[A brief reference to this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 1 Issue 10, May 2011].
Increasing numbers of people die with dementia, many in the acute hospital. This systematic review investigates the prevalence of dementia in older people undergoing emergency medical admission and the effect of dementia on outcomes. The main outcome is risk of mortality during admission.
42.4% of the patients studied have dementia (only half diagnosed prior to admission). In men aged 70-79, dementia prevalence is 16.4%, rising to 48.8% of those over 90. In women, 29.6% aged 70-79 have dementia, rising to 75.0% aged over 90.
Urinary tract infection or pneumonia is the principal cause of admission in 41.3% of the people with dementia. These individuals have markedly higher mortality; 24.0% of those with severe cognitive impairment die during admission.
As the rising prevalence of dementia has a major impact on acute hospitals, extra resources are required for intermediate and palliative care and mental health liaison services.
Sampson, EL. Blanchard, MR. [and] Jones, L. [et al] (2009). Dementia in the acute hospital: prospective cohort study of prevalence and mortality. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 2009, Vol.195(1), pp.61-6. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).