Background and objective: Hospitalizations for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) occur mostly in elderly patients. We describe the characteristics and treatment of elderly patients hospitalized for COPD in Internal Medicine Services, compared with the younger age group. Patients and methods: Observational, prospective, multicenter study. We compared the differences between patients older than 80 years and the rest regarding comorbidity, severity of COPD, previous admissions, length of stay and treatment prescribed. Comorbidity was assessed by the Charlson index and a questionnaire was designed for this purpose. Results: We included 398 subjects, 353 men (89%) with a mean age of 73.7 years (SD 8.8), of whom about 107 (26.9%) were older than 80 years. These patients had less severe COPD according to the GOLD classification (P <.02). Although the overall morbidity was similar in both groups, elderly patients had greater presence of arrhythmias (P <.01), left ventricular hypertrophy (P <.01) and received more diuretics (P <.05). Dyspnoea, length of stay and mortality were similar between both populations. Home oxygen therapy prior to and use of inhaled corticosteroids and oxygen therapy was lower in older patients, even when they were clinically indicated. Conclusions: A quarter of patients hospitalized for COPD in Internal Medicine Services are over 80 years. Although they present less obstruction, they have a similar degree of dyspnea, increased cardiac morbidity and their treatment is less consistent with the recommendations of the guidelines. © 2011 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.
|Publication status||Published - 28 Apr 2012|
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease