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An efficient response in primary care would reduce the use of hospitals by elderly people
Date:3/7/2008

This release is available in Spanish.

Researchers from the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health from the University of Granada have carried out a study with patients over 60. The main conclusion they have come to is that an efficient response in primary care would reduce hospitalisations in more than 50% of the cases caused by three of the most frequent pathologies in older population: diabetic ketoacidosis, digestive haemorrhage and chronic bronchitis.

The study, carried out by Doctor Isabel Valenzuela Lpez and supervised by Professors Aurora Bueno Cavaillas and Jos Luis Gastn Morata, has analysed the main reasons for hospitalisations caused by the pathologies that demand an effective response in primary care and how these hospitalisations could be avoided.

The significance of such study is unquestionable, considering that the elderly population represents the highest public health consumption. Furthermore, the percentage of the Spanish population who reaches an elderly age has risen from 26% at the beginning of the 20th century to 86% today.

Chronic diseases

The expanding proportion of elderly people has altered the pattern of illnesses which were once frequent - explains the author of this project- and now chronic diseases, a higher need of medicines and social care needs prevail. All this means a higher consumption of both public health resources and national health assistance since the elderly population makes up between 40-45% of the hospitalisations, occupies 40-50% of doctors working in primary care, and is the recipient of more than 50% of the medicines prescribed in hospitals.

The researchers interviewed all the family doctors from seven different hospitals in Granada and asked them about the main r
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Contact: Isabel Valenzuela Lpez
isavallop@hotmail.com
34-610-702-891
Universidad de Granada
Source:Eurekalert

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