Article: PDF OnlyArfken Cynthia L. PhD; Lichtenberg, Peter A. PhD, ABRP; Kuiken, Todd MDTopics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: June 1998 - p 69-76 Buy Abstract The health of patients referred to geriatric rehabilitation programs influences their long-term outcomes. The objective of this study was to assess the importance of comorbid medical illnesses in predicting mortality for a geriatric rehabilitation sample independent of other demographic and clinical characteristics. Using a cohort of 667 inpatients followed between 1 and 3 years at an urban rehabilitation hospital, it was found that more severe comorbid medical illnesses (measured with the Charlson Index), worse physical function, older age, and male sex independently predicted shorter time to death. The Charlson Index represents an important additional tool for assessing health status in older adults receiving rehabilitation. © 1998 Aspen Publishers, Inc.