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Many Older Adults Hospitalized with the Flu Face Persistent Functional Decline

12/09/2020

In a study of older adults admitted to the hospital with influenza and other acute respiratory illnesses during the 2011–2012 flu season, functional decline was common—and for some, this decline was persistent and catastrophic. The findings are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Among the 925 patients included in the study, 8.4% died, and 18.2% experienced a clinically meaningful loss of function at 30 days post-discharge, of whom half experienced catastrophic disability. Higher frailty at the time of hospital admission was associated with a higher likelihood of experiencing functional decline, catastrophic disability, and death.

“We need to think about the longer-term implications of influenza for older adults—it is not just a short-term illness. This impact on function in the longer-term makes it all the more important to prevent influenza in the first place, including through vaccination,” said lead author Melissa K. Andrew, MD, PhD, of Dalhousie University, in Canada.

Additional Information

Link to Study: : https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.16950

About the Journal

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) is the go-to journal for clinical aging research. We provide a diverse, interprofessional community of healthcare professionals with the latest insights on geriatrics education, clinical practice, and public policy—all supporting the high-quality, person-centered care essential to our well-being as we age. Since the publication of our first edition in 1953, JAGS has remained one of the oldest and most impactful journals dedicated exclusively to gerontology and geriatrics.

About Wiley

Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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