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

easons for hospitalisations in patients over 60 as well as to what extent these hospitalisations, caused by the problems described above, could be prevented. The interviewed professionals answered that a more efficient response in primary health care would reduce in more than 50% the hospitalisations caused by three pathologies: diabetic ketoacidosis, digestive haemorrhage and chronic bronchitis. However, in patients suffering from cancer and acute coronary syndrome an enhanced primary care would only reduce the hospitalisations by 25%.

Scientists analysed 6 health problems, 3 chronic diseases (acute coronary syndrome, chronic bronchitis and diabetes) and three acute ones (pneumonia, transient ischemic attack and digestive haemorrhage) to find the connection between primary care effectiveness and the prevention of hospitalisations caused by these health problems. 717 patients over 60 were taken for the study, with an average age of 75.65 years 59.97% of whom were men.

Twice the risk

Isabel Valenzuela outlines that, according to the study, each new chronic disease suffered by a patient means twice the risk of hospitalisation by any of the 6 studied pathologies which means that anyone suffering 5 or more diseases would present a probability of hospitalisation 61 times higher than someone healthy. Moreover, each new medicine prescribed increases the risk of hospitalisation. Those patients who have been taking 5 or more different medications for the last 6 months have a 4.84 times increase in their risk of hospitalisation for these pathologies.

In short, the number of pathologies suffered by individual as well as past hospitalisations for causes different to those studied was considered as a risk factor for hospitalisations, although more significantly for severe cases. The amount of medicines consumed and the number of visits to the hospital was related with a higher frequency of hospitalisation, especially in chronic cases.


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Contact: Isabel Valenzuela Lpez
isavallop@hotmail.com
34-610-702-891
Universidad de Granada
Source:Eurekalert

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