Drug may delay nursing home entry

PRESCRIBING cholinesterase inhibitors for dementia may delay patients entering nursing homes by around one year, a study suggests.

The UK observational study compared patients with dementia prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors with those who were not prescribed the drugs, to record when they entered a nursing home over a four-year period.

They found that in the first 30 months of follow-up, among 339 patients, the 127 individuals taking cholinesterase inhibitors entered nursing homes a median 12 months later than those not taking the drugs.

However, by the end of the study there was no difference between the two groups in their chances of being placed in a care home.

The authors said that based on observational data alone, no conclusion could be drawn on whether the association between cholinesterase inhibitor prescribing and delay in nursing home placement was causal.

Professor David Ames, director of the National Ageing