The objective of this study was to provide a profile of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who required admission to hospital. We reviewed retrospectively all patients with PD who were admitted to our hospital in 1995. In our study, there were 260 admissions involving 173 PD patients. The average age was 74.7 years. Of these patients, 93 were males and 80 were females. There were 150 Chinese, 12 Indians, 9 Malays, and 2 of other races. The average duration of hospitalisation was 11.7 days. The main reasons for admissions were: 1) chest infections (22%), 2) falls (13%), 3) control of PD symptoms (10%), 4) general medical problems (9%) and 5) urinary dysfunction (8%). Nine per cent were classified as Hoehn and Yahr stage 2, 31% as stage 3, 31% as stage 4 and 24% as stage 5. Twenty-one per cent of our patients were first diagnosed with PD during their hospitalisation. Upon discharge, 26% required transfer to either a community hospital or nursing home.The current in-patient load of PD patients is expected to rise with the ageing population. A significant number of people within the community may have undiagnosed PD. These patients suffer multiple medical problems and need a multi-disciplinary team approach to management. Greater resources will be required to support these patients in the community.
Prevalence studies in various parts of the world have shown that Parkinson’s disease (PD) is relatively common among the aged in all countries. Crude prevalence rates range from 10 to 450 per 100 000 population.
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