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June 2, 2010

Hospitalization and Cognitive Function in Older Adults

JAMA. 2010;303(21):2137-2138. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.700

To the Editor: The study by Dr Ehlenbach and colleagues1 concluded that among a cohort of older adults without dementia at baseline, critical illness hospitalization was significantly associated with cognitive decline, and noncritical illness hospitalization was associated with cognitive decline as well as dementia. The authors suggested that future research should clarify the role that specific aspects of critical illness or its treatment play in the development of cognitive impairment. We agree that such information will be important in the search for factors that are modifiable, with the hope of reducing the prevalence of cognitive impairment among survivors of critical illness.