Khun Khao Jaiwang, 68, breathes with the help of an oxygen tank at Mae Moh district hospital. He has been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
A pre-existing condition such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, or lung cancer was more common in elderly, frail, low-income, and male patients with COPD
- Patients with COPD typically have concurrent comorbidity, biopsychosocial issues and frailty, the study found.
- These patients are also likely to incur higher health care costs than similar patients without COPD, found a new study.
- People with COPD had a 61 per cent increased risk of dying and a 13 per cent increase in health care costs in the year after surgery.
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who undergo major surgery, are 61 per cent more likely to die in the year after surgery, a study conducted by an Indian-origin researcher-led has revealed.
A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that additionally, these patients are more likely to spend more on medical treatment than comparable people without COPD.
“Because patients with COPD are often frail and have many health problems, their management around the time of surgery should address not only COPD but all their health issues,” said Dr Ashwin Sankar, an anesthesiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital, a site of Unity Health Toronto, and the University of Toronto.
In Ontario, 932 616 individuals aged 35 and older who underwent major surgery, such as total hip or knee replacement, gastrointestinal surgery, vascular surgery, and other elective noncardiac procedures, were included in the study.
Of all patients, about 1 in 5 (170,482) had COPD. A pre-existing condition such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, or lung cancer was more common in elderly, frail, low-income, and male patients with COPD who were also older and more likely to be frail.
Researchers found that compared with demographically similar patients without COPD undergoing similar surgery, people with COPD had a 61 per cent increased risk of dying and a 13 per cent increase in health care costs in the year after surgery.
This in return increased risks and costs which were evident long after the immediate 30-day postoperative period.
“Patients with COPD typically have concurrent comorbidity, biopsychosocial issues and frailty,” the authors wrote.
“Our findings highlight the importance of careful risk prediction and decision-making for patients with COPD who are considering surgery.”
In order to effectively address the postsurgical needs of persons with COPD, policymakers and hospital management are hoping that their findings about rising health care costs would aid in system-level planning.