Older adults' inpatient and emergency department utilization for ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions: relationship with alcohol consumption.
J Aging Health. 2011 Feb;23(1):86-111
Authors: Merrick ES, Hodgkin D, Garnick DW, Horgan CM, Panas L, Ryan M, Blow FC, Saitz R
OBJECTIVE: This study examined the relationship between drinking that exceeds guideline-recommended limits and acute-care utilization for ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions (ACSCs) by older Medicare beneficiaries.
METHOD: This secondary data analysis used the 2001-2006 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (unweighted n = 5,570 community dwelling, past-year drinkers, 65 years and older). Self-reported alcohol consumption (categorized as within guidelines, exceeding monthly but not daily limits, or heavy episodic) and covariates were used to predict ACSC hospitalization, emergency department visit not resulting in admission, and emergency department visit that did result in admission.
RESULTS: Heavy episodic drinking was significantly associated with higher likelihood of an ACSC emergency department visit not resulting in admission (adjusted odds ratio = 1.91, 95% CI: 1.11-3.30; p < .05). Drinking pattern was not significant for other ACSC measures.
DISCUSSION: Results partially support the hypothesis that excessive drinking may be related to ACSC acute-care utilization among older adults, suggesting increased risk of lower quality outpatient care.
PMID: 20935248 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]