2.1 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a serious lung disease. Find out about variation in COPD hospitalisation rates in the Fourth Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2021.

At a glance

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a serious lung disease, often caused by smoking. Symptoms include shortness of breath and coughing
  • COPD symptoms sometimes get worse suddenly. This is called an exacerbation. People with COPD exacerbations may need to go to hospital for treatment
  • Better management of COPD can sometimes keep people well enough to not have to go to hospital. This might include taking part in a program of exercises and education to improve breathing and lung function
  • After standardising to remove age and sex differences between populations, the rate of hospitalisation for COPD in 2017–18 was 18.1 times as high in the area with the highest rate compared with the area with the lowest rate. The number of COPD hospitalisations, varied across states and territories, from 218 per 100,000 people in the Australian Capital Territory to 693 per 100,000 people in the Northern Territory
  • The rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was almost five times as high as the rate for other Australians.

Interactive maps, graphs and data

Data show variation in rates by geographic location of patient residence. To use the interactive maps and graphs:

  • Hover or click on maps and graphs for details of data points
  • Use the dropdown boxes at the bottom of graphs to select states and territories, SA3s or PHNs

Learn more about how to interpret the data.

Map of rates across Australia

Rates by local area

//viz.aihw.gov.au/t/Public/views/Histogram_COPD/Histogram?%3Aiid=2&%3Aembed=y#1

Rates by state and territory

//viz.aihw.gov.au/t/Public/views/SOP_COPD/Stateandterritory?%3Aiid=1&%3Aembed=y#1

Rates by remoteness and SES

//viz.aihw.gov.au/t/Public/views/SOP_COPD/RemotenessandSES?%3Aiid=1&%3Aembed=y#

About the data

About the data  - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

Data are sourced from the National Hospital Morbidity Database, and include admitted patients in both public and private hospitals, as well as hospital care in the home.

Rates are based on the number of hospitalisations for COPD per 100,000 people of all ages in 2017–18.

Because a record is included for each hospitalisation for the condition, rather than for each patient, patients hospitalised more than once in the financial year will be counted more than once.

The analysis and maps are based on the usual residential address of the patient and not the location  of the hospital.

Rates are age and sex standardised to allow comparisons between populations with different age and sex structures.

Data quality issues – for example, the extent of identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  status in datasets – could influence variations seen.

 

About the Atlas and how to interpret the data visualisations

This document outlines how to interpret the data correctly and explains the limitations of the data prior to using the Atlas:

2021
Publication, report or update

Map of rates across Australia

Rates by local area

//viz.aihw.gov.au/t/Public/views/Histogram_COPD/Histogram?%3Aiid=2&%3Aembed=y#1

Rates by state and territory

//viz.aihw.gov.au/t/Public/views/SOP_COPD/Stateandterritory?%3Aiid=1&%3Aembed=y#1

Rates by remoteness and SES

//viz.aihw.gov.au/t/Public/views/SOP_COPD/RemotenessandSES?%3Aiid=1&%3Aembed=y#

About the data

About the data  - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

Data are sourced from the National Hospital Morbidity Database, and include admitted patients in both public and private hospitals, as well as hospital care in the home.

Rates are based on the number of hospitalisations for COPD per 100,000 people of all ages in 2017–18.

Because a record is included for each hospitalisation for the condition, rather than for each patient, patients hospitalised more than once in the financial year will be counted more than once.

The analysis and maps are based on the usual residential address of the patient and not the location  of the hospital.

Rates are age and sex standardised to allow comparisons between populations with different age and sex structures.

Data quality issues – for example, the extent of identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  status in datasets – could influence variations seen.

 

About the Atlas and how to interpret the data visualisations

This document outlines how to interpret the data correctly and explains the limitations of the data prior to using the Atlas:

2021
Publication, report or update

Rates by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status

Rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across years

//viz.aihw.gov.au/t/Public/views/Additionalgraphs_COPD/RatesforAboriginalandTorresStraitIslanderpeopleacrossyears?:iid=1&:embed=y#1

About the data

About the data  - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

Data are sourced from the National Hospital Morbidity Database, and include admitted patients in both public and private hospitals, as well as hospital care in the home.

Rates are based on the number of hospitalisations for COPD per 100,000 people of all ages in 2017–18.

