Int J Med Sci 2012; 9(4):285-290. doi:10.7150/ijms.4039

Research Paper

Clinical Factors Affecting the Direct Cost of Patients Hospitalized with Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Tacettin Örnek, Meltem Tor, Remzi Altın, Figen Atalay, Elif Geredeli, Ömer Soylu, Fatma Erboy

Department of Chest Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Zonguldak Karaelmas University, Zonguldak, Turkey.

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Örnek T, Tor M, Altın R, Atalay F, Geredeli E, Soylu Ö, Erboy F. Clinical Factors Affecting the Direct Cost of Patients Hospitalized with Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Int J Med Sci 2012; 9(4):285-290. doi:10.7150/ijms.4039. Available from

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Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease of increasing significance in terms of economic and social burden due to its increasing prevalence and high costs. Direct costs of COPD are mostly associated with hospitalization expenditures. In this study, our objective was to investigate the costs of hospitalization and factors affecting these costs in patients hospitalized due to acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD).

Methods: A total of 284 patients hospitalized AECOPD were included in the study. Data were examined retrospectively using the electronic hospital charts.

Results: Mean duration of hospitalization was 11.38 ± 6.94 days among study patients. Rates of admission to the intensive care unit, initiation of non-invasive mechanical ventilation (NIMV) and invasive mechanical ventilation (MIV) were 37.3% (n=106), 44.4% (n=126) and 18.3% (n=52) respectively. The rate of mortality was 14.8% (n=42). Mean cost of a single patient hospitalized for an AECOPD was calculated as $1765 ± 2139. Mean cost of admission was $889 ± 533 in standard ward, and $2508 ± 2857 in intensive care unit (ICU). The duration of hospitalization, a FEV1% predicted value below 30%, having smoked 40 package-years or more, the number of co-morbidities, NIMV, IMV, ICU, exitus and the number of hospitalizations in the past year were among the factors that increased costs significantly. Hospital acquired pneumonia, chronic renal failure and anemia also increased the costs of COPD significantly.

Conclusion: The costs of treatment increase with the severity of COPD or with progression to a higher stage. Efforts and expenditures aimed at preventing COPD exacerbations might decrease the costs in COPD.

Keywords: acute exacerbation, co-morbidity, COPD, cost, economics, hospitalization.