Frequent Outpatient Visits Prevent Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease release_j4zaa2bcf5bvhii4owwcffw5vu

by Hye Jung Park, Min Kwang Byun, Taehee Kim, Chin Kook Rhee, Kyungjoo Kim, Bo Yeon Kim, Sang In Ahn, Yon U Jo, Kwang-Ha Yoo

Published in Scientific Reports by Springer Science and Business Media LLC.

2020   Volume 10, Issue 1, p6049


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory airway disease requiring frequent outpatient visits and lifelong management. We aimed to evaluate the roles of frequent outpatient visits in prognosis of COPD. We used claims data in the national medical insurance review system provided by the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service of Korea from May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015. A definition of COPD was used based on the diagnosis code and medication. Frequent visitors were defined as subjects who visited the outpatient clinic for COPD three or more times per year. Among 159,025 subjects, 117,483 (73.9%) were classified as frequent visitors. Frequent visitors underwent pulmonary function tests and used various inhalers more often than did infrequent visitors. The rates of COPD exacerbation requiring admission to a general ward, emergency room, or intensive care unit were significantly lower in frequent visitors than in infrequent visitors. In multivariable analysis, frequent visits were identified as an independent factor preventing COPD exacerbation that required admission to a ward (odds ratio [OR], 0.387), emergency room, (OR, 0.558), or intensive care unit (OR, 0.39) (all P < 0.001). In conclusion, we showed frequent outpatient visits reduce the risk of COPD exacerbation by 45-60%.
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