Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

2012 Research Abstract

Trends in Hospitalization associated with Alzheimer’s Disease in the United States

Investigators: Ashley Pinette, Thomas O. Obisesan, Nandita Shetty, Christelle S. Tchiendji, Alem Mehari, Howard University College of Medicine

Mentor: Richard F. Gillum, MD, Howard University College of Medicine

Recent studies of trends in death with dementia within the US showed marked increases in the number and rate of death since 1999. Currently, there are few publications that reflect recent trends in hospitalizations for Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease related dementias. With this in mind, we tested the hypothesis that the trend in hospitalization with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Alzheimer’s disease related dementia (ADRD) would be similar to that for mortality in the US. Our rationale was centered on the fact that AD and ADRD patients are often hospitalized for acute events that include altered mental status, and extreme confusion and memory loss. We also thought that if these patients were hospitalized, tracking them based on the hospital discharge survey would give us an accurate number of hospitalized patients with the disease. We found that in contrast to increasing rates of death with AD, rates of hospital discharge with AD decreased slightly between 1999 and 2009. However, further analysis revealed that the trends increased from 1999 to 2004 and then decreased from 2004-2009. We determined that further investigation may be necessary to determine the reason as to why this trend is present. More Research is needed to assess explanations for the discordant trends in mortality and hospitalization. Our current hypotheses include perhaps long term care facilities and perhaps more AD and ADRD patients are being cared for in these locations. Perhaps there are increasing mortality trends and patients are not being discharged and so the numbers have decreased due to more deaths in the hospital and therefore, at least for 4% of the cases there may be an account for this discrepancy.

Updated on October 17, 2013.

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