Mild cognitive impairment, degenerative and vascular dementia as predictors of intra-hospital, short- and long-term mortality in the oldest old

Zekry, Dina ; Herrmann, François ; Graf, Christophe ; Giannelli, Sandra ; Michel, Jean-Pierre ; Gold, Gabriel ; Krause, Karl-Heinz

In: Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 2011, vol. 23, no. 1, p. 60-66

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    Background and aims: The relative weight of various etiologies of dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as predictors of intra-hospital, short- and long-term mortality in very old acutely ill patients suffering from multiple comorbid conditions remains unclear. We investigated intra-hospital, 1- and 5-year mortality risk associated with dementia and its various etiologies in a very old population after discharge from acute care. Methods: Prospective cohort study of 444 patients (mean age 85 years; 74% female) discharged from the acute geriatric unit of Geneva University Hospital. On admission, each subject underwent standardized evaluation of cognitive and comorbid conditions. Patients were followed yearly by the same team. Predictive variables were age, sex, cognitive diagnosis, dementia etiology and severity. Survival during hospitalization, at 1- and 5-year follow-ups was the outcome of interest evaluated with Cox proportional hazard models. Results: Two hundred and six patients were cognitively normal, 48 had MCI, and 190 had dementia: of these, there were 75 cases of Alzheimer's disease (AD), 20 of vascular dementia (VaD), 82 of mixed dementia (MD) and 13 of other types of dementia. The groups compared were statistically similar in age, sex, education level and comorbidity score. After 5 years of follow-up, 60% of the patients had died. Regarding intra-hospital mortality, none of the predictive variables was associated with mortality. MCI, AD and MD were not predictive of short- or long-term mortality. Features significantly associated with reduced survival at 1 and 5 years were being older, male, and having vascular or severe dementia. When all the variables were added in the multiple model, the dementia effect completely disappeared. Conclusions: Dementia (all etiologies) is not predictive of mortality. The observed VaD effect is probably linked to cardiovascular risk comorbidities: hypertension, stroke and hyperlipidemia