Health status and functional profile at admission to nursing homes A population based study over the years 2003-2014: comparison between people with and without diabetes

A.K. Sigurdardottir 1 2, K. Ólafsson 3, R.H. Arnardottir 1 2 4, I. Hjaltadottir 5 6

1 School of Health Sciences, University of Akureyri, Solborg v/Nordursloð, Akureyri, Iceland; 2 Akureyri Hospital, Eyrarlandsvegi, Akureyri, Iceland; 3 School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Akureyri, Solborg v/Nordursloð, 600 Akureyri, Iceland; 4 Uppsala University, Department of Medical Sciences, Respiratory-, allergy- and sleep-research, Akademiska Sjukhuset, Uppsala, Sweden; 5 School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland; 6 Landspítali the University Hospital of Iceland, Hringbraut, Reykjavik, Iceland

Background & Aims. Prevalence of diabetes in adults has been increasing in the last decades. Diabetes increases demand for nursing homes admission which is expensive for public and private finances. The aims of the study were to examine the prevalence of diabetes at admission to nursing homes in Iceland over 12 years, and to compare overall health, functioning, medication and medical diagnosis of residents with diabetes to those without diabetes. 

Methods. A retrospective study of data obtained from the Minimum Data Set records at admission to nursing homes in Iceland during the years 2003-2014. Statistical analysis was carried out using a Chi-square-test, unpaired Student´s t-test, linear regression and logistic regression.

Results. In total 5242 residents were assessed within 180 days from admission, 730 had diabetes (13.9%). Prevalence of diabetes increased from 9.4% in 2003 to 15% in 2014, with a peak of 19.1% in 2013. Mean age was 81.0 (SD 8.2) and 82.7 (SD 8.7) years for residents with and without diabetes, respectively (p < 0.001). Comorbidities like hypertension, congestive heart-failure, kidney-failure, arthritis, ulcers and amputations were more common among residents with diabetes, whereas cognitive diseases were more common in the other group. 

Conclusions. The prevalence of diabetes in Icelandic nursing homes is increasing. Residents with diabetes are younger and have better cognitive performance, but suffer more physical disability and serious comorbidities than others. Nursing homes’ staff need to be current in diabetes management to provide quality care.

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