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

Common class of drugs linked to dementia even when taken 20 years before diagnosis

April 26, 2018
The largest and most detailed study of the long-term impact of anticholinergic drugs, a class of drugs commonly prescribed in the United States and United Kingdom as antidepressants and incontinence medications, has found ...

Rate of dementia on the decline—but beware of growing numbers

April 17, 2018
The good news? The rate of older Americans with dementia is on the decline.

Research offers potential insight into Alzheimer's disease

April 16, 2018
Slightly elevated beta-amyloid levels in the brain are associated with increased activity in certain brain regions, according to a new study from the Center for Vital Longevity (CVL) at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Americans with a college education live longer without dementia and Alzheimer's

April 16, 2018
Education gives people an edge in their later years, helping them to keep dementia at bay and their memories intact, a new USC-led study has found.

Evidence mounts for Alzheimer's, suicide risks among youth in polluted cities

April 13, 2018
A University of Montana researcher and her collaborators have published a new study that reveals increased risks for Alzheimer's and suicide among children and young adults living in polluted megacities.

Improving brain function in Alzheimer's disease mouse model

April 11, 2018
Using two complementary approaches to reduce the deposits of amyloid-beta in the brain rather than either approach alone improved spatial navigation and memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. These findings suggest ...

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.