Dementia Associated With More Hospital Admissions

Admission rate up for all-cause, ambulatory care-sensitive conditions for those with dementia

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital admission rates for all causes, and for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (ACSCs), are significantly higher among patients with dementia compared to older patients without dementia, according to a study published in the Jan. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Elizabeth A. Phelan, M.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed hospitalizations of 3,019 participants enrolled in the longitudinal Adult Changes in Thought study. Participants were aged 65 years or older and were free from dementia at baseline. During the study period (Feb. 1, 1994, through December 2007), 494 individuals developed dementia. Hospital admission rates for all causes, by type of admission, and for ACSCs, were compared for patients with and without dementia.

The researchers found that 86 percent of the individuals who developed dementia were admitted to the hospital at least once, compared with 59 percent of those who remained free from dementia. The unadjusted all-cause admission rate was 419 admissions per 1,000 person-years in the dementia group, versus 200 admissions per 1,000 person-years in the dementia-free group. After multivariable adjustment, the ratio of admission rates was 1.41 for all-cause admission and 1.78 for ACSC admissions. Adjusted admission rates were significantly higher for all types of ACSCs in individuals with dementia.

"Among our cohort aged 65 years or older, incident dementia was significantly associated with increased risk of hospitalization, including hospitalization for ACSCs," the authors write.

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