In light of all the data on medical errors being a cause of death (third in the US), the results of a study on dementia published in the journal Neurology become even more alarming.
According to the study, after one hospital stay of any length, overall cognitive decline for senior participants progressed twice as fast as before the hospital stay or compared to those who avoided hospitalization. Evidence of cognitive decline and senile dementia include long-term memory loss and inability to concentrate. The rate of dementia increased exponentially if the patient was older.
The study followed 1,870 seniors over the age of 65 for 12 years. Researchers found that 71 percent of the participants had at least one hospitalization stay during the 12-year study and that almost all of those hospitalized (97%), were for general medical issues--not critical care. Researchers then conducted cognitive testing every three years for a total of four studies to gather data.
Listen as Jon Barron talks about the study and provides insight on the disturbing results, including the causes for hospital-related cognitive decline and dementia.