Asthma is a prevalent disease with high economic cost. Over 50% of its direct cost relates to asthma hospitalizations. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a significant comorbidity in asthmatic patients, yet its impact on asthma-related hospitalizations is unknown.
To compare the outcome of asthma-related hospitalizations in patients with and without DM.
Using Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Readmissions Database, we analyzed data of all adults with index admission for asthma and with no other chronic pulmonary conditions, and compared outcomes between patients with and without DM. Weighted regression analysis was used to determine the impact of DM on hospitalization outcomes. All multivariate regression models were adjusted for patient demographics, socioeconomic status and chronic medical comorbidities.
A total of 717,200 asthmatic patients were included, with 202,489 (28.3%) had DM. Diabetic patients were older and had more comorbidities. When hospitalized for asthma, diabetic patients had increased hospital length of stay, cost, and risk for 30-day all-cause and asthma-related readmission. They also had a higher risk for developing non-respiratory complications during their hospital stay compared to non-diabetics. The risk of mortality was similar between the two groups.
Patients hospitalized for asthma with coexisting DM had increased hospital length of stay, cost, and risk for readmission. Interventions are urgently needed to reduce the risk for hospital admission and readmission in patients with co-existing DM and asthma. These interventions would have profound economic and societal impact.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.