Many SLE patients readmitted at hospital within a month of discharge
One in six patients in the US suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged. This particularly applies to black and Hispanic patients and patients with Medicare or Medicaid insurance, according to a University of California study published in "Arthritis & Rheumatology".
For the study, the researchers examined 55,936 hospitalisations and discharges in the US. The team analysed data from 31,903 lupus patients aged 18 years and older, who were readmitted between 2008 and 2009 from five states - California, Florida, New York, Utah and Washington.
The results showed that there were 9,244 (17 per cent) readmissions within 30 days of discharge. The most common reasons for readmission were lupus nephritis, serositis, and thrombocytopenia. Age was inversely related to readmission, suggesting that severe organ involvement in younger SLE patients may be partly to blame.
Further analyses show risk-adjusted readmission rates to be lower in New York and higher in Florida, compared to California. Hospitals with higher readmissions for SLE did not have higher admissions for other chronic conditions, which the authors believe is condition-specific to SLE readmissions and warrants further study. Study author Jinoos Yazdany concludes, "the significant geographic and hospital-level variation in readmission rates signals a need for quality improvement efforts in lupus."
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