Loading...

Follow Health in Aging Blog on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Research Summary

As we age, we become more likely to experience symptoms of depression. Research shows that depression’s symptoms can be linked to a higher risk for death. Yet often, older adults’ symptoms of depression may be missed by healthcare professionals.

What’s more, symptoms of depression have been linked to heart disease and stroke in middle-aged and older adults. Researchers suggest that the depression-heart disease link could play a role in the increased risk of death among older adults who have symptoms of depression. There’s also a known link between depression and deaths from cancer and falls in older adults. These connections might contribute to an increased risk of death for older adults, researchers suggest.

Since depression symptoms change over time, it’s possible that studying those symptoms during an older adult’s doctor visits could provide more information. To learn more, a research team designed a study to investigate the role depression symptoms play in an increased risk of death over time. The team also examined the role heart disease and stroke play in the link between depression symptoms and increased risk of death. Their study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The researchers used information from the Three-City Study, a French study that investigated dementia, heart disease, and stroke in people aged 65 and older during five healthcare visits the participants made over 10 years.

At the start of the study, 16 percent of 9,294 participants had a history of heart disease. Most participants were around 73 years old; 37 percent were men.

About 23 percent of participants had symptoms of depression when the study began (28 percent of women and 13 percent of men). Almost 7 percent were taking medication for their depression. At three follow-up visits, the participants were tested again for symptoms of depression.

When the participants were monitored for depression symptoms at several visits over time, symptoms of depression were linked to an increased risk for death, including death from heart disease and stroke. However, those diseases explained only a small percentage of the deaths associated with depression symptoms over time.

The researchers said their study suggested that, for older adults living with depression, preventing heart disease may not be the only factor that will help prevent or delay death. Interestingly, antidepressants were not associated with an increased risk of death in this study.

This summary is from “Depression increases the risk of death independently from vascular events in elderly. The 3C Study.” It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Renaud Péquignot, MD, PhD; Carole Dufouil, PhD; Karine Pérès, PhD; Sylvaine Artero,PhD; Christophe Tzourio, MD, PhD; and Jean-Philippe Empana, MD, PhD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Research Summary

Experts know that in adults younger than 65, having high cholesterol levels in your blood can raise your risk for heart attacks and strokes. However, in adults 80 years old and older, researchers have not—until now—thoroughly studied high cholesterol’s impact on heart disease, your ability to function well, or your risk for death.

In fact, some research shows that a higher level of total cholesterol and a lower level of so-called “bad” cholesterol (also known as “low-density lipoprotein” or LDL cholesterol) might be helpful in protecting your ability to perform daily activities and preserving your life for longer.

What’s more, it appears that having low cholesterol is linked to a higher risk of death from cancer, respiratory disease, and accidents in adults aged 80 and older. It also appears that the benefits of taking medications known as statins, which lower cholesterol, may lessen as people age. Researchers even have a phrase for this phenomenon. They call it the “risk factor paradox.” This describes the fact that for adults aged 80 and older, having some conditions that are considered health risks in younger adults predicts better survival. These conditions include having higher total cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and higher body mass index (BMI, a ratio of body weight to height that helps determine whether you are overweight or obese).

“Triglycerides” are one type of blood fat that your body uses for energy. High levels of triglycerides can raise risks for heart disease in younger adults. However, we don’t know as much about the risks to adults aged 80 and older, or whether high levels of triglycerides can affect their risks for disability or even death.

A team of researchers in China decided to learn more about whether current triglyceride-level guidelines make sense for people aged 80 and older. To do so, the team explored links between triglyceride levels and the ability to perform daily self-care activities, cognitive function (the ability to think and make decisions), and frailty (a condition associated with aging that increases the risks of poor health, falls, disability, and death. Signs of frailty include weakness, weight loss, and low activity levels.). Researchers also looked at whether triglyceride levels had an impact on death in a group of 930 Chinese adults aged 80 or older.

The researchers learned that for the oldest people in the study, having a higher triglyceride level was linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline, less of a reduction in the ability to perform daily tasks, less frailty, and lower risk for death.

The researchers said their results challenge current thinking that having high triglyceride levels is a risk factor for age-related chronic disorders and death. The researchers said their study suggested that, after the age of 80, taking medication to lower cholesterol may not have much—or any—benefit.

