For patients following acute-care hospitalization, adjusted CASI scores were 1.01 points lower on average than for those not hospitalized. For patients following critical-illness hospitalization, scores were 2.14 points lower. The dementia rate was 14.6 cases per 1,000 person-years among patients not hospitalized, and 33.6 among those admitted for noncritical illness.
As suspected, hospitalization might be a marker for cognitive decline in the elderly after adjusting for premorbid CASI scores and comorbid illness. Some factors in acute illness—and moreso in critical illness—might be causally related to cognitive decline.
Bottom line: In elderly patients without dementia at baseline, hospitalization for acute care and critical illness increases the likelihood of cognitive decline compared with patients who were not hospitalized. Only noncritical-illness hospitalization was not associated with the development of dementia.
Citation: Ehlenbach WJ, Hough CL, Crane PK, et al. Association between acute care and critical illness hospitalization and cognitive function in older adults. JAMA. 2010;303(8): 763-770.
Increased Risk of Death and Myocardial Infarction in Patients Who Delay Filling Clopidogrel Prescription after Drug-Eluting Stent Implantation
Clinical question: Is there an increased risk of death or myocardial infarction (MI) in patients with recent drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation who delayed filling their clopidogrel prescription compared with those who filled their prescription on the day of hospital discharge?
Background: Filling an initial prescription of clopidogrel on the day of discharge is important after DES implantation, as prior studies suggest that lack of thienopyridine therapy is a risk factor for early stent thrombosis.
Study design: Retrospective cohort study.
Setting: Three large, integrated healthcare systems.
Synopsis: The cohort included 7,042 patients discharged after DES implantation. Filling of a clopidogrel prescription was based on pharmacy dispensing data. Primary analysis divided patients based on whether they filled the prescription on the day of discharge or any time after discharge. Secondary analysis further characterized delays as >1 day, >3 days, or >5 days after discharge.
One in 6 patients delayed filling the initial prescription. Patients with any degree of delay had significantly higher death and MI rates during follow-up (14.2% vs. 7.9%, P<0.001), as well as an increased risk of death/MI (hazard ratio 1.53; 95% CI, 1.25-1.87). Factors associated with a delay in filling clopidogrel included older age, prior MI, diabetes, renal dysfunction, prior revascularization, cardiogenic shock, in-hospital bleeding, and use of clopidogrel upon admission.
The study was limited in that data were based on pharmacy records, and that patients might have received medication at discharge or outside the healthcare system.
Bottom line: The delay in filling a clopidogrel prescription is associated with an increased risk of death and MI in patients with recent DES implantation.
Citation: Ho PM, Tsai TT, Maddox TM, et al. Delays in filling clopidogrel prescription after hospital discharge and adverse outcomes after drug-eluting stent implantation: implications for transitions of care. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2010;3(3):261-266.
Predicting Length of Stay after Stroke
Clinical question: Does a clinical score accurately predict prolonged length of stay after stroke?
Background: Stroke is a costly health problem, and length of stay is the most prominent factor contributing to the high costs. The factors leading to prolonged length of stay are varied, and there are no established tools to predict length of stay.
Study design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: All 28 Israeli hospitals that admit stroke patients.
Synopsis: All patients admitted to Israeli hospitals during established two-month periods in 2004 (1,700 patients) and 2007 (1,648 patients) were included in the National Acute Stroke Israeli Survey (NASIS), and served as the derivation and validation cohort for development of a Prolonged Length of Stay (PLOS) score.