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Delirium and correlates of delirium among newly admitted elderly patients: a cross-sectional study in a Saudi general hospital

Sultan Hassan Alamri,a Obay Ahmed Ashanqity,b Ahmad Belgeth Alshomrani,b Abdelrahman Haytham Elmasri,c Muaadh Badr Saeed,c Sultan Ahmed Yahya,b Abdulhakeem Ibraheem Almasoud,b Youssouf Adam,b Hani Mohammed Alamoudi,d Abdel Moniem Mukhtara

From the aFaculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; bFaculty of Medicine, University of Jeddah, Jeddah, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; cFaculty of Medicine, Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies, Jeddah, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; dGeneral Surgery, King Fahd General Hospital, Jeddah, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

How to cite this article:

Alamri SH, Ashanqity OA, Alshomrani AB, Elmasri AH, Saeed MB, Yahya SA, et al. Delirium and correlates of delirium among newly admitted elderly patients: a cross-sectional study in a Saudi general hospital. Ann Saudi Med 2018; 38(1): 495-501.

DOI: 10.5144/0256-4947.2018.495


BACKGROUND: Delirium is a common, often undiagnosed disorder in elderly patients, but no studies have been conducted in Saudi Arabia.


OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of delirium among elderly patients on admission and to identify associated factors.


DESIGN: A cross-sectional study.


SETTING: Tertiary care hospital, Saudi Arabia.


PATIENTS AND METHODS: Elderly patients were evaluated for delirium within 24 hours of admission using the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM). The medical records were also reviewed to identify associated factors and whether the diagnosis of delirium was documented by the admitting physician.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence of delirium.


RESULTS: Of 147 patients aged 60 or over screened for delirium within 24 hours of admission, 32 (21.8%) patients were identified with delirium. Seven (21.9%) of the 32 patients with delirium had documentation of their diagnosis in the patient chart by the attending physician. Univariate logistic regression identified greater age (OR=2.70, 95%-CI: 1.21-6.02), higher unemployment rate (OR=3.30, 95%-CI: 1.43-7.61), more often had 3-5 co-morbidities (OR=2.69, 95%-CI: 1.14-6.33), and more cognitive impairment (OR=38.90, 95%-CI: 8.78-172.34) as risk factors for delirium on admission. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified greater age (OR=2.53, 95%-CI: 1.08-5.88), higher unemployment rate (OR=3.73, 95%-CI: 1.52-9.13) and 3-5 co-morbidities (OR=3.31, 95%-CI: 1.30-8.46) as risk factors for delirium. 


CONCLUSIONS: Delirium was common and frequently not recognized in elderly patients admitted to the hospital. Administration of the CAM was very helpful in identifying delirium at admission.


LIMITATIONS: The main limitation of our study was the relatively small number of patients which might have limited the power to detect some associations. 


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