What were the most common principal diagnoses for Indigenous Australians when dementia was an additional diagnosis?
Previous sections have presented hospitalisations due to dementia (that is, when dementia was recorded as the principal diagnosis), but understanding hospitalisations with dementia (that is all hospitalisations with a record of dementia, whether as the principal and/or an additional diagnosis) provides important insights on the wide-ranging conditions that can lead people living with dementia to use hospital services. In 2020–21 there were 1,234 hospitalisations of Indigenous Australians with dementia.
The most common principal diagnoses among hospitalisations for Indigenous Australians aged 40 years and over, where dementia was an additional diagnosis, were:
- problems related to medical facilities and other health care (11.3%)
- delirium, not induced by alcohol and other psychoactive substances (6.5%)
- other disorders of urinary system (4.2%).
Other common principal diagnoses recorded for these hospitalisations included sepsis, femur fractures and a number of chronic conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes (Figure 12.11).
Indigenous men were more likely than Indigenous women to have a principal diagnosis of pneumonitis due to solids and liquids (5% of hospitalisations for men compared with 1.6% for women), pneumonia, organism unspecified (3.3% of hospitalisations for men compared with 1.7% for women) and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (3.1% of hospitalisations for men and 1.6% for women). In contrast, Indigenous women were more likely than men to have a principal diagnosis of other disorders of urinary system (5.4% of hospitalisations for women compared with 2.4% for men), fracture of femur (4.2% of hospitalisations for women compared with 2.0% for men) and heart failure (2.5% of hospitalisations for women and 0.9% for men).
Figure 12.11: Common principal diagnoses for hospitalisations of Indigenous Australians where dementia was an additional diagnosis in 2020–21: percent of hospitalisations, by sex