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Hospital Readmissions for COPD Highest Among Black Patients

AHRQ News and Numbers

AHRQ News and Numbers provides statistical highlights on the use and cost of health services and health insurance in the United States.

For patients age 40 and over with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hospital readmissions within 30 days of initial treatment were 30 percent higher among Blacks than Hispanics or Asians and Pacific Islanders and about 9 percent higher than Whites in 2008, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Based on data for patients who were hospitalized with COPD in 15 States during 2008:

  • About 7 percent of patients were readmitted within 30 days principally for COPD, but 21 percent were readmitted for any health condition (all-cause readmission). There were 190,700 initial hospital admissions specifically to treat COPD at an average cost of $7,100. The average readmission cost principally for COPD was 18 percent higher—$8,400 per stay—but all-cause readmissions were 50 percent more expensive than the initial stay—$11,100.
  • Readmissions were 22 percent higher among patients from the poorest communities than among those from the highest income areas.
  • Readmissions were about 13 percent higher among male patients compared to females.

This AHRQ News and Numbers summary is based on data from Statistical Brief #121: Readmissions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 2008 (PDF file, 251 KB). The report uses data from the State Inpatient Databases for 15 states: Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Washington. For information about these AHRQ databases, go to

For additional information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Linwood Norman at or call (301) 427-1248.

Page last reviewed September 2011
Internet Citation: Hospital Readmissions for COPD Highest Among Black Patients: AHRQ News and Numbers. September 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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