Hospitalisation for COPD in Puglia: the role of hospital discharge database to estimate prevalence and incidence
AbstractBackground and aim. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), although largely preventable, is a great health burden in all the countries worldwide. Statistics of morbidity and mortality of COPD show the need for correct management of the disease. Chronic Obstructive Respiratory Diseases (DRG 88) are in 9th place for discharge in in-patient hospital admission. It is necessary to establish specific indicators which are efficacious and relevant for the patient, the doctor and the health manager. This study will analyse the information in respect of hospital admissions (Hospital discharge database) in Puglia for the period 2000-2005. Methods. The analysis was carried out utilising the Puglia Region hospital patient discharge database, selecting those patients with admission for chronic respiratory disease as principal or secondary diagnosis. Results. Chronic respiratory diseases are more frequent in males and in people over 45 years old with frequency increasing with age. Geographical distribution shows that there are greater rates of hospitalisation in big cities and in the neighbourhood of industrial areas. Although the trend over time is slight. A higher percentage of re-admission has been found for patients with COPD, and the interval between the two admissions occurs within one or two months; the diagnosis at the second admission is the same as for the first. 10.6% of discharge forms report one diagnosis, especially in patients older than 65 years of age. Little could be said about diagnostic procedures because these are not reported on the discharge form. Conclusion. Hospitalisation data confirms expectations regarding age and sex of patients. The high hospitalisation rates indicate that in-patients care still remains the only viable treatment for COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases. The high number of exacerbations reflect the absence of out-patients service or community care, and the same diagnosis in more than one episode shows the lack of efficiency of health services and disease management. This data is necessary to understand disease distribution and the modification of disease management in order to reduce health care costs, to increase efficacy in disease control and to limit repeated exacerbation and so to obtain the maximum benefit for the patients.
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