Background: Delirium is an important problem especially in older medical inpatients.
Objective: The authors asked whether delirium and its duration are associated with higher mortality in a 3-month follow-up period.
Method: In this prospective cohort study, inpatients age 65 and older were assessed every 48 hours with the Confusion Assessment Method.
Results: Of 542 patients enrolled, 192 (35.4%) developed delirium. After 3 months, mortality in the delirium cohort was 25.9%, and in the nondelirium cohort was 5.8%. Delirium was independently associated with mortality, and increased by 11% for every 48 hours of delirium.
Conclusion: Delirium and increased delirium durations are significantly associated with higher mortality.