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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Aug;58(8):1538-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.02960.x. Epub 2010 Jul 14.

Loneliness and emergency and planned hospitalizations in a community sample of older adults.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland. g.j.molloy@stir.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine whether loneliness is independently associated with emergency hospitalization and planned hospital inpatient admissions in a population sample of older adults.

DESIGN:

Nationally representative cross-sectional interviews in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

SETTING:

Private homes in the community.

PARTICIPANTS:

Randomly selected older people in the community (aged ≥65, N=2,033).

MEASUREMENTS:

Emergency hospitalization and planned hospital admissions.

RESULTS:

Eleven percent of the sample had an emergency hospitalization, and 15% had a planned hospital admission. Forty-two percent reported being bothered by loneliness. A higher frequency of loneliness was associated with emergency hospitalization only (odds ratio=1.29, 95% confidence interval=1.08-1.55), and this association was independent of a range of potential confounders in multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSION:

In this community-based sample of older adults, greater loneliness was independently associated with emergency hospitalization but not planned inpatient admissions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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