This summary is from “Triglycerides paradox among the oldest old: ‘The lower the better?’” It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Yue-Bin Lv, MD; Chen Mao, MD, PhD; Xiang Gao, MD, PhD; Zhao-Xue Yin, MD; Virginia Byers Kraus, MD, PhD; Jin-Qiu Yuan, MD, PhD; Juan Zhang, MD, PhD; Jie-Si Luo, MD; Yi Zeng, PhD; and Xiao-Ming Shi, MD, PhD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Research Summary

“Symptoms” is the medical term for any sign of a health problem, even if that sign doesn’t help your healthcare provider diagnose a specific illness. Symptoms, such as feeling tired or rundown (also called fatigue), are among the leading causes of disability for older adults.

Sometimes symptoms are directly caused by illness—for example, an aching chest can be a symptom associated with a heart attack. But often, symptoms have multiple causes. For example, fatigue can be a common symptom when you have conditions such as knee osteoarthritis, depression, and heart failure.

What’s more, older adults often experience more than one symptom at a time, which can make each symptom feel worse.

Up until now, we haven’t had much information about how symptoms that occur at the same time affect an older adult’s ability to function. To learn more, a team of researchers recently examined information from a large study of older adults, the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), which included more than 7,500 participants aged 65 and older. The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The researchers focused on answers given to several questions in the NHATS that showed whether a participant had symptoms such as:

The researchers also recorded measurements of the participants’ grip strength, whether they walked slowly, their balance, and their ability to rise from a chair. They were also asked whether they had fallen one or more times in the last year.

The researchers also measured whether participants had any chronic diseases, whether they had an overnight hospital stay during the last year, and whether they had trouble performing their daily activities (such as getting in or out of bed, eating, toileting, bathing, and getting dressed).

The researchers learned that 75 percent of older adults had at least one symptom and nearly half had two or more symptoms. They noted that nearly 14 percent—almost 5 million older adults in the U.S.—had four or more symptoms.

The researchers learned that:

  • Symptoms increased with older age.
  • Women were more likely to have more symptoms than men.
  • Compared to white individuals, black and Hispanic participants had more symptoms. Older adults with lower levels of education had a higher number of symptoms than those with higher education levels.
  • Current smoking, obesity, and an inactive lifestyle were also associated with a higher number of symptoms.
  • Participants who had a chronic medical condition, or multiple chronic conditions, also experienced more symptoms.

Importantly, older adults who reported more symptoms had weaker grip strength and walked more slowly. Over time, older adults with more symptoms had an increased risk of falls, hospitalizations, disability, and mortality.

The researchers believe that as we age and experience more multiple chronic conditions, the number of us living with multiple symptoms as older adults is likely to grow. While healthcare providers understand that treating symptoms is important to improving quality of life at the end-of-life (palliative care), there is less understanding about the best way to treat multiple symptoms that older adults experience.

The researchers said that their findings highlight the need for more research on symptoms in older adults to develop effective management strategies.

This summary is from “Symptom Burden among Community-Dwelling Older Adults in the United States.” It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Kushang V. Patel, PhD, MPH; Jack M. Guralnik, MD, PhD; Elizabeth A. Phelan, MD, MS; Nancy M. Gell, PT, PhD, MPH; Robert B. Wallace, MD, MSc; Mark D. Sullivan, MD, PhD; and Dennis C. Turk, PhD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Research Summary

High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is the medical term for when the force of blood against your blood vessel walls is too high. We know that using medication to lower high blood pressure can prevent heart attacks and strokes. But healthcare professionals often worry that prescriptions for lowering high blood pressure can sometimes lower it too much. This can put you at risk for becoming dizzy and falling.

Falls are a serious problem in older adults. In 2014, falls caused 2.8 million emergency room visits, 800,000 hospitalizations, and 27,000 deaths, and cost Medicare an estimated $31.3 billion.

Although some healthcare experts suspect that taking high blood pressure medication over time is linked to falls and fractures, very little research supports that belief. In fact, at least two major studies examining blood pressure reduction did not find an increased risk for falls among people taking medication to reduce high blood pressure. Other studies have not shown an increase in fracture risk for people taking medication for high blood pressure—in fact, some studies suggest that high blood pressure medicines may actually reduce the risk for fractures.

