Morbidity Measures Predicting Mortality in Inpatients: A Systematic Review

Cheng Hwee Soh, Syed Wajih Ul Hassan, Julian Sacre, Andrea B Maier

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OBJECTIVES: Morbidity is an important risk factor for mortality and a variety of morbidity measures have been developed to predict patients' health outcomes. The objective of this systematic review was to compare the capacity of morbidity measures in predicting mortality among inpatients admitted to internal medicine, geriatric, or all hospital wards.

DESIGN: A systematic literature search was conducted from inception to March 6, 2019 using 4 databases: Medline, Embase, Cochrane, and CINAHL. Articles were included if morbidity measures were used to predict mortality (registration CRD42019126674).

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Inpatients with a mean or median age ≥65 years.

MEASUREMENTS: Morbidity measures predicting mortality.

RESULTS: Of the 12,800 articles retrieved from the databases, a total of 34 articles were included reporting on inpatients admitted to internal medicine, geriatric, or all hospital wards. The Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) was reported most frequently and a higher CCI score was associated with greater mortality risk, primarily at longer follow-up periods. Articles comparing morbidity measures revealed that the Geriatric Index of Comorbidity was better predicting mortality risk than the CCI, Cumulative Illness Rating Scale, Index of Coexistent Disease, and disease count.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Higher morbidity measure scores are better in predicting mortality at longer follow-up period. The Geriatric Index of Comorbidity was best in predicting mortality and should be used more often in clinical practice to assist clinical decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-468.e7
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number4
Early online date14 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Aged
  • comorbidity
  • mortality
  • multimorbidity
  • prognosis


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