Health care utilization in geriatric patients admitted with alcohol withdrawal from 2005 to 2014

Maanit Kohli, Paris Charilaou, Carl Philippe Rousseau, Rikitha Menezes, Martine Sanon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Alcohol-related and alcohol withdrawal (AW) hospitalizations are routinely underestimated in the geriatric population and can have a significant impact on healthcare resource utilization. Objectives: To examine various patient-characteristics, hospitalization-outcomes, and prevalence of AW related-hospitalizations Methods: In this retrospective study, we examined the objectives mentioned above over a 10-year period (2005 to 2014) using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) in adults aged 65 years or older. National estimates of trends for AW prevalence and matched-regression analyses were conducted. Results: Increased prevalence of hospitalizations for AW was observed (148-cases-per-100,000-discharges in 2005 to 283-cases-per-100,000-discharges in 2014). Of the overall nationwide hospital admissions in patients aged 65 and older (128,111,787), 0.21% (264,786) with documented AW were identified. Of these, those of age 65–74 years accounted for 72.7% of admissions with the highest prevalence amongst males (males accounted for 74%, women 26%) and individuals of Caucasian ethnicity (79.9%). On comparing AW to Non-AW related-hospitalizations, patients admitted with AW had a higher median length of stay (five vs. four days), more significant functional decline with only 44.2% discharges being discharged home (vs. 47.2%) and 34.4% AW related discharges requiring discharge to skilled nursing facilities (vs. 28.5%). Higher hospitalization costs totaling $4,000 more on bivariate analysis were observed for the AW group. Conclusions: The prevalence of admissions with AW has increased in the inpatient geriatric population, contributing to increased length of stay, higher hospitalization costs, and greater functional decline. Recognition of these findings and the development of programs supporting older adults with alcohol use disorder may improve patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-484
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number4
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2020


  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • alcohol use
  • discharge disposition
  • health utilization
  • hospitalization costs
  • inpatient
  • length of stay
  • national inpatient sample
  • older adults
  • resource utilization


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