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Association between presenting complaints of acutely admitted medical patients and mortality: A cohort study

      In 2012, more than 1 million patients were acutely admitted to Danish hospitals, [
      • Lynge E.
      • Sandegaard J.L.
      • Rebolj M.
      The Danish National Patient Register.
      ] accounting for 76% of all admitted patients. From 2006 to 2012 the number of acute admissions in Denmark increased by 15%; this appears to be an international trend. [
      • Lowthian J.A.
      • Curtis A.J.
      • Jolley D.J.
      • Stoelwinder J.U.
      • JJ McNeil
      • Cameron P.A.
      Demand at the emergency department front door: 10-year trends in presentations.
      ] The recognition and interpretation of the symptoms leading to admission are the first and crucial steps in acute care settings and represent important parts of assessing the medical history. However, previous studies have shown that symptoms and complaints also contain prognostic information. For instance, Safwenberg et al. have shown in Swedish data that both in-hospital and long-term mortality differ with presenting symptoms. [
      • Safwenberg U.
      • Terént A.
      • Lind L.
      Differences in long-term mortality for different emergency department presenting complaints.
      ] In this letter we describe the demographics and prognostic influence of primary complaints in an acute medical unit (AMU). The aim is 1) to present information on presenting complaints of acutely admitted medical patients and 2) to present the association between presenting complaint and mortality.

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