Acute Care Hospitalizations Prior To Initiation of Dialysis Signal Greater Mortality Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Charuhas Thakar, MD Professor

Director of the Division of Nephrology Kidney CARE program
University of Cincinnati

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Based on the plausibility that pre-dialysis health status can impact outcomes after initiation of chronic dialysis, we examined large national USRDS dataset with linked Medicare claims prior to dialysis. We found that 88% of patients who initiate dialysis experience at least one acute care hospitalization in two years preceding their dialysis start.

If they do, that is associated with a significant increase in the risk of mortality at one year. We also examined effect of different types of hospitalizations in the pre-dialysis period – Cardiovascular, Infections, both, and neither of the two. There were statistical differences in the effect of type of hospitalization and post dialysis mortality.

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Changes in Hospital Inpatient Stays Over Ten Years: Less Cardiac Care, More Mental Health and Sepsis Admissions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ruirui Sun, Service Fellow, Economist
Center for Delivery, Organization and Markets
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Hospital inpatient care has experienced changes due to factors such as population growth, rising of prevalence of chronic disease and efforts to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations. We generated information from the National Hospital Utilization and Costs path on Fast Stats (https://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/faststats/landing.jsp ), to present the trends on national hospitalization and costs from 2005 to 2014, as well as the most common diagnoses among inpatient stays over the 10-year period.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

  • Between 2005 and 2014, the inflation-adjusted mean cost per inpatient stay increased by 12.7 percent, from $9,500 to $10,900.
  • Inflation-adjusted cost per stay for patients covered by private insurance or Medicaid increased 16-18 percent. Cost per stay for Medicare-covered patients and the uninsured changed minimally.
  • The rate of inpatient stays decreased the most among patients in the highest income quartiles (15-20 percent decrease).
  • The proportion of Medicaid-covered inpatient stays increased by 15.7 percent, whereas the proportion paid by private insurance and that were uninsured decreased by 12.5 and 13.0 percent, respectively.
  • Mental health/substance use accounted for nearly 6 percent of all inpatient stays in 2014, up 20.1 percent from 2005.
  • Between 2005 and 2014, septicemia and osteoarthritis became two of the five most common reasons for inpatient stays. Septicemia hospital stays almost tripled.
  • Nonspecific chest pain and coronary atherosclerosis decreased by more than 60 percent from 2005 to 2014, falling off the list of top 10 reasons for hospitalization. 

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Many Patients Require Hospitalization During Chemotherapy

Dr. Rebecca Prince Clinical Research Fellow and first author

Dr. Rebecca Prince

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Rebecca Prince MBBS
Clinical Research Fellow and first author and

Monika K. Krzyzanowska, MD MPH FRCPC Medical Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Associate Professor, Dept of Medicine and Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation, University of Toronto Senior Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Clinical Lead, Quality Care & Access, Systemic Treatment Program,

Dr Monika Krzyzanowska

Monika K. Krzyzanowska, MD MPH FRCPC
Medical Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Associate Professor, Dept of Medicine and Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation, University of Toronto
Senior Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Clinical Lead, Quality Care & Access, Systemic Treatment Program, Cancer Care Ontario Toronto, ON 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study was inspired by our previous work using administrative data in which we found that a large proportion of patients receiving chemotherapy in routine practice were visiting the emergency department and being admitted to hospital. Our perception was that the frequency of these events was higher than expected but when we went to look what was expected, ie. how often were people ending up in hospital during treatment in clinic trials, this data was not readily available. This led us to perform a systematic review of the literature including a comparison of hospitalization rates between patients treated in clinical trials and patients in similar clinical scenarios treated in routine practice. We ended up focusing on metastatic lung cancer as that was one of the clinical scenarios where we were able to identify published data from both clinical trials and routine practice.

The main finding of our study is that hospitalizations are very common during chemotherapy. We compared patients with metastatic lung cancer being treated in routine practice and clinical trials and found that that approximately half (51%) of patients treated in routine practice were hospitalized during chemotherapy, compared to 16% of trial patients. We also found that very few clinical trials reported this information which is routinely collected during the trial.

