Effect of social factors on winter hospital admission for respiratory disease: a case-control study of older people in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • JI Hawker
  • W Tunnicliffe
  • Babatunde Olowokure
  • J Kai
  • Rosaleen Salter

Colleges, School and Institutes


Every winter, UK hospitals experience a surge in respiratory admissions. Social circumstance may be an important determinant. This case-control study was undertaken to establish the most important factors causing winter hospital admissions among older people presenting with acute respiratory disease. The study found that socioeconomic factors had little relative effect compared with medical and functional factors. Most important were having long-term medical conditions, especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (odds ratio 4.0; 95% confidence interval = 1.4 to 11.4), being housebound, and history of oral steroid treatment. Socially-isolated patients also had increased risk.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-402
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number551
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • socioeconomic factors, respiratory tract infections, winter pressures, elderly, hospitalisation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease