Risk of long-term disability in older adults who visit the E
Most adults aged 65 and older who visit the emergency department each year are treated and sent home. Previous work by senior author Thomas M. Gill, M.D., the Humana Foundation Professor of Medicine (geriatrics) at Yale School of Medicine, and his colleagues showed that older adults are more likely to experience disability and declines in function after a hospitalization. But few studies have examined what happens in this population after a visit to and discharge from the ED.

For their study, the Yale team used prospective data collected on more than 700 older adults over 14 years. The researchers used a scoring system to assess the presence and severity of disability among adults who had visited the ED and been discharged, been hospitalized after an ED visit, or not come to the ED at all (the control group). The research team also analyzed nursing home admissions and mortality after an ED visit.