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Home Visits Cut Death Risk for Seniors

Swedish study finds health worker interventions cut mortality rate in half

THURSDAY, Aug. 31, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Regular home visits by health workers reduce seniors' death risk, a Swedish study confirms.

The study of people over age 75 found that the death rate for the 196 who received twice-yearly home visits from health professionals for two years was nearly half that (27 per 1,000 person-years) of the 346 seniors who did not have any visits (48 per 1,000 person-years).

Among the group of people who did receive visits during the study, the death rate increased as soon as the health worker visits ended, the study said.

The findings were expected to be published today in the journal BMC Public Health.

The visits in the study occurred once every four months, and each visit lasted for one to three hours. During the visits, the seniors received general information about physical activity, symptoms of common diseases, influenza vaccination, diet, and awareness of risk for fall injuries.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers advice on healthy aging for older adults.

SOURCE: BioMed Central, news release, Aug. 29, 2006
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