Deteriorating mobility and balance in older adults predicts risk of death
Dr. Kenneth Rockwood is taking quantum leaps in new geriatric medicine research. As a geriatrician, professor, and director of geriatric medicine research in Dalhousie's Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Rockwood is the author of a new study that observes the mobility and balance in older adults admitted to hospital and how it can help physicians understand which patients have a higher risk of dying.
The study included 409 people, 65 years and older, who were admitted to the Halifax Infirmary in Nova Scotia.
The study revealed that 71 per cent of patients whose mobility and balance worsened within 48 hours of admission died within 30 days. In contrast, only 4 per cent of those whose mobility and balance remained stable or improved died within the same time frame. Patients who were discharged and returned home had improved mobility and balance, patients discharged to nursing homes had slower (or no) improvement.
The study was funded by a grant from the Fountain Innovation Fund of the QEII Health Sciences Foundation, with support from the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation. It was published in the December 1, 2011 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
"Our study suggests that older people whose mobility and balance deteriorated in the first 48 hours after admission had a much greater risk of dying within 30 days in comparison to people whose mobility and balance stayed the same or improved." -Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, MD, professor of geriatric medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
"Our results confirm what good clinicians know, but what often is not followed systematically in hospitals, which often focus more on laboratory tests or x-rays." -Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, MD, professor of geriatric medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
|Dr. Kenneth Rockwood|
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