ATS: Mortality Down for Patients Hospitalized With COPD in U.S.

Annual number of patients who died from COPD while in the hospital decreased 62 percent from 2005-2014


THURSDAY, May 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- While the number of Americans hospitalized each year for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) appears to be holding steady, the number of these patients dying in the hospital over the past decade has decreased, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C.

The new findings come after an analysis that looked at 2005 to 2014 data collected in a major survey of U.S. hospitalized patients after discharge.

The researchers found that 8,575,820 Americans were hospitalized for issues related to COPD over that time frame, with little fluctuation over the years. Patients averaged 67 years of age. However, the annual number of patients who died from COPD while in the hospital decreased over those years by 62 percent -- from a high of 24,226 to just 9,090. Declining mortality trends were seen across all racial groups, the researchers added. But women were both more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die from COPD than men. Specifically, women accounted for 58.3 percent of hospitalizations and 54.3 percent of inpatient deaths.

"Other studies suggest possible explanations for the higher COPD burden women in the U.S. have," study author Khushboo Goel, M.D., a second-year internal medicine resident at the University of Arizona in Tucson, said in a news release from the American Thoracic Society, "including the growing number of women who smoke, the increased severity of symptoms they may experience, and longer life expectancy."

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