Association of intensive care unit admission with mortality among older patients with pneumonia

Thomas S Valley, Michael W Sjoding, Andrew M Ryan, Theodore John Iwashyna, Colin R Cooke

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70 Citations (Scopus)


IMPORTANCE Among patients whose need for intensive care is uncertain, the relationship of intensive care unit (ICU) admission with mortality and costs is unknown. OBJECTIVE To estimate the relationship between ICU admission and outcomes for elderly patients with pneumonia. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS Retrospective cohort study of Medicare beneficiaries (aged >64 years) admitted to 2988 acute care hospitals in the United States with pneumonia from 2010 to 2012. EXPOSURES ICU admission vs general ward admission. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Primary outcomewas 30-day all-cause mortality. Secondary outcomes included Medicare spending and hospital costs. Patient and hospital characteristics were adjusted to account for differences between patients with and without ICU admission. To account for unmeasured confounding, an instrumental variable was used - the differential distance to a hospital with high ICU admission (defined as any hospital in the upper 2 quintiles of ICU use). RESULTS Among 1 112 394 Medicare beneficiaries with pneumonia, 328 404 (30 ) were admitted to the ICU. In unadjusted analyses, patients admitted to the ICU had significantly higher 30-day mortality, Medicare spending, and hospital costs than patients admitted to a general hospital ward. Patients (n = 553 597) living closer than the median differential distance (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1272 - 1279
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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