The isolation rate of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) from pharyngeal swab cultures in Japanese elderly was studied at admission to a geriatric hospital. The subjects were 233 consecutive patients admitted to Kitakyushu Tsuyazaki Hospital from April 1994 to March 1996. The isolation rate of MRSA was 3.0% in the patients admitted from their own homes , 9.7% in those transferred from nursing homes and 14.0% in those transferred from other hospitals. The patients from their own homes were younger than those from nursing homes, the latter being older than those transferring from other hospitals. The patients from their own homes had better activities of daily living(ADL), higher levels of hemoglobin and serum albumin than those from nursing homes or other hospitals. The white blood cell counts, and the proportion of patients with positive c-reactive protein or with fever did not differ among the three groups. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that fever and ADL disability were independent risk factors for the isolation of MRSA, and hypoalbuminemia was a risk factor for MRSA isolation in the model using serum albumin instead of ADL score. These results suggest that the lower isolation rate of MRSA among patients from their own homes may be partly due to better ADL and nutritional status compared with those from nursing homes or other hospitals.
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