Navigation Links
Dementia May Lead to Avoidable Hospitalizations
Date:1/10/2012

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- People with dementia are far more likely to be hospitalized than their peers who don't have any impairment in their brain function, a new study finds.

What's more, about two-thirds of the hospitalizations that occur in people with dementia are for potentially preventable illnesses, such as a urinary tract infection, the study shows.

"Hospital admissions for all causes and potentially preventable admissions were significantly higher for those with dementia," said the study's lead author, Dr. Elizabeth Phelan, an associate professor in gerontology and geriatric medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and an affiliate investigator at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle.

Hospitalizations are particularly difficult on people with dementia, Phelan noted. "There have been lots of studies looking at the risks for people with dementia in the hospital. They're at risk for delirium, falls, pressure ulcers; they may need to be restrained, and many never return to their prior level of functioning after a hospitalization. If hospitalizations could be avoided, it would be helpful for preserving cognition and avoiding new problems," she explained.

Results of the study are published in the Jan. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study included a retrospective analysis of 3,019 people recruited for a study called Adult Changes in Thought. All of the study volunteers were over 65 years old and were members of the Group Health Cooperative, a large health care delivery system. At the beginning of the study, none of the volunteers had signs of dementia.

By the end of the study, 494 people had developed dementia. Of those, 427 (86 percent) had been hospitalized at least once, while just 59 percent of those who didn't have dementia had been hospitalized at least once.

The researchers found that having dementia increased the odds of being hospitalized by 41 percent. They also found the risk of being hospitalized for potentially preventable illnesses was 78 percent higher for people with dementia.

The most common potentially preventable hospitalizations in people with dementia occurred for bacterial pneumonia, congestive heart failure, dehydration, duodenal ulcer and urinary tract infections, according to the report.

Just three of these conditions accounted for two-thirds of the admissions for potentially preventable illnesses: urinary tract infection, pneumonia and congestive heart failure.

"People caring for someone with dementia have an important role to play. They can be the eyes and ears for the care recipient. They can clue into what seems to be typical, and when there's any deviation from that, they can alert the primary care provider, who can then treat proactively," Phelan said.

She said it would also be helpful for people to develop a long-term care plan for people with dementia, so that caregivers would have a better idea of what to expect. In addition, there should be planned follow-up visits for people with dementia, though Phelan added, it isn't clear yet what these visits should include.

"The current paradigm for taking care of patients with dementia is really built in such a way that we are spending inordinate amounts of money for poor quality of life. This study shows an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure," said Dr. Gayatri Devi, an attending neurologist in the department of medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

"The major causes of hospitalizations -- primarily urinary tract infections, pneumonia and congestive heart failure -- are all related to trouble with self-care. People with congestive heart failure have to take a number of medications, and when you combine that with memory loss, it's harder to have them take those pills," she pointed out.

Devi recommended simplifying medication regimens whenever possible. For example, giving patients a pillbox, and have a caregiver fill it with the appropriate medicine for each day of the week. She also suggested getting a portable bidet to help prevent urinary tract infections.

In addition, Devi would like to see greater reimbursement and availability of in-home help to care for people with dementia. She explained that she has a patient who is paying out-of-pocket for a home health aide to care for an elderly mother. It costs about $30,000 a year, but the cost of just one week of being hospitalized is far more than that, she noted. "Patients aren't currently supported for staying at home, but taking care of people with dementia at home is a humane thing to do," Devi said.

More information

Learn more about caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease from the U.S. National Institute on Aging.

SOURCES: Elizabeth Phelan, M.D., M.S., associate professor, gerontology and geriatric medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, and affiliate investigator, Group Health Research Institute, Seattle; Gayatri Devi, M.D., attending neurologist, department of medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Jan. 11, 2012, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. A decade of research proves PET effectively detects dementia
2. Race, Gender, Dementia May Affect Parkinsons Survival
3. Changes seen in cerebrospinal fluid levels before onset of Alzheimer dementia
4. Study finds another potential risk factor for developing dementia and Alzheimers disease in women
5. Body Clock Might Affect Womens Dementia Risk
6. Brain Changes May Be Tied to Parkinsons Dementia
7. Risk for Dementia Rises When Diabetes, Depression Meet: Study
8. Scans May Discern Between Two Types of Dementia
9. US grant exclusive for UK dementia researcher
10. New study challenges accepted approaches to research in senile dementia (Alzheimers disease)
11. Dementia May Impede Stroke Recovery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Dementia May Lead to Avoidable Hospitalizations
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now ... of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media of their split ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who ... Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, ... the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where ... city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight ... app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, ... Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. ... skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in the ... cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has secured ... led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel Capital ... Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization of ... of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has ... of the current process. Many of them do not even ... technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ... it at such a high cost that the majority of ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ... clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as ... or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the ... fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can aid ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: