Severe exacerbations of COPD are associated with higher costs

Results from the Coherent-Copd (the Clinical Outcomes, HEalthcare REsource utilization and related costs in patients with COPD) study, from pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, reveal that moderate and severe exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are associated to a poorer quality of life and poor prognosis for patients, in addition to leading to high healthcare costs.

According to the conclusions of this study, which analyzes patients seen in the emergency room or admitted to the 12 de Octubre University Hospital in Madrid, for one year, the mortality per year in patients with a diagnosis of severe exacerbation of COPD is high. and very weak. influenced by age and the coexistence of heart failure.

As explained by the head of the pneumology section of this center and associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Dr. Carlos Álvarez, “the study showed that the coexistence of Heart failure is common in patients with exacerbation of COPD, affecting almost a third of patients, and in people with both conditions, mortality on admission or within one year is significantly higher”.

Regarding the cost of care, the Coherent-Copd study estimates that the average cost per patient in the 365 days following an exacerbation of COPD treated in the emergency room is greater than 6,000 euros. In addition, more than half of the costs associated with COPD are due to hospitalization costs.

urgent attention

In this sense, Carlos Álvarez points out that “emergency care represents 12% of the calculated costs, but the highest costs are those associated with hospitalization, which entails 45% of expenses, and readmissions, 43% , since it must be taken into account that more than a third of patients discharged from hospital will be readmitted in the following months”.

For her part, the Director of Medical and Regulatory Affairs of Astra Zeneca Spain, Dr. Ana Pérez, says that “the Coherent-Copd study revealed the need to implement strategies to prevent exacerbations of COPD; for this reason, we collaborate with the agents involved in the management of the disease, by making our scientific leadership available to them, to help prevent exacerbations and thus improve not only the prognosis and quality of life of patients with COPD, but also the efficiency of our health system”.

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