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May 2010 Briefing - Geriatrics

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

Statins May Reduce Revision Risk After Hip Arthroplasty

FRIDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of revision after primary total hip arthroplasty is lower among those using statins than those not on statins, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Single Lens Distance Glasses May Reduce Falls

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Older individuals who wear multifocal glasses and take part in regular outdoor activity may prevent falls by using single lens distance glasses for outside use; however, this intervention may be harmful in those who wear multifocal glasses and take part in limited outdoor activity, according to a study published online May 25 in BMJ.

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FDA: Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Fracture Risk

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted consumers and health care providers regarding the potential increased risk of hip, wrist and spine fractures associated with high doses or long-term use of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs).

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Early Antibiotics in COPD Hospitalizations Beneficial

TUESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients hospitalized for exacerbations of their illness who receive antibiotic treatment within the first two days of their hospitalization fare better than those who do not, according to research published in the May 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Spondylolisthesis Rate in Older Men Higher Than Thought

TUESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Lumbar spondylolisthesis may be more common in older men than previously thought, and those who are more physically active are more likely to report the condition, according to a study in the May 1 issue of Spine.

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Metformin Associated With Decreased B-12

FRIDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients being treated with metformin to control their diabetes may have a higher risk of decreased levels of vitamin B-12 and increased homocysteine levels, according to research published in the May 20 online edition of the BMJ.

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Stroke Incidence Falls in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky

FRIDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of stroke decreased significantly among whites, but not blacks, in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area from 1999 to 2005, according to research published online May 20 in Stroke.

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Article Addresses Suicide Risks for Seniors in Residential Homes

THURSDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly residents of communal living facilities are at risk of suicidal behaviors that may be due to their underlying reasons for moving into the residential homes, and public health systems and residential communities should take steps to counter these behaviors, according to an article published online May 18 in PLoS Medicine.

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In Prostate Cancer, Selective Alendronate Use Cost-Effective

TUESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- A bone mineral density test followed by selective use of alendronate for fracture prevention in men beginning androgen deprivation therapy for localized prostate cancer is cost-effective, according to research published in the May 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Age Affects Benefits of Cochlear Implants

TUESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients can benefit significantly from cochlear implants, though not as much as younger patients on some measures, according to a study in the May issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery. According to another study in the same journal, the substantial increase in endoscopic surgery for chronic sinus problems in the Medicare population is of uncertain value.

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Cerebral Vasoreactivity Related to Gait, Possibly Falls, in Elderly

TUESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Impaired regulation of cerebral blood flow is associated with slowed gait and may be related to increased falls in the elderly, according to research published in the May 18 issue of the journal Neurology.

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Many Have Low Distress During Prostate Cancer Surveillance

MONDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Men with low-risk prostate cancer on active surveillance generally have favorably low anxiety and distress in the first nine months of surveillance, according to research published in the May issue of The Journal of Urology. Another article in the same issue examines how health status and life expectancy influenced selection of men age 75 and older for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screenings before the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against screening them.

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Earliest Receipt of Alteplase Benefits Stroke Outcomes Most

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- The thrombolytic drug alteplase should be given as soon as possible after a stroke, as the odds of a favorable outcome decrease as the time to treatment increases, according to a pooled analysis published online May 15 in The Lancet.

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Many General Internists Leave Field by Mid-Career

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Roughly one out of six general internists are leaving internal medicine by mid-career, a substantially higher proportion compared to internal medicine subspecialists, according to survey results published April 29 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Neuropathic Pain Increases Related Medical Costs

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Common types of neuropathic pain, such as that associated with herpes zoster or diabetes, can add substantially to health care costs related to those conditions, according to a study reported in the April issue of the Journal of Pain.

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Regional Disparities Seen for Diagnoses, Medicare Spending

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- There are substantial differences in diagnostic practices across U.S. regions, and policymakers looking to control Medicare costs first must understand the sources of the substantial regional differences in Medicare spending, according to a pair of studies published online May 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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New FDA Program Targets Misleading Drug Advertising

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the launch of a new program to educate health care providers regarding their role in making certain that advertisements and promotions for prescription drugs are truthful and not misleading.

