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Neurology. 2001 Mar 27;56(6):753-7.

Hospitalization in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: causes, costs, and outcomes.

Author information

1
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. nlechtz@welch.jhu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

As ALS progresses, extensive supportive care is required, including multidisciplinary outpatient care and hospitalization. The authors studied the causes, health care utilization, and outcomes for hospitalized patients with ALS.

METHODS:

With use of the 1996 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, an administrative database representing 20% of U.S. hospitals, 1,600 hospitalizations in patients with ALS were identified and compared with 5,364,728 non-ALS hospitalizations.

RESULTS:

The most common concurrent diagnoses in patients with ALS were dehydration and malnutrition (574 patients, 36%), pneumonia (507 patients, 32%), and respiratory failure (398 patients, 25%). Only 38% of patients with ALS were discharged to home without home health care compared with 73% of patients with non-ALS. Fifteen percent of patients with ALS died in the hospital compared with 3% of non-ALS patients. The average length of hospital stay and charges were greater for patients with ALS than for non-ALS patients (8.4 days and $19,810 for ALS patients and 5.4 days and $11,924 for non-ALS patients). Mortality was significantly associated with emergency room admission (versus nonemergency admission; OR = 1.60), increasing age (per year; OR = 1.03), respiratory failure (OR = 3.37), and pneumonia (OR = 2.02) (p < 0.01 for all comparisons).

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with ALS have lengthy and costly hospital admissions, a high in-hospital mortality rate, and few routine discharges. Recognition of the issues that precipitate hospitalization may allow development of preventive strategies.

PMID:
11274310
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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