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Should Older People Be Regularly Screened for Vision and Hearing by Primary Health Care Providers?

Should Older People Be Regularly Screened for Vision and Hearing by Primary Health Care Providers?

Teaser: 

Jie Jin Wang, MMed, PhD, Centre for Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology, Westmead Millennium Institute, University of Sydney, Australia.
Jennifer L. Smith, BA, PhD, Australian Health Policy Institute, University of Sydney, Australia.
Stephen R. Leeder, BSc (Med), MB, PhD, Australian Health Policy Institute, University of Sydney, and The Menzies Centre for Public Health Policy, Australia.

Vision and hearing impairments are common in older people. They not only impact on the quality of life and independent living of affected individuals, but also contribute to the overall burden of aged care. Although current evidence supports screening for age-related vision and/or hearing impairments, good- quality evidence on the effectiveness of sensory interventions (e.g., treatment for eye conditions or rehabilitation for hearing loss) is lacking. Evidence from community-based randomized controlled trials is needed before implementing community-wide screening. Case-finding during primary health care can be considered. Strategies to reduce the overall burden from common disabilities, including sensory impairments, among older people are keys to achieving the goal of “aging well, aging productively.”
Key words: aging, screening, vision, hearing, sensory impairment.

Screening for and Prescribing Exercise for Older Adults

Screening for and Prescribing Exercise for Older Adults

Teaser: 


Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, Professor, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH, Professor, Social and Behavioral Health; Director, Active for Life National Program Office, School of Rural Public Health, The Texas A & M University System, College Station, TX, USA.
Michael E. Rogers, PhD, CSCS, FACSM, Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Sport Studies, Center for Physical Activity and Aging, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, USA.
Phillip Page, MS, PT, ATC, CSCS, Manager, Clinical Education & Research, The Hygenic Corporation, Akron, OH, USA.
Roseann M. Lyle, PhD, Purdue University, Department of Health and Kinesiology, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
Cody Sipe, MS, Program Director, A.H. Ismail Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, PhD, Professor, Department Head of Kinesiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
Terry L. Bazzarre, PhD, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ, USA.

Physical activity helps to maintain function, health, and overall quality of life for older adults. It is challenging, however, for health care providers and others who work with older adults to know what type of activity to encourage older adults to engage in, and how to motivate them to initiate and adhere to physical activity and exercise over time. The purpose of this piece is to provide an overview of physical activity for older adults and provide the resources needed to evaluate older adults and help them establish safe and appropriate physical activity programs, as well as providing motivational interventions that will eliminate the barriers to exercise and optimize the benefits.
Key words: exercise, screening, motivation, self-efficacy, outcome expectations.

Prevention, Diagnosis, and Management of Prostate Cancer: An Update

Prevention, Diagnosis, and Management of Prostate Cancer: An Update

Teaser: 


S. Gogov, MD, Department of Medicine, University Health Network, Toronto, ON.
Shabbir M.H. Alibhai, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Department of Medicine, University Health Network; Departments of Medicine and Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University of Toronto, ON.

Prostate cancer remains the most common malignancy in men. Screening remains controversial due to a lack of evidence from randomized trials that it decreases mortality. Treatment decisions are based on assigning patients to one of three risk groups (low, intermediate, or high) based on stage, tumour grade, and prostate-specific