A nursing home is a place where the elderly have to be kept for as long as possible, but that doesn’t mean they can’t stay for longer periods of time.
This means staying in a nursing facility isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
But that doesn: The longer a nursing-home resident stays in the facility, the more likely they are to develop pneumonia.
That’s according to a new study, which was presented this week at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Nursing.
The study looked at the mortality rates of 3,977 residents of nursing homes in Illinois from 2003 to 2012.
The mortality rate was 3.9 per 100,000 residents.
Of those, 6.4 percent died of pneumonia, compared with 1.9 percent of residents who stayed in home less than a year.
There were two significant reasons why the mortality rate of nursing home residents was higher than that of residents of homes other than nursing homes: The number of residents in a facility increased the longer the resident stayed there, and there were fewer nursing homes.
The authors of the study noted that the mortality statistics were based on the population of the Illinois nursing home population.
That meant that the study’s estimates were somewhat inflated because of the fact that nursing home deaths are relatively rare, said the study lead author, Dr. David DeLong, an assistant professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In other words, a nursing care facility may have a higher mortality rate than its residents, but residents of that facility will also die of some other disease, including pneumonia.
“This study shows that it is possible to have a more robust, more realistic assessment of the potential effects of nursing-care facilities on mortality,” said Dr. DeLong.
The researchers used a data set that included data from all of the states that have adopted a new state-mandated minimum nursing home mortality rate, and also the mortality data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The data set was also adjusted for other factors that might influence mortality, such as state economic development, health care delivery, and whether residents were in residential facilities.
The new data also included data for each state’s population size, but there were no controls on the amount of nursing facility residents, which means the authors didn’t include any control for how the data was collected.
“We didn’t know whether this was a significant source of mortality bias, or whether the nursing-health care facilities were just being undercounted in the overall data,” DeLong said.
The fact that the data showed a higher death rate of residents with longer stays in nursing facilities than residents who spent less time there suggests that the longer a resident stays, the greater the risk that they are exposed to a more dangerous infectious disease.
The effect of a longer stay in a home, the researchers found, is to make it harder for people to get better and more efficient care at home.
But what’s really worrisome is that a longer-term resident who stays longer is also more likely to develop other health problems.
The longer the residents stay in the home, they are more likely than non-residents to have heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and high blood pressure, among other things.
In addition, they have more respiratory infections and are more at risk of contracting a deadly disease called acute myeloid leukemia.
“These are things that you can’t avoid,” said DeLong of the risk of respiratory infections.
“But if you are in a place that has a high mortality rate because you are a longer term resident, you may have fewer health problems than if you were not in the nursing home.”
DeLong and his colleagues note that the overall nursing-house mortality rate is a measure of how many people are dying from various infectious diseases, and that there are a lot of factors that influence the number of people dying from the same disease.
For example, the number in a given area is a marker for how infectious a disease is in that area.
So if there are more people dying of pneumonia in a hospital than in a residential facility, it may indicate that the hospital has a higher pneumonia death rate, which could be due to the nursing facility’s higher mortality.
But the study found that the greater a nursing facilities mortality rate the greater is the risk for a person with chronic disease, such that it can increase the likelihood that a person will develop more chronic disease.
“If a resident of a nursing institution is hospitalized, there’s a greater risk of dying from other diseases,” De Long said.
“There is also a higher risk of developing chronic disease.”
He said that the authors of this study should be cautious about using data on the death rate to measure the effectiveness of nursing facilities.
“I think the results should be interpreted cautiously,” he said.
He said he hopes the research can be used to better understand how health care providers can better care for patients, as opposed to simply getting a lot more people to the hospital.
The research was published online in the Journal of the International Nursing Association. For