BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The level of physical functioning (PF) late in life has, in recent years, been shown to be influenced by genetic factors. One of the most extensively studied genetic variants associated with PF and trainability is insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism in the gene encoding Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE). However, ACE studies have mainly been conducted among younger persons in excellent physical shape. In this study, we examine whether the level of PF, trainability, or rate-of-change are associated with the ACE genotype among the elderly. METHODS: We used data from 4 randomized training studies of elderly Danes (N = 203). The measures of PF were self-report, maximal oxygen uptake, muscle strength, walking speed, and body composition. RESULTS: Overall, a favorable change in the measures of PF was observed in training groups compared with control groups. However, within groups, neither pre- or post-training/control period levels of PF nor differences in pre- and post-levels were associated with the ACE genotype. CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of our randomized studies, we could not detect any association between the ACE genotype and the level of PF or change, regardless of whether response to physical training or spontaneous changes was studied.
To evaluate the effect of medical Primary Integrated Interdisciplinary Elder Care at Home (PIECH) on acute hospital use and mortality in a frail elderly population.
Comparison of acute hospital care use for the year before entering the practice (pre-entry) with the most-recent 12-month period (May 1, 2010-April 30, 2011, postentry) for active and discharged patients.
All 248 frail elderly adults enrolled in the practice for at least 12 months who were living in the community and not in nursing homes in Victoria, British Columbia.
Primary geriatric care provided by a physician, nurse, and physiotherapist in participants' homes.
Acute hospital admissions, emergency department (ED) contacts that did not lead to admission, reason for leaving practice, and site of death.
There was a 39.7% (116 vs 70; P = .004) reduction in hospital admissions, 37.6% (1,700 vs 1,061; P = .04) reduction in hospital days, and 20% (120 vs 95; P = .20) reduction in ED contacts after entering the practice. Fifty participants were discharged from the practice, 64% (n = 32) of whom died, 20% (n = 10) moved, and 16% (n = 8) were admitted to nursing homes. Fifteen (46.9%) deaths occurred at home.
Primary Integrated Interdisciplinary Elder Care at Home may reduce acute hospital admissions and facilitate home deaths.
This study examines the adequacy of the dietary intake based on age, sex, and level of nutritional risk among 98 frail elderly persons receiving home care through Community Care Access Centres. The dietary intakes were measured using 24-hour recalls and were compared with the dietary reference intake. The participants' intakes of both macronutrients and micronutrients were found to be inadequate. On average, elderly persons were consuming more than the recommended amount of protein, but the average intakes of many vitamins and minerals were less than optimal based on the average intakes. Paradoxically, more than half of elderly participants were overweight or obese. The results highlight the need for appropriate nutrition, education, and support for elderly persons receiving home care.
Throughout the world all populations are seeing burgeoning numbers of "elders", defined as persons aged 65 year and older. In many countries, including Japan, the United States, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, those aged over 65 are at or approaching 15% of the population. As their numbers have increased, so have their health care expenses, leading to extensive research on the health, well being, and life expectancy of these increasingly older elders. Today this group is further sub-divided: the young-old ages 65-74, the old-old ages 75-84, and the oldest-old ages 85+, for both health care and research purposes. However broad variation still characterizes even these groupings. Rates of frailty and disability increase with increasing age among these elders. For example, inabilities to complete at least one activity of daily living increased from about 5-7% at ages 65-69 years to about 28-36% at ages 85+ in 1987. Death rates continue to decline at all ages past 50 years and rates of disability seem to be doing the same. For the foreseeable future, we may expect increasing numbers of older, frail elders than in previous decades. Thus, people are not only living longer, they generally are healthier at advanced ages than were previous cohorts, thus "old age" disabilities of the 20th century will be put off to even older ages during the 21st century. As yet there is no clear way to assess senescent changes in humans, although activities of daily living, allostatic load, and frailty indices have all been suggested. One future need is greater development and use of universal and accessible design in all aspects of the built environment.
The objective of this study was to broaden our understanding of the specific characteristics of community-dwelling seniors who are at increased risk of falling and becoming injured, by paying particular attention to gender and veteran status. The 137 respondents included 69 senior male veterans and 68 seniors in the general population. Results indicated that the veterans were at higher risk of falling than the general senior population, and were at higher risk of becoming injured after falling. Senior women were at less risk of falling and becoming injured than the veterans, but were at higher risk than the senior nonveteran men. It is imperative to target screening and falls prevention activities at these and other specific subgroups in the senior population that are at high risk of falling and becoming injured.
