End-of-Life Healthcare Utilization of Older Mexican Americans With and Without a Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias

Christine Nguyen, Brian Downer, Lin Na Chou, Yong Fang Kuo, Mukaila Raji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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BACKGROUND: Little is known about the patterns of end-of-life health care for older Mexican Americans with or without a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). Our objective was to investigate the frequency of acute hospital admissions, intensive care unit use, and ventilator use during the last 30 days of life for deceased older Mexican American Medicare beneficiaries with and without an ADRD diagnosis. METHODS: We used Medicare claims data linked with survey information from 1,090 participants (mean age of death 85.1 years) of the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds for hospitalization, intensive care unit use, and ventilator use in the last 30 days of life for decedents with ADRD than those without ADRD. Generalized linear models were used to estimate the risk ratio (RR) for length of stay in hospital. RESULTS: Within the last 30 days of life, 64.5% decedents had an acute hospitalization (59.1% ADRD, 68.3% no ADRD), 33.9% had an intensive care unit stay (31.3% ADRD, 35.8% no ADRD), and 17.2% used a ventilator (14.9% ADRD, 18.8% no ADRD). ADRD was associated with significantly lower hospitalizations (odds ratio [OR] = 0.67, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.50-0.89) and shorter length of stay in hospital (RR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.65-0.90). CONCLUSION: Hospitalization, intensive care unit stay, and ventilator use are common at the end of life for older Mexican Americans. The lower hospitalization and shorter length of stay in hospital of decedents with ADRD indicate a modest reduction in acute care use. Future research should investigate the impact of end-of-life planning on acute-care use and quality of life in terminally ill Mexican American older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-332
Number of pages7
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 20 2020



  • Health services
  • Medicare
  • Mexican Americans
  • Minority aging
  • Terminal care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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