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Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2018 Oct 8;13:3065-3076. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S170747. eCollection 2018.

Eosinophil counts in first COPD hospitalizations: a 1-year cost analysis in Quebec, Canada.

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Research Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada,
Health Technology Assessment Unit, UETMIS, CIUSSS de l'Estrie -CHUS, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.
Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada,
Respirology Service Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.



Exacerbations explain much of the cost of COPD. Higher blood eosinophil cell counts at admission for acute exacerbation of COPD increase the risk of subsequent exacerbations and hospitalizations. However, there is no literature on the economic burden of patients with this inflammatory profile. The objective of this study is to assess the cost of health-care service utilization according to different counts of blood eosinophils.


The observational retrospective cohort included all first hospitalizations for COPD exacerbation between April 2006 and March 2013. The eosinophilic group was defined by blood eosinophil counts on admission ≥200 cells/µL and/or ≥2% of the total white blood cell count. Study outcomes were: total costs (2016 Canadian dollars) (index hospitalization and 1-year follow-up), total index hospitalization costs, total 1-year costs (all-cause readmissions, ambulatory and emergency service use), and 1-year COPD-related costs (only cost for COPD after initial discharge). Sensitivity analyses were conducted to evaluate the impact of different eosinophil cut-offs on outcomes.


In total, 479 patients were included, 173 in the eosinophilic group (92 in the higher cut-off). The average total cost was $18,263 ($6,706 for the index hospitalization), without significant difference between groups (P=0.3). The average 1-year COPD-related cost was higher in the eosinophilic group ($3,667 vs $2,472, P=0.006), with an adjusted mean difference of $1,416. Analysis of data using the higher cut-off of ≥400 cells or ≥3% was associated with a slightly larger difference in 1-year COPD-related costs between groups ($4,060 vs $2,629, P=0.003), with an adjusted mean difference of $1,640.


A higher blood eosinophil cell count at admission for a first hospitalization is associated with an increase in total 1-year COPD-related costs.


Canada; Quebec; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; cohort study; exacerbations; health-care utilization

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