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Dementia may influence as a co-morbid condition the management of chronic obstructive airway disease. However, the frequency and the consequences of dementia in older people with chronic obstructive airway disease are largely unknown.
The frequency and the severity of dementia in geriatric in-hospital patients and its impact on feasibility of lung function testing and drug treatment provided were determined.
Out of a total of 1,424 patients with obstructive airway disease, 433 (30%) suffered from mild and 307 (22%) suffered from moderate to severe dementia. The frequency of any treatment for obstructive airway disease on admission decreased from 58% in subjects without dementia to 51% of those with mild and to 36% of those with moderate to severe dementia (p<0.01). The feasibility of performing lung function testing also decreased with increasing prevalence of dementia from 86% to 66% and 43%, respectively (p<0.001).
Dementia is a frequent finding in older in-hospital patients with obstructive airway disease. The majority of subjects with dementia were not able to perform lung function testing. Furthermore, the risk of undertreatment for chronic obstructive airway disease increased. Future guidelines for management of obstructive airway disease must also take into account the special needs and skills of older subjects with dementia.
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Dementia among older in-hospital patients with obstructive airway disease
Frequency and consequences
Dr. H. Frohnhofen