MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Death within five years of first unplanned hospital admission is common among older adults, according to a study published in the Dec. 16 issue of CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Kieran L. Quinn, M.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues used administrative data from 2007 to 2017 from Ontario, Canada, to assess the five-year risk for death in community-dwelling adults aged 66 years and older after their first planned or unplanned hospital admission or emergency department visit. Data were included for 922,074 community-dwelling older adults with 3,112,528 person-years of follow-up.

The researchers found that 12.7 percent of participants died during follow-up (standardized mortality rate, 53.8 per 1,000 person-years). Overall, 39.7 percent died after the first unplanned hospital admission (standardized mortality rate, 127.6 per 1,000 person-years) and 13.0 percent died after the first planned hospital admission (standardized mortality rate, 44.6 per 1,000 person-years). After the first emergency department visit, 10.9 percent died (standardized mortality rate, 36.2 per 1,000 person-years). Overall, 3.1 percent died among those with neither an emergency department visit nor hospital admission during follow-up (standardized mortality rate, 29.6 per 1,000 person-years). Just over half of all deaths (50.7 percent) occurred among those with a first unplanned hospital admission.

“This information may be useful to patients, clinicians, researchers, and health system planners,” the authors write. “Our hope is that this simple information can inform complex health care decisions.”

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