The ability of a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) and long-acting beta 2 agonists (LABAs; long-acting bronchodilators, LABDs) with or without inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) to reduce early readmission in hospitalized patients with COPD is unknown.
We studied a 5% sample of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare parts A, B and D and hospitalized for COPD in 2011. We examined prescriptions filled for LABDs with or without ICSs (LABDs±ICSs) within 90 days prior to and 30 days after hospitalization. Primary outcome was the 30-day readmission rate between “users” and “nonusers” of LABDs±ICSs. Propensity score matching and sensitivity analysis were performed by limiting analysis to patients hospitalized for acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD). Among 6,066 patients hospitalized for COPD, 3,747 (61.8%) used LABDs±ICSs during the specified period. The “user” and “nonuser” groups had similar rates of all-cause emergency room (ER) visits and readmissions within 30 days of discharge date (22.4% vs 20.7%, P-value 0.11; 18.0% vs 17.8%, P-value 0.85, respectively). However, the “users” had higher rates of COPD-related ER visits (5.3% vs 3.4%, P-value 0.0006), higher adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.47 (95% CI, 1.11–1.93) and readmission (7.8% vs 5.0%, P-value <0.0001 and aOR 1.48 [95% CI, 1.18–1.86]) than “nonusers”. After propensity score matching, the aOR of COPD-related ER visits was 1.45 (95% CI, 1.07–1.96) and that of readmission was 1.34 (95% CI, 1.04–1.73). The results were similar when restricted to patients hospitalized for AECOPD.