During the past 15 years there has been an exponential increase in the number of prescriptions for lipid-lowering drugs. Uncertainties remain about the long-term impact of these medications on cancer, which is particularly bothersome given that the duration of these treatments may extend for several decades.
To explore the association between 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors and cancer incidence.
Using the administrative health databases of the Régie de l'Assurance-Maladie du Québec we performed a nested case-control study. We selected a cohort of 6721 beneficiaries of the health care plan of Quebec who were free of cancer for at least 1 year at cohort entry, 65 years and older, and treated with lipid-modifying agents. Cohort members were selected between 1988 and 1994 and were followed up for a median period of 2.7 years. From the cohort, 542 cases of first malignant neoplasm were identified, and 5420 controls were randomly selected. Users of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors were compared with users of bile acid-binding resins as to their risk of cancer. Specific cancer sites were also considered.
Users of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors were found to be 28% less likely than users of bile acid-binding resins to be diagnosed as having any cancer (rate ratio, 0.72; 95% confidence interval, 0.57-0.92). All specific cancer sites under study were found to be not or inversely associated with the use of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.
The results of our study provide some degree of reassurance about the safety of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.
Comment In: Arch Intern Med. 2001 Jun 11;161(11):146011386902
Patient care classification in Canada in the past has been largely dictated by insurance coverage and the fiscal policies of the individual provinces. In recent years, however, the Canadian Department of Health and Welfare has been promoting the development of a standard patient care classification based on assessment of client or patient needs in regard to the category, type, and level of care. Experimentation with the proposed classification system in several provinces confirms the need in long-term care to include assessment of nursing requirements, physical functioning, and psychosocial assets and liabilities, and points to the importance of using such a classification for planning and evaluating patient care as well as for administrative purposes.
BACKGROUND: Wilson's disease is associated with heavy copper overload, primarily in the liver. Copper is a toxic metal, and might be expected to be associated with cancer induction, as iron is in haemochromatosis. However, liver cancer is currently believed to be extremely rare in this disease, and other intra-abdominal malignancies have not been reported. AIM: To assess the frequency of abdominal malignant disease in patients with Wilson's disease on long-term follow-up. DESIGN: Retrospective study in two specialist Wilson's disease clinics: Cambridge/London and Uppsala. METHODS: We reviewed the case records of 363 patients seen at three centres: Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, 1955-1987; the Middlesex Hospital, London, 1987-2000; and the University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden, 1966-2002. Patients were grouped by length of follow-up: 10-19 years; 20-29 years; 30-39 years; and 40 years or more. RESULTS: No cancers were seen in patients followed for
As the Canadian population ages, there is a need to improve long-term care (LTC) services. An increased understanding of the positive work experiences of LTC staff may help attract more human health resources to LTC.
To describe the perceptions of the roles and work of nurses and care assistants in LTC from interprofessional perspectives.
This study used qualitative data collected from a larger mixed-methods study, Care by Design. The qualitative phase explored the lived experience of LTC staff from the perspectives of key stakeholders via focus groups and individual interviews.
One central theme that emerged from the study was that of LTC staff going "above and beyond" their clinical duties to care for residents. This above and beyond theme was categorized into subthemes including: 1. familial bonds between residents and staff; 2. staff spending additional time with residents; 3. the ability to provide comfort to family members; and 4. staff dedication during end-of-life care.
The findings show that staff develop a kinship with residents, demonstrate respect towards residents' families and provide comfort at the end-of-life. In emphasizing these themes of positive and fulfilling work, the present study provides insight into why staff work in LTC.
American Indian and Alaska Native Programs, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Nighthorse Campbell Native Health Building, Mail Stop F800, P.O. Box 6508, Aurora, CO 80045-0508, USA. email@example.com
OBJECTIVE: To illustrate successful strategies in working with American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) communities in aging and health research by emphasizing access, local relevance, and decision-making processes. METHODS: Case examples of health studies involving older AIs (greater than or equal to 50 years) among Eastern Band Cherokee Indians, a federally recognized reservation; the Cherokee Nation, a rural, nonreservation, tribal jurisdictional service area; and Lakota tribal members living in Rapid City, South Dakota. RESULTS: Local review and decision making reflect the unique legal and historical factors underpinning AI sovereignty. Although specific approval procedures vary, there are common expectations across these communities that can be anticipated in conceptualizing, designing, and implementing health research among native elders. CONCLUSIONS: Most investigators are unprepared to address the demands of health research in AI communities. Community-based participatory research in this setting conflicts with investigators' desire for academic freedom and scientific independence. Successful collaboration promises to enhance research efficiencies and move findings more quickly to clinical practice.
During the past century, long-term care in the United States has evolved through five cycles of development, each lasting approximately twenty years. Each, focusing on distinct concerns, produced unintended consequences. Each also added a layer to an accumulation of contradictory approaches--a patchwork system now pushed to the breaking point by increasing needs and financial pressures. Future policies must achieve a better synthesis of approaches inherited from the past, while addressing their unintended consequences. Foremost must be assuring access to essential care, delivery of high-quality services in an increasingly deinstitutionalized system, and a reduction in social and economic disparities.
BACKGROUND: An index of age-associated health/well-being disorders (deficits), called the "frailty index" (FI), appears to be a promising characteristic to capture dynamic variability in aging manifestations among age-peers. In this study we provide further support toward this view focusing on the analysis of the FI age patterns in the participants of the National Long Term Care Survey (NLTCS). METHODS: The NLTCS assessed health and functioning of the U.S. elderly in 1982, 1984, 1989, 1994, and 1999. Detailed information for our sample was assessed from about 26,700 interviews. The individual FI is defined as a proportion of health deficits for a given person. RESULTS: The FI in the NLTCS exhibits accelerated age patterns. The acceleration is larger for elderly who, at younger ages, had a lower FI (low FI group) than for those who showed a higher FI at younger ages (high FI group). Age-patterns for low and high FI groups tend to converge at advanced ages. The rate of deficit accumulation is sex-sensitive. CONCLUSIONS: The accelerated FI age patterns suggest that FI can be considered as a systemic measure of aging process. Convergence of the (sex-specific) FI age patterns for low and high FI groups by extreme ages might reflect the limit of the FI-specific (or systemic) age as well as the limit of adaptation capacity in aging individuals.