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July 2010 Briefing - Geriatrics

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

Calcium Supplements May Increase Heart Attack Risk

FRIDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Calcium supplementation is associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction, according to a meta-analysis published online July 29 in BMJ.

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Specialties See Modest Compensation Increases in '09

FRIDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical specialties saw modest compensation increases in 2009, but many provider organizations are still operating at a substantial loss, according to the findings of the American Medical Group Association's (AMGA) 2010 Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey.

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Thiazolidinediones May Up Fracture Risk in Older Women

THURSDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- In type 2 diabetes patients, thiazolidinedione (TZD) exposure is associated with an increased risk of fracture in women age 50 and older -- especially in higher doses -- and in men who are concurrently exposed to loop diuretics, according to research published online July 14 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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Social Relationships Linked to Improved Survival

WEDNESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Having stronger social relationships is associated with an increased likelihood of survival, with a magnitude of effect that's comparable to quitting smoking, according to research published online July 27 in PLoS Medicine.

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Risk of Poor Outcomes Up for Seniors With Delirium in Hospital

TUESDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Seniors who experience delirium during hospitalization are at elevated risk for death, eventual institutionalization, and dementia, according to a meta-analysis published in the July 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Alteplase Remains Safe Up to 4.5 Hours After Acute Stroke

TUESDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Extending the treatment window for administration of alteplase from three hours to 4.5 hours in patients who experience an acute ischemic stroke is safe and does not result in delayed treatment of patients, according to a study published online July 27 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Odds of Medicare Carotid Procedures Differ Regionally

MONDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- There are significant regional variations in the odds of Medicare beneficiaries undergoing a carotid revascularization procedure, according to research published in the July 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Nebivolol Less Effective in Elderly With CHF and Diabetes

FRIDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- In patients aged 70 and older with heart failure, diabetes is associated with a worse prognosis, and nebivolol is less effective in patients with diabetes than in those without it, according to research published in the July 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Heart Failure Mortality Down Significantly in Veterans

FRIDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although veterans with heart failure have presented with more comorbidities and have been rehospitalized more frequently in recent years, their 30-day mortality rates have decreased significantly, according to a study in the July 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Method Estimates Complexity of Ambulatory Encounters

WEDNESDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- A method of estimating the relative complexity of ambulatory clinical encounters could be useful in making comparisons between specialties, and the Guided Care approach may provide benefits for primary care physicians who work with chronically ill older patients, according to two studies published in the July/August Annals of Family Medicine.

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CRC Screening Disparities Persist for Seniors on Medicare

TUESDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Despite expanding coverage for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in the Medicare population, disparities persist based on differences in usual place of health care, education level, and insurance coverage type, according to research published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Depression Linked to Erectile Dysfunction May Raise CV Risk

MONDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Depressive symptoms in men with erectile dysfunction (ED) constitute an independent risk factor for the incidence of a major cardiovascular event (MACE), according to a study published online July 13 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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FDA Warns Public Regarding Stolen Advair Diskus Inhalers

MONDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to consumers, pharmacists, and wholesalers that certain lots of Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder) inhalers were stolen from a GlaxoSmithKline distribution warehouse near Richmond, Virginia, in August 2009 and have recently been found in some pharmacies.

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Stroke Risk Doubled One Hour After Drinking Alcohol

THURSDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of stroke is more than doubled in the hour after ingestion of alcohol, according to the results of a study published online July 15 in Stroke.

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Alzheimer's Patients Have Diminished Emotional Response

THURSDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- People with Alzheimer's disease appear to experience emotions less intensely than those without the disease, according to a study of a small group of Alzheimer's disease patients published in the Spring issue of the Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences.

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BMI Linked to Poorer Cognitive Function in Older Women

THURSDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- Among postmenopausal women, higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with poorer cognitive function in those with a smaller waist-to-hip ratio, according to research published online July 14 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Blister Packs of Coumadin Recalled

THURSDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- Bristol-Myers Squibb has initiated a voluntary recall of physician sample blister packs and hospital unit dose (HUD) blister packs of Coumadin, a medication used to treat or prevent blood clots.

