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Am J Emerg Med. 2001 Mar;19(2):125-9.

Early revisit, hospitalization, or death among older persons discharged from the ED.

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Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, RI, USA.


The purpose of this study to determine predictors of revisit, hospital admission, or death among older patients discharged from the emergency department (ED). We performed a prospective study of patients aged 65 or older in an urban ED. The primary outcomes were ED revisit, hospital admission, or death 30 or 90 days after discharge from an index ED visit. Of the 463 eligible patients, 75 (16%) experienced ED revisit, hospitalization, or death within 30 days, and 125 (27%) within 90 days. In multivariate proportional hazards models, physical functioning and mental health in the lowest tertile, and lack of supplemental insurance predicted revisit, hospitalization, or death within 30 days after ED discharge. Poor physical functioning, missing mini-mental state examination, comorbidity, and ambulance transport to the initial ED visit predicted 90-day outcome. Problems with physical functioning, mental health and supplemental insurance are potentially remediable precursors of early morbidity among older patients after ED discharge. Future research should examine whether addressing these issues among the elderly population will lessen ED return visits, hospitalization, and mortality.

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