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Community Prevention Program Reduces Falls Over 12 Months

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- A comprehensive community fall prevention program may lower the number of falls and improve clinical outcomes in older individuals at high risk for falls, according to a study published online May 11 in BMJ.

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Two Novel Gene Variants Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Two biologically plausible, novel genetic variations are associated with Alzheimer's disease; however, variations may not improve the ability to predict incident Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the May 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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High-Dose Vitamin D Linked to Falls, Fractures in Women

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Older women receiving an annual large dose of vitamin D may have an increased risk of falls and fractures, according to research published in the May 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Abuse Linked to Depression in Older Women

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- In older, functionally independent women, physical and/or verbal abuse is associated with increased depressive symptoms and poorer mental health, according to a study published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine. A second study published in the journal found that older adults with depressive symptoms may benefit as much from an individualized physical activity program as from social visits.

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Dizziness in the Elderly Often Due to Cardiovascular Disease

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- In over half of elderly patients seen in primary care with a complaint of dizziness, cardiovascular disease is a contributing factor, and an adverse drug effect is a contributing factor in about one-fourth of patients, according to research published in the May 10 issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Benefits Found Lacking for High-Dose Proton Pump Inhibitors

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with high doses of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is not associated with reduced rates of rebleeding, surgical intervention, or death in patients with bleeding peptic ulcers compared to non-high-dose PPI treatment, according to a meta-analysis published in the May 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine alongside several other studies that explore the side effects associated with PPIs.

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Fluctuating Blood Pressure May Increase Risk of CVD in Elderly

MONDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- High blood pressure (BP) and greater BP fluctuations are associated with an increased risk for cerebrovascular disease in older adults, according to research published in the May issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Kidney Removal in Elderly Does Not Improve Survival

MONDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical management of localized renal tumors in elderly patients is not associated with increased survival compared with active surveillance, according to a study published online May 10 in Cancer.

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Poor Sleep Common in Assisted Living Facility Residents

MONDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Many residents of assisted living facilities (ALFs) experience poor sleep, which appears to correlate with lower quality of life, difficulty in daily functioning, and increased depression, according to research published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Spouses of Dementia Patients Have Higher Risk of Dementia

FRIDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Among older married couples in which one spouse has dementia, the other spouse -- especially the husband -- has a significantly higher risk of also developing dementia, and a potential causal factor may be the chronic, often severe stress associated with dementia caregiving, according to a study published online May 6 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Signs of Early AMD Less Common Among Asians

THURSDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- The age-specific prevalence of late age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is comparable between Asians and whites, but estimates of early AMD rates are lower in Asians than whites, according to research published in the May issue of Ophthalmology.

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Early Heart Failure Follow-Up Tied to Lower Readmission Rate

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who are hospitalized for heart failure are unlikely to have early follow-up after discharge, but those who are discharged from hospitals that have a higher rate of following up within one week have a lower risk of being readmitted within 30 days, according to a study published in the May 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Cost Barriers Hamper Herpes Zoster Vaccination of Seniors

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Though most physicians recommend the use of herpes zoster vaccine in older adults, they are hampered by its financial barriers, according to survey results published in the May 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. A study in the same issue found that the vaccine is well tolerated in older adults.

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Biomarker Measurement Has Mixed Predictive Value

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Biomarker measurement may result in only modest improvement in coronary heart disease risk prediction in postmenopausal women, but inflammatory biomarkers are associated with heart failure risk in older adults, and measurement may improve heart failure risk stratification, according to two studies published in the May 11 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Most People Don't Know Which Hospitals Are Stroke-Certified

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Despite believing that it is important to know where to get specialty stroke care, most Americans do not know which hospitals in their area are considered stroke-certified, according to the results of a survey released by the American Stroke Association on May 3.

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