June 18, 2021

The Co-occurrence of Dementia in those with epilepsy is Associated with 30-day Readmission – A Population-based Study

Abstract, published in Epilepsy & Behavior

Objective: Dementia and epilepsy often co-occur and are associated with poor health outcomes and increased healthcare utilization. The literature on the association between readmission and co-occurrence of dementia and epilepsy is scant. Our objective was to determine if dementia in patients with epilepsy >40 years old is associated with 30-day hospital readmission, in-hospital mortality, discharge disposition, and length-of-stay.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study used the 2014 Nationwide Readmissions Database, containing data from hospital discharges across the US and readmissions. Epilepsy and dementia were identified using previously validated ICD-9-CM codes. Primary outcome was 30-day readmission, analyzed with univariable and multivariable logistic regressions. Secondary outcomes were discharge disposition, in-hospital mortality, and length-of-stay, analyzed with univariable multinomial logistic, univariable logistic, and univariable ordinary least squared regressions, respectively. The top ten causes of readmission in each group were compared as well. All analyses accounted for survey weights, cluster, and stratum.

Results: Patients with epilepsy with dementia (n = 15,588) had longer hospital stays [15% (95%CI 10-20%)], and higher odds of readmission [OR 1.11 (95%CI 1.05-1.17)], transfer to another facility [OR 2.18 (95%CI 1.93-2.46)], and in-hospital mortality [OR 1.50 (95%CI 1.25-1.79)] compared to those without dementia (n = 186,289).The top two causes of readmission were septicemia (dementia: 14.81%; no dementia: 9.45%) and epilepsy/convulsions (dementia: 5.91%; no dementia: 6.25%). Other top 10 causes of readmissions in those with epilepsy and dementia which were not present in those without dementia included delirium (5.21%), urinary tract infections (4.98%), and aspiration pneumonitis (4.29%).

Significance: Dementia in epilepsy is associated with worse outcomes, including higher in-hospital mortality and higher readmissions. Potentially preventable causes of readmission in those with epilepsy and dementia were identified, including septicemia, delirium, urinary tract infection, and aspiration pneumonitis. Future studies are needed to inform interventions aimed at decreasing premature mortality and reducing potentially preventable readmissions in this vulnerable population.

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