Hospital Stays Trigger Cognitive Decline

Written by: Hiyaguha Cohen

There are so many unfortunate things that can happen during a hospital stay, accidental death being chief among them. It’s bad enough that you have some condition that’s sending you to the hospital in the first place, but piled on top of that, if you follow this blog, you know that medical error ranks third as a cause of mortality in the US — which makes any hospital stay doubly frightening. A 2010 report revealed that one out of every seven patients admitted to a hospital in the US suffers harm at the hands of the medical staff. As if that’s not enough to worry about, a new study reveals yet another frightening possibility: that a hospital stay might incur significant cognitive decline — merely because you were in the hospital.1

The study, just published in the journal Neurology, followed 1,870 seniors over the age of 65 for 12 years. Seventy-one percent of the participants had at least one hospitalization during the course of the study, and 97 percent of those hospitalizations were for general medical issues, not involving critical care. Every three years, researchers administered cognitive testing. >

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