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Category: Geriatrics | Monthly Briefing

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October 2011 Briefing - Geriatrics

Last Updated: November 01, 2011.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Geriatrics for October 2011. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Preexisting Dementia in Stroke Patients Ups Disability

MONDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with stroke, preexisting dementia is associated with increased disability at discharge and lower likelihood of being discharged to prestroke domicile, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Neurology.

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Momentary Positive Affect Tied to Improved Survival

MONDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Positive affect (PA) is associated with survival, with high PA linked to considerably improved survival in older men and women, according to a study published online Oct. 31 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Switching From IV to Oral Meds Cuts Health Care Costs

MONDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- For patients who are clinically eligible for oral (PO) medication intake, switching from intravenous (IV) to oral medication can substantially reduce the annual cost of health care, according to a study published online Oct. 17 in Clinical Therapeutics.

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Disc Herniation Symptom Duration Tied to Outcome

MONDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Longer pretreatment symptom duration from lumbar disc herniation is associated with poorer outcomes after both surgical and nonsurgical intervention, according to a study published in the Oct. 19 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Adipose Tissue Inflammation Tied to Fat Deposition

THURSDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) inflammation is not correlated with gender or ethnicity, and is associated with visceral adipose tissue (VAT) deposition, hepatic fat fraction (HFF), hyperinsulinemia, and stimulation of the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) stress pathway, according to a study published in the November issue of Diabetes.

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Bedside Geriatric Assessment Feasible in Elderly With AML

THURSDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Inpatient bedside geriatric assessment (GA) is feasible, and is useful for identifying multiple geriatric impairments in elderly patients initiating chemotherapy for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Gene Variation Tied to Rate of Age-Related Mental Decline

THURSDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A valine-to-methionine substitution at position 66 (val66met) of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is associated with the rate of decline in skilled task performance and age-dependent hippocampal volume changes in middle-aged and older healthy individuals, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in Translational Psychiatry.

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Long-Term Moderate, High Stress Ups Male Mortality Rate

THURSDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term moderate or high levels of stress in men are associated with higher mortality rates, independent of demographics and health behavior habits, according to a study published in the Journal of Aging Research.

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No Lung Cancer Mortality Drop With Chest X-Ray Screening

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Annual lung cancer screening with chest radiographs for four years does not significantly decrease lung cancer mortality compared to usual care, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with presentation at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held from Oct. 22 to 26 in Honolulu.

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Ghost Authorship Prevalent in About One-Fifth of Articles

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of articles with honorary authorship, ghost authorship, or both is 21 percent, which marks a significant decrease since 1996, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in BMJ.

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Evidence Suggests Variable Effectiveness for Flu Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccines provide variable effectiveness and efficacy in young children and adults, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Smoking Rarely Cited As Cause of Death on Death Certificates

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors rarely cite smoking as the cause of death (COD) on death certificates, even in cases where there is a strong causal link to smoking, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

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Yoga As Effective As Stretching for Chronic Low Back Pain

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- For primary care patients with chronic low back pain, yoga is as effective as conventional stretching exercises and more effective than a self-care book for improving function and reducing symptoms, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Mortgage Default Associated With Worse Health Status

TUESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Falling behind in mortgage payments is correlated with elevated depressive symptoms, food insecurity, and cost-related medication nonadherence, according to a study published online Oct. 20 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Sodium-Sensitive Populations Fail to Curb Intake

THURSDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of all Americans should limit their sodium intake for the sake of their health, but less than 2 percent of those who meet the criteria for sodium limitation actually do so, and most Americans ingest too much sodium, according to research published in the Oct. 21 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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3-D CT Useful for Classification of Ligament Ossification

THURSDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Use of three-dimensional computed tomography (3-D CT) to visualize ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) can aid with classification of lesions, according to a study published in the October issue of The Spine Journal.

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Antidepressants Used by About 11 Percent of Americans

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately one out of 10 Americans aged 12 and over take antidepressant medications, the use of which is most prevalent in women aged 40 to 59, according to an October data brief released by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Nicotine Dependence Underdiagnosed in U.S. Vets

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. veterans are more likely than the general population to have a nicotine dependency, especially if they've struggled with other substances, mental illness, or homelessness, but VA services may be underestimating the scope of the problem, according to research published in the November issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Readmission Risk Models Display Poor Predictive Ability

TUESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Most hospital readmission risk models have poor predictive ability, according to a review published in the Oct. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Heart Failure Hospitalizations Down From 1998 to 2008

TUESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Overall heart failure hospitalization rates in the United States declined significantly from 1998 to 2008, with black men showing the lowest rate of decline, according to a study published in the Oct. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Cardiac Device Lead Removal by Laser Safe for Octogenarians

TUESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Laser assisted extraction of leads from implanted cardiac devices (pacemakers and defibrillators) is safe and effective in the octogenarian population, with risks similar to those in the non-octogenarian population, according to a study published online Oct. 17 in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.