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High Vitamin D Levels Tied to Lower Parkinson's Risk

WEDNESDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- People with higher serum levels of vitamin D are at reduced risk for developing Parkinson's disease compared to those with lower serum levels of the vitamin, according to a study in the July issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Vitamins E, D Linked to Cognitive Benefits in Later Life

TUESDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Higher intake of vitamin E appears to lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, while older individuals with low vitamin D levels appear more likely to experience cognitive decline, according to two studies published in the July Archives of Neurology and the July 12 Archives of Internal Medicine, respectively.

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Larger Head Size Tied to Less Decline in Alzheimer's Patients

MONDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Greater head circumference appears to be protective against cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to research published in the July 13 issue of Neurology.

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High Levels of Satisfaction Seen for Lumbar Fusion in Elderly

MONDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients can benefit from lumbar spinal fusion in terms of reduced leg and back pain, and age alone is not a contraindication, according to a study in the July 1 issue of Spine.

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Wrist Fractures, Functional Decline Linked in Older Women

FRIDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Wrist fractures in older women can result in clinically important functional decline, according to a study published online July 8 in BMJ.

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Pre-Diabetes Symptoms Not Linked to Cognitive Decline

THURSDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- In older people with no history of diabetes, insulin resistance and elevated fasting glucose levels have no association with impaired cognitive function, according to research published in the July issue of Diabetes.

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Many Doctors in Specialties Other Than Their Early Choices

WEDNESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Ten years after graduation, approximately one-fourth of doctors work in a specialty other than the one they chose in their third year post-graduation, according to research published online July 6 in BMJ.

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Vaccinations Not Associated With Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk

WEDNESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- There does not appear to be any association between routine vaccinations in adults and an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published online July 5 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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'Miniature Telescope' for Eye Approved for Macular Degeneration

TUESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- A tiny telescope that's implanted in an eye affected by advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

National Eye Institute

Review Updates Evidence on Osteoporosis Screening

TUESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Screening methods are available to predict risk of osteoporotic fractures, and medications to reduce fractures are effective, but studies have yet to directly identify the effectiveness or potential harm of screening or establish ideal screening intervals, according to a review published online July 5 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Depression Linked to Higher Risk of Alzheimer's, Dementia

TUESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Depression is associated with a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older people over long-term follow-up, according to research published in the July 6 issue of Neurology.

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Older Adults Watch More TV Than Younger Individuals

MONDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults watch more television than young and middle-aged adults, but they enjoy it less than younger individuals, according to research published online June 29 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Genetic Signatures of Exceptional Longevity ID'd

FRIDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Though environment and family history contribute to living a long life, genetic variants play a critical role in conferring exceptional longevity, according to a report published online July 1 in Science.

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TMP-SMX Associated With Hyperkalemia in Elderly

FRIDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Older patients taking trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) have a substantially increased risk of hyperkalemia requiring hospitalization, but being on β-blockers does not further increase this risk, according to research published online July 1 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Bone Area Predicts Defect Development, Cartilage Loss

FRIDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Subchondral bone mineral density (sBMD) predicts cartilage defect development but not cartilage loss, while bone area predicts both cartilage loss and defect development, according to a study in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Early Stroke Complications Rob Patients of Healthy Years

THURSDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Early complications following ischemic stroke cost patients about two years' worth of optimal health, in addition to the loss of optimal health due to the stroke itself, and a higher number of complications is linked to a larger loss of healthy life-years, according to research published online July 1 in Stroke.

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Report Addresses Physician Financial Conflicts in Care

THURSDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- In a new report, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) urges U.S. teaching hospitals to establish policies that ensure financial relationships between physicians and industry do not result in conflicts of interest that influence patient care.

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In Women, Early Life Activity Cuts Cognitive Impairment Risk

THURSDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have been physically active at any point in their lives -- but especially during the teenage years -- are at lower risk of developing cognitive impairment in late life than women who have been inactive, according to research published online June 30 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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PSA Program Linked to Less Prostate Cancer Mortality

THURSDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- A prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening program is associated with a reduction in prostate cancer mortality of nearly half over 14 years, but with a substantial risk of overdiagnosis, according to research published online July 1 in The Lancet Oncology.

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