Delirium and Its Association with Short- and Long-Term Health Outcomes in Medically Admitted Patients: A Prospective Study

Link to article at PubMed

J Clin Med. 2023 Aug 17;12(16):5346. doi: 10.3390/jcm12165346.


BACKGROUND: Delirium is highly prevalent among elderly hospitalized patients in various healthcare settings. This study aimed to assess the impact of delirium on short- and long-term health outcomes.

METHODS: A prospective cohort included medically ill patients (≥65 years) admitted to a tertiary healthcare facility. Delirium was screened using the 3-Minute Diagnostic confusion assessment method (3D-CAM).

RESULTS: During hospitalization, 53.8% (n = 153/284) had delirium. Patients with delirium had a longer length of hospital stay (LOS) (7 vs. 5 days; p < 0.01) compared to patients without delirium. Delirium caused a higher frequency of high-dependency unit (HDU) or intensive care unit (ICU) admission (p < 0.01) and an increased incidence of hospital-acquired complications, including infections (p = 0.03), pressure injuries (p = 0.01), and upper gastrointestinal bleeding (p < 0.01). Inpatient all-cause mortality was higher in patients with delirium than those without delirium (16.3% vs. 1.5%; p < 0.01). Patients with delirium had higher rates of 90-day all-cause mortality (25.4% vs. 8.4%; p < 0.01) and 1-year all-cause mortality (35.9% vs. 16%; p < 0.01) compared to patients without delirium. Patients with delirium exhibited shorter survival periods at 90 days and 1 year compared to patients without delirium with a hazard ratio (HR) = 3.41, 95% CI: 1.75-6.66, p < 0.01 and HR = 2.64, 95% CI: 1.59-4.37, p < 0.01, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Delirium is associated with serious short-term and long-term clinical consequences. Early recognition, prevention, and targeted interventions addressing reversible risk factors are crucial. Further research is warranted to explore effective strategies for delirium management in general medical wards.

PMID:37629388 | DOI:10.3390/jcm12165346

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