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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


SUAREZ GARCIA, F et al. Senior citizen health conditions and hospitilization on geriatric, general and surgical floors. A population study conducted in Toledo. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2000, vol.74, n.2, pp.00-00. ISSN 2173-9110.

BACKGROUND: The health condition and some clinical aspects configure a group of senior citizens in need of further care who could benefit from specialized geriatric care, although no consensus exists as to how to identify these patients. The aim of this study is to describe the profile of those patients over 64 years of age who are hospitalized in a geriatric unit and to compare this profile to the senior citizens hospitalized in general medical and surgical units. METHOD: A cohort representative of the population over age 64 in the Judicial District of Toledo (n=3214) was studied over an eighteen-month period for the purpose of identifying the income and length of stays at the public hospitals in the health care district in question. The health condition-related variables were gathered by means of personal interviews, and the income and the different aspects thereof by way of hospitaladmissions department data. RESULTS: A total of 410 individuals were admitted (12.8%), 168 patients (30.7%) in geriatrics, 204 (37.3%) in medical units and 174 (32.0%) in surgical units. In geriatrics, the average age was significantly higher (age 77.4), there being no differences in the average length of stay (12.8 days; CI 95%) 10.6-14.0), 44 patients (8.1%) having died, 26 (59.1%) hospitalized in geriatrics. More females, younger patients having minor vision and hearing impairments were admitted to the surgical units. In geriatrics, as compared to the medical units, more patients over 80 years of age, living in senior citizen living facilities, having no spouse, moderate-to-severe functional dependence, impaired cognitive function, depression, poor quality of life and scanty social resources. CONCLUSIONS: No differences were found to exist between the health conditions of those over age 64 who were hospitalized in non-surgical and surgical units. In geriatrics, as compared to the other groups of units, the patients were older, in worse condition, had a higher death rate and similar average length of stay.

Keywords : Health Condition; Hospitalization; Senior Citizens; Geriatrics.

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