Behavioral Health Conditions Among COPD Patients Linked to Early Hospital Readmission

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who also suffer from a behavioral health condition are more likely to be readmitted earlier to a hospital for complications of COPD, according to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

The researchers drew from a sample of Medicare beneficiaries, reviewing more than 135,000 hospitalizations for COPD. Those with one or more behavioral health conditions–such as depression, anxiety or substance use disorder–had 5 to 14 percent higher rates of early readmission than patients without these conditions. They also spent more time in the hospital, and had a lower rate of outpatient follow-up visits the first month after discharge.

With behavioral health conditions common among COPD patients, study author Grinder Singh noted in a press release that health care providers need more support to reduce the high readmission rates.

The study was published late last month in the journal Chest.