Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Psychiatric and medical admissions observed among elderly patients with new-onset epilepsy.

Copeland LA, Ettinger AB, Zeber JE, Gonzalez JM, Pugh MJ. Psychiatric and medical admissions observed among elderly patients with new-onset epilepsy. BMC health services research. 2011 Apr 19; 11:84.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Inpatient utilization associated with incidence of geriatric new-onset epilepsy has not been characterized in any large study, despite recognized high levels of risk factors (comorbidity). METHODS: Retrospective study using administrative data (Oct '01-Sep '05) from the Veterans Health Administration from a nationwide sample of 824,483 patients over age 66 in the retrospective observational Treatment In Geriatric Epilepsy Research (TIGER) study. Psychiatric and medical hospital admissions were analyzed as a function of patient demographics, comorbid psychiatric, neurological, and other medical conditions, and new-onset epilepsy. RESULTS: Elderly patients experienced a 15% hospitalization rate in FY00 overall, but the subset of new-onset epilepsy patients (n = 1,610) had a 52% hospitalization rate. New-onset epilepsy was associated with three-fold increased relative odds of psychiatric admission and nearly five-fold increased relative odds of medical admission. Among new-onset epilepsy patients, alcohol dependence was most strongly associated with psychiatric admission during the first year after epilepsy onset (odds ratio = 5.2; 95% confidence interval 2.6-10.0), while for medical admissions the strongest factor was myocardial infarction (odds ratio = 4.7; 95% confidence interval 2.7-8.3). CONCLUSION: From the patient point of view, new-onset epilepsy was associated with an increased risk of medical admission as well as of psychiatric admission. From an analytic perspective, omitting epilepsy and other neurological conditions may lead to overestimation of the risk of admission attributable solely to psychiatric conditions. Finally, from a health systems perspective, the emerging picture of the epilepsy patient with considerable comorbidity and demand for healthcare resources may merit development of practice guidelines to improve coordinated delivery of care.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.