Severe hypokalaemia can aggravate arrhythmia tendency and prognosis, but less is known about risk of mild hypokalaemia, which is a frequent finding. We examined the associations between mild hypokalaemia and ambulatory cardiac arrhythmias and their prognosis.
Subjects from the cohort of the 'Copenhagen Holter Study' (n = 671), with no history of manifest cardiovascular (CV) disease or stroke, were studied. All had laboratory tests and 48-h ambulatory electrocardiogram (ECG) recording. The median follow-up was 6.3 years. p-Potassium was inversely associated with frequency of premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) especially in combination with diuretic treatment (r = -0.22, P = 0.015). Hypokalaemia was not associated with supraventricular arrhythmias. Subjects at lowest quintile of p-potassium (mean 3.42, range 2.7-3.6 mmol/L) were defined as hypokalaemic. Cardiovascular mortality was higher in the hypokalaemic group (hazard ratio and 95% confidence intervals: 2.62 (1.11-6.18) after relevant adjustments). Hypokalaemia in combination with excessive PVC worsened the prognosis synergistically; event rates: 83 per 1000 patient-year in subjects with both abnormalities, 10 and 15 per 1000 patient-year in those with one abnormality, and 3 per 1000 patient-year in subjects with no abnormality. One variable combining hypokalaemia with excessive supraventricular arrhythmias gave similar results in univariate analysis, but not after multivariate adjustments.
In middle-aged and elderly subjects with no manifest heart disease, mild hypokalaemia is associated with increased rate of ventricular but not supraventricular arrhythmias. Hypokalaemia interacts synergistically with increased ventricular ectopy to increase the risk of adverse events.
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.
To study the associations of instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and the handgrip strength with oral self-care among dentate home-dwelling elderly people in Finland.
The study analysed data for 168 dentate participants (mean age 80.6 years) in the population-based Geriatric Multidisciplinary Strategy for Good Care of the Elderly (GeMS) study. Each participant received a clinical oral examination and structured interview in 2004-2005. Functional status was assessed using the IADL scale and handgrip strength was measured using handheld dynamometry.
Study participants with high IADL (scores 7-8) had odds ratios (ORs) for brushing their teeth at least twice a day of 2.7 [95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.1-6.8], for using toothpaste at least twice a day of 2.0 (CI 0.8-5.2) and for having good oral hygiene of 2.8 (CI 1.0-8.3) when compared with participants with low IADL (scores =6). Participants in the upper tertiles of the handgrip strength had ORs for brushing the teeth at least twice a day of 0.9 (CI 0.4-1.9), for using the toothpaste at least twice a day of 0.9 (CI 0.4-1.8) and for good oral hygiene of 1.1 (CI 0.5-2.4) in comparison with the study subjects in the lowest tertile of handgrip strength.
The results of this study suggest that the functional status, measured by means of the IADL scale, but not handgrip strength, is an important determinant of oral self-care among the home-dwelling elderly.
In Norway, there is a focus on home-dwelling people with dementia receiving the opportunity to participate in organized meaningful activities. The aim of this study was to elucidate the experiences of home-dwelling persons with early-stage dementia who attend an activity center and participate in adapted physical and social activities delivered by nurses and volunteers.
The study adopted a qualitative approach, with individual interviews conducted among eight people diagnosed with early-stage dementia. The interview texts were analyzed using manifest and latent content analysis.
Four categories, ie, "appreciated activities", "praised nurses and volunteers", "being more active", and "being included in a fellowship", as well as the overall theme "participation in appreciated activities and a sense of feeling included in a fellowship may have a positive influence on health and well-being" emerged in the analysis. The informants appreciated the adapted physical and social activities and expressed their enjoyment and gratitude. They found the physical activities useful, and they felt themselves to be included in a fellowship through cheerful nurses and volunteers. The nurses were able to create a good atmosphere and spread joy in the center together with the volunteers. The informants felt themselves valued as the persons they were. These findings indicated that such activities may have had a positive influence on the informants' health and well-being.
In order to succeed with this kind of activity center, it is decisive that the nurses are able to tailor meaningful activities and create an environment where the persons with dementia can feel that they are respected and valued. The municipality health care service should implement such activity centers with specialist nurses in dementia care together with volunteers.
Cites: J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2006 Sep;7(7):426-3116979086
Attitudes toward ageing have powerful influences and impact older adults' own perception of health, quality of life and utilisation of health and social care services. This study describes attitudes to ageing among 490 Norwegian older adults living in the community who responded to The Attitudes to Ageing Questionnaire. Results showed that in spite of physical changes and psychological losses, the attitudes of older adults support life acceptance with gained wisdom in feeling that there were many pleasant things about growing older and that their identity was not defined by their age. They demonstrated the ability to incorporate age-related changes within their identities and at the same time maintain a positive view of self. Although they acknowledged that old age represented a time of loss with decreasing physical independence, they meant that their lives had made a difference, they wanted to give a good example to younger persons and felt it was a privilege to grow old.
