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Predicting Future Hospitalizations Among Patients With Asthma

July 02, 2019

Recent research published online in the Journal of Asthma shows that monitoring emergency department (ED) visit frequency can help predict future asthma-related hospitalization risk.

“Resource limitations and low rates of follow-up with primary care providers currently limit the impact of ED-based preventative strategies for children with asthma,” said lead study author Sandra Giangioppo, MD, of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and colleagues. “A mechanism to recognize the children at highest risk of future hospitalization is needed to target comprehensive preventative interventions at discharge.” 

In order to determine if the frequency of ED visits predict future asthma hospitalization among children, the research team sought to examine children 2-16.99 years of age with asthma ED visits between 2012 and 2015. Dr Giangioppo and colleagues used health administrative data in order to identify study participants.

Dr Giangioppo and colleagues identified 2669 patients with 3300 asthma ED visits for the study. The researchers noted that ED visit count was “an independent predictor of future hospitalization risk (P < 0.001), demonstrating a dose-dependent response.” 

According to the study findings, the adjusted hazard of future hospitalization in children with one visit or two or more visits was 2.9 (95% CI 1.6 to 5.0) and 4.4 (95% CI 1.9 to 10.4), compared with zero previous visits.  

“ED visit count is a reliable predictor of future asthma hospitalization risk,” the study authors concluded. “Future studies could aim to validate these findings to support using ED visit count as a practical and objective tool to predict the children at the highest risk of future hospitalization and therefore, those who may benefit most from ED-based preventative interventions.” 

Julie Gould  


Giangioppo S, Bijelic V, Barrowman N, Radhakrishnan D. Emergency department visit count: a practical tool to predict asthma hospitalization in children [published online June 21, 2019]. J Asthma. 2019 Jun 21:1-15. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2019.1635151

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