Mortality in patients hospitalized for asthma exacerbations in the United States

Vidya Krishnan, Gregory B. Diette, Cynthia S. Rand, Andrew L. Bilderback, Barry Merriman, Nadia N. Hansel, Jerry A. Krishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Rationale: Hospitalizations for asthma exacerbations are common in the United States, but there are no national estimates of outcomes in this population. It is also not known if race disparities in asthma deaths exist among hospitalized patients. Objectives: To estimate outcomes of patients hospitalized for asthma in the United States and to determine if the risk of death in this population is higher among black patients compared with white patients. Methods: We used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample for 2000. Admissions for asthma exacerbations among patients > 5 yr of age were included. Mortality was the primary outcome; secondary outcomes were length of stay and total hospital charges. Measurements and Main Results: In-hospital asthma mortality was 0.5% (99% confidence interval [CI], 0.4-0.6), with mean hospital stay of 2.7 d (99% CI, 2.6-2.8 d) and $9,078 (99% CI, $8,300-9,855) in hospital charges. Deaths in this population accounted for about one-third of all asthma deaths reported in the United States. Black patients hospitalized for asthma exacerbations were less likely to die when compared with white patients (0.3 vs. 0.6%; p < 0.001). However, in multivariable analyses, there were no significant race differences in hospital deaths. Conclusions: Mortality among patients hospitalized for asthma exacerbations accounts for one-third of all deaths from asthma. The higher overall risk of death from asthma in black patients compared with white patients in the United States is not explained by race differences in hospital deaths and therefore is attributable to factors preceding hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-638
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2006


  • Costs
  • Epidemiology
  • Length of stay
  • Mortality
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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