Acute exacerbations of COPD in the United States: Inpatient burden and predictors of costs and mortality

Prasadini N. Perera, Edward P. Armstrong, Duane L. Sherrill, Grant H. Skrepnek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) are a leading cause of hospitalizations in the United States and the major cost driver of COPD. This study determined the national inpatient burden of AECOPD and assessed the association of co-morbidities and hospital characteristics with inpatient costs and mortality. Discharge records from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Inpatient Sample for 2006 was utilized. Outcomes of costs and mortality were assessed for AECOPD hospitalizations in cases ≥40 years of age. Multivariate regression analyses using a generalized linear model framework were conducted to determine predictors of inpatient costs and mortality controlling for patient demographics, primary payer, co-morbidity index, length of stay, hospital region, mechanical ventilation, and admission period. Overall, 1,254,703 hospitalizations for AECOPD were observed with mean costs of $9545(±12,700) and total costs of $11.9 billion. In-hospital mortality was 4.3% (N = 53,748). Discharges averaged 70.6 (±11.9) years of age. The majority were female (52.8%) and of white race (83.6% of reported race). Several co-morbidities were significantly associated with both costs and mortality (p < 0.001): acute myocardial infarction; congestive heart failure; cerebrovascular disease; lung cancer; cardiac arrhythmias; pulmonary circulation disorders; and weight loss. Significantly higher costs (p < 0.001) were associated with large and urban hospitals. The importance of co-morbidities in AECOPD is indicated in their association with prognosis and inpatient costs. Future research should determine if better management of these conditions can favorably impact the COPD disease burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalCOPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Co-morbidities
  • Economic burden
  • Hospitalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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