Having Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia may affect the likelihood that some people will go to the hospital more than others.
Zhanlian Feng and other researchers at RTI International have presented that finding in a report distributed by the federal Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy.
The office is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The researchers used Medicare claims data and federal health survey data to look at how cognitive impairment affected the risk that Medicare enrollees would go to the hospital in a given year.
The researchers looked at people with and without cognitive impairment who lived either in nursing homes or out in the community. The researchers adjusted results for those people for many other variables, such as race, sex and income, and they also conducted a similar analysis for Medicare enrollees who were in their last year of life.