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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-51

All-cause mortality among elderly patients admitted to the medical wards of hospitals in Africa: A systematic review


1 Chief Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, The Albertina and Walter Sisulu Institute of Ageing in Africa, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
L A Adebusoye
Chief Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre, University College Hospital, Ibadan
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1596-4078.171372

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Geriatric medicine as a speciality is just evolving in Africa. There is scanty data on the mortality and associated factors among elderly patients admitted to the hospital medical wards in Africa. The objective of this review was to identify, describe, and analyze systematically the available studies on all-cause mortality and associated factors among elderly patients admitted to the medical wards of a hospital in Africa. Online and hand-based systematic searches were conducted for literature (primary and secondary) describing the mortality in elderly patients admitted to the medical wards of a hospital in Africa. These included original research, review articles, proceedings, and transactions from 1969 to 2014. All identified studies were screened using the Population, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcomes criteria. Five studies describing 3427 hospitalized elderly patients reported 773 deaths giving an unadjusted proportion of admissions which resulted in in-hospital deaths of 22.6% (range: 6.8–44.7%). This was higher among the males (38.8–48.0%) compared with the females (29.4–40.7%). There was no significant association between the age and mortality. Mortality was high among patients who had stroke, meningitis, septicaemia, renal failure, chronic liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, severe asthma, and heart failure. High mortality was associated with high serum creatinine and urea, tachycardia, reduced length of stay from admission to death, and low serum protein. In conclusion, the few available data showed high unadjusted all-cause mortality among hospitalized elderly patients in Africa. More studies are needed in Africa to quantify this health burden and identify the major factors causing the high mortality in elderly patients.


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