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Hypoglycemic Brain Function Different in Type 1 Diabetes

FRIDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- During hypoglycemia, patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) who perform a working-memory task (WMT) have more activation of brain regions and less deactivation of the default-mode network (DMN) than control subjects, according to a study published online Oct. 7 in Diabetes.

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Halo Immobilization Superior to Fusion for C2 Fractures

FRIDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with C2 fractures, treatment with fusion is associated with increased overall complication rates, increased length of stay, and greater resource utilization compared to halo-vest immobilization, but mortality rates are similar for the two procedures, according to a study published online Sept. 30 in Spine.

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Same Cognition With Cerebral Perfusion, Hypothermic Arrest

FRIDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA), antegrade cerebral perfusion (ACP) confers no additional benefits over deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA) for improving cognitive function, according to a study published in the Oct. 15 issue of The Lancet.

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Rare Disorders ID'd by NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program

THURSDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The extensive application of genomic technology under the U.S. National Institutes of Health Undiagnosed Diseases Program (NIH-UDP) helps diagnose complex and rare multisystem disorders, according to a report published online Sept. 26 in Genetics in Medicine.

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Organic Pollutants Up Atherosclerosis Risk in Elderly

THURSDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Circulating levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are associated with atherosclerotic plaques and echogenicity of the intima-media complex in the elderly, independent of cardiovascular risk factors, according to a study published online Oct. 11 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

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'Timed Up and Go' Test Predicts Nonvertebral, Hip Fractures

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- "Timed up and go" (TUG) test performance is an independent predictor of risk for incident nonvertebral and hip fractures in elderly women, according to a study published in the Oct. 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Financial Conflicts of Interest Prevalent, Under-Reported

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Conflicts of interest (COI) are prevalent among members and chairs of guideline panels, and are under-reported, according to a study published online Oct. 11 in BMJ.

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Gantenerumab Lowers Brain Amyloid Levels in Alzheimer's

TUESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Gantenerumab therapy induces dose-dependent reduction of brain amyloid levels in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), possibly by phagocytosis, according to a study published online Oct. 10 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Physical Activity Cuts Mortality Risk in Metabolic Syndrome

TUESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with metabolic syndrome, physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of mortality from all causes and from cardiovascular causes, according to a study published online Sept. 29 in BMC Medicine.

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ICD Deactivation Knowledge Lacking in End-of-Life Care

TUESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients and providers require more knowledge about the functions of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) and end-of-life options in order to facilitate timely ICD deactivation discussions, according to a review published in the October issue of the American Journal of Nursing.

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Some Dietary Supplements Up Mortality Risk in Older Women

TUESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Intake of certain common dietary vitamin and mineral supplements among older women is associated with increased mortality risk, according to a study published in the Oct. 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Leg Crossing After Stroke Indicates Favorable Outcomes

MONDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Early leg crossing after severe stroke is a favorable prognostic marker associated with better clinical outcomes, according to a study published in the Oct. 11 issue of Neurology.

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Septicemia Most Costly Reason for Hospitalization in 2009

MONDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Septicemia was the single most expensive condition treated in U.S. hospitals in 2009, with expenditure totaling nearly $15.4 billion, according to an October statistical brief based on Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) data published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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High Chocolate Consumption Tied to Lower Risk of Stroke

MONDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of high levels of chocolate is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, according to a letter published in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Upfront Zoledronic Acid Ups Bone Density in Breast Cancer

MONDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- For postmenopausal women with early breast cancer receiving aromatase inhibitors, treatment with upfront adjuvant zoledronic acid significantly increases bone mineral density (BMD) compared to delayed-start treatment, according to a study published online Oct. 10 in Cancer.

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Plasma Sphingolipids Predict Alzheimer's Progression

FRIDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Higher plasma levels of ceramides, dihydroceramides (DHCer), sphingomyelins (SM), and dihydrosphingomyelins (DHSM), and ratios of SM/ceramide and DHSM/DHCer are associated with progression in Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a study published online Aug. 12 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

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Racial Disparity Persists in Nursing Home Flu Shot Rates

FRIDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of flu vaccination in nursing homes improved from 2006 to 2009, particularly for blacks, but they remain less likely to receive and more likely to refuse vaccination than white residents, according to a study published in the October issue of Health Affairs.

