Discharge against medical advice (DAMA) is associated with greater risk of hospital readmission and higher morbidity, mortality, and costs, but with a rapidly increasing elderly inpatient population, there is a lack of national data on DAMA in this subgroup. The National Inpatient Sample (2003–2013 for trends, 2013 for multivariable analysis, n = 29,290,852) was used to describe trends in DAMA in elderly inpatients, to study diagnosis codes associated with admission, and to assess factors associated with DAMA using multivariable logistic regression. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) are reported for risk factors of interest. Although DAMA rates in individuals aged 65 and older were one fourth of those found in individuals aged 18 to 64, an increasing trend was found in both groups. From 2003 to 2013, rates increased in individuals aged 18 to 64 (from 1.44% to 1.78%) and in those aged 65 and older (from 0.37% to 0.42% (both P <.001). In both age groups, individuals admitted for mental illness had the highest risk of DAMA. Factors associated with higher adjusted odds of DAMA were generally similar between age groups, although risk of DAMA was higher in elderly adults than in those aged 18 to 64 for blacks (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.49–1.82 vs OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.12–1.20), Hispanics (OR 1.58, 95% CI 1.41–1.77 vs OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.79–0.87), and those in the lowest income quartile (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.43–1.72 vs OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.08–1.17), suggesting that race/ethnicity and poverty are more pronounced as risk factors for DAMA in elderly inpatients.
- United States