Cardiovascular diseases constitute the most common health problems in very old people. Consequently, cardiovascular drugs are the medicines that are most frequently used by elderly subjects. Although many studies have examined the physiological effect and adverse reactions of these drugs, knowledge on their effect on emotional well-being is missing. The present study aims to examine the association between cardiovascular diseases and their medical treatment on the emotional well-being of very old people. We investigated a representative group of elderly subjects gathered from a population-based study (n=235). Participants were 84 years or older and cognitively intact (mini-mental state examination (MMSE) > or =24 points). Well-being was assessed with the positive and negative affect schedule (PANAS), measuring different mood categories. Cardiovascular diseases were diagnosed following the International Classification of Diseases. In this population the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases was high (62%). Multivariate regression analysis showed that while being affected by a cardiovascular disease did not affect the emotional well-being of the subjects (PANAS-PA, p=0.171; PANAS-NA, p=0.209), the use of some cardiovascular drugs showed an association. Cardiac glycosides (p=0.006) and nitrates (p=0.008) were associated with increased negative feelings. Due to high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and use of cardiovascular medicines, this finding has relevance on the quality of life of elderly people. However, due to the nature of this study we cannot assess cause-effect relationship of this positive association. Therefore, the present findings suggest that there is a need for clinical studies in this increasing and limited studied age group.
The aim of this study was to describe how older people living at home in Stockholm, Sweden, experienced the management of their own medication regimen from their own perspective.
Very old people tend to use more medicines, and without proper medication, many of them would not function well and would not be able to remain in their own homes.
This qualitative study involved audiotaped interviews with 25 very old persons.
aged >or=85 years, mini-mental state examination >or=24, living at home, taking medicines regularly. Data collected May-June 2005, analysed using content analysis.
Findings revealed that most participants managed their medicines by themselves and were very content with this. Older people who received some help with their medicines were also very pleased with that help. The most important components for older people were to have good cognitive ability, to be independent and to get support with their medicines from a close person as a back up.
Our results indicate that most of the participants were very pleased with their medicine management, either on their own or they were able to get some help. There was, however, a need for assistance in delivering the medicines to their homes.
Understanding how older people experience their management of medicines and to reveal the components which may affect them in this situation is important to improve nursing care. To observe the life of an older person as a whole is important in nursing care, so that the person's behaviour can be understood, as how older people manage to handle their medicines may have an impact on their autonomy and on health-care resource use.
We investigated the influence of individual-difference variables implicated as risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD) or known to be related to cognitive performance in normal aging (e.g., age, sex, years of education, previous and recent diseases, apolipoprotein E status, social network, and substance use) on rate of cognitive change from preclinical to clinical AD. With the use of data from a population-based study, 230 persons who were nondemented at baseline and diagnosed with AD at a 3-year follow-up were examined with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Of all predictor variables examined, only number of diseases resulting in hospital admission during the follow-up period made an independent contribution to rate of MMSE change. These results suggest that many variables affecting the onset of the degenerative process as well as cognitive functioning in normal aging exert little influence on rate of cognitive change in preclinical AD. This may reflect the fact that the emerging dementia disease overshadows the role of these variables for cognitive functioning. A possible exception to this pattern is that an increasing number of concomitant health conditions may exacerbate the rate of cognitive decline during the final portion of the preclinical phase in AD.
OBJECTIVE: We explored the effect of morbidity, mortality, and occurrence of new disability on gender differences in activities of daily living (ADL) functioning in different age groups in the elderly population. METHODS: All 77+-year-old members of a community-based cohort were clinically examined by physicians, assessed by psychologists, and interviewed by nurses at baseline and after a 3-year interval. Diseases were diagnosed according to ICD-9 and the DSM-III-R criteria for dementia. The Katz index of ADL was used to measure basic functional status. RESULTS: After adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics, the oldest women (90+ years) had higher disability prevalence and a tendency for higher long-term disability incidence. Women aged 85+ years also had higher morbidity prevalence. Mortality among disabled subjects was similar for both genders, whereas higher mortality was found in younger nondisabled men (77-84 years). CONCLUSION: We conclude that gender differences in disability, morbidity, and mortality vary with age in the elderly population. Gender differences in morbidity and basic functional dependence were evident only in the oldest old. Based on current and previous findings, we speculate that more women may be at higher risk of developing severe disability than men in the advanced ages due to longer survival with slight disability earlier in adult life.