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Cialis Approved to Treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

FRIDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The erectile dysfunction drug Cialis (tadalafil) has received new approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

this drug

Men Are Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes at Lower BMIs

FRIDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Men are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a lower body mass index (BMI) than women, with a steeper inverse relationship between BMI and age at diagnosis for women, according to a study published online Sept. 30 in Diabetologia.

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Two HIV Variants Identified in HIV-Linked Dementia

FRIDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with HIV-type 1 (HIV-1)-associated dementia (HAD) have two genetically distinct HIV-1 variants in their cerebrospinal fluid (CSF): CCR5-tropic (R5) T-cell-tropic and macrophage-tropic, which differ in terms of replication and evolution in the central nervous system (CNS), according to a study published online Oct. 6 in PLoS Pathogens.

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Multiple Benefits From Regular Exercise in Renal Disease

FRIDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise significantly improves physical fitness, cardiovascular dimensions, some nutritional parameters, and health-related quality of life (QOL) in adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and kidney transplant recipients, according to a review and meta-analysis published online Oct. 5 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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Adults With Mental Distress More Likely to Be Uninsured

FRIDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Lack of insurance is more likely among nonelderly adults in the United States with frequent mental distress only or with both frequent mental and physical distress than in those with frequent physical distress only, according to a study published in the October issue of Psychiatric Services.

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Increase in Older Cancer Survivor Population Anticipated

THURSDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Based on current cancer incidence and survival trends and U.S. population projections, there is likely to be an increase in the population of older adult cancer survivors in the future, according to a study published in the October issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Many Elderly in U.S. Undergo Surgery in Last Year of Life

THURSDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable proportion of elderly people in the United States undergo surgery in the year before their death, with the rate varying with age and geographical region, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in The Lancet.

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Psychotherapy Service Cuts Health Care Use, Sick Leave

THURSDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with common mental health problems (CMHP) use more health care resources, and referral to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) program reduces their number of emergency department visits and sick days, according to a study published online Oct. 3 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

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Pre-Op Anemia Ups Mortality After Non-Cardiac Surgery

THURSDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery, even a mild degree of preoperative anemia is independently associated with an increased risk of 30-day morbidity and mortality, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in The Lancet.

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More Minority Patients in Low-Quality, High-Cost Hospitals

THURSDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals where the quality is low and costs high (worst hospitals) in the United States care for a higher proportion of elderly black, Hispanic, and Medicaid patients than high-quality, low-cost institutions (best hospitals), according to a study published in the October issue of Health Affairs.

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Self-Rating of Health As Poor, Fair Ups Risk of Dementia

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of incident dementia is significantly higher in individuals who rate their health as poor or fair, especially in those with no cognitive complaints or with functional disability, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in Neurology.

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Advance Directives Linked to Regional Medical Expenditures

TUESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Advance directives (living wills) specifying limitations in end-of-life care are associated with significantly lower levels of Medicare spending, lower likelihood of in-hospital death, and higher use of hospice care during the last six months of life for patients living in regions with high medical expenditures but not in other regions, according to a study published in the Oct. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Same-Day Discharge Feasible in Select Cases of Elective PCI

TUESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- For select low-risk older patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), same-day discharge is not correlated with an increase in death or rehospitalization rates at two and 30 days, compared with overnight observation, according to a study published in the Oct. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Breast Cancer Deaths Falling in United States

TUESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, the rate of death from breast cancer has fallen faster for wealthier women than for poor women, who are less likely to get screened for breast cancer, according to a report published online Oct. 3 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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Pericardial Fat Volume Tied to Coronary Artery Plaque Burden

TUESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Pericardial fat volume is positively associated with coronary atherosclerotic plaque burden, as measured by plaque eccentricity, in asymptomatic individuals, and this relationship is stronger in men than women, according to a study published in the October issue of Radiology.

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Smoking Complicates Joint Replacement Outcomes

MONDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking is associated with higher rates of complications such as infections, stroke, pneumonia, and death following elective total hip replacement (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) surgeries, according to research published in the October issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Vitamin D Insufficiency Prevalent in Psoriatic Arthritis

MONDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D insufficiency appears to be highly prevalent among people with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), regardless of where they live or the time of year, according to research published in the October issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Risk Factors ID'd for Post-Spine Surgery Death, Morbidity

MONDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Older age, wound infections, and other medical comorbidities increase the risk of immediate morbidity or mortality in patients undergoing spine surgery, according to a study published in the Sept. 7 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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