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Care of the older person
Delirium occurrence in hospitalised older people is positively associated with development of dementia postdischarge
  1. Gary Mitchell,
  2. Sophie Crooks
  1. School of Nursing & Midwifery, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gary Mitchell, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK; Gary.Mitchell{at}

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Commentary on: Garcez FB, Apolinario D, Campora F et al. Delirium and post-discharge dementia: results from a cohort of older adults without baseline cognitive impairment. Age Ageing 2019;48:845–51.

Implications for practice and research

  • As many as one in three older people who experience delirium in a hospital setting may go on to develop dementia.

  • Delirium is associated with longer term cognitive impairment but there has been limited research or evidence about its impact on older people.

  • Future research on dementia prevention should consider delirium as a modifiable risk factor.


Delirium is a disorder that is characterised by a rapid deterioration of mental function triggered by a medical disorder or environmental change.1 Delirium has distressing effects and can lead to long-lasting …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.