Comorbidity and social factors predicted hospitalization in frail elderly patients

Francesco Landi, Graziano Onder, Matteo Cesari, Christian Barillaro, Fabrizia Lattanzio, Pier Ugo Carbonin, Roberto Bernabei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective Studies on factors predicting the hospital admission of geriatric patients have reported different findings. The present study was undertaken to examine the rate of hospitalization among a large sample of frail elderly people living in the community and to identify the most important clinical and patient-centered factors associated with the hospital admission. Study design and setting This is an observational cohort study. All patients (n = 1,291) in six Italian home health care agencies were assessed by a trained staff who collected data on the Minimum Data Set for Home Care (MDS-HC) form. We constructed a longitudinal database including MDS-HC data and information on hospital utilization by each patient. Results During the follow-up of 12 months, the rate of hospitalization was about 26% of the studied sample. Persons living alone were more likely to have a hospital admission than those living with an informal caregiver (odds ratio OR = 2.59, 95% confidence interval CI = 1.82-3.69). Similarly, persons with economic hardship were more frequently hospitalized than those without these problems (OR = 3.01, 95% CI = 1.75-5.18). Comorbidity and previous hospital admission were associated with a higher risk to be hospitalized, too. Conclusion Our results support the hypothesis that a mix of social and health problems are independent predictors of hospitalization. Identification of those factors that best predict hospital admissions and readmissions gives direction for potential interventions and further research toward reducing unnecessary hospitalizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-836
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • Comorbidity
  • Frail elderly
  • Health care
  • Hospitalization
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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