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Characteristics and outcome in nonagenarians admitted in general internal medicine and other specialties

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Published:25th Mar 2020


To describe the characteristics of nonagenarians admitted to the surgical and medical divisions at a tertiary hospital and compare them with nonagenarians admitted to other hospital care services.


A retrospective study of all hospital discharge episodes via the registry of the Basic Minimum Data Set at the Hospital General Universitario de Alicante from January 2007 until December 2011.


Of the 165,870 hospitalizations, 2461 (1.5%) were nonagenarians. The highest number of admitted nonagenarians was in the Division of General Internal Medicine (DGIM) (n = 751), followed by the short stay unit (SSU) (n = 633). The rate of nonagenarians per 100 admissions to the DGIM was 10.2, significantly higher than that of those admitted to the SSU (6.2) (p < 0.001), the service of orthopedic and trauma surgery (2.2) (p < 0.001), and other specialties. Females comprised 64.8% of the nonagenarians. Mortality was 17% for the nonagenarians admitted, while for those admitted to the DGIM it was 27.7%. Those hospitalized in the SSU had a lower risk of death during hospitalization (8.1%) (odds ratio [OR] 0.23, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.16�0.32) and a greater risk of being admitted for diseases and disorders of the circulatory system (OR: 1.58, 95% CI: 1.22�2.05), particularly for heart failure and shock (OR: 1.82, 95% CI: 1.30�2.53), and being discharged with home hospitalization (OR: 8.05, 95% CI: 5.5�11.8).


Nonagenarian patients represent a tenth of those admitted to the DGIM. The profile of nonagenarians admitted to the DGIM is different from other hospital services. Hospital mortality for nonagenarians admitted to the DGIM is high and superior to other hospital services.

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