In this article, we investigate the risk of mortality associated with reported elder self-neglect or abuse in a large and sociodemographically diverse cohort and across different levels of cognitive and physical function.
Mortality ascertained during follow-up and by use of the National Death Index. Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess independent associations of self-neglect or elder abuse reporting with the risk of all-cause mortality using time-varying covariate analyses.
In conclusion, elder self-neglect and abuse, common but underrecognized and poorly understood geriatric syndromes, are both associated with increased mortality, particularly among those with worse cognitive and physical function but present among all categories except the best functioning tertile in the case of elder abuse. The mortality risk of elder self-neglect was substantially higher in the first year of follow-up than in subsequent years. These results may be useful not only in informing future research efforts into elder self-neglect and abuse, but also to inform relevant clinical, social, and policy guidelines developed to treat and prevent elder self-neglect and abuse on a national level.