Objectives: To examine whether loneliness is independently associated with emergency hospitalization and planned hospital inpatient admissions in a population sample of older adults.
Design: Nationally representative cross-sectional interviews in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Setting: Private homes in the community.
Participants: Randomly selected older people in the community (aged ≥65, N=2,033).
Measurements: Emergency hospitalization and planned hospital admissions.
Results: Eleven percent of the sample had an emergency hospitalization, and 15% had a planned hospital admission. Forty-two percent reported being bothered by loneliness. A higher frequency of loneliness was associated with emergency hospitalization only (odds ratio=1.29, 95% confidence interval=1.08-1.55), and this association was independent of a range of potential confounders in multivariate analysis.
Conclusion: In this community-based sample of older adults, greater loneliness was independently associated with emergency hospitalization but not planned inpatient admissions.
© 2010, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2010, The American Geriatrics Society.