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Diabetes patients admitted for acute exacerbations of COPD have longer hospital stay

They also have increased risk of death

A new study in the journal Respirology reveals that patients with diabetes who are hospitalized with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience longer time in the hospital and are also at an increased risk of death, compared to those without diabetes.

High blood sugar may cause more severe infections due to impairment of immune responses. Researchers led by Dr. Ali Parappil of the Department of Respiratory Medicine, Liverpool Hospital in Australia reviewed records of patients admitted with acute exacerbations of COPD during 2007. They examined data on the presence of diabetes, length of stay, disease severity, and other co-morbidities.

The results show a trend towards an increased length of hospital stay for patients with diabetes. The average length of stay for patients without diabetes was 6.5 days but, among the 53 (22%) admissions in patients with diabetes the average length of stay was 7.8 days, which was 10.3% longer (after adjusting for other co-morbidities). Diabetes patients were also at increased risk of death during the hospitalization (8% vs 4%).

"Taken together with other studies, our study shows that diabetes was an adverse prognostic factor in COPD patients," said Parappil. "We believe that better control of diabetes in patients with COPD could improve outcomes; in particular, reducing length of hospital stays and risk of death."

This study is published in the journal Respirology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact

Full citation: "Effect of Comorbid Diabetes on Length of Stay and Risk of Death in Patients Admitted with Acute Exacerbations of COPD. Ali Parappil, Barbara Depczynski, Peter Collett, and Guy B. Marks. June 2010.

About the Author: Ali Parappil is affiliated with the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown NSW.

About the Journal
Respirology is a journal of international standing, publishing peer-reviewed articles of scientific excellence in clinical and experimental respiratory biology and disease and its related fields of research including thoracic surgery, internal medicine, immunology, intensive and critical care, epidemiology, cell and molecular biology, pathology, pharmacology and physiology. The journal is published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.
About Wiley-Blackwell
Wiley-Blackwell is the international scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, with strengths in every major academic and professional field and partnerships with many of the world's leading societies. Wiley-Blackwell publishes nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols. For more information, please visit or

Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
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Further reports about: COPD Diabetes Parappil Respirology Wiley-Blackwell risk of death

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