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.
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
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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Cites: Aging Ment Health. 2005 Sep;9(5):430-4116024402
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Idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting approximately 1% of the population above 65 years of age. The aim of this study was to define the estimated Danish IPD population and to elucidate source of income and labour market affiliation for working-age IPD patients.
IPD cases were included through the Danish Register of Medicinal Product Statistics. The participants had to be alive by the end of 2010 and at least twice have cashed in prescriptions on IPD medication in the 2009-2010 period. Information on employment status and transfer income was retrieved through the DREAM database under the Danish Ministry of Employment.
A total of 7,033 estimated IPD patients were identified. The mean age at time of registration (2010, week 50) was 72 years. Overall, 7% of the IPD patients were employed and 5% were self-supportive. In the working age range (18-64 years), 25% were employed and 10% enrolled in supported employment. Compared with the age-adjusted general population, twice as many IPD patients were outside the ordinary labour market and, furthermore, the proportion receiving anticipatory pension was increased threefold. The majority (89%) of the patients were living at home with a spouse (59%). 11% were nursing home residents.
The working age IPD population was more prone to be outside employment and to receive public transfer income than an age-adjusted population sample.
The study was funded by the Danish Parkinson Association.
To examine how the right to participation according to Article 19 of the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is promoted by personal assistance use in Sweden across age, gender and eligible person categories.
Register data and data from a questionnaire were used (N?=?15,289). Principal component analysis was performed and the internal consistency was tested. Descriptive statistics (?2 test) were used across age, gender and eligible person categories and components.
An uneven distribution of personal assistance across the components Health and Care; Home, Leisure and Social Interaction; and Daily Occupation was found. Significant differences in personal assistance reported were found between children and adults, men and women and between the three eligible person categories.
The discrepancy between reported and expected outcome of personal assistance indicates that Article 19 of the UNCRPD has not been met. The unequal access to participation across age, gender and eligible person categories would seem to further signify that the Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments is promoting activities of a caring nature rather than fulfilling Article 19 of the UNCRPD, i.e. ensuring full participation in society. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Government assistance allowance were granted for predominantly health and care, i.e. basic needs presenting risk of undermining the intention of participation in society. Men reported more personal assistance use for activities promoting participation than women. The discrepancy found between reported and expected outcome of personal assistance underlines the importance of service providers and administrative officials being sensitive to policy intentions. There is a need of guidelines for service providers and administrative officials to promote disability rights of participation for persons eligible for personal assistance.
Continuous population aging has raised international policy interest in promoting active aging (AA). AA theoretical models have been defined from a biomedical or a psychosocial perspective. These models may be expanded including components suggested by lay individuals. This paper aims to study the correlates of AA in three European countries, namely, Spain, Poland, and Finland using four different definitions of AA.
The EU COURAGE in Europe project was a cross-sectional general adult population survey conducted in a representative sample of the noninstitutionalized population of Finland, Poland, and Spain. Participants (10,800) lived in the community. This analysis focuses on individuals aged 50 years old and over (7,987). Four definitions (two biomedical, one psychosocial, and a complete definition including biomedical, psychosocial, and external variables) of AA were analyzed.
Differences in AA were found for country, age, education, and occupation. Finland scored consistently the highest in AA followed by Spain and Poland. Younger age was associated with higher AA. Higher education and occupation was associated with AA. Being married or cohabiting was associated with better AA compared to being widowed or separated in most definitions. Gender and urbanicity were not associated with AA, with few exceptions. Men scored higher in AA only in Spain, whereas there was no gender association in the other two countries. Being widowed was only associated with lower AA in Poland and not being married was associated with lower AA in Poland and Finland but not Spain.
Associations with education, marital status, and occupation suggest that these factors are the most important components of AA. These association patterns, however, seem to vary across the three countries. Actions to promote AA in these countries may be addressed at reducing inequalities in occupation and education or directly tackling the components of AA lacking in each country.