Epidemiology of critically ill patients in intensive care units: a population-based observational study

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Garland, Allan
Olafson, Kendiss
Ramsey, Clare D
Yogendran, Marina
Fransoo, Randall
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Abstract Introduction Epidemiologic assessment of critically ill people in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) is needed to ensure the health care system can meet current and future needs. However, few such studies have been published. Methods Population-based analysis of all adult ICU care in the Canadian province of Manitoba, 1999 to 2007, using administrative data. We calculated age-adjusted rates and trends of ICU care, overall and subdivided by age, sex and income. Results In 2007, Manitoba had a population of 1.2 million, 118 ICU beds in 21 ICUs, for 9.8 beds per 100,000 population. Approximately 0.72% of men and 0.47% of women were admitted to ICUs yearly. The age-adjusted, male:female rate ratio was 1.75 (95% CI 1.64 to 1.88). Mean age was 64.5 ± 16.4 years. Rates rose rapidly after age 40, peaked at age 75 to 80, and declined for the oldest age groups. Rates were higher among residents of lower income areas, for example declining from 7.9 to 4.4 per 100,000 population from the poorest to the wealthiest income quintiles (p <0.0001). Rates of ICU admission slowly declined over time, while cumulative yearly ICU bed-days slowly rose; changes were age-dependent, with faster declines in admission rates with older age. There was a high rate of recidivism; 16% of ICU patients had received ICU care previously. Conclusions These temporal trends in ICU admission rates and cumulative bed-days used have significant implications for health system planning. The differences by age, sex and socioeconomic status, and the high rate of recidivism require further research to clarify their causes, and to devise strategies for reducing critical illness in high-risk groups.
Critical Care. 2013 Sep 30;17(5):R212