Anticholinergic drug use has been associated with a risk of central and peripheral adverse effects. There is a lack of information on anticholinergic drug use in persons with diabetes. The aim of this study is to investigate anticholinergic drug use and the association between anticholinergic drug use and self-reported symptoms in older community-dwelling persons with and without diabetes.
The basic population was comprised of Finnish community-dwelling primary care patients aged 65 and older. Persons with diabetes were identified according to the ICD-10 diagnostic codes from electronic patient records. Two controls adjusted by age and gender were selected for each person with diabetes. This cross-sectional study was based on electronic primary care patient records and a structured health questionnaire. The health questionnaire was returned by 430 (81.6%) persons with diabetes and 654 (73.5%) persons without diabetes. Data on prescribed drugs were obtained from the electronic patient records. Anticholinergic drug use was measured according to the Anticholinergic Risk Scale. The presence and strength of anticholinergic symptoms were asked in the health questionnaire.
The prevalence of anticholinergic drug use was 8.9% in the total study cohort. There were no significant differences in anticholinergic drug use between persons with and without diabetes. There was no consistent association between anticholinergic drug use and self-reported symptoms.
There is no difference in anticholinergic drug use in older community-dwelling persons with and without diabetes. Anticholinergic drug use should be considered individually and monitored carefully.
Neuropathy is a common adverse effect of chemotherapy. However, the both the prevalence and the burden of this adverse effect have been poorly documented. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence and discomfort caused by neuropathic symptoms in relation to other adverse effects of chemotherapy.
Between January 2002 and June 2004, we screened 448 patients who were treated with vinca alkaloids, taxanes or platina derivatives, using a simple questionnaire of neuropathic symptoms. The response rate was 75%. Neuropathic symptoms were reported by 258 respondents (76%), of whom 152 patients were eligible for the final analyses. The severity of neuropathy was scored using the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria.
At the screening visit, 90 patients (59%) still reported neuropathic symptoms. Tingling (71%), numbness (58%), impaired sensory function (46%) and pain in hands and feet (40%) were the most common symptoms. The median intensity of neuropathic symptoms was 28/100 on the visual analogue scale. Grade 1 sensory neuropathy was found in 19 out of 90 patients (21%), grade 2 in 38 (42%) and grade 3 in 33 (37%) patients. Grade 1 motor neuropathy was found in 28 (31%), grade 2 in 14 (16%) and grade 3 in one patient (1%). Grade 4 sensory or motor neuropathy was not seen. In the whole cohort of 152 patients, fatigue (66%), mucositis (61%) and neuropathic symptoms (59%) were the most commonly reported symptoms. Every third patient (37%) with neuropathic symptoms ranked them as the most troublesome symptom.
Neuropathy is a common and troublesome adverse effect of chemotherapy, even though the intensity of the symptoms is mild. Thus, the intensity and inconvenience does not correlate to each other.
To present the occurrence, characteristics, etiology, interference, and medication of chronic pain among the elderly living independently at home.
A total of 460 subjects in three cohorts aged 75, 80 and 85 years respectively received visits by communal home-care department nurses for a cross-sectional survey. Of them, 175 had chronic (duration = 3 months) pain with an average intensity of = 4/10 and/or = moderate interference in daily life.
Clinical assessment was performed for consenting subjects to define the location, intensity, etiology, type, interference and medications of chronic pain.
According to home visits, elderly people with chronic pain rated their health and mobility worse and felt sadder, lonelier and more tired than those without chronic pain. A geriatrician made clinical assessments for 106 patients with chronic pain in 2009-2013. Of them, 66 had three, 35 had two and 5 had one pain condition. The worst pain was musculoskeletal in 88 (83%) of patients. Pain was pure nociceptive in 61 (58%), pure neuropathic in 9 (8%), combined nociceptive and neuropathic pain in 34 (32%), and idiopathic in 2 (2%) patients. On a numerical rating scale from 0 to 10, the mean and maximal intensity of the worst pain was 5.7 and 7.7, respectively, while the mean pain interference was 5.9. Mean pain intensity and maximal pain intensity decreased by age. Duration of pain was longer than 5 years in 51 (48%) patients. Regular pain medication was used by 82 (77%) patients, most commonly paracetamol or NSAIDs. Although pain limited the lives of the elderly with chronic pain, they were as satisfied with their lives as those without chronic pain.