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Study Finds Increased Hospitalizations Near Marcellus Shale Fracking Wells

Reynold A. Panettieri, Jr., M.D. Robert L. Mayock and David A. Cooper Professor of Medicine Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Division Director, Airways Biology Initiative Deputy Director, Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology Adjunct Professor, Wistar Institute Philadelphia, PA  19104-3413MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Reynold A. Panettieri, Jr., M.D.

Robert L. Mayock and David A. Cooper Professor of Medicine
Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Division
Director, Airways Biology Initiative
Deputy Director, Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology
Adjunct Professor, Wistar Institute
Philadelphia, PA  19104-3413

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Panettieri: Over the past ten years in the US, unconventional gas and oil drilling (hydraulic fracturing) to generate natural gas has markedly increased.  In areas with hydraulic fracturing, there is a large increase in truck traffic, noise and potential air and water pollution.  Accordingly, residents may experience health consequences from such exposures.  We questioned whether proximity to active wells increases hospitalization rates in residents.  To address this question, we reviewed all hospitalizations in two counties in Pennsylvania, namely, Bradford and Susquehanna Counties, that experienced a meteoric increase in active wells.  In comparison, Wayne County, where there is a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, is demographically identical to Bradford and Susquehanna Counties and served as a control population.  Having examined the 25 most common reasons for admission to the hospital, we determined that cardiovascular hospitalizations as well as neurologic, dermatologic and cancer hospitalizations were associated with living closer to active wells.  These data represent some of the first studies to associate active well drilling with hospitalizations in the United States. Continue reading

Hospitalizations Reduced in Breastfed Infants

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tomi  Ajetunmobi MSc and Bruce Whyte MSc

Bespoke Specialist Services
Information Services Division
NHS National Services Scotland
Edinburgh

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In developing countries, breast milk is considered the best source of nutrition for human infants, vital for child health and development. In developed counties, however, the message that ‘breast is best’ though widely accepted, is not practiced, particularly in the UK; debate continues on the role played by infant feeding in ensuring child health.

The benefits of breastfeeding in terms of child health have been difficult to prove methodologically for ethical reasons. Moreover, most studies that have shown an association are often limited by the sample size, scope of the data and adjustment for a wide range of confounders particularly socioeconomic factors, which influence both infant feeding and child health outcomes.

Using a range of linked administrative records comprising 502,948 singletons born in Scotland between 1997 and 2013 (representing approximately 70% of all Scottish births) , the study aimed to quantify the association between infant feeding patterns reported at a routine check-up 6 to 8 weeks after birth and hospital admission for childhood common illnesses. These included gastrointestinal, respiratory and urinary tract infections, otitis media, fever, asthma, eczema, diabetes and dental caries. The linkage made it possible to adjust for a wide range of confounders.

Our findings were consistent with other studies and showed a greater risk of hospital admission amongst infants who were not breastfed particularly within six months of birth, even after adjustment for parental, delivery and infant health factors and features of the health care system. At least one in five hospitalisations for gastrointestinal and lower respiratory tract infections within six months of birth may have been averted (all other factors remaining constant) had all children in the cohort been exclusively breastfed 6 to 8 weeks after birth. The association was also evident beyond six months of birth.

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Comorbiditites Contribute To Unplanned Hospitalizations Among GI Cancer Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Joanna-Grace M. Manzano, MD

Assistant Professor
Department of General Internal Medicine

Maria E. Suarez-Almazor, MD, PhD
Barnts Family Distinguished Professor
Chief, Section of Rheumatology &
Deputy Chair, Dept. of General  Internal Medicine
UT MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Response: Our study established that unplanned hospitalization among elderly patients with GI cancer are very common – 93 events per 100-person years.

Certain characteristics were found to have an increased risk for an unplanned hospitalization in our cohort, namely: older age, black race, advanced disease, higher comorbidity score, residing in poor neighborhoods and dual eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid. Esophageal and gastric cancer had the highest risk for unplanned hospitalization among all GI cancer types.

Some of the observed reasons for unplanned hospitalization were potentially preventable and related to the patient’s comorbid illness.
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