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      Comorbidities, mortality, and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients who required admissions to public hospitals in Hong Kong – computerized data collection and analysis

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          COPD is a common cause for hospital admission. Conventional studies of the epidemiology of COPD involved large patient number and immense resources and were difficult to be repeated. The present study aimed at assessing the utilization of a computerized data management system in the collection and analysis of the epidemiological and clinical data of a large COPD cohort in Hong Kong (HK).

          Patients and methods

          It was a computerized, multicenter, retrospective review of the characteristics of patients discharged from medical departments of the 16 participating hospitals with the primary discharge diagnosis of COPD in 1 year (2012). Comparison was made between the different subgroups in the use of medications, ventilatory support, and other health care resources. The mortality of the subjects in different subgroups was traced up to December 31, 2014. The top 10 causes of death were analyzed.


          In total, 9,776 subjects (82.6% men, mean age = 78 years) were identified. Of the 1,918 subjects with lung function coding, 85 (4.4%), 488 (25.5%), 808 (42.1%), and 537 (28.0%) subjects had the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 1, 2, 3, and 4 classes, respectively. Patients with higher GOLD classes had higher number of hospital admissions, longer hospital stay, increased usage of noninvasive mechanical ventilation (NIV), combinations of long-acting bronchodilators, and higher mortality. Of the 9,776 subjects, 2,278 (23.3%) received NIV, but invasive mechanical ventilation was uncommon (134 of 9,776 subjects [1.4%]); 4,427 (45.3%) subjects had died by the end of 2014. The top causes of death were COPD, pneumonia, lung cancer, and other malignancies.


          Patients admitted to hospitals for COPD in HK had significant comorbidities, mortality, and imposed heavy burden on health care resources. It is possible to collect and analyze data of a large COPD cohort through a computerized system. Suboptimal coding of lung function results was observed, and underutilization of long-acting bronchodilators was common.

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          Most cited references 26

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          The epidemiology and economics of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

           D. Mannino,  S. Braman (2007)
          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a preventable and treatable disease responsible for a large human and economic burden around the world. Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for COPD in the developed world, although other important risk factors include occupational exposures, air pollution, airway hyperresponsiveness, asthma, and genetic predisposition. In most of the world, COPD prevalence and mortality continue to rise in response to increases in smoking, particularly by women and adolescents. COPD is also an important cause of disability, and is linked to comorbid diseases, such as depression and cardiovascular disease, which adds to the large economic burden associated with this disorder. Better public health and medical interventions that target both the risk factors for COPD and look toward earlier intervention may decrease the growing public health impact of COPD.
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            Comorbidity, hospitalization, and mortality in COPD: results from a longitudinal study.

            We evaluated comorbidity, hospitalization, and mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with special attention to risk factors for frequent hospitalizations (more than three during the follow-up period), and prognostic factors for death. Two hundred eighty-eight consecutive COPD patients admitted to respiratory medicine wards in four hospitals for acute exacerbation were enrolled from 1999 to 2000 in a prospective longitudinal study, and followed up until December 2007. The Charlson index without age was used to quantify comorbidity. Clinical and biochemical parameters and pulmonary function data were evaluated as potential predictive factors of mortality and hospitalization. FEV(1), RV, PaO(2), and PaCO(2) were used to develop an index of respiratory functional impairment (REFI index). Hypertension was the most common comorbidity (64.2%), followed by chronic renal failure (26.3%), diabetes mellitus (25.3%), and cardiac diseases (22.1%). Main causes of hospitalization were exacerbation of COPD (41.2%) and cardiovascular disease (34.4%). Most of the 56 deaths (19.4%) were due to cardiovascular disease (67.8%). Mortality risk depended on age, current smoking, FEV(1), PaO(2), the REFI index, the presence of cor pulmonale, ischemic heart disease, and lung cancer. Number and length of hospital admissions depended on the degree of dyspnea and REFI index. The correct management of respiratory disease and the implementation of aggressive strategies to prevent or treat comorbidities are necessary for better care of COPD patients.
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              Predicting outcomes following hospitalization for acute exacerbations of COPD.

              Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) are a frequent cause of hospital admission and are associated with significant morbidity, mortality, high readmission rates and high resource utilization. More accurate prediction of survival and readmission in patients hospitalized with AECOPD should help to optimize clinical management and allocation of resources, including targeting of palliative care and strategies to reduce readmissions. We have reviewed the published retrospective and prospective studies in this field to identify the factors most likely to be of value in predicting in-hospital and post-discharge mortality, and readmission of patients hospitalized for AECOPD. The prognostic factors which appear most important vary with the particular outcome under consideration. In-hospital mortality is related most clearly to the patient's acute physiological state and to the development of acute comorbidity, while post-discharge mortality particularly reflects the severity of the underlying COPD, as well as specific comorbidities, especially cardiac disease. Important factors influencing the frequency of readmission include functional limitation and poor health-related quality of life. Large prospective studies which incorporate all the potentially relevant variables are required to refine prediction of the important outcomes of AECOPD and thus to inform clinical decision making, for example on escalation of care, facilitated discharge and provision of palliative care.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                13 June 2018
                : 13
                : 1913-1925
                [1 ]Department of Medicine, Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital
                [2 ]Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
                [3 ]Department of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital
                [4 ]Department of Medicine, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital
                [5 ]Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong
                [6 ]Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, United Christian Hospital
                [7 ]Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, Tuen Mun Hospital
                [8 ]Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Hok Sum Chan, Department of Medicine, Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital, 6/F, Block J, 11 Chuen On Road, Tai Po, NT, Hong Kong, Email chanhs@
                © 2018 Chan et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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