Elderly people in our study often suffered from chronic pain, mostly musculoskeletal pain, and the origin of pain was neuropathic in up to 40% of these cases. However, elderly people with chronic pain rarely used the medications specifically for neuropathic pain. Based on increased loneliness, sadness and tiredness, as well as decreased subjective health and mobility, the quality of life was decreased among those with chronic pain compared with those without pain. KEY POINTS It is known that chronic pain is one of the most common reasons for general practice consultations and is more common in women than men. In our study using detailed clinical examinations, up to 40% of patients with chronic pain in cohorts aged 75, 80 and 85 years suffered from neuropathic pain. However, only a few elderly people with chronic pain used medications specifically for chronic pain, which may be due to side effects or non-willingness to experiment with these drugs. Elderly people with chronic pain rated their health and mobility to be worse and felt sadder, lonelier and more tired but were not less satisfied with their lives than those without chronic pain.
The symptoms of pain and depression often present concomitantly, but little is known as to how the different subtypes of depression affect surgical outcome. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a difference in outcome after lumbar spine surgery between non-depressed patients and patients with different subtypes of depressive symptoms: non-melancholic (NmDS) and melancholic depression (MDS).
This was a cross-sectional postal survey. A self-made questionnaire, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Oswestery Low Back Disability Questionnaire (ODI) were sent to patients who had undergone lumbar spine surgery in the Oulu University Hospital between June, 2005 and May, 2008. BDI=10 were further classified into NmDS or MDS.
A total of 537 patients (66%) completed the survey. Of these, 361 (67%) underwent disc surgery, 85 (16%) stabilizing surgery and 91 (17%) decompression. Participants were divided into three groups: BDI
*Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland †Unit of Family Practice, Central Finland Central Hospital, Jyvaskyla, Finland ‡Medcare Foundation, Aanekoski, Finland §Department of Neurosurgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland ¶Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; and ?ORTON Rehabilitation Centre, Helsinki, Finland.
To describe the occurrence of spinal disorders (SDs) resulting in disability pension (DP) in Finland during 1990-2010.
The indirect cost of SD is excessive. The most significant indirect cost is due to DP. There are no nationwide long-term studies of DP trends caused by SDs.
The study setting consisted of Finnish working population (20-64 yr). All new cases were identified from the nationwide register maintained by the Finnish Centre of Pensions from the beginning of 1990 to the end of 2010. The data included sex, age group, year of the DP decision, and the main cause of incapacity (diagnosis) leading to DP. Main outcome measure was DPs due to SDs.
A total of 84,375 individuals (40,415 females; 43,960 males) received DP during the study period. Age- and sex-adjusted incidence rate ratio was 0.45 (95% CI: 0.44-0.46) between time periods of 1990-1994 and 2005-2010. In males, crude incidence in 1990-1994 was 21.0 (95% CI: 20.6-21.3) per 10,000 person-years and in 2005-2010, it was 11.1 (10.9 to 11.3). In females, it was 18.8 (95% CI: 18.5-19.1) and 11.4 (95% CI: 11.1-11.6). During the study period, the overall DP rate also decreased. Age- and sex-adjusted incidence rate ratio was 0.66 (95% CI: 0.65-0.67) between the time periods 1990-1994 and 2005-2010. However, the proportion of DPs due to the SDs of all new DPs was higher in the first half of 1990s than in 2005-2010 (adjusted proportion 19.6% [95% CI: 19.4-19.8] vs. 14.4% [95% CI: 14.2-14.6]).
The occurrence of DPs due to SDs has decreased significantly during the period of 1990-2010 in Finland. On the basis of the register data, nonmedical factors and legislative reforms may explain the decrease of DPs more than treatments provided by health care.
To evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and functional capacity in relation to glycemic control among older home-dwelling primary care patients.
Electronic patient records were used to identify 527 people over 65 years with diabetes. Of these, 259 randomly selected subjects were invited to a health examination and 172 of them attended and provided complete data. The participants were divided into three groups based on the HbA1c: good (HbA1c57mmol/mol (N=29)) glycemic control. HRQoL was measured with the EuroQol EQ-5D questionnaire. Functional and cognitive capacity and mental well-being were assessed with the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) scale, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15).
EQ-5D scores for good, intermediate and poor glycemic control were 0.78; 0.74 and 0.70, p=0.037. Sub-items of mobility (p=0.002) and self-care were the most affected (p=0.031). Corresponding trend was found for IADL, p=0.008. A significant correlation was found between MMSE scores and HbA1c.
Older primary care home-dwelling patients with diabetes and poorer glycemic control have lower functional capacity and HRQoL, especially in regard to mobility and self-care.
Neuropathic pain is more common among older people than in the general population, and the efficacy of medical treatment often remains unsatisfactory.
The aim of this study was to assess the presence, diagnostic certainty, etiology and treatment of neuropathic pain in community-dwelling older people with chronic pain.
