Maltreatment of older adults -- including financial exploitation and psychological abuse -- independently raised their likelihood of ending up in the hospital, a population-based study showed.
Physical abuse doubled the rate of hospitalizations, adjusted for sociodemographics and socioeconomics, medical comorbidities, cognitive and physical function, and psychosocial well-being, found XinQi Dong, MD, MPH, of Rush University Medical Center and Melissa A. Simon, MD, MPH, of Northwestern University Medical Center, both in Chicago.
Being abused in more than one way had a dose-dependent impact, with a relative risk of 2.59 with two or more types, the researchers reported online in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The study couldn't determine causality but does have implications for care, they noted.
"Healthcare professionals should consider screening for elder abuse among older patients who may have frequent encounters with hospitals, as well as those who present to hospital settings for dehydration, malnutrition, delirium, and skin ulcers," Dong and Simon wrote.
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All Types of Elder Abuse Hike Hospitalization Risk