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 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.
Older people often use multiple drugs, and some of them have anticholinergic activity. Anticholinergic drugs may cause adverse reactions, and therefore their use should be limited. To identify anticholinergic load, several ranked lists with different drugs and scoring systems have been developed and used widely in research. We investigated, if a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) decreased the anticholinergic drug score in a 4-year period. We used four different anticholinergic ranked lists to determine the anticholinergic score and to describe how the results differ depending on the list used.
We analyzed data from population-based intervention study, in which a random sample of 1000 persons aged =75 years were randomized to either an intervention group or a control group. Those in the intervention group underwent CGA including medication assessment annually between 2004 and 2007. Current medication use was assessed annually. The anticholinergic load was calculated by using four ranked lists of anticholinergic drugs (Boustani's, Carnahan's, Chew's and Rudolph's) for each person and for each year.
CGA had no statistically significant effect on anticholinergic exposure during the 4-year follow-up, but improvements towards more appropriate medication use were observed especially in the intervention group. However, age, gender and functional comorbidity index were associated to higher anticholinergic exposure, depending on the list used.
Repeated CGAs may result as more appropriate anticholinergic medication use. The selection of the list may affect the results and therefore the selection of the list is important.
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.
ABSTRACTBackground:We analyzed the impact of opioid initiation on the prevalence of antipsychotic and benzodiazepine and related drug (BZDR) use among community-dwelling persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD).
We utilized the register-based Medication use and Alzheimer's disease (MEDALZ) cohort for this study. We included all community-dwelling persons diagnosed with AD during 2010-2011 in Finland initiating opioid use (n = 3,327) and a matched cohort of persons not initiating opioids (n = 3,325). Interrupted time series analyses were conducted to compare the prevalence of antipsychotic and BZDR use in 30-day periods within six months before opioid initiation to 30-day periods six months later.
Before opioid initiation, prevalence of antipsychotic use among opioid initiators was 13.3%, 18.3% at opioid initiation, and 17.3% six months later. Prevalences of BZDR use were 27.1% six months prior, 28.9% at opioid initiation, and 26.9% six months later. After opioid initiation, antipsychotic and BZDR use declined by 0.3 percentage points (pps, 95% confidence interval 0.1-0.5) and 0.4 pps (0.2-0.7) per month, respectively, until the end of the follow-up. Compared to persons not initiating opioid use, opioid initiation immediately resulted in an increase in prevalence of 1.9 pps (0.9-2.8) for antipsychotics and of 1.6 pps (0.9-2.2) for BZDR use. However, in total there was a comparative decrease of 0.5 pps (0.3-0.8) per month for antipsychotics and of 0.4 pps (0.2-0.6) for BZDR use until the end of the follow-up.
Our results suggest that opioid initiation may reduce antipsychotic and BZDR use among persons with AD.
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.
Antidepressant use has been associated with an increased risk of falling, but no studies have been conducted on whether antidepressant use is associated with an increased risk of head injuries which often result from falling among older persons. The objective of this study was to investigate the risk of head and brain injuries associated with antidepressant use among community-dwelling persons with Alzheimer's disease.
A matched cohort study was conducted by comparing new antidepressant users (n?=?10,910) with two matched nonusers (n?=?21,820) in the MEDALZ study cohort. The MEDALZ cohort includes all community-dwelling persons newly diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease between 2005 and 2011 in Finland. Incident antidepressant users were identified based on register-based dispensing data from the Prescription register with a 1-year washout period for antidepressant use. Nonusers were matched with users based on age, gender, and time since Alzheimer's disease diagnosis. The outcome events were defined as any head injuries and traumatic brain injuries based on diagnoses in Hospital Discharge and Causes of Death registers. Propensity score adjusted Cox proportional hazard models were utilized. Sensitivity analyses with case-crossover design were conducted. All registers are linkable with unique personal identification numbers assigned for each resident.
Antidepressant use was associated with an increased risk of head injuries (age-adjusted event rate per 100 person-years 2.98 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.49-3.06) during use and 2.43 (95% CI 2.06-2.35) during nonuse, adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.35, 95% CI 1.20-1.52) and traumatic brain injuries (age-adjusted event rate per 100 person-years 1.33 (95% CI 1.13-1.53) during use and 1.10 (95% CI 1.00-1.20) during nonuse, adjusted HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.06-1.50). The risk was highest during the first 30 days of use (HR 1.71, 95% CI 1.10-2.66 for head injuries; HR 2.06, 95% CI 1.12-3.82 for traumatic brain injuries) and remained at an elevated level for head injuries for over 2 years of use. In case-crossover analyses, antidepressant use was consistently associated with a higher risk of head injuries.
Antidepressant use was associated with an increased risk of the most severe outcomes, head and brain injuries, in persons with Alzheimer's disease. Antidepressant use should be carefully considered and the association confirmed in future studies.
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It is unknown whether cognitive status or diagnosed cognitive decline affects estrogen use.
We assessed how common systemic estrogen use was among community-dwellers with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and a matched comparison cohort without AD.
This study included an exposure-matched cohort of all Finnish community-dwelling women who received a clinically verified diagnosis of AD in 2005-2011 (N?=?46,116; index cases) and an equally sized matched comparison cohort without AD. Follow-up began on the matching date (date of the AD diagnosis of the index case). Data on systemic estrogen use were obtained from the prescription register. Use initiation and discontinuation were assessed.
Altogether 3.1% of women with AD and 4.3% of women without AD used estrogen during the follow-up period. Only?
Antidepressants are used to treat depression and behavioral symptoms in Alzheimer's disease (AD), although their effectiveness has been questioned and evidence about the risks is accumulating. The objective of this study was to compare antidepressant use among persons with and without AD in Finland.
The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (SII) identified all persons with a verified diagnosis of AD in Finland on December 31, 2005. For each person with AD a comparison person matched for age, sex and region of residence was also identified. Data on reimbursed drug purchases in 2005 were extracted from the Finnish National Prescription Register (FNPR). Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for antidepressant use.
The study sample comprised of 28,089 matched pairs of persons with and without AD (mean age 80.0 SD 6.8, 32.2% men).The prevalence of antidepressant use was higher among persons with AD than without AD (29.4% vs. 10.7%, OR = 3.54; 95% CI: 3.38, 3.70). Among the persons with AD, the prevalence of antidepressant use increased with time since AD diagnosis but not with age. Overall, 90.4% of antidepressant users with AD were co-dispensed anti-dementia drugs.
The antidepressant use was three times more prevalent among persons with AD compared to those without. Though the antidepressant selection was largely consistent with clinical practice guidelines, the high prevalence of use warrants further investigation given the uncertain effectiveness and adverse events related to these drugs.