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Update on Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women

Update on Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women

Teaser: 


The accredited CME learning activity based on this article is offered under the auspices of the CE department of the University of Toronto. Participating physicians are entitled to one (1) MAINPRO-M1 credit by completing this program, found online at www.geriatricsandaging.ca/cme.htm

Lianne Tile MD, FRCPC, M Ed, Staff Physician, Osteoporosis
Program and Division of General Internal Medicine, University Health Network, Toronto, ON

Osteoporosis and fractures are a common cause of morbidity in postmenopausal women. Women age 65 and older, and those with risk factors for bone loss, should be screened by DEXA. When osteoporosis is diagnosed, secondary causes need to be considered. Fracture risk is determined by bone mineral density, age, prior fracture, and family history of osteoporosis. Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake and regular exercise are essential for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Pharmacologic therapy should be used based on fracture risk. Patient preferences and side effect profile must be considered in choosing among several effective treatment options.
Key words: osteoporosis, treatment, postmenopausal, diagnosis, guidelines


Definition and Epidemiology
Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by compromised bone strength predisposing to an increased risk of fracture.

Cutaneous Adverse Drug Reactions in Older Adults Part I: Assessment and Diagnosis

Cutaneous Adverse Drug Reactions in Older Adults Part I: Assessment and Diagnosis

Teaser: 

G.A.E. Wong, MBChB, MRCP (UK); N.H. Shear, MD, FRCP(C), Divisions of Dermatology and Clinical Pharmacology, Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Cutaneous adverse drug reactions (ADR) are a common problem affecting ambulatory and hospitalized patients. Older patients may be more predisposed to ADR due to inappropriate prescribing of medications, age-associated changes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, altered homeostatic mechanisms, multiple medical pathology and use of drugs with a narrow therapeutic margin. In this first of two articles, a practical approach to the assessment and diagnosis of patients with suspected drug-induced rashes will be described. A subsequent article will discuss the management of patients with cutaneous ADR.
Key words: adverse drug reaction, skin, rash, cutaneous, diagnosis, assessment.

Recognition of the Non-Alzheimer’s Dementias: Highlights from the University of Toronto Behavioural Neurology Clinic Day

Recognition of the Non-Alzheimer’s Dementias: Highlights from the University of Toronto Behavioural Neurology Clinic Day

Teaser: 

David J. Gladstone, BSc, MD, FRCPC; Lorne Zinman, MD, FRCPC; Jodie Burton, MD; Leanne Casaubon, MD; David Chan, MD; Neil Cashman, MD, FRCPC; Sandra E. Black, MD, FRCPC; Morris Freedman, MD, FRCPC.
From the Division of Neurology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

At the Third Annual University of Toronto (U of T) Behavioural Neurology Clinic Day for residents, fellows and other trainees, presentations were given by faculty members from the U of T Department of Medicine (Divisions of Neurology and Geriatric Medicine) and the Department of Psychiatry. Highlights of this educational event are summarized herein by residents in the neurology training program.
Key words: dementia, diagnosis, fronto-temporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, vascular dementia.

Musculoskeletal Pain in Older Adults: Diagnosis is Key

Musculoskeletal Pain in Older Adults: Diagnosis is Key

Teaser: 

Arthur Bookman, MD, FRCPC, Senior Staff Physician, University Health Centre, Coordinator, Core Residency Rheumatology Program, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Pain in the older adult is of diagnostic significance. The pattern of distribution reflects the dermatome of the same spinal root that supplies the irritated deep structure. The timing helps differentiate inflammatory and infiltrative from mechanical pathology. Certain diseases of the musculoskeletal system are seen in the older adult. These include osteoarthritis, pseudogout, gout, spontaneous osteonecrosis of the knee and polymyalgia rheumatica. Diagnosis is key to effective treatment. Although the patients in this age group are often “boxed in” by a series of relative contraindications to treatment, with care and perseverence, it is often possible to break open the box and find an effective therapeutic regimen.
Key words: musculoskeletal pain, arthritis, diagnosis, spinal disease, older adults.

Initial Evaluation of the Older Patient with Suspected Heart Failure

Initial Evaluation of the Older Patient with Suspected Heart Failure

Teaser: 

William J. Kostuk MD, FRCPC, FACC, FACP, Professor of Medicine, University of Western Ontario; Cardiologist, University Campus London Health Sciences Centre, London, ON.

Heart failure is the most rapidly rising cardiovascular condition in Canada. At times, the clinical presentation of heart failure may not make the diagnosis obvious. The diagnosis of heart failure should be considered when an older individual presents with complaints of exertional dyspnea or fatigue. In such individuals, the physician should not assume the symptoms are merely the result of age, obesity or chest disease. Physical examination and a few simple investigations,reviewed here, can be extremely helpful and may delay or even prevent the progression to symptomatic disease.
Key words: heart failure, diagnosis, dyspnea, fatigue, evaluation in older adults.

