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Asthma Mortality in a Metropolitan County Hospital, a 38-Year Study

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A 38-year (1949–1986) retrospective chart review of 535 decedent asthmatic patients was undertaken to determine trends in asthma-related deaths. Records of 187 decedents with clinical and autopsy evidence were analyzed. An overall decrease in asthma-related deaths over the four interval periods of the study was noted. Thirty-five percent of the patients died within 24 hours, and 85% died within 7 days of admission. Seventy-five percent of decedents were > 40 years of age. Fifty-two percent of the patients were white, 34% black, and 13% Hispanic. Mortality was higher in younger (<40 years) blacks and in older (>40 years) whites. The number of deaths was inversely proportional to the number of patients managed in the pulmonary/ICU setting. Longer duration (>10 years) of asthma was associated with a higher (60%) mortality. Mucus plugging occurred in 74% of patients. Previous hospitalization (93%), previous intubations, and inadequate assessment (peak expiratory flow rates, pulsus paradoxus) also were associated with higher mortality.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1991-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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