The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Aging, followed 1,870 seniors who took brief tests measuring cognitive abilities every three years. Researchers found that the composite measure of global cognition declined a mean of 0.031 units per year before hospitalization. After hospitalization, the composite measure of global cognition declined at a rate of 0.075 units per year. Although individuals with more severe illnesses saw a more pronounced decline, the increased rate of cognitive decline was seen regardless of the illness' severity.
Researchers remarked that this study suggests more effective primary prevention could help slow cognitive decline by keeping seniors out of hospitals. Experts also stressed that hospitals should take a long term approach by emphasizing behaviors that keep seniors strong, like getting out of bed and having contact with others. "Perhaps we should be rethinking how aggressively we hospitalize older people, particularly older people that have pre-existing cognitive impairment," said Dr. Robert S. Wilson, who led the study. "And perhaps we should be treating older people with cognitive impairment when they are hospitalized differently than we are now."
Read more about the study: Cognitive Decline After Hospitalization in a Community Population of Older Persons.
End of Life, Facts and Figures, Health and Wellness, Reports
U.S. News and World Report has released its 2014 list of best hospitals across the country, including a look at the top hospitals for geriatric care.
Facts and Figures, Health Care, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Reports
Smokers are 45% more likely to develop dementia than non-smokers, according to new information published by the World Health Organization in concert w...
End of Life, Facts and Figures, Health and Wellness, Managed Risk, Reports
Approximately 54 million American adults age 50 and older are affected by osteoporosis and low bone mass, according to new data from the National Oste...
Facts and Figures, Financing Senior Living – Consumer Education, Reports
A new study shines light on challenges riddling California’s diverse aging population when it comes to long-term care in the Golden State.
Active & Engaged Seniors, Consumer Intelligence, Disabilities, Facts and Figures, Health and Wellness, Health Care, Reports
Minnesota tops the list of healthiest states for older adults for the second consecutive year, according to data compiled by UnitedHealth Foundation f...