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August 2010 Briefing - Geriatrics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Geriatrics for August 2010. 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.

Biobehavioral Approach Linked to Benefits in Dementia

TUESDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A biobehavioral environmental intervention -- Care of Persons with Dementia in their Environments (COPE) -- is associated with better functioning in patients with dementia after four months, as well as benefits for caregivers, according to research published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Post-Op Delirium Linked to Cerebral Vascular Disease

MONDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Delirium after spinal fusion in elderly patients is more common in those with a history of cerebral vascular disease, low hemoglobin and hematocrit levels after surgery, and poor nutrition, according to a study in the Aug. 15 issue of Spine.

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Physicians' Religious Views Linked to Care Decisions

THURSDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Non-religious physicians are more likely than religious physicians to make decisions that could hasten the end of patients' lives, and are also more likely to discuss these types of decisions with patients, according to research published online Aug. 25 in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

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Diabetes, Insulin Resistance Tied to Alzheimer's Pathology

THURSDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance may be at an increased risk of developing brain plaques that are linked to Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in Neurology.

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Moderate Drinking Linked to Lower Mortality Risk in Seniors

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults, moderate drinking is associated with lower mortality risk than abstention, heavy drinking, and perhaps even light drinking, according to a study published online Aug. 24 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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Elderly Likely to Under- or Overestimate Risk of Falling

FRIDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly individuals often underestimate or overestimate their risk of falling, and the disparities between their perceived and physiological risk are associated with psychological measures and have a strong influence on the likelihood of actually falling, according to a study published online Aug. 19 in BMJ.

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Active RA Predicts Decreases in Hand Bone Density

THURSDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease activity is an important predictor of hand bone loss in female patients with long-standing, destructive RA, according to research published in the September issue of Rheumatology.

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Totally Tubeless PCNL Effective, Safe in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Totally tubeless (tubeless and stentless) percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is routinely used for adults with renal stones, and it appears to be safe, effective, and feasible even in elderly patients, according to research published in the August issue of Urology.

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Dysphagia Linked to Longer Hospitalization, Poor Prognosis

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Comorbid dysphagia is an indicator of poor prognosis in hospitalized patients, and affects hospital length of stay, according to a study in the August issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Mortality Lower for Hip Surgery Patients With Home Care

MONDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Most elderly patients who are discharged home after hemiarthroplasty do not receive home care, but those who do are 43 percent less likely to die within three months than those who are sent home without home care, according to research published online Aug. 16 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Two Wrist Fracture Treatments Have Similar Outcomes

THURSDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients with distal radial fractures treated with either surgery or cast immobilization achieve similar functional status one year later, although the surgical patients have greater grip strength, according to a study in the Aug. 4 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Antibiotic Use Rose With Better Drug Coverage After Part D

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The use of antibiotics in older adults increased after their drug coverage improved with the implementation of the Medicare Part D drug benefit, and Part D has been linked to a drop in beneficiaries' out-of-pocket expenses on drugs, especially if they previously lacked drug coverage, according to research published in the Aug. 9/23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Coagulopathy Often Untreated in Brain Hemorrhage Patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In many patients with symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) associated with thrombolytic therapy for acute stroke, coagulopathy goes untreated, and often, patients experience continued bleeding after diagnosis, according to research published in the August issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Patients, Doctors Often Have Communication Discrepancies

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalized patients and physicians may have differing beliefs regarding patients' knowledge and aspects of their care, suggesting a need for improved patient-physician communication, according to research published in the Aug. 9/23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Consumer Drug Information Shows Areas of Concern

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Consumer medication information (CMI) accompanying prescription drugs dispensed at retail pharmacies is often subject to concerns about format, comprehensibility, and excessive length, according to research published in the Aug. 9/23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Bisphosphonate Exposure Not Linked With Esophageal Cancer

TUESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- There appears to be no association between oral bisphosphonate use and risk of esophageal or gastric cancer, according to research published in the Aug. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Three Genotypes Confirmed as Alzheimer's Disease Risk Loci

TUESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Three specific genotypes at CLU, PICALM, and CR1 confer risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD), and an apolipoprotein E genotype, APOE ε4, interacts synergistically in those who also have the PICALM variant, according to a study published online Aug. 9 in the Archives of Neurology. A related study in the same issue clarifies the association between plasma β-amyloid (Aβ) and various aspects of cognition.

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Warning System May Reduce Orders for Inappropriate Meds

TUESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The implementation of a computerized provider order entry (CPOE) drug warning system can reduce orders for potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) in hospitalized older patients, according to a study published in the Aug. 9/23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Medication Compliance Three Months After Stroke Is Poor

TUESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one quarter of stroke patients discontinue at least one of their prescribed secondary prevention medications within three months after hospital discharge, leaving this group at higher risk of another stroke, according to research published online Aug. 9 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Vertebroplasty Found Beneficial for Fracture Pain Control

TUESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Pain control with percutaneous vertebroplasty is superior to pain control with conservative management for acute osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures, according to research published online Aug. 10 in The Lancet.

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Mortality Risk Much Higher for Elderly People With Dementia

FRIDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly people with dementia have a much higher mortality risk than peers without the condition, but the risk of dementia may be reducible by addressing risk factors such as diet, preventable disease, and mental health, according to a pair of studies published Aug. 5 in BMJ.

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Rosiglitazone May Help Maintain Cognition in Diabetes Patients

FRIDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Adding rosiglitazone to the treatment for type 2 diabetes may help protect against cognitive decline in older patients with mild cognitive impairment, according to a study in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

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B Vitamins Do Not Prevent Vascular Events After Stroke

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 is safe but does not appear to reduce the incidence of major vascular events in patients who have experienced a recent stroke or transient ischemic attack, according to a study published online Aug. 4 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Industry-Funded Clinical Trials Yield More Positive Outcomes

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Drug clinical trials supported by industry are more likely to produce favorable results than trials supported by government or nonprofit/nonfederal organizations, and they are less likely to be published within two years of the study being completed, according to research published in the Aug. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing