Characteristics of Centenarians Admitted to a Community Teaching Hospital

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The "oldest old" are the most rapidly growing segment of society, and clinicians will increasingly encounter this age group in this century. To describe the characteristics of a special subgroup of the oldest old, the centenarians, we conducted a retrospective case series analysis of all patients 100 years of age and above admitted to a large community teaching hospital. Thirty-nine patients with a mean age of 101.3 years were admitted a total of 57 times during the 5-year study period. The main reasons for admission were hip fracture, stroke, and urinary tract infection. Patients admitted from nursing facilities were taking more medications than community dwelling patients, and patients who were confused on admission were more likely to be readmitted. Only 2 patients died. Polypharmacy is common in centenarians, especially in institutionalized patients, and confusion may be a useful predictor of subsequent readmission. In-hospital mortality, however, is low in this population.



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