Prospective analysis of risk factors for nursing home placement of dementia patients

Glenn E. Smith, P. C. O'Brien, R. J. Ivnik, E. Kokmen, E. G. Tangalos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine risk factors for nursing home placement in a community-based dementia cohort. Methods: Cognitively normal participants and cognitively impaired patients from a large AD Patient Registry were followed from diagnosis to placement, death, or last follow-up. This included over 3,600 person-years of surveillance. The normal group included 473 participants who did not, at any point, meet Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd ed., revised (DSM-III-R) criteria for dementia. The patient group included 512 patients who met DSM-III-R criteria for dementia or criteria for mild cognitive impairment at diagnosis. Demographic, medical, social, cognitive, behavioral, and functional predictors of time to placement were examined using Cox modeling. Results: In the normal group, only 21 people (4%) required nursing home placement. With subjects, enrollment year, age at initial evaluation, being widowed, and living in a retirement community were associated with time to placement in separate univariate analyses. Of 512 cognitively impaired patients, 203 (39.6%) were placed in nursing homes. Median time from diagnosis to placement was 5.3 years. Within the patient sample, four predictors were determined to be associated with time to nursing home placement. These included gender, enrollment year, functional status, and cognitive score. Interactions were present for functional status with cognitive score and enrollment year. Conclusion: In patients with dementia who are within 5 years of diagnosis, placement rates of approximately 10% per year can be expected. Disease severity indices including degree of cognitive and functional impairment are primary risk factors for placement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1467-1473
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 23 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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