The study aimed to study the prevalence, etiologies, clinical profile and outcome of delirium in hospitalized elderly in medicine wards.
Four hundred elderly patients of more than 60years of age admitted with delirium in the emergency and medicine wards of Sir Sunderlal Hospital Varanasi, India, were evaluated and managed. The Hindi version of the Mini-Mental Status Examinations, a vernacular (Hindi) version of the Mini-Mental State Examination, was used for evaluation of cognitive function status of patients and Confusion Assessment Method (CAM), a screening instrument based on the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was used for diagnosis of delirium.
A total of 400 hospitalized elderly delirious patients were included in the study aged 61-105years. The mean age of the subjects was 70.87±9.26years and 70.81±8.4years amongst males and females, respectively. The mortality rate was 14.75%. Out of nine CAM features, all the cases had all three essential features, 78.75% had four features, 58.5% had five features, 44.5% had six features and 9.25% had all nine features. There was a high prevalence of hypoactive delirium (65%) as compared to hyperactive (25%) or mixed (10%). Most common etiologies were sepsis followed by metabolic abnormalities. 70% had 2 or more etiologies.
Sepsis and metabolic abnormalities were the most common etiologies of delirium in this study. The maximum patients had more than one etiology and this emphasizes the multifactorial nature of delirium and need for thorough evaluation to unravel them. Most of the causes were treatable and have favorable outcome (83% recovered).