The number of hospitalizations and emergency room visits for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has increased in the past decade, according to a study published in Chest.

Earl S. Ford, MD, MPH, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, found that the total number of hospitalizations and emergency department visits for COPD has increased by 88,000 over the past decade despite efforts to reduce to burden of the disease.

The study reviewed data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample and Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, which included information on adults aged ≥18 years from 2001 to 2012. Ford examined to data to see if there were trends in the numbers and rates of hospitalizations by patients with COPD or bronchiectasis, mean length of stay, in-hospital case-fatality rate, 30-day readmission rate, and numbers and rates of emergency room visits.

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The number of discharges with COPD and bronchiectasis was approximately 88,000 higher in 2012 than 2001, but the age-adjusted rate of discharges did not change significantly. Hospitalization rates for common cardiovascular disorders, pneumonia, and lung cancer decreased by 27% to 68%, but the mean charge doubled and the mean cost increased by 40%. Overall from 2006 to 2011, the number of emergency department visits increased from 1,480,363 to 1,787,612.


  1. Ford, ES. Chest. 2014;doi:10.1378/chest.14-2146.