New Study: older adults admitted to the ER have a higher risk for disabilities

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) —  According to a new Yale study, older adults admitted to the emergency room have a higher risk for disabilities.

A Yale University study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine says that most adults over the age of 65 who are sent to the emergency room are more likely to experience disability and decline in physical abilities after the first six months of their hospitalization.

For their study, the Yale team examined data collected on over 700 older adults over the past 14 years. Researchers compared older adults who had returned home from the ER, and older adults that had not been to the ER at all (the control group).

The study found that the group discharged from the hospital had higher disability scores than those who had not been to the hospital.

“We know that if older persons go to the hospital and are admitted, they are at increased risk of disability and functional decline. This study shows that patients discharged from the ED, meaning that they were deemed well enough to return home, are also at risk for functional decline. We should be doing something to address that.” – Justine M. Nagurney, M.D., Yale New Haven Hospital

Yale researchers say the group discharged from the ER were also more likely to be living in a nursing home, and to die within six months of being admitted to the hospital.

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