Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

An efficient response in primary care would reduce the use of hospitals by elderly people and hospitalisation costs

10.03.2008
Researchers from the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health from the University of Granada have carried out a study with patients over 60. The main conclusion they have come to is that an efficient response in primary care would reduce hospitalisations in more than 50% of the cases caused by three of the most frequent pathologies in older population: diabetic ketoacidosis, digestive haemorrhage and chronic bronchitis.

The study, carried out by Doctor Isabel Valenzuela López and supervised by Professors Aurora Bueno Cavaillas and José Luis Gastón Morata, has analysed the main reasons for hospitalisations caused by the pathologies that demand an effective response in primary care and how these hospitalisations could be avoided.

The significance of such study is unquestionable, considering that the elderly population represents the highest public health consumption. Furthermore, the percentage of the Spanish population who reaches an elderly age has risen from 26% at the beginning of the 20th century to 86% today.

Chronic diseases
“The expanding proportion of elderly people has altered the pattern of illnesses which were once frequent - explains the author of this project- and now chronic diseases, a higher need of medicines and social care needs prevail”. All this means a higher consumption of both public health resources and national health assistance since the elderly population makes up between 40-45% of the hospitalisations, occupies 40-50% of doctors working in primary care, and is the recipient of more than 50% of the medicines prescribed in hospitals.

The researchers interviewed all the family doctors from seven different hospitals in Granada and asked them about the main reasons for hospitalisations in patients over 60 as well as to what extent these hospitalisations, caused by the problems described above, could be prevented. The interviewed professionals answered that a more efficient response in primary health care would reduce in more than 50% the hospitalisations caused by three pathologies: diabetic ketoacidosis, digestive haemorrhage and chronic bronchitis. However, in patients suffering from cancer and acute coronary syndrome an enhanced primary care would only reduce the hospitalisations by 25%.

Scientists analysed 6 health problems, 3 chronic diseases (acute coronary syndrome, chronic bronchitis and diabetes) and three acute ones (pneumonia, transient ischemic attack and digestive haemorrhage) to find the connection between primary care effectiveness and the prevention of hospitalisations caused by these health problems. 717 patients over 60 were taken for the study, with an average age of 75.65 years 59.97% of whom were men.

Twice the risk
Isabel Valenzuela outlines that, according to the study, “each new chronic disease suffered by a patient means twice the risk of hospitalisation by any of the 6 studied pathologies” which means that anyone suffering 5 or more diseases would present a probability of hospitalisation 61 times higher than someone healthy. Moreover, each new medicine prescribed increases the risk of hospitalisation. Those patients who have been taking 5 or more different medications for the last 6 months have a 4.84 times increase in their risk of hospitalisation for these pathologies.

In short, the number of pathologies suffered by individual as well as past hospitalisations for causes different to those studied was considered as a risk factor for hospitalisations, although more significantly for severe cases. The amount of medicines consumed and the number of visits to the hospital was related with a higher frequency of hospitalisation, especially in chronic cases.

Part of the results from this study has been published in the prestigious journal “Atención Primaria”. Furthermore, manuscripts will widely spread the significant results in specialized journals.

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
Further information:
http://prensa.ugr.es/prensa/research/verNota/prensa.php?nota=511

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>