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Important Facts for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Hospital Admissions


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. A COPD hospitalization of that occurs with COPD listed as the primary (first-listed) diagnosis of a New Mexico resident. A COPD diagnosis includes the ICD-9-CM codes 490-492 or 496 or 493.2* when 490-492 or 496 is present on any secondary diagnoses, and, after 10/2015, the ICD-10 codes J40-J44 for non-occupationally related incidents. Measures include: 1) the number of COPD hospitalizations by sex by year, 2) the number of COPD hospitalizations by county, 3) crude rate of COPD hospitalizations per 10,000 population by sex and by age groups 25-44, 45-64 and 65 and older, 4) crude rate of COPD hospitalizations per 10,000 population by age groups by year, 5) crude rate of COPD hospitalizations per 10,000 population by county, 6) crude rate of COPD hospitalizations by month (five year average), 7) age-adjusted rate of COPD hospitalizations per 10,000 population among persons 25 and over per 10,000 population by county (adjusted by the direct method to year 2000 US standard population) and 8) age-adjusted rate of COPD hospitalizations among persons 25 and over per 10,000 population by year (adjusted by the direct method to year 2000 US standard population).


Number of adult hospital discharges where COPD is the primary (first-listed) diagnosis. Transfers to other facilities resulting in duplicate counts are removed.


Estimated total number of New Mexico residents in a specified population over a specified time period.

Data Interpretation Issues

Currently, the hospital inpatient discharge dataset includes data from non-federal hospitals only. Therefore, these data do not include hospital discharges from Veteran's Administration (VA) facilities, nor from Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities, which account for a large proportion of hospitalizations for New Mexico's American Indian population. In addition, these data do not include hospitalizations among New Mexico residents that occur out of state with some exception for acute myocardial infarctions for New Mexico residents hospitalized in Texas.

Why Is This Important?

COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It is a progressive disease, which means that the disease gets worse over time. The disease isn't passed from person to person, it is not contagious. However, COPD is a life threatening lung disease that may progressively lead to death and thus needs to be treated. The most common symptoms of COPD are breathlessness, a chronic cough that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. COPD develops slowly. Symptoms often worsen over time and can limit the ability to do routine activities. Severe COPD may prevent people from doing even basic activities like walking, cooking, or taking care of themselves. COPD has no cure yet and doctors don't know how to reverse the damage to the airways and lungs. However, COPD is often preventable and treatable. Treatments and lifestyle changes can help those affected feel better, stay more active, and slow the progress of the disease. Early detection of COPD is key to successful treatment. Knowing the symptoms or exposures to risk factors (see below) may lead to early diagnosis of COPD. COPD is a major cause of disability; was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2014. COPD is the third leading cause of hospitalization in the United States with over 715,000 admissions in 2005. Beginning in 2008, COPD has surpassed stroke as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. As of 2009, 11.8 million adults aged 18+ years in the United States reported having physician-diagnosed COPD, however it is commonly accepted that COPD is frequently underdiagnosed. There are also large racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender biases in COPD prevalence. Since 1993, the rate of admission for COPD in women surpasses that of men. Further, hospitalization rates generally increase with age, and are highest in those 65 years of age and older. It is estimated that nearly 24% of all Americans 65 years and older have COPD. In contrast to ED visits, COPD hospitalizations have declined in recent years, -22% in the last five years overall, -30% for males and -20% for females.

Other Objectives

CDC Environmental Public Health Tracking, Nationally Consistent Data and Measures (EPHT NCDM)

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

New Mexico and the United States have similar rates of COPD.

What Is Being Done?

Steps to be taken to reduce risk for COPD include: 1) If you are a smoker, STOP SMOKING. Quitting smoking is the single most important thing a smoker can do to live a longer and healthier life. The New Mexico Department of Health's Tobacco Use Prevention and Control (TUPAC) program and its partners use a comprehensive, evidence-based, approach to reducing tobacco use. The American Lung Association also has many programs to help you quit for good. 2) If you don't smoke, don't start. Smoking causes COPD, lung cancer, heart disease and other cancers. 3) Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Make your home smokefree. You'll not only protect yourself, but your family too. Learn about your rights to a smokefree environment at work and in public places. 4) Be aware of other dangers. Take care to protect yourself against chemicals, dust and fumes in your home and at work. 5) Help fight for clean air. Work with others in your community to help clean up the air you and your family breathe.
The NM EPHT website is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number, 6 NUE1EH001354 (previously, 5 U38EH000949), funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC or do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Wed, 20 January 2021 21:14:24 from New Mexico EPHT Tracking Public Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 7 Nov 2018 09:27:22 MST