Emergency Admissions for COPD in an Urban Population: The Role of Population and Primary Care Factors

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COPD is a major cause of emergency admissions worldwide. In many countries the majority of COPD care is provided by primary care teams. This study examined variation between primary care teams in rates of COPD admission and assessed the role of prevalence, deprivation, practice performance, and general practitioner (GP) and nurse supply on risk of COPD admission. Retrospective observational study of National Health Service admissions for COPD of patients registered with London general practices over four years (2006-2009). We sought associations using negative binomial regression between COPD admissions and population factors, practice organization and practice performance. Trends in rates of COPD admissions across London were stable between 2006 and 2009. COPD admission rates varied substantially between practices (2006/7: median 13.68/10,000 population (IQR 7.83-22.70)), with almost a 3-fold difference across the interquartile range each year. Practice characteristics varied to a similar extent. Variation in practice COPD admission rates was associated with diagnosed prevalence of COPD (Rate Ratio 2.06, 95% CI 1.84-2.3) and increasing levels of deprivation (RR 1.01, 1.006-1.01). Other practice characteristics, including GP and nurse supply, and practice performance scores were not predictive of practice level COPD admission rates, when controlling for COPD prevalence and socio-economic status. Main predictors of variation in rates of COPD admissions were prevalence of diagnosed COPD and socioeconomic status. The absence of evidence that variation in primary care services for COPD was associated with rates of COPD admission emphasizes the importance of primary prevention of COPD if COPD admission rates are to fall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-612
Number of pages7
JournalCOPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Issue number6
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Aug 2015


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