Determinants of mortality among older adults with pressure ulcers

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2014 Nov-Dec;59(3):536-41. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2014.07.011. Epub 2014 Jul 21.


The presence of pressure ulcers imposes a huge burden on the older person's quality of life and significantly increases their risk of dying. The objective of this study was to determine patient characteristics associated with the presence of pressure ulcers and to evaluate the risk factors associated with mortality among older patients with pressure ulcers. A prospective observational study was performed between Oct 2012 and May 2013. Patients with preexisting pressure ulcers on admission and those with hospital acquired pressure ulcers were recruited into the study. Information on patient demographics, functional status, nutritional level, stages of pressure ulcer and their complications were obtained. Cox proportional hazard analysis was used to assess the risk of death in all patients. 76/684 (11.1%) patients had pre-existing pressure ulcers on admission and 30/684 (4.4%) developed pressure ulcers in hospital. There were 68 (66%) deaths by the end of the median follow-up period of 12 (IQR 2.5-14) weeks. Our Cox regression model revealed that nursing home residence (Hazard Ratio, HR=2.33, 95% confidence interval, CI=1.30, 4.17; p=0.005), infected deep pressure ulcers (HR=2.21, 95% CI=1.26, 3.87; p=0.006) and neutrophilia (HR=1.76; 95% CI 1.05, 2.94; p=0.031) were independent predictors of mortality in our elderly patients with pressure ulcers. The prevalence of pressure ulcers in our setting is comparable to previously reported figures in Europe and North America. Mortality in patients with pressure ulcer was high, and was predicted by institutionalization, concurrent infection and high neutrophil counts.

Keywords: Elderly; Infection; Mortality; Nursing home; Pressure ulcer.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data*
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Pressure Ulcer / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Risk Factors