Infections in the elderly are the top cause for emergency room visits

Infections in the elderly are the top cause for emergency room visits

MedScape reports that more elderly patients visited emergency departments in the United States for infectious disease–related diagnoses in 2012 than for myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure combined, a nationally representative sample of the elderly has found.

The study was published online December 23, 2015, in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

“These findings reinforce the fact that [infectious diseases] continue to be an important problem in elderly adults — the fastest-growing population in the U.S. population — in an already stressed healthcare system,” Tadahiro Goto, MD, from the University of Fukui Hospital in Japan, and colleagues write.

The report further states that elderly patients in the United States made 3.1 million visits to emergency departments for an infectious disease–related condition. These visits accounted for 13.5% of all visits by the elderly to emergency departments over the course of the year.

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