Emergency but not elective hospital admissions linked to faster memory and thinking decline

July 17, 2017

Researchers in Chicago have investigated the link between hospital admissions and memory and thinking problems. Existing research indicates that older people are at an increased risk of both short- and long-term memory and thinking problems after being admitted to hospital. In this study researchers at the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Centre at Rush University compared the risk associated with urgent or emergency admissions and elective stays that might be more common for routine procedures. The researchers found that non-elective hospitalisations were associated with a faster rate of cognitive decline from before hospitalisation, while elective hospitalisations were not.

A group of 930 older adults enrolled in the Rush Memory and Aging Project (MAP) in Chicago took part in annual memory and thinking tests and clinical evaluations. The researchers acquired information about participants' past hospitalisation by linking 1999-2010 health insurance claim records with the data from research project. After taking factors like age, sex, education, and length of hospital stay into account, they found that only urgent hospital admissions were related to faster .

Dr Rosa Sancho, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said:

"Medical treatment often involves some element of risk and doctors always need to weigh up the need for a medical procedure against any possible negative consequences. This research helps to provide a clearer picture of a link between hospital stays and changes in memory and thinking skills. While these findings might be reassuring for people planning to go to hospital for a routine procedure, they should in no way deter people from seeking any urgent treatment they need. Given one quarter of beds in the UK are occupied by someone with dementia, it's important to understand the impact of that stay on an individual and develop approaches to limit any negative effect on their long-term health."

Explore further: Memory problems may increase after being hospitalized

Related Stories

Memory problems may increase after being hospitalized

March 21, 2012
A new study suggests that older people may have an increased risk of problems with memory and thinking abilities after being in the hospital, according to research published in the March 21, 2012, online issue of Neurology.

New study to document Alzheimer's disease risk factors in Latinos

February 22, 2017
Rush University Medical Center has launched a unique, cohort study called Latino Core to learn about the aging process and risk factors for Alzheimer's disease in older Latino adults.

Early surgical menopause linked to declines in memory and thinking skills

January 14, 2013
Women who undergo surgical menopause at an earlier age may have an increased risk of decline in memory and thinking skills, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's ...

Study shows dementia-related brain changes are identifiable even before problems are noticeable

May 11, 2017
Researchers at the University of Toronto and Baycrest Rotman Research Institute (RRI) have discovered a potential brain imaging predictor for dementia, which illustrates that changes to the brain's structure may occur years ...

How is depression related to dementia?

July 30, 2014
A new study by neuropsychiatric researchers at Rush University Medical Center gives insight into the relationship between depression and dementia. The study is published in the July 30, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the ...

Older people with faster decline in memory, thinking skills may have lower risk of cancer death

April 9, 2014
Older people who are starting to have memory and thinking problems, but do not yet have dementia may have a lower risk of dying from cancer than people who have no memory and thinking problems, according to a study published ...

Recommended for you

Lifestyle changes to stave off Alzheimer's? Hints, no proof

July 20, 2017
There are no proven ways to stave off Alzheimer's, but a new report raises the prospect that avoiding nine key risks starting in childhood just might delay or even prevent about a third of dementia cases around the world.

Blood test identifies key Alzheimer's marker

July 19, 2017
A new study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that measures of amyloid beta in the blood have the potential to help identify people with altered levels of amyloid in their ...

Steering an enzyme's 'scissors' shows potential for stopping Alzheimer's disease

July 19, 2017
The old real estate adage about "location, location, location" might also apply to the biochemical genesis of Alzheimer's disease, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

Brain scans may change care for some people with memory loss

July 19, 2017
Does it really take an expensive brain scan to diagnose Alzheimer's? Not everybody needs one but new research suggests that for a surprising number of patients whose memory problems are hard to pin down, PET scans may lead ...

Can poor sleep boost odds for Alzheimer's?

July 18, 2017
(HealthDay)— Breathing problems during sleep may signal an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease, a trio of studies suggests.

Hearing is believing: Speech may be a clue to mental decline

July 17, 2017
Your speech may, um, help reveal if you're uh ... developing thinking problems. More pauses, filler words and other verbal changes might be an early sign of mental decline, which can lead to Alzheimer's disease, a study suggests.

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.