Independently living older people aged 75, 80 and 85 years subject to communal preventive home visits with chronic pain were invited to a clinical pain examination by a geriatrician.
Overall, 106 patients consented to participate in the clinical study. Neuropathic pain was diagnosed in 51 (48%) patients, with 75% of pain states definite and 25% probable neuropathic pain. The most common etiology was degenerative disease of the spinal column causing radiculopathy. At the study visit, 11 patients (22% of neuropathic pain patients) were receiving medication that was demonstrated to be effective against neuropathic pain. The geriatrician recommended a trial of a new medicine for 17 patients, but only six continued the medication going forward.
Neuropathic pain was surprisingly common in our cohort. Finding effective pain medication is challenging due to comorbidities, possible side effects, and vulnerability in older age. Other pain management methods should be considered.
To investigate the effect of obesity on outcome in lumbar discectomy.
A cross-sectional postal survey; a self-made questionnaire, Beck depression inventory IA (BDI IA) and the Oswestry low back disability questionnaire (ODI) were sent to the patients, who had undergone lumbar disc surgery in the Oulu University Hospital between June 2005 and May 2008. Patients were divided into three groups according to BMI: normal, pre-obese and obese. The ODI was also examined in the framework of the international classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF) to investigate its ability to describe various dimensions of functioning (body structure and functions, activities and participation).
The postal survey was sent to 642 patients, of whom 355 (55%) replied. Males dominated in the pre-obese (66%) and obese (62%) groups (p=0.01). Normal-weighted and pre-obese patients had lower BDI scores compared to obese patients (mean BDI: 8.0, 7.6, 11.2, respectively, p=0.035). Total ODI score was highest in the obese group compared to normal-weighted or pre-obese (20.3, 18.6, 26.4, respectively, p=0.011). When ODI was linked to the ICF there were significant differences in all activity domains (mobility, self-care and interpersonal interactions and relationships) and the mobility component of the participation domain between the weight groups.
Obesity has an impact on outcome in lumbar discectomy. Obese patients had higher scores in BDI and ODI indicating mild mood disturbances and moderate functional disability. According to ICF, functional disability of obese patients was observed to some extent in all activity domains. Obese patients will be more frequently present for disc surgery and increased morbidity risk must be recognized. We need a strategy to rehabilitate and activate obese patients pre- and postoperatively.
The objective of this study is to present the paid expenditures and productivity costs of disability pensions (DP) due to spinal disorders (SD) in Finland during 1990-2010.
This study is a register-based national study. All new cases aged 20-64 that were granted a DP due to SD were identified from the nationwide register maintained by the Finnish Centre of Pensions. The data included sex, age group, year of the DP decision, main cause of incapacity (diagnosis) leading to permanent DP and yearly paid expenditures for DPs. Annual productivity costs were estimated based on labour force participation rate and the employment rate adjusted gross domestic product.
A total of 39,107 individuals (18,072 females, 21,035 males) received DPs during the study period. SDs generated 9,372 million euros extra cost during this period due to DP (females 3.5 billion, males 5.9 billion). The total DP expenditures paid increased during the first half of 1990s but decreased during the second half of 1990s (-44.8 %). For degenerative SD cases, the DP expenditure was 5.1 billion €, disc disease 3.5 billion € and for other SDs 0.7 billion €. Males, compared to females, were expected to have a rate 1.22 times greater costs due to DPs. The estimated total annual productivity costs due to SDs have been over six times higher than expenditures paid for DPs per year. The costs of DPs are different compared to occurrence rates due to salary and early retirement age differences between genders.
Despite a significant decrease in DP-associated expenditures due to SDs after 1993, the annual expenditures have stayed on a high level in Finland.
Widespread musculoskeletal pain is a well-known symptom of myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2), but so far it has been addressed in only a few studies.
A postal survey for all traceable DM2 patients (n = 132) was conducted. A specific questionnaire, and severity and interference subscales of the Brief Pain Inventory, quality of life (RAND-36), and modified Beck Depression Inventory were completed.
The response rate was 70%. The mean age of respondents was 53 years, 59% of whom were women. Current pain was reported by 54%. Lifetime prevalence of pain was 76%. The mean intensity of pain at its highest in the last week was 5.9, and 2.3 at its lowest (on a numerical rating scale of 0-10). Quality of life was lower in DM2 patients who reported pain. In 18%, the depression score was noticeably different.
Pain of moderate severity and unpleasant muscular symptoms are common in DM2. DM2 should be taken into consideration in the differential diagnosis of musculoskeletal pain.