Because a record is included for each hospitalisation for the condition, rather than for each patient, patients hospitalised more than once in the financial year will be counted more than once.

The analysis and maps are based on the usual residential address of the patient and not the location  of the hospital.

Rates are age and sex standardised to allow comparisons between populations with different age and sex structures.

Data quality issues – for example, the extent of identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  status in datasets – could influence variations seen.

 

About the Atlas and how to interpret the data visualisations

This document outlines how to interpret the data correctly and explains the limitations of the data prior to using the Atlas:

2021
Publication, report or update

Rates by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status

Rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across years

//viz.aihw.gov.au/t/Public/views/Additionalgraphs_COPD/RatesforAboriginalandTorresStraitIslanderpeopleacrossyears?:iid=1&:embed=y#1

About the data

About the data  - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

Data are sourced from the National Hospital Morbidity Database, and include admitted patients in both public and private hospitals, as well as hospital care in the home.

Rates are based on the number of hospitalisations for COPD per 100,000 people of all ages in 2017–18.

Because a record is included for each hospitalisation for the condition, rather than for each patient, patients hospitalised more than once in the financial year will be counted more than once.

The analysis and maps are based on the usual residential address of the patient and not the location  of the hospital.

Rates are age and sex standardised to allow comparisons between populations with different age and sex structures.

Data quality issues – for example, the extent of identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  status in datasets – could influence variations seen.

 

About the Atlas and how to interpret the data visualisations

This document outlines how to interpret the data correctly and explains the limitations of the data prior to using the Atlas:

2021
Publication, report or update

National overview

State and territory rates across years

//viz.aihw.gov.au/t/Public/views/Additionalgraphs_COPD/Stateandterritoryratesacrossyears?%3Aiid=2&%3Aembed=y#1"

Consistently high low

//viz.aihw.gov.au/t/Public/views/Linegraph_Diabetes/ConsistentlyhighandlowSA3s?%3Aiid=2&%3Aembed=y#1

About the data

About the data  - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

Data are sourced from the National Hospital Morbidity Database, and include admitted patients in both public and private hospitals, as well as hospital care in the home.

Rates are based on the number of hospitalisations for COPD per 100,000 people of all ages in 2017–18.

Because a record is included for each hospitalisation for the condition, rather than for each patient, patients hospitalised more than once in the financial year will be counted more than once.

The analysis and maps are based on the usual residential address of the patient and not the location  of the hospital.

Rates are age and sex standardised to allow comparisons between populations with different age and sex structures.

Data quality issues – for example, the extent of identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  status in datasets – could influence variations seen.

 

About the Atlas and how to interpret the data visualisations

This document outlines how to interpret the data correctly and explains the limitations of the data prior to using the Atlas:

2021
Publication, report or update

National overview

State and territory rates across years

//viz.aihw.gov.au/t/Public/views/Additionalgraphs_COPD/Stateandterritoryratesacrossyears?%3Aiid=2&%3Aembed=y#1"

Consistently high low

//viz.aihw.gov.au/t/Public/views/Linegraph_Diabetes/ConsistentlyhighandlowSA3s?%3Aiid=2&%3Aembed=y#1

About the data

About the data  - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

Data are sourced from the National Hospital Morbidity Database, and include admitted patients in both public and private hospitals, as well as hospital care in the home.

Rates are based on the number of hospitalisations for COPD per 100,000 people of all ages in 2017–18.

Because a record is included for each hospitalisation for the condition, rather than for each patient, patients hospitalised more than once in the financial year will be counted more than once.

The analysis and maps are based on the usual residential address of the patient and not the location  of the hospital.

Rates are age and sex standardised to allow comparisons between populations with different age and sex structures.

Data quality issues – for example, the extent of identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  status in datasets – could influence variations seen.

 

About the Atlas and how to interpret the data visualisations

This document outlines how to interpret the data correctly and explains the limitations of the data prior to using the Atlas:

2021
Publication, report or update

Data

Download the data sheet for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease:

Technical Supplement

Download the Technical Supplement: 

2021
Publication, report or update

Data

Download the data sheet for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease:

Technical Supplement

Download the Technical Supplement: 

2021
Publication, report or update