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Increased rates of hospitalization linked to elder abuse, Rush researchers find
Date:4/8/2013

(CHICAGO) Older adults who are subject to elder abuse, neglect and exploitation face a greater risk of being hospitalized than other seniors, according to the results of a study published in the April 8 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

"Elder abuse is independently associated with increased mortality risk, especially for cardiovascular related mortality. However, the relationship between elder abuse and health services utilization still remains unclear," said Dr. XinQi Dong, a researcher and geriatrician at Rush University Medical Center and the study's lead author. "Despite recent advances in our knowledge of elder abuse, we do not know the rate of health care services utilization among those who are victimized."

"Hospitalization is a significant contributor to the rapidly increasing cost in our health care system," said Dong. "Older adult victims may be put often in situations that could threaten their health and safety, which further increase their likelihood to be more frequently admitted into the hospital. However, we are not aware of any population-based study that has examined the prospective association between elder abuse and the rate of hospitalization in a community-dwelling population."

"Our study findings expand on the results of prior studies on elder abuse, but it is the only population-based study to systematically examine the association of elder abuse and rate of hospital services utilization," said Dong.

Of the 6,674 community-dwelling older adults who participated in the Chicago Health and Aging Project, researchers identified 106 participants who were identified by social services agencies for elder abuse between 1993-2010.

Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP) is a community-based longitudinal study of risk factors for Alzheimer's disease among older adults aged 65 and over, which began in 1993. Participants include residents of three adjacent neighborhoods on the South side of C
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Contact: Deb Song
deb_song@rush.edu
312-942-0588
Rush University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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