Researchers decided to learn more about the links between falls, high blood pressure, and high blood pressure medication in older women. They published their study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The research team used information from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Objective Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health (OPACH) study. This study was designed to examine the risk of falls for older women (aged 50 to 79) based on their high blood pressure status.  (High blood pressure is often defined as having a reading of 140 mmHg for your “systolic” blood pressure and 90 mmHg or higher for your “diastolic” blood pressure).

Among women with high blood pressure, the researchers looked at participants who did or did not take medication to control their condition. They also took note of the participants’ blood pressure readings over the course of the study.

5,971 women in the study received home visits. Most of the women were in their late 70s. During the visits, the participants had their blood pressure tested. They also were tested to measure their balance, walking speed, and their ability to stand from a seated position. The women also kept calendars for 13 months showing whether or not they had experienced a fall, or if they had come close to falling.

The researchers concluded there was no increased risk of falls among women who took high blood pressure medication compared to those whose blood pressure readings were normal.

In fact, women whose blood pressure was normal with medication had a 15 to 20 percent lower risk of falls compared to women who didn’t have high blood pressure.

The researchers also concluded that taking medication to reduce high blood pressure was not linked to falls in older women. However, other researchers looking at studies with large numbers of participants have found that the risk of falls increased in the first several weeks after people began taking medication to reduce high blood pressure. The increased risk disappeared after the first several weeks.

The researchers suggested that healthcare practitioners measure blood pressure carefully in the office, and potentially have blood pressure measurements taken at home to confirm whether older women need to take medication to lower high blood pressure.

While the risk of a serious fall injury is low for women taking medication for high blood pressure, the researchers suggested that it makes sense to monitor patients for the first few weeks after starting a new medication to reduce high blood pressure—or after raising the dosage for a medication they’re already taking. The researchers said that for women who are doing well and tolerating a new prescription after the first several weeks, it seems likely that they can enjoy the long-term health benefits of better blood pressure control without an increased risk for falls.

 This summary is from “Hypertension Treatment & Falls in Older Women.” It appears online ahead of print in the December 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Karen L. Margolis, MD, MPH; David M. Buchner, MD, MPH; Michael J. LaMonte, PhD, MPH; Yuzheng Zhang, MS; Chongzhi Di, PhD; Eileen Rillamas-Sun, PhD, MPH; Julie Hunt, PhD; Farha Ikramuddin; Wenjun Li; Steve Marshall, PhD; Dori Rosenberg, PhD, MPH; Marcia L. Stefanick, PhD; Robert Wallace; and Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Research Summary

After a hospital stay, many older adults will be discharged to a skilled nursing facility to recover. The goal of this type of short-term nursing care is to help patients regain their ability to function and perform their daily activities to the best of their ability so they can return home, if possible.

Cognitive impairment is when you have difficulties with memory and your ability to think and make decisions. Some studies have examined how cognitive impairment can affect recovery for nursing home residents. But recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) added new ways to measure patients’ abilities to perform their daily routines in nursing facilities and other after-care settings.

So far, studies have not examined how skilled nursing care residents who have cognitive difficulties perform on the new self-care and mobility measurements. Researchers designed a new study to fill that knowledge gap. Using new measurements, it examines changes in residents’ self-care and their ability to get around. The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Participants in the study were Medicare Part A beneficiaries who stayed in a skilled care facility between January 1 and June 30, 2017, but who had not stayed in one in 2016. The study included 246,395 skilled nursing home stays.

The researchers used these measures of self-care and mobility:

  • Eating
  • Oral hygiene
  • Ability to use/get to the toilet
  • Moving from a sitting to lying position
  • Moving from a lying to sitting position
  • Moving from a sitting to standing position
  • Ability to move from chair or bed to chair

These items were scored by health professionals in the nursing homes when residents were admitted and discharged. They used a scale to measure residents’ mobility. The scale ranged from 1 (Dependent: Helper does all of the effort) to 6 (Independent: Resident completes the activity by themselves with no assistance from a helper).

The average length of stay in the nursing facilities was 24 days and most residents were between 65 and 84 years old. Sixty-eight percent of residents had no cognitive impairment when they were admitted to the nursing facility, 18.3 percent had mild impairment, 11.8 percent had moderate impairment, and 1.7 percent had severe impairment.

About 20 percent of the participants had an active diagnosis of a fracture, 30 percent had diabetes, and 27 percent had psychiatric mood disorders. Almost half the participants experienced some urinary incontinence and half had fallen in the last six months.

