Dementia increases the risk of 30-day readmission to the hospital after discharge

February 23, 2018, American Geriatrics Society

About 25 percent of older adults admitted to hospitals have dementia and are at increased risk for serious problems like in-hospital falls and delirium (the medical term for an abrupt, rapid change in mental function). As a result, older adults with dementia are more likely to do poorly during hospital stays compared to older adults without dementia.

Until now, little was known about the effects of on early hospital readmission. Researchers in Japan recently published the results of a study to learn more about the effects of dementia and being admitted to the hospital within 30 days of a previous hospital discharge (the medical term for leaving the hospital once your care is considered complete). Their study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The researchers studied information from 65-years-old and older who had been discharged from hospitals between 2014 and 2015, and then followed them for six months. The researchers were looking for unplanned readmissions to the hospital within 30 days of the patient's discharge.

Older adults with dementia had about twice the risk for hospital readmissions compared to the risk for those without dementia. However, the rate of risk depended on the older adult's diagnosis. For example, people with dementia who were hospitalized for hip fractures were at higher risk for hospital readmission than people with dementia who were diagnosed with gallbladder inflammation.

In 17 of the top 30 most common health conditions, with dementia were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital than people without dementia.

The researchers noted that three issues may raise the risk of being readmitted to the if you have dementia:

  • Older adults with dementia may have difficulty following directions about taking medication and attending follow-up visits. This may lead to poor health and readmissions.
  • People with dementia may be less able to express their symptoms, which can delay decisions to seek treatment.
  • Special discharge planning for people with dementia may not be available in all hospitals.

The concluded that the risk of readmission for older adults with dementia varies according to diagnosis, and that special discharge planning for people with dementia is important.

Explore further: Congenital heart defects linked to increased risk of dementia

More information: Nobuo Sakata et al, Dementia and Risk of 30-Day Readmission in Older Adults After Discharge from Acute Care Hospitals, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2018). DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15282

Related Stories

Congenital heart defects linked to increased risk of dementia

February 13, 2018
Being born with a heart defect may raise the odds of later developing dementia, especially early-onset dementia, a new study finds.

End-of-life hospital and healthcare use among older adults with Alzheimer's disease

February 21, 2018
Because people are now living longer and often healthier lives, the rate of some illnesses that are more likely to develop with age has risen. These illnesses include dementia. In fact, the number of us living with dementia ...

Taking proton pump inhibitors not linked to higher dementia risk

November 21, 2017
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are medicines commonly prescribed to treat acid-related digestive problems, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD). As of 2011, up to 1 in 5 older adults reported using a PPI. Although ...

Positive attitudes about aging reduce risk of dementia in older adults

February 7, 2018
Research has shown that older persons who have acquired positive beliefs about old age from their surrounding culture are less likely to develop dementia. This protective effect was found for all participants, as well as ...

TBI is associated with increased dementia risk for decades after injury

January 30, 2018
Traumatic brain injuries increase the risk of a dementia diagnosis for more than 30 years after a trauma, though the risk of dementia decreases over time, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Anna ...

Longer hospital stays might reduce readmissions from post-acute care facilities

March 7, 2017
More than 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who are admitted to the hospital are sent to a post-acute care facility (a health facility like a rehabilitation or skilled nursing center used instead of a hospital) after being ...

Recommended for you

Molecular tracer, seen with PET scan, shows concentrations of abnormal proteins

July 17, 2018
In a small study of military personnel who had suffered head trauma and had reported memory and mood problems, UCLA researchers found brain changes similar to those seen in retired football players with suspected chronic ...

New study highlights Alzheimer's herpes link, experts say

July 12, 2018
A new commentary by scientists at the Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh on a study by Taiwanese epidemiologists supports the viability of a potential way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Practice imperfect—repeated cognitive testing can obscure early signs of dementia

July 12, 2018
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative condition that often begins with mild cognitive impairment or MCI, making early and repeated assessments of cognitive change crucial to diagnosis and treatment.

The 'Big Bang' of Alzheimer's: Scientists ID genesis of disease, focus efforts on shape-shifting tau

July 10, 2018
Scientists have discovered a "Big Bang" of Alzheimer's disease – the precise point at which a healthy protein becomes toxic but has not yet formed deadly tangles in the brain.

'Skinny fat' in older adults may predict dementia, Alzheimer's risk

July 5, 2018
A new study has found that "skinny fat—the combination of low muscle mass and strength in the context of high fat mass—may be an important predictor of cognitive performance in older adults. While sarcopenia, the loss ...

Pathway of Alzheimer's degeneration discovered

July 5, 2018
Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro) of McGill University have used a unique approach to track brain degeneration in Alzheimer's disease, uncovering a pathway through which degeneration ...

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.