Delirium in elderly hospitalised patients: protective effects of chronic rivastigmine usage.

Paul LJ Dautzenberg, Leonie J Mulder, Marcel GM Olde Rikkert, Cees J Wouters, Antonius Loonen

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    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES:

    To investigate the efficacy of the chronic usage of the cholinesterase inhibitor rivastigmine in patients with dementia in the prevention of delirium in case of hospitalisation.

    DESIGN:

    Retrospective cohort study.

    SETTING:

    Non-geriatric wards of an 1120 bed general teaching hospital in s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.

    PARTICIPANTS:

    Of a group of 366 hospitalised patients, treated by the geriatric consultation team from January 2002 until June 2003, the patients who used rivastigmine chronically were compared with a randomly selected subgroup of all patients not treated with rivastigmine.

    MEASUREMENTS:

    The occurrence and duration of a delirium, co-morbidity, use of medication, length of hospitalisation and psychosocial data were collected from the medical charts of the geriatric consultation team.

    RESULTS:

    11 patients (3%) were chronic rivastigmine users. A control group of 29 subjects was randomly selected from the non-rivastigmine users of the patient population. In the group that used rivastigmine five patients (45.5%) developed a delirium, compared with 8 (88.9%) in the control group (p < 0.05).

    CONCLUSIONS:

    Chronic rivastigmine use may contribute to the prevention of a delirium in a high-risk group of elderly hospitalised patients suffering from dementia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)641-644
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
    Volume19
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul-2004

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