Chronic comorbidities raise hospitalization risk in dementia

March 9, 2017, Public Library of Science
Credit: Anne Lowe/public domain

Most community-dwelling older adults with dementia have multiple other chronic diseases, which are linked to increased risk of hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits, a new retrospective study has concluded. The study, by Luke Mondor and Colleen Maxwell of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Canada, and colleagues, is published in PLOS Medicine's Special Issue on Dementia.

The occurrence of multiple in an individual (multimorbidity) has been linked to poor outcomes in previous studies. To study this association among people with , the researchers analyzed data collected in 2012 from 30,112 home-care clients with dementia in Ontario, Canada. The dataset included information on whether each patient had any of 16 common chronic conditions, the continuity of any care they received from physicians—based on the number of clinicians seen over the previous two years—and the timing of hospitalizations and ED visits.

The researchers found that 89% of the cohort had 2 or more chronic conditions in addition to dementia and 35% had 5 or more conditions. Their analysis showed that as multimorbidity increased, risk of hospitalizations and ED visits also went up. For example, the risk of hospitalization was 88% greater (95% CI: 1.72-2.05, p<0.001) and the risk of ED visits 63% greater (95% CI: 1.51-1.77, p<0.001) among those with five or more conditions compared to those with only dementia or with one other condition. After adjustment for demographic and health measures, there was no evidence that high vs. low continuity of care was associated with risk of hospitalizations and ED visits at any level of multimorbidity. The research was limited by its retrospective nature and the fact that hospitalizations and ED visits were not stratified by specific reason.

"With increases in life expectancy, improvements to disease detection, and a shift to community-based care, use of home care services and the prevalence of multimorbidity among older persons with dementia will likely rise," the authors say. "Data from this study may be useful in identifying at-risk individuals and prioritizing the deployment of limited health care resources."

Explore further: Incidence of dementia in primary care increased in the Netherlands over 23 years

More information: Luke Mondor et al, Multimorbidity and healthcare utilization among home care clients with dementia in Ontario, Canada: A retrospective analysis of a population-based cohort, PLOS Medicine (2017). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002249

Related Stories

Incidence of dementia in primary care increased in the Netherlands over 23 years

March 7, 2017
The incidence of registered dementia cases has increased slightly over a 23-year period (1992 to 2014) in the Netherlands, according to a study published by Emma van Bussel and colleagues from the Academic Medical Center ...

Chronic diseases may increase risk of dementia

September 21, 2015
In a new study of older adults, having multiple chronic conditions was linked with an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia.

Tooth loss linked to an increased risk of dementia

March 8, 2017
In a study of 1566 community-dwelling Japanese elderly who were followed for 5 years, the risk of developing dementia was elevated in individuals with fewer remaining teeth.

One in ten Alzheimer's patients at risk for avoidable hospital stays

July 25, 2016
(HealthDay)—Some people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias may often land in the hospital simply because of poor management of other health problems they have, a new study suggests.

Hospitalization increases risk of depression and dementia for seniors

February 28, 2014
People over age 65 who have been hospitalized are at significantly greater risk for dementia or depression, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry.

ADT use not linked to dementia in prostate cancer

November 28, 2016
(HealthDay)—For men with prostate cancer, use of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) seems not to be associated with dementia, according to a study published online Nov. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Recommended for you

New screening tool could help diagnose early cognitive decline in dementia from home

June 19, 2018
An international team of scientists have developed a new way to screen for age-related cognitive decline at home using a test which asks people to detect sounds and flashes on their laptop or phone.

Genes linked to Alzheimer's contribute to damage in different ways

June 12, 2018
Multiple genes are implicated in Alzheimer's disease. Some are linked to early-onset Alzheimer's, a condition that develops in one's 30s, 40s and 50s, while others are associated with the more common late-onset form of the ...

Researchers reverse cognitive impairments in mice with dementia

June 8, 2018
Reversing memory deficits and impairments in spatial learning is a major goal in the field of dementia research. A lack of knowledge about cellular pathways critical to the development of dementia, however, has stood in the ...

As mystery deepens over the cause of Alzheimer's, researchers seek new answers

June 6, 2018
For more than 20 years, much of the leading research on Alzheimer's disease has been guided by the "amyloid hypothesis."

Research reveals how Tau aggregates can contribute to cell death in Alzheimer's disease

June 5, 2018
New evidence suggests a mechanism by which progressive accumulation of Tau protein in brain cells may lead to Alzheimer's disease. Scientists studied more than 600 human brains and fruit fly models of Alzheimer's disease ...

How does alcohol influence the development of Alzheimer's disease?

June 4, 2018
Research from the University of Illinois at Chicago has found that some of the genes affected by alcohol and inflammation are also implicated in processes that clear amyloid beta—the protein that forms globs of plaques ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.