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PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27184. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027184. Epub 2011 Nov 2.

Asthma length of stay in hospitals in London 2001-2006: demographic, diagnostic and temporal factors.

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School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.


Asthma is a condition of significant public health concern associated with morbidity, mortality and healthcare utilisation. This study identifies key determinants of length of stay (LOS) associated with asthma-related hospital admissions in London, and further explores their effects on individuals. Subjects were primarily diagnosed and admitted for asthma in London between 1(st) January 2001 and 31(st) December 2006. All repeated admissions were treated uniquely as independent cases. Negative binomial regression was used to model the effect(s) of demographic, temporal and diagnostic factors on the LOS, taking into account the cluster effect of each patient's hospital attendance in London. The median and mean asthma LOS over the period of study were 2 and 3 days respectively. Admissions increased over the years from 8,308 (2001) to 10,554 (2006), but LOS consistently declined within the same period. Younger individuals were more likely to be admitted than the elderly, but the latter significantly had higher LOS (p<0.001). Respiratory related secondary diagnoses, age, and gender of the patient as well as day of the week and year of admission were important predictors of LOS. Asthma LOS can be predicted by socio-demographic factors, temporal and clinical factors using count models on hospital admission data. The procedure can be a useful tool for planning and resource allocation in health service provision.

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