The researchers learned that the participants’ cognitive status significantly affected their scores. Residents with severe cognitive impairment scored lower than those who were cognitively intact. When they were discharged, residents with severe cognitive impairment scored about one point higher than when they were admitted. This is compared to residents who had no cognitive problems, who scored about two points higher when they were discharged.

Nearly all of the residents who had no cognitive difficulties at admission improved their ability to get around. In contrast, 87 percent of those with severe cognitive impairments improved.

The researchers concluded that residents with more severe cognitive problems didn’t improve as much in terms of self-care and mobility as did residents who were cognitively intact when they were admitted. The researchers thus suggested that residents with cognitive impairment may need additional support and more intense rehabilitation to make the same gains as residents who are cognitively intact.

This summary is from “Relationship between functional improvement and cognition in short-stay nursing home residents.” It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Lacey Loomer, MSPH; Brian Downer, PhD; and Kali Thomas, PhD, MA.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Research Summary

As we age, we tend to develop a number of chronic health conditions and concerns. Often, managing health problems can mean that older adults may take many different medications. When older adults take five or more medicines (a scenario health experts call “polypharmacy”), it can increase the risk of harmful side effects.

Polypharmacy can contribute to serious problems including falls, disability, and hospitalizations. Taking more than five medications is especially common among older adults with heart failure, which is the leading cause of hospitalization for people age 65 and older. Doctors often prescribe several different drugs to improve heart failure, but this can increase your risk of harmful side effects and interactions between your medications. Older adults who have trouble performing routine daily activities are at a particularly high risk for the negative effects of taking a large number of medications.

In a new study, researchers examined whether limitations in older adults’ abilities to perform their routine daily activities were linked to taking multiple medications for heart failure. They published their study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The researchers examined data from 2003-2014 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). They looked at whether limitations in performing routine daily activities were linked to the number of drugs taken by people aged 50 and older with heart failure.

People in the study (most of whom were around age 70) had multiple chronic conditions, which included high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, coronary artery disease, prior heart attack, prior stroke, thyroid disease, liver disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, dialysis, high cholesterol, and arthritis. They were also considered to be frail. People who are frail can be weak, have less endurance, feel exhausted, and be less able to function well.

Nearly 25 percent of the people in the study had trouble thinking and making decisions (also known as cognitive impairment). Cognitive difficulties were more common among people who also had problems performing their routine daily activities.

In the study, 74 percent of the participants took five or more medications. People who had difficulty performing their daily activities took more medications and were more likely to take more than five medications compared to people who didn’t have trouble performing their routine daily activities.

The authors suggested that health care providers might not be taking limitations in performing routine daily activities into account when prescribing drugs for people with heart failure. This may unnecessarily expose older people with heart failure to a higher risk of harmful side effects associated with their prescriptions.

This summary is from “Association Between Functional Impairment and Medication Burden Among Adults with Heart Failure.” It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Parag Goyal, MD, MSc; Joanna Bryan, MPH; Jerard Kneifati-Hayek, MD; Madeline R. Sterling, MD, MPH; Samprit Banerjee, PhD; Mathew S. Maurer, MD; Mark S. Lachs, MD, MPH; and Monika M. Safford MD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Research Summary

Vision impairment and blindness affect one in 11 Americans age 65 and older. Because our population is aging, the number of older adults with vision problems is predicted to rise. Older adults who have impaired vision may be at risk for decreased independence, poorer well-being, and an increased risk of falls. For example, in any given year, approximately 30 percent of adults over age 65 will fall. Having impaired vision more than doubles this risk.

For older adults, falls are a major cause of illness and death. Even having a fear of falling is a challenge that can limit activity and worsen quality of life and independence as you age.

However, we don’t have much information on how often visually impaired older adults experience a fall, and we have even less information about what happens to them after a fall. A team of researchers suggested that we need this information in order to understand the scope of the problem and create ways to prevent falls in visually impaired older adults.

To learn more, the research team examined information from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS). They published their study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Their goal was to provide up-to-date information on the frequency of falls. The team also wanted to learn more about the fear of falling and how it might limit activity among older adults who have vision impairments.

Participants in the study were considered visually impaired if they had trouble recognizing someone across the street and/or reading newspaper print, even when using corrective lenses.

