Hospital admissions and emergency department visits for people with dementia

E Zafeiridi, A McMichael, L O’Hara*, P Passmore, B McGuinness

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Previous studies have suggested that people with dementia (PwD) are more likely to be admitted to hospital, have prolonged hospital stay, or visit an emergency department (ED), compared to people without dementia.

This study assessed the rates of hospital admissions and ED visits in PwD and investigated the causes and factors predicting this healthcare use. Further, this study assessed survival following hospital admissions and ED visits.

This was a retrospective study with data from 26 875 PwD and 23 961 controls.

Data from national datasets were extracted for demographic characteristics, transitions to care homes, hospital and ED use and were linked through the Honest Broker Service. PwD were identified through dementia medication and through causes for hospital admissions and death.

Dementia was associated with increased risk of hospital admissions and ED visits, and with lower odds of hospital readmission. Significant predictors for hospital admissions and readmissions in PwD were transitioning to a care home, living in urban areas and being widowed, while female gender and living in less deprived areas reduced the odds of admissions. Older age and living in less deprived areas were associated with lower odds of an ED visit for PwD. In contrast to predictions, mortality rates were lower for PwD following a hospital admission or ED visit.

These findings result in a better understanding of hospital and ED use for PwD. Surprisingly, survival for PwD was prolonged following hospital admissions and ED visits and thus, policies and services enabling these visits are necessary, especially for people who live alone or in rural areas; however, increased primary care and other methods, such as eHealth, could provide equally effective care in order to avoid distress and costs for hospital admissions and ED visits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119–124
Number of pages6
JournalQJM: An International Journal of Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date09 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • General Medicine


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