Nursing Home Use Across The Spectrum of Cognitive Decline: Merging Mayo Clinic Study of Aging With CMS MDS Assessments

Jane A. Emerson, Carin Y. Smith, Kirsten H. Long, Jeanine E. Ransom, Rosebud O. Roberts, Steven L. Hass, Amy M. Duhig, Ronald C. Petersen, Cynthia L. Leibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background/objectives: Objective, complete estimates of nursing home (NH) use across the spectrum of cognitive decline are needed to help predict future care needs and inform economic models constructed to assess interventions to reduce care needs. Design: Retrospective longitudinal study. Setting: Olmsted County, MN. Participants: Mayo Clinic Study of Aging participants assessed as cognitively normal (CN), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), previously unrecognized dementia, or prevalent dementia (age = 70–89 years; N = 3,545). Measurements: Participants were followed in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Minimum Data Set (MDS) NH records and in Rochester Epidemiology Project provider-linked medical records for 1-year after assessment of cognition for days of observation, NH use (yes/no), NH days, NH days/days of observation, and mortality. Results: In the year after cognition was assessed, for persons categorized as CN, MCI, previously unrecognized dementia, and prevalent dementia respectively, the percentages who died were 1.0%, 2.6%, 4.2%, 21%; the percentages with any NH use were 3.8%, 8.7%, 19%, 40%; for persons with any NH use, median NH days were 27, 38, 120, 305, and median percentages of NH days/days of observation were 7.8%, 12%, 33%, 100%. The year after assessment, among persons with prevalent dementia and any NH use, >50% were a NH resident all days of observation. Pairwise comparisons revealed that each increase in cognitive impairment category exhibited significantly higher proportions with any NH use. One-year mortality was especially high for persons with prevalent dementia and any NH use (30% vs 13% for those with no NH use); 58% of all deaths among persons with prevalent dementia occurred while a NH resident. Conclusions: Findings suggest reductions in NH use could result from quality alternatives to NH admission, both among persons with MCI and persons with dementia, together with suitable options for end-of-life care among persons with prevalent dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2235-2243
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • dementia
  • long-term care
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • nursing home

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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