In the fall of 2007, the Government of Quebec set up a Public Consultation on Living Conditions of Seniors. Fifty sessions were held in 26 cities across all 17 regions of the province. More than 4000 seniors attended the sessions and 275 briefs were received from scientists and associations. Three themes were identified in the report published in 2008: supporting seniors and their caregivers, reinforcing the place of seniors in society, and preventing problems associated with aging (suicide, abuse, addictions). The main actions that I recommended included: Increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement to prevent poverty; Modifying pension plans and working conditions to allow for progressive retirement; Making a major investment in home care to provide access to services regardless of place of residence; Introducing an Autonomy Support Benefit and autonomy insurance program for financing services to support people with disabilities; Generalizing an Integrated Service Delivery Network providing services to frail older people; Better training for professionals in gerontology. I also recommended setting up a National Policy on Seniors to align all government departments and agencies, municipalities and the private sector around a vision, objectives and a set of actions for improving the integration of seniors in an aging society. This would contribute to a more equitable, interdependent and wiser society. Unfortunately, the Government did not support these recommendations. It is now time for scientists to get involved in leading policy on seniors and in the political arena.
The association of apathy with Alzheimer disease and other dementias and caregiver burden has been examined in a number of studies; however, less is known about its relationship with delirium and mortality. We aimed to investigate the prevalence, relationship with delirium and dementia, and prognostic value of apathy in an elderly and frail inpatient population.
The cohort included 425 patients in acute geriatric wards and in 7 nursing homes in Helsinki (1999-2000). Demographic factors, physical functioning, diagnoses, and drugs were assessed with special reference for dementia, delirium, and apathy. Mortality was registered from central registers.
Of the patients, 98 (23.1%) suffered from apathy, and it was more frequent among men (32% versus 21% women, P = .037 ). There was no difference in mean age, number of comorbidities, or in the mean number of medications between those with and without apathy; however, those with apathy had lower mean MMSE points (9.2 versus 14.0 without apathy, P
Although apolipoprotein E (ApoE) polymorphism is associated with variable risks of several illnesses, and with mortality, no persuasive relationship has been demonstrated with frailty. Here, the clinical examination cohort (n=1452 older adults, aged 70+ years at baseline) of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging was evaluated, with 5-year follow-up data. Frailty was defined using both the phenotypic definition from the Cardiovascular Health Study (Frailty-CHS) and the 'Frailty Index', from which age-specific trajectories of deficit accumulation can be estimated. In age-sex adjusted analyses, people with ApoE 4 allele had a higher risk of death (hazard ratio [HR]=1.20; 95% confidence interval: 1.01-1.45), but this relationship was not significant when adjusted for cognitive impairment (1.06; 95% confidence interval: 0.88-1.27). There was no association between frailty and ApoE polymorphism, defined in age-sex adjusted models either as Frailty-CHS (ApoE4 HR 1.17; 95% confidence interval: 0.98-1.40, frailty HR 1.37; 95% confidence interval: 1.28-1.46) or by the Frailty Index (ApoE4 HR 1.07; 95% confidence interval: 0.90-1.29, frailty HR 35.3; 95% confidence interval: 20.4-61.1). The data do not support an association between ApoE polymorphism and frailty. This result did not depend on how frailty was defined.
To evaluate the potential of an artificial neural network (ANN) in predicting survival in elderly Canadians, using self-report data.
Cohort study with up to 72 months follow-up.
Forty self-reported characteristics were obtained from the community sample of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging. An individual frailty index score was calculated as the proportion of deficits experienced. For the ANN, randomly selected participants formed the training sample to derive relationships between the variables and survival and the validation sample to control overfitting. An ANN output was generated for each subject. A separate testing sample was used to evaluate the accuracy of prediction.
A total of 8,547 Canadians aged 65 to 99, of whom 1,865 died during 72 months of follow-up.
The output of an ANN model was compared with an unweighted frailty index in predicting survival patterns using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.
The area under the ROC curve was 86% for the ANN and 62% for the frailty index. At the optimal ROC value, the accuracy of the frailty index was 70.0%. The ANN accuracy rate over 10 simulations in predicting the probability of individual survival mean+/-standard deviation was 79.2+/-0.8%.
An ANN provided more accurate survival classification than an unweighted frailty index. The data suggest that the concept of biological redundancy might be operationalized from health survey data.