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June 2010 Briefing - Geriatrics

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

Group of Older Men Have Cardio Events With Testosterone Gel

WEDNESDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Older men with limited mobility have improved muscle strength but an increased risk of cardiovascular events when they receive testosterone gel supplementation, according to research published online June 30 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Best Predictors of Alzheimer's Disease Identified

WEDNESDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- In individuals with mild cognitive impairment, fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and episodic memory may be the best predictors of conversion to Alzheimer's disease, while cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteins and -- to a lesser extent -- FDG-PET predict longitudinal cognitive decline, according to a study published online June 30 in Neurology.

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End-of-Life Hospital Care Has Room for Improvement

TUESDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- In U.S. hospitals, the care of patients at end of life nearly always includes close attention to pain management and efforts to ease breathing, but there are other areas of care that need improvement, according to research published in the June 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Doctors Agree Malpractice Fears Drive Overuse of Tests

MONDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- A large majority of physicians agree that the practice of defensive medicine -- stemming from malpractice concerns -- is responsible for an overuse of medical tests and procedures, according to a research letter in the June 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Statins May Lower Risk of Atrial Fibrillation in Heart Patients

FRIDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Statin therapy is associated with a reduced risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AF) among coronary artery disease patients, and lipid-lowering therapy (LLT) appears to reduce the risk of death and cardiovascular events among individuals who already have AF, according to research published in the June 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Brain Stimulation Linked to Benefits in Alzheimer's

FRIDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may have a beneficial effect on sentence comprehension in individuals with Alzheimer's disease, according to research published online June 23 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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Phone Reminders Up Colorectal Cancer Screening Rate

THURSDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- An automated telephone intervention appears to increase the completion of fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) for colorectal cancer screening, according to a study published in the July issue of Medical Care.

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Weight Control Important for Diabetes Risk in Later Years

TUESDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults, body fat and weight gain after the age of 50 are associated with a higher risk of diabetes, according to research published in the June 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Surveillance Colonoscopy Can Be Cost-Effective

TUESDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- Surveillance colonoscopy is cost-effective for patients at high risk of colorectal cancer, but aggressive surveillance may be expensive or harmful, according to research published in the June issue of Gastroenterology.

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Some Moist Toilet Paper Can Cause Severe Reaction

TUESDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- A preservative used in moist toilet paper can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people, as demonstrated by four case reports published online June 21 in the Archives of Dermatology.

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Hepatic Encephalopathy Linked to Chronic Cognitive Effects

FRIDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with cirrhosis, episodes of overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE) may be associated with lingering and cumulative problems with learning, working memory, and response inhibition, according to research published in the June issue of Gastroenterology.

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Lack of Fitness, Inactivity Linked to Walking Falls

FRIDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Poor physical fitness and physical inactivity may increase the risk of falls while walking, particularly in men, according to research published in the July issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Alternative Approach to Valve Replacement Surgery Effective

FRIDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Transcatheter valve-in-valve implantation may be an effective option for high-risk elderly patients with degenerated bioprostheses in the aortic and mitral position, according to a study published online April 30 in Catheterization & Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Alzheimer's Risk May Be Decreased by Protective Diet

THURSDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- A dietary pattern (DP) with higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, salad dressing, nuts, fish, and poultry, and lower intakes of items including red meat and high-fat dairy products may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease by almost 40 percent, according to research published in the June issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Strict Diagnostic Criteria Define Late-Onset Hypogonadism

WEDNESDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Using a concise definition of late-onset hypogonadism which includes the presence of specific sexual symptoms as well as a strict laboratory testosterone level cut-point in older men can identify those men who truly need testosterone replacement therapy, according to research published online June 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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More Older Adults Being Treated for Substance Abuse

WEDNESDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- The proportion of Americans 50 years of age or older being treated for abuse of illicit substances substantially increased from 1992 to 2008, according to a study sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

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Healthy Diet Linked to Lower Risk of Nuclear Cataract

TUESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- The development of cataracts can be influenced by factors other than age, including diet and the use of sun-sensitizing medications combined with sun exposure, according to one study published in the June issue and another published online June 14 in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Abstract - Mares
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Abstract - Klein
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Scant Evidence Links Any Factor to Alzheimer's Prevention

TUESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- There is scant evidence that any one factor -- such as exercising or following a Mediterranean diet -- is protective of cognitive decline, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), in older adults, according to a review presented at a National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference and a subsequent conference statement, both published online June 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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NIH State-of-the-Science Statement

Private Insurance Linked to Lower Hospital Mortality

FRIDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with private insurance who are hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke or pneumonia have significantly lower in-hospital mortality than patients who are uninsured or have Medicaid, according to research published online June 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Aspirin Found Cost-Effective in Newly Diagnosed Diabetes

FRIDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- In individuals age 40 and older who have been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, regular aspirin use is a cost-effective strategy, according to a study in the June issue of Diabetes Care.

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FDA: Defibtech's DBP-2800 Battery Packs Recalled

THURSDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Defibtech has alerted customers of a voluntary recall of 5,418 DBP-2800 Battery Packs used in the Lifeline Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) and ReviveR AED, as these AEDs may incorrectly recognize an error condition during charging for a shock and discontinue the charge, not providing therapy when the defected battery packs are used.

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FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program
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Fitness Trends Predictive of Diabetes Development

WEDNESDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- People who increase their cardiorespiratory fitness level over time are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who lose fitness, according to research published in the June issue of Diabetes Care.

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Delaying Gallbladder Removal Ups Complications, Costs

WEDNESDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Delaying cholecystectomy in elderly adults hospitalized due to acute cholecystitis often results in hospital readmissions within two years and increased patient morbidity, mortality and costs, according to research published in the May issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Fatal Medication Errors Rise in July at Teaching Hospitals

TUESDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- In July there is a significant increase in fatal medication errors at medical institutions, and this spike is at least partly due to the arrival of new medical residents, according to a study published online May 29 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Specific Care Plan Does Not Slow Decline in Alzheimer's

FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- A comprehensive specific care plan carried out with biannual clinic consultations and management of problems with standardized guidelines does not decrease the rate of functional decline in individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, according to research published June 3 in BMJ.

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Low-Dose Estrogen Patch Linked to Lower Risk of Stroke

FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who use low-dose estrogen transdermal patches have a lower risk of stroke compared to users of either high-dose estrogen patches or oral hormone replacement therapy (HRT), according to research published June 3 in BMJ.

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Many on Bisphosphonates Lack Information About the Drugs

FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Many individuals taking bisphosphonates are unfamiliar with potential adverse events associated with treatment and with the duration of treatment, according to a study in the May 1 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

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Many Ischemic Stroke Patients Arrive at ER Within Hour

FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial portion of ischemic stroke patients present to emergency departments within an hour of onset, and they are more likely to receive thrombolytic therapy than those who arrive later, but both factors present room for improvement, according to research published online June 3 in Stroke.

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Low HDL Predicts Development of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- There appears to be a consistent association between low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and the presence of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) in men aged 65 years or older, according to research published in the May 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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LDL Increase on Omega-3 Plus Simvastatin Only in Subgroup

FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- The increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that occurs with the addition of omega-3 treatment to simvastatin appears to happen mainly in those with low baseline LDL while on simvastatin alone, according to research published in the May 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Caregiving Stress May Impair Endothelial Function

THURSDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- The stress of caring for a spouse with Alzheimer's disease may increase the risk of cardiovascular events due to impaired endothelial functioning, according to research published in the June 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Many Men Disagree With No-PSA-at-75 Recommendation

THURSDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation to discontinue prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening at age 75 is not supported by many men, and men ages 75 and older show higher-risk disease and poorer survival, according to research published in the May issue of Urology.

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Prolia Approved for Postmenopausal Women With Osteoporosis

WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- The injected drug Prolia (denosumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat postmenopausal women at high risk of bone fracture due to osteoporosis.

FDA

Antidepressants May Increase Cataract Risk in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Older people who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be at increased risk for developing cataracts, according to research published in Ophthalmology.

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In Heart Failure, Discharges Earlier, Readmission Rates Up

TUESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients admitted to hospitals for heart failure in 2006 fared better in-hospital than did those in 1993, but were discharged more often to nursing homes, and readmitted more frequently, according to research published in the June 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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