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Presentations To Emergency Departments For COPD: A Time Series Analysis

Rhonda J. Rosychuk, Erik Youngson, Brian H. Rowe
Published 2016 · Medicine
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Background. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common respiratory condition characterized by progressive dyspnea and acute exacerbations which may result in emergency department (ED) presentations. This study examines monthly rates of presentations to EDs in one Canadian province. Methods. Presentations for COPD made by individuals aged ≥55 years during April 1999 to March 2011 were extracted from provincial databases. Data included age, sex, and health zone of residence (North, Central, South, and urban). Crude rates were calculated. Seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) time series models were developed. Results. ED presentations for COPD totalled 188,824 and the monthly rate of presentation remained relatively stable (from 197.7 to 232.6 per 100,000). Males and seniors (≥65 years) comprised 52.2% and 73.7% of presentations, respectively. The ARIMA(1,0, 0) × (1,0, 1)12 model was appropriate for the overall rate of presentations and for each sex and seniors. Zone specific models showed relatively stable or decreasing rates; the North zone had an increasing trend. Conclusions. ED presentation rates for COPD have been relatively stable in Alberta during the past decade. However, their increases in northern regions deserve further exploration. The SARIMA models quantified the temporal patterns and can help planning future health care service needs.
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