Diabetes May Complicate COPD Hospital Admissions

Diabetes patients admitted for COPD exacerbations have trends toward longer stay, higher mortality
By Lindsey Marcellin
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients admitted to the hospital with an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) who have comorbid diabetes mellitus (DM) have trends toward longer hospital length of stay and an increased risk of death compared with those without DM, according to research published online June 4 in Respirology.

Ali Parappil, M.D., of Liverpool Hospital in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues analyzed the records of 246 admissions for AECOPD during 2007. Because hyperglycemia during hospital admission is linked to poor outcomes in patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia, and stroke, the researchers aimed to determine whether DM during admissions for AECOPD would have a similar effect, manifesting as a longer length of stay.

The investigators found that 22 percent of the AECOPD admissions had DM recorded as a comorbidity. Mean length of stay was longer for AECOPD patients with DM than for those without DM (7.8 and 6.5 days, respectively). The mortality rate for those with DM was also higher than for those without DM (8 and 4 percent, respectively). However, after adjustment, these differences did not reach statistical significance.

"Taken together with a previous study that revealed a similar trend, our study suggests that comorbid DM prolongs length of stay and increases risk of death in patients with AECOPD. Further studies are now required to elucidate the reasons for this prolonged length of stay, in particular whether premorbid glycemic control or inpatient control is responsible, and if so whether more intensive diabetes management, either in the community or in association with their hospital admission, can influence the clinical course of patients with AECOPD and DM," the authors write.

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