The Hospital Dementia Services Project: Age differences in hospital stays for older people with and without dementia

Brian Draper, Rosemary Karmel, Diane Gibson, Ann Peut, Philip Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Background: People with dementia may have adverse outcomes following periods of acute hospitalization. This study aimed to explore the effects of age upon hospitalization outcomes for patients with dementia in comparison to patients without dementia.

Methods: Data extracted from the New South Wales Admitted Patient Care Database for people aged 50 years and over for the period July 2006 to June 2007 were linked to create person-based records relating to both single and multiple periods of hospitalization. This yielded nearly 409,000 multi-day periods of hospitalization relating to almost 253,000 persons. Using ICD-10-AM codes for dementia and other principal diagnoses, the relationship between age and hospitalization characteristics were examined for people with and without dementia.

Results: Dementia was age-related, with 25% of patients aged 85 years and over having dementia compared with 0.9% of patients aged 50–54 years. People with dementia were more likely to be admitted for fractured femurs, lower respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and head injuries than people without dementia. Mean length of stay for admissions for people with dementia was 16.4 days and 8.9 days for those without dementia. People with dementia were more likely than those without to be re-admitted within three months for another multi-day stay. Mortality rates and transfers to nursing home care were higher for people with dementia than for people without dementia. These outcomes were more pronounced in younger people with dementia.

Conclusion: Outcomes of hospitalization vary substantially for patients with dementia compared with patients without dementia and these differences are frequently most marked among patients aged under 65 years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1649-1658
Number of pages10
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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