PloS one 2017 12 1512(12) e0189952 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0189952
Patients with gastrointestinal disease may have comorbid iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) and an increased risk of hospitalisation and re-attendance in hospital. The purpose of this study was to determine if oral and intravenous (IV) treatment of IDA in patients with gastrointestinal disease attending hospital were associated with differential rates of subsequent re-attendance.
METHODS AND FINDINGS
Data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (primary care) and Hospital Treatment Insights (secondary care) databases in England were used to conduct this retrospective cohort study. Patients with a coded gastrointestinal disease and IDA who attended hospital (inpatient or outpatient) and were dispensed oral or IV iron between 01/01/2010-31/10/2013 were included. Elective and emergency re-attendances in secondary care within 30 days of the initial attendance were determined. Demographics, medical diagnoses and treatments were extracted. Re-attendance rates following oral or IV iron were compared using chi-square tests and a step-wise logistic regression model to adjust for confounders. 2,844 patients contributed 6,294 initial attendances; 80% of patients received oral iron, 14% received intravenous iron, and 6% received both. Of initial attendances recording oral iron, 77% resulted in re-attendance in hospital, compared to 34% of those recording IV iron (unadjusted odds ratio [OR]: 0.16; adjusted OR: 0.52 [95% CI: 0.44-0.61]). Initial attendances using IV treatment were more likely to result in elective re-attendance (84%) than those recording oral treatment (43%) (p<0.001). Median length of stay in hospital tended to be shorter for patients using IV iron (1.4 days; interquartile range 0.5-3.6 days; oral iron: 5.1 days; interquartile range: 2.2-9.6 days). CONCLUSIONS
Patients with gastrointestinal disease and IDA who received IV iron were less likely to re-attend hospital, more likely to re-attend electively, and tended to have a shorter length of stay in hospital. The mode of IDA treatment could have a real-world impact on healthcare utilisation.