Chronic comorbidities raise hospitalization risk in dementia

March 9, 2017
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

Multi-gene test predicts Alzheimer's better than APOE E4 alone

September 22, 2017
A new test that combines the effects of more than two dozen genetic variants, most associated by themselves with only a small risk of Alzheimer's disease, does a better job of predicting which cognitively normal older adults ...

Personality changes don't precede clinical onset of Alzheimer's, study shows

September 21, 2017
For years, scientists and physicians have been debating whether personality and behavior changes might appear prior to the onset of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Newly ID'd role of major Alzheimer's gene suggests possible therapeutic target

September 20, 2017
Nearly a quarter century ago, a genetic variant known as ApoE4 was identified as a major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease—one that increases a person's chances of developing the neurodegenerative disease by up to 12 ...

Is the Alzheimer's gene the ring leader or the sidekick?

September 15, 2017
The notorious genetic marker of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, ApoE4, may not be a lone wolf.

Potential noninvasive test for Alzheimer's disease

September 6, 2017
In the largest and most conclusive study of its kind, researchers have analysed blood samples to create a novel and non-invasive way of helping to diagnose Alzheimer's disease and distinguishing between different types of ...

Researchers unlock the molecular origins of Alzheimer's disease

September 6, 2017
A "twist of fate" that is minuscule even on the molecular level may cause the development of Alzheimer's disease, VCU researchers have found.

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.