Study Finds Social Factors Linked to Hospital Readmissions, Mortality

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Researchers have determined a range of social factors are associated with increased risk of hospital readmissions or mortality, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. For the study, researchers mined the OVID, PubMed and PSYCHINFO databases for studies published from 1980 to 2012 on the subject of readmissions. Seventy-two articles were ultimately chosen for conclusion in this study. They found the following key points:

•    Studies often, but inconsistently, cited lower education, low income, and unemployment as linked to higher readmissions for community-acquired pneumonia patients.
•    In addition, low income was associated with higher mortality for community-acquired pneumonia patients.
•    Medicaid coverage, low income and rural living situation, lack of social support, being unmarried and portraying risky behaviors were also associated with higher readmissions for heart failure patients.
•    Similar factors contributed to higher risk of mortality for heart failure patients, in addition to psychiatric comorbidities, lack of home resources and further living distance to hospitals.

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