• dehydration;
  • quality indicators;
  • utilization

The hospital admission rate for dehydration is one of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Prevention's Quality Indicators, which are considered screening tools for potential quality issues. Thus, admission for dehydration may reflect the quality of care provided in community settings. Using a case-control design, this study estimated the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of dehydration in adults admitted to the hospital. The overall prevalence rate for three International Classification of Diseases codes for dehydration at admission was 0.55%. Cases and controls differed significantly on a number of clinical variables at admission, including weight, body mass index, pulse, blood pressure, use of bulk-forming laxatives, serum sodium and chloride, and presence of generalized weakness or hemiplegia, edema, diarrhea, vomiting, and having nothing by mouth before admission. Mortality rates at 30 and 180 days after discharge were not significantly different between the two groups. Dehydration in community-dwelling adults may delay rehabilitation or result in hospital admission. Prevention, monitoring, and management are critical to preventing dehydration-associated problems.