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Co-Morbidity in and Elderly Patient Population: Are the Risks of Co-Existing Conditions Differentially Distributed?

Author: ROBERT W. BROYLES, AMIR A. KHALIQ, and MADELINE J. ROBERTSON
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 28 No. 3

This study examines the distribution of co-morbidity among
167,738 inpatients, aged 65 or more, who experienced an episode of
hospitalization during1999 in short-term institutions that are located in
Oklahoma. The analysis was conducted in two phases. In the first,
logistic regression analysis was used to examine covariates that
separate inpatients who presented at least one secondary diagnosis from
those who were not co-morbid. Limited to those whose condition was
complicated by at least one secondary diagnosis, Probit analysis was
used to assess the covariates of the number of co-existing conditions.
The covariates examined were the individual’s racial status,
demographic attributes, primary diagnosis, source of admission and
discharge destination. Results indicate that the oldest of the elderly,
African Americans and, to a lesser extent, Native Americans presented
more complex cases than other members of the study population. The
paper concludes with the policy implications that are associated with
the differential distribution of co-morbidity.

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