A report picked up in July by several news outlets quotes UA professor of medicine and interim pulmonary chief Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, about a recently published retrospective study he led that suggests sleep medicine therapy may help reduce hospitalizations among COPD patients.
In the articles, Dr. Parthasarathy, who also is director of the UA Health Sciences Center for Sleep and Circadian Sciences and the Sleep Disorders Center at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, notes only 7.5 percent of 1.8 million sufferers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) received any form of positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy to aid breathing while they sleep whether in the hospital or at home.
About 92 percent of U.S. COPD patients studied received no PAP therapy despite possible benefits even with COPD hospitalizations at an all-time high. After discharge, 10-20 percent of patients are readmitted within 30 days. (Photo: Royal Philips)
“Frequent readmissions of COPD patients not only disrupt their quality of life, but are costing our health systems billions,” says Dr. Parthasarathy. “This analysis revealed there is a solution already accessible in our toolbox that can keep patients out of the hospital, but it’s significantly underutilized. With improved awareness and implementation of PAP therapy as a treatment for COPD, we can lower the cost burden for health systems while allowing patients to recover in the comfort of their own homes.”
The study was sponsored by Royal Philips, which manufactures a variety of PAP therapy solutions.
Results were reported in “Positive Airway Pressure Therapies and Hospitalization in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,” in The American Journal of Medicine’s July issue with Dr. Parthasarathy and two others from the UA as co-authors, Monica M. Vasquez, MPH, biostatistician, UAHS Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center, and Stefano Guerra, MD, PhD, MPH, professor of medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, and associate research scientist, respiratory sciences.
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