Jose M Morales Meseguer, Murcia, Spain
                Departamento de Fisioterapia, Facultad de Medicina, Campus de Espinardo, Universidad de Murcia, España
                Departamento de Fisioterapia, Facultad de Medicina, Campus de Espinardo, Universidad de Murcia, España
                Author notes
                © The Author(s), 2017

                This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (

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