Falls were defined as “any fall, slip, or trip” that involved losing balance and landing on the floor or ground or at a lower level. Participants were asked if they had any fall in the past month and if they fell more than once in the past 12 months. Fear of falling was determined by asking participants if they had worried about falling down in the last month. An additional question asked whether worrying about falling ever caused participants to limit their activities.

The researchers also asked about the number of chronic conditions the participants had, including heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, lung disease, stroke, and cancer.

The researchers concluded that falls, fear of falling, and limiting activity were considerably more common among older adults who were visually impaired.

About 50 percent of people who said they had trouble seeing were afraid of falling and as a result, limited their activity. More than one in four older adults with vision problems had recurrent falls in the year before they were surveyed.

The researchers said their study suggested that taking steps to prevent falls for older adults with vision problems was important and could limit the harmful consequences of falls for older adults. What’s more, helping older adults prevent falls might also slow declines in well-being, quality of life, and independence associated with a fear of falling.

The researchers noted that vision impairment can be treated or even avoided in many cases, and they speculated that doing so might be a strategy to decrease falls and fall-related problems for some older adults with vision problems.

“We need more information about falls and the fear of falling in older adults with vision problems. This will help us design public health and clinical interventions to address some of the key consequences of vision loss for older adults,” said study co-author Joshua R. Ehrlich, MD, MPH.

This summary is from “Prevalence of Falls and Fall-Related Outcomes in Older Adults with Self-Reported Vision Impairment.” It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Joshua R. Ehrlich, MD, MPH; Shirin E. Hassan, BAppSc (Optom), PhD; and Brian C. Stagg, MD, MS.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Research Summary

As our society continues to age, experts project that falls and the health complications that can come with them will also rise. In fact, about two-thirds of all hospital costs ($34 billion) are connected directly or indirectly with falls among older adults.

Falls can be especially challenging for older people who are obese and who also have sarcopenia (the medical term for a loss of muscle strength as we age). Currently, 5 percent to 13 percent of adults older than 60 have sarcopenia. Those rates may be as high as 50 percent in people 80-years-old and older.

Older adults who gain weight may increase their risk for muscle weakness and falls. Obesity is a growing epidemic: More than one-third of adults 65-years-old and older were considered obese in 2010. Having sarcopenia and obesity, or “sarcopenic obesity,” is linked to a decline in your ability to function physically, and to an increased risk of fractures.

A team of researchers writing for the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggested that it is important to identify people at risk for falls related to obesity and muscle weakness so that healthcare providers can offer appropriate solutions.

To learn more about sarcopenic obesity and its effects on falls in older women, the team reviewed information from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). The full study includes health information—like weight, muscle mass, and experiences with falls—from more than 160,000 women aged 50 to 79 who were followed for more than 15 years. The researchers looked at results for 11,020 postmenopausal women.

The researchers concluded that out of the study participants, postmenopausal Hispanic/Latina women had the highest risk of falls related to sarcopenic obesity. They also noted that postmenopausal women younger than 65 were at a higher risk for falls connected to sarcopenic obesity.

The researchers said that, as we age, many older adults will be at high risk for falls as obesity and muscle weakness also increase. Efforts to learn more about how women’s bodies change after menopause will help healthcare professionals design potential solutions.

This summary is from The Association between Sarcopenic Obesity and Falls in a Multiethnic Cohort of Postmenopausal Women.” It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Shawna Follis, MS; Alan Cook, MD; Jennifer W. Bea, PhD; Scott B. Going, PhD; Deepika Laddu, PhD; Jane A. Cauley, DrPH; Aladdin H. Shadyab, PhD; Marcia L. Stefanick, PhD; and Zhao Chen, PhD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Research Summary

To live successfully and independently, older adults need to be able to manage two different levels of life skills: basic daily care and basic housekeeping activities.

Basic daily care includes feeding yourself, bathing, dressing, and going to the toilet on your own.

You also need to handle basic housekeeping activities, such as managing your finances and having the mobility to shop and participate in social activities.

If you or someone you care for has trouble performing these two types of life skills, this may bring on problems that can reduce quality of life and independence. People 85-years-old and older form the fastest-growing age group in our society and are at higher risk for becoming less able to perform these life skills. For this reason, researchers are seeking ways to help older adults stay independent for longer. Recently, a research team focused their attention on learning whether eating more protein could contribute to helping people maintain independence. Their study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Protein is known to slow the loss of muscle mass. Having enough muscle mass can help preserve the ability to perform daily activities and prevent disability. Older adults tend to have a lower protein intake than younger adults due to poorer health, reduced physical activity, and changes in the mouth and teeth.

To learn more about protein intake and disability in older adults, the research team used data from the Newcastle 85+ Study conducted in the United Kingdom (UK). This study’s researchers approached all people turning 85 in 2006 in two cities in the UK for participation. At the beginning of the study in 2006-2007, there were 722 participants, 60 percent of whom were women. The participants provided researchers with information about what they ate every day, their body weight and height measurements, their overall health assessment (including any level of disability), and their medical records.

The researchers learned that more than one-quarter (28 percent) of very old adults in North-East England had protein intakes below the recommended dietary allowance. The researchers noted that older adults who have more chronic health conditions may also have different protein requirements. To learn more about the health benefits of adequate protein intake in older adults, the researchers examined the impact of protein intake on the increase of disability over five years.

The researchers’ theory was that eating more protein would be associated with slower disability development in very old adults, depending on their muscle mass and muscle strength.

As it turned out, they were correct. Participants who ate more protein at the beginning of the study were less likely to become disabled when compared to people who ate less protein.

Dr. Nuno Mendonca, the principal author of the study, said: “Our findings support current thinking about increasing the recommended daily intake of protein to maintain active and healthy aging.” Older adults should aim to eat about 1.0 to 1.2 grams of protein for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. For example, for a person who weighs 160 pounds, that would be about 58 grams of protein a day (a 3.5-ounce serving of chicken contains about 31 grams of protein). Find your recommended daily protein intake—and other important nutritional needs—by using this calculator.

This summary is from “Protein intake and disability trajectories in the very old: The Newcastle 85+ Study.” It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Nuno Mendonça, RD, PhD; Antoneta Granic, PhD; Tom R. Hill, PhD; Mario Siervo, PhD; John C. Mathers, PhD; Andrew Kingston, PhD; and Carol Jagger, PhD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Research Summary

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a brain disease that causes changes that kill brain cells. AD is a type of dementia, which causes memory loss and problems with thinking and making decisions. People with AD and other forms of dementia have difficulties performing the daily activities others might consider routine.

Dementia takes a toll on those who live with it—and it also places a burden on caregivers. Along with problems connected to memory, language, and decision-making, dementia can cause neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, changes in mood, increased irritability, and changes in personality and behavior.  People who have AD/dementia also have twice the risk for falls compared to people without dementia. About 60 percent of older adults with dementia fall each year.

Researchers suggest that having neuropsychiatric symptoms might predict whether an older person with AD/dementia is more likely to have a fall. We also know that exercise can reduce the number of falls in older adults with dementia. However, we don’t know very much about how neuropsychiatric symptoms may increase the risk of falls, and we know even less about how exercise may reduce the risk of falls for people with dementia and neuropsychiatric symptoms. A research team decided to explore whether exercise could reduce the risk of falling among community-dwelling people with AD who also had neuropsychiatric symptoms.

To learn more, the researchers reviewed a study that investigated the effects of an exercise program for older adults with AD (the FINALEX trial). The study included a range of people living with different stages of AD/dementia and with neuropsychiatric symptoms. Their findings were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The original FINALEX study examined and compared older adults who had home- or group-based exercise training with people who didn’t exercise but who received regular care. The researchers learned that the people who exercised had a lower risk for falls than those who didn’t exercise. There was also a higher risk for falls among those who had lower scores on psychological tests and who didn’t exercise.

This study revealed that people with AD/dementia and neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety have a higher risk for falls. Exercise can reduce the risk of falling for older adults with these symptoms. Further studies are needed to confirm these results.

This summary is from “Relationship of neuropsychiatric symptoms with falls in Alzheimer’s disease—Does exercise modify the risk?” It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are  Hanna-Maria Roitto, MD; Hannu Kautiainen, biostatistician; Hannareeta Öhman, MD; Niina Savikko, RN, PhD; Timo E. Strandberg MD, PhD; Minna Raivio MD, PhD; Marja-Liisa Laakkonen MD, PhD; and Kaisu H. Pitkälä, MD, PhD.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview