Background: The incidence of recurrent trauma in the elderly is unknown. This study evaluated the risk of readmission for injury among elderly trauma patients compared with an uninjured geriatric cohort. The effects of age, sex, race, preexisting illness, and ISS on trauma recidivism were determined.
Methods: Population based retrospective cohort analysis of the elderly using administrative data from the Health Care Financing Administration was performed. The measured outcome was trauma admission within 5 years. The injured were identified using hospital discharge data and the Injury Severity Score generated by ICD-Map. The uninjured were identified from Medicare eligibility files. Comorbid illness was assessed using ICD-9CM codes from outpatient and inpatient data files.
Results: The injured members of the cohort had increased risk of subsequent new trauma admission (p < 0.001). Increasing Injury Severity Score, age, and comorbid illness are associated with trauma recidivism.
Conclusion: Trauma in the elderly is recurrent. Further study is required to develop age and injury specific interventions to prevent recurrent injury.