Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as comorbidity in patients admitted to a university hospital: a cross-sectional study

Authors

  • Helene Møller Nielsen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
    • Correspondence

      Helene Møller Nielsen, MD, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Aalborg University Hospital, 4, 9000

      Mølleparkvej, Aalborg, Denmark.

      Tel: +4599326439

      Fax: +4599326507

      email: hemoni@rn.dk

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  • Pernille Andersen Rødsgaard,

    1. Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
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  • Ulla Møller Weinreich

    1. Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
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  • Authorship and contributorship

    Helene Møller Nielsen and Pernille Andersen Rødsgaard wrote the paper and performed research. Ulla Møller Weinreich, designed research and was supervisor.

  • Ethics

    The study was approved by the Local Science Ethics Committee.

  • Conflict of interest

    The authors have stated explicitly that there are no conflicts of interest in connection with this article.

Abstract

Background and Aims

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common disease, especially among smokers. The disease is underdiagnosed, and patients often suffer from comorbidities. The aims of this study were to elucidate the prevalence of COPD as comorbidity in a university hospital setting, to characterise patients demographically, to investigate comorbidities in patients suffering from COPD and lastly, to analyse whether CODP as comorbidity influenced the length of stay.

Methods

Aalborg University Hospital covers all medical and surgical specialities. A 1-day cross-sectional study was carried out in the entire hospital. A spirometry was performed on the patients. Data on smoking habits, prior lung function measurements, prescribed lung medicine and self-evaluated dyspnoea, using the Medical Research Council score and body mass index were recorded. The final diagnosis was registered after 1 month.

Results

Two hundred fifteen patients participated, and 28% suffered from COPD. Sixteen per cent had mild, 48% moderate, 18% severe and 18% very severe COPD. Seventy-seven per cent were newly diagnosed at our examination. COPD patients did not have significantly more comorbidities than non-COPD patients. Gastrointestinal diseases, haematologic diseases and uro-nephrologic diseases were significantly more prevalent in COPD patients. Duration of stay was significantly longer among COPD patients compared with non-COPD patients, P < 0.05.

Conclusion

Seventy-seven per cent of the COPD patients in this study were newly diagnosed at our examination. Gastrointestinal diseases, haematologic diseases and uro-nephrologic diseases were significantly more prevalent in COPD patients. COPD patients were hospitalised significantly longer than non-COPD patients.

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