Pressure ulcers (PUs) are a common secondary complication experienced by community dwelling individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). There is a paucity of literature on the health economic impact of PU in SCI population from a societal perspective. The objective of this study was to determine the resource use and costs in 2010 Canadian dollars of a community dwelling SCI individual experiencing a PU from a societal perspective. A non-comparative cost analysis was conducted on a cohort of community dwelling SCI individuals from Ontario, Canada. Medical resource use was recorded over the study period. Unit costs associated with these resources were collected from publicly available sources and published literature. Average monthly cost was calculated based on 7-month follow-up. Costs were stratified by age, PU history, severity level, location of SCI, duration of current PU and PU surface area. Sensitivity analyses were also carried out. Among the 12 study participants, total average monthly cost per community dwelling SCI individual with a PU was $4745. Hospital admission costs represented the greatest percentage of the total cost (62%). Sensitivity analysis showed that the total average monthly costs were most sensitive to variations in hospitalisation costs.
After more than a decade of concerted effort by policy-makers in Canada and elsewhere to encourage older adults to age at home, there is recognition that the ageing-in-place movement has had unintended negative consequences for family members who care for seniors. This paper outlines findings of a qualitative descriptive study to investigate the health and wellness and support needs of family caregivers to persons with dementia in the Canadian policy environment. Focus groups were conducted in 2010 with 23 caregivers and the health professionals who support them in three communities in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. Thematic analysis guided by the constant comparison technique revealed two overarching themes: (1) forgotten: abandoned to care alone and indefinitely captures the perceived consequences of caregivers' failed efforts to receive recognition and adequate services to support their care-giving and (2) unrealistic expectations for caregiver self-care relates to the burden of expectations for caregivers to look after themselves. Although understanding about the concepts of caregiver burden and burnout is now quite developed, the broader sociopolitical context giving rise to these negative consequences for caregivers to individuals with dementia has not improved. If anything, the Canadian homecare policy environment has placed caregivers in more desperate circumstances. A fundamental re-orientation towards caregivers and caregiver supports is necessary, beginning with viewing caregivers as a critical health human resource in a system that depends on their contributions in order to function. This re-orientation can create a space for providing caregivers with preventive supports, rather than resorting to costly patient care for caregivers who have reached the point of burnout and care recipients who have been institutionalised.
To assess the role of four biomarkers of neuroendocrine activation and endothelial dysfunction in the longitudinal prediction of fragility fractures.
We analysed a population-based prospective cohort of 5415 community-dwelling individuals (mean age, 68.9±6.2 years) enrolled in the Malmö Preventive Project followed during 8.1±2.9 years, and investigated the longitudinal association between C-terminal pro-arginine vasopressin (CT-proAVP), C-terminal endothelin-1 precursor fragment (CT-proET-1), the mid-regional fragments of pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM) and pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP), and incident vertebral, pelvic and extremity fractures.
Overall, 1030 (19.0%) individuals suffered vertebral, pelvic or extremity fracture. They were older (70.7±5.8 vs 68.4±6.3 years), more likely women (46.9% vs 26.3%), had lower body mass index and diastolic blood pressure, were more often on antihypertensive treatment (44.1% vs 38.4%) and had more frequently history of fracture (16.3% vs 8.1%). Higher levels of MR-proADM (adjusted HR (aHR) per 1 SD: 1.51, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.28, p
The paper aims to explain how and why organizations, providing assistive devices and related web services for elderly independent living services, might be willing to collaborate and to share their resources and data on a common service platform.
A theoretical framework from literature on collective action theory, platform and business ecosystem concepts was developed to explain what factors influence inter-organizational collective action for a common service platform. The framework was tested in a case study of collaborative platform project for independent living services in Finland. Semi-structured interviews with the project managers and the decision makers of involved organizations were the primary source of data collection.
Strikingly, interdependency among the organizations was not found to be important for collaboration in this case. Instead, we found that a central organization can play an important role in initiating, facilitating and encouraging collaboration among different parties. Moreover, we found more willingness for collaboration when the platform is aimed to be open to third-parties to complement the platform with additional services.
Strategies of the platform leader and openness of the platform towards third parties are the most important drivers for collective action between organizations offering independent living services. Establishing common service platforms for independent living services requires explicit attention to these inter-organizational issues.
To identify the health-related needs of community-dwelling older adults with mild memory loss.
Qualitative study using semistructured, audiotaped, face-to-face interviews and focus groups.
A large community in Newfoundland.
Twenty-two adults between the ages of 58 and 80 years.
This needs assessment used a qualitative methodology of collecting and analyzing narrative data to develop an understanding of the issues, resources, and constraints of community-dwelling older adults with mild memory loss. Data were collected through semistructured, audiotaped, face-to-face interviews and focus groups. Transcripts of the interviews were analyzed using interpretive phenomenologic analysis.
Three constitutive patterns with relational themes and subthemes were identified: forgetting and remembering, normalizing yet questioning, and having limited knowledge of resources. Participants described many examples of how their daily lives were affected by forgetfulness. They had very little knowledge of resources that provided information or support. Most of the participants believed they could not discuss their memory problems with their family doctors.
It is important for older adults with mild memory loss to have access to resources that will assist them in understanding their condition and make them feel supported.
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