The hospitalization rate and in-hospital mortality among patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) seem to be stable in the US, according to a new study published in the journal Chest and presented at the Chest 2021 Annual Meeting. However, the proportion of diabetes among these patients seems to have decreased.

Studies conducted before 2013 suggested there was a decline in hospitalization rates among PAH patients. However, more recent longitudinal studies produced conflicting results. 

A team of researchers was led by Jennifer Fung, MD, assistant professor in medicine, pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, New York. They aimed to determine the age- and gender-adjusted national trends in hospitalizations related to PAH in the US.


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They conducted a cross-sectional study of the National Inpatient Sample database for all adult patients aged 18 years and older with PAH, between October 1, 2015, and December 31, 2018. They then analyzed the age-adjusted and gender-adjusted longitudinal trends in hospital admissions, hospital charges, hospital length of stay, and in-hospital mortality.

They found that in that period of time, the number of PAH-related hospitalizations and in-hospital mortality stayed stable. However, there was a significant increase in hospital charges and the length of stay in the hospital. On the other hand, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of diabetes among patients with PAH.

The nonsignificant trend towards lower hospitalization rates could imply a change in the demographics of patients admitted into the hospital. Moreover, the substantial increases in hospital charges and hospital length of stay may reflect new treatment options that pose additional cost of care, the researchers suggested.

In terms of diabetes, further research is needed to explore the relationship between the 2 conditions in order to better understand the disease process and be able to provide optimal care to patients, they said.

Reference

Bahk J, Ho KS, Fung J. A decline in United States national trend of diabetes among patients admitted with pulmonary arterial hypertension from 2015 to 2018. Chest. 2021;160:4(A2327). doi:10.1016/j.chest.2021.07.2020