To examine the association between geriatric syndromes with hospitalization or nursing home admission, we reviewed studies that examined hospitalization and nursing home admission in community-dwelling older adults with multiple morbidities, cognitive impairment, frailty, disability, sarcopenia, malnutrition, impaired homeostasis, and chronic inflammation. Studies published in English language were identified through MEDLINE (1990 through April 2010), Cochrane databases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and manual searches of reference lists from relevant publications. The study had to include general (non-disease specific) populations of adults aged 65 years or older. Using a standardized protocol, two investigators independently abstracted information on participant characteristics and adjusted measures of the association. Studies that controlled for the presence of specific diseases were further identified and analyzed. When the syndrome examined was similar from different studies, we computed the pooled risk estimates using a random-effects model. We assessed the strength of evidence following the recommended guidelines. We identified 47 eligible articles from 6 countries. Multiple morbidity, frailty, and disabilities were associated with hospitalization and nursing home admission (moderate evidence). Cognitive impairment was associated with hospitalization (low evidence) and nursing home admission (moderate evidence). Among these studies, 20 articles controlled for specific diseases. Limited evidence suggested that these geriatric syndromes are associated with hospitalization and institutionalization after controlling for the presence of specific diseases. We conclude that geriatric syndromes are associated with risk of hospitalization or nursing home admission. Efforts to prevent hospitalization or nursing home admission should target strategies to prevent and manage these syndromes.
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- Geriatric syndrome
- Long term care
- Systematic review