Treatment of Hyperglycemia in the Elderly

Treatment of Hyperglycemia in the Elderly

Teaser: 

A.D. Baines, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

This article presents a summary of recent recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of Type 2 diabetes in the elderly. Onset of nephropathy, neuropathy and retinopathy can be slowed by treatment designed to reach realistic target values for fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c. Therapy also should minimize the dangers of hypoglycemia. Hepatic and renal function must be monitored when selecting drugs and dosages. Significant reductions in renal function may be associated with serum creatinine within the normal reference range. A stepwise approach to therapy beginning with diet and exercise and proceeding to single and multidrug treatment is outlined. The mode of action, advantages, disadvantages and contraindications for five groups of hypoglycemic agents are summarized.
Key words: Type 2 diabetes, diagnosis, stepped treatment, oral drugs, elderly.

Evidence-based Approach to Diabetes Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment

Evidence-based Approach to Diabetes Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment

Teaser: 

David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Director, Julia McFarlane Diabetes Research Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.

As the population ages, the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes is expected to skyrocket over the next two decades. Diabetes is diagnosed by a fasting venous plasma glucose level of equal to or greater than 7mmol/L or, in the presence of classic symptoms of hyperglycemia, a casual plasma glucose value greater than 11.1mmol/L. Early diagnosis, screening and prevention of diabetes in the elderly will greatly reduce the burden of this serious chronic disease that is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.
Key words: impaired glucose tolerance, diagnosis, screening, prevention, Type 2 diabetes

The Diabetes Epidemic
Diabetes is now reaching epidemic proportions in Canada and the U.

The Aging Lung: Implications for Diagnosis and Treatment of Respiratory Illnesses in the Elderly

The Aging Lung: Implications for Diagnosis and Treatment of Respiratory Illnesses in the Elderly

Teaser: 

Benjamin Chiam, MD, Department of Medicine, Pulmonary Division, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.
Don D. Sin, MD, FRCP(C), Department of Medicine, Pulmonary Division, University of Alberta, and The Institute of Health Economics, Edmonton, AB.

Introduction
Respiratory conditions are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although they are currently listed as the fifth leading cause of death in Canada, respiratory diseases are predicted to be the third leading cause of mortality by the year 2020, following ischemic heart disease and stroke.1 Furthermore, since the prevalence of these conditions increases with age, the adverse impact of respiratory illnesses on the Canadian health care system will grow enormously over the next few decades as the overall population ages2 and treatments for other common conditions, such as ischemic heart disease, stroke and diabetes, improve. A good understanding of the aging process of the respiratory system is clearly needed to formulate better strategies to prevent, diagnose and manage respiratory conditions in Canada.

Why are Respiratory Diseases so Prevalent in the Elderly?
The lungs of elderly persons are subject to a lifetime of exposure to known and unknown harmful agents. Decades may pass before the physical manifestations of cigarette smoke, pollution and other noxious environmental agents become clinically apparent.

Tricuspid Valve Disease in Older Adults: Diagnosis and Management

Tricuspid Valve Disease in Older Adults: Diagnosis and Management

Teaser: 

Mercè Roqué, MD, Cardiovascular Institute, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Spain.

Ernane D. Reis, MD, Department of Surgery, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, U.S.A.

Introduction
Tricuspid valve disease is rarely an isolated condition. Most cases are associated with other valvular or myocardial disease, pulmonary hypertension or systemic disorders. The tricuspid valve is located in the outflow tract of the right ventricle, and is the largest heart valve with an area of approximately 11cm2. The valvular apparatus includes the fibrous annulus, the leaflets (anterior, septal and posterior), the tendinae chordae and the papillary muscles. Given that the tricuspid valve's main function is to regulate inflow to the right ventricle, conditions affecting the tricuspid valve generally have an impact on the right atrium and the venous circulation. Similarly, disorders affecting the left or right ventricle or the pulmonary arterial system can impair tricuspid valve function.

This review focuses on the most common causes of tricuspid stenosis (TS) and regurgitation (TR) in older adults. In these patients, functional tricuspid regurgitation is by far the most frequent tricuspid disorder. In the evaluation of tricuspid valve disorders, a thorough physical examination is essential to provide information for a correct diagnosis. An overview of the most useful ancillary tests and treatment options is also presented.

Role of Physical Symptoms in Diagnosis of Depression in the Elderly

Role of Physical Symptoms in Diagnosis of Depression in the Elderly

Teaser: 

Dr. Marie-Josée Filteau, MSc, MD, FRCPC, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Laval University, Clinical Researcher, Laval University-Robert-Giffard Research Centre, and Director, Clinique Marie Fitzbach, Quebec City, QC.

Patricia Gravel, BA, Department of Psychiatry, Laval University, Quebec City, QC.

Although depression is a highly prevalent psychiatric disorder and the focus of much research and discussion, it remains underdiagnosed and undertreated in the primary care setting. One of the key reasons for the underdiagnosis of depression is the tendency among physicians to focus on the emotional and psychological symptoms of the disorder at the expense of its physical symptoms. Although elderly patients with depression are more likely than their younger counterparts to present with physical rather than psychological symptoms, little emphasis is placed on physical symptoms in diagnostic tools and rating scales. Additionally, the understanding of the role and etiology of physical symptoms in depression remains poor.

Diagnosis can be especially challenging in the elderly population, since both patients and health care professionals often perceive depression to be a normal consequence of age-associated changes, such as physical illness or social or economic difficulties.