Dementia and the risk of short-term readmission and mortality after a pneumonia admission

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BACKGROUND: At time of discharge after a pneumonia admission, care planning for older persons with dementia is essential. However, care planning is limited by lack of knowledge on the short-term prognosis.

AIM: To investigate 30-day mortality and readmission after hospital discharge for pneumonia in persons with versus without dementia, and to investigate how these associations vary with age, time since discharge, and medication use.

METHODS: Using the Danish registries, we investigated 30-day mortality and readmission in persons (+65 years) discharged after pneumonia in 2000-2016 (N = 298,872). Adjusted mortality rate ratios (aMRRs) and incidence rate ratios (aIRRs) were calculated for persons with versus without dementia, and we investigated if these associations varied with use of benzodiazepines, opioids, and antipsychotics, and with age and time since discharge.

RESULTS: Among 25,948 persons with dementia, 4,524 died and 5,694 were readmitted within 30 days. The risk of 30-day mortality was 129% higher (95% CI 2.21-2.37) in persons with versus without dementia after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, admission-related factors, and comorbidities. Further, the highest mortality risk was found in persons with both dementia and use of antipsychotics (aMRR: 3.39, 95% CI 3.19-3.59); 16% of deaths in this group could not be explained by the independent effect of each exposure. In those with dementia, the highest aMRRs were found for the youngest and for the first days after discharge. The risk of 30-day readmission was 7% higher (95% CI 1.04-1.10) in persons with versus without dementia. In those with dementia, the highest aIRRs were found for the first days after discharge.

CONCLUSIONS: Dementia was associated with higher short-term mortality after pneumonia, especially in users of antipsychotics, and with slightly higher readmission, especially in the first days after discharge. This is essential knowledge in the care planning for persons with dementia who are discharged after a pneumonia admission.

TidsskriftPLOS ONE
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2021

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