Published: 16 June 2020

Authors: Amy H. Attaway, Nicole Welch, Umur Hatipoğlu, Joe G. Zein, Srinivasan Dasarathy

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 186


    Background and objective

    COPD is the third most common cause of death worldwide and fourth most common in the United States. In hospitalized patients with COPD, mortality, morbidity and healthcare resource utilization are high. Skeletal muscle loss is frequent in patients with COPD. However, the impact of muscle loss on adverse outcomes has not been systematically evaluated. We tested the hypothesis that patients hospitalized for COPD exacerbation with, compared to those without, a secondary diagnosis of muscle loss phenotype (all ICD-9 codes associated with muscle loss including cachexia) will have higher mortality and cost of care.


    The NIS database of hospitalized patients in 2011 (1 January–31 December) in the United States was used. The impact of a muscle loss phenotype on in-hospital mortality, LOS and cost of care for each of the 174 808 hospitalizations for COPD exacerbations was analysed.


    Of the subjects admitted for a COPD exacerbation, 12 977 (7.4%) had a secondary diagnosis of muscle loss phenotype. A diagnosis of muscle loss phenotype was associated with significantly higher in-hospital mortality (14.6% vs 5.7%, P < 0.001), LOS (13.3 + 17.1 vs 5.7 + 7.6, P < 0.001) and median hospital charge per patient ($13 947 vs $6610, P < 0.001). Multivariate regression analysis showed that muscle loss phenotype increased mortality by 111% (95% CI: 2.0–2.2, P < 0.001), LOS by 68.4% (P < 0.001) and the direct cost of care by 83.7% (P < 0.001) compared to those without muscle loss.


    In-hospital mortality, LOS and healthcare costs are higher in patients with COPD exacerbations and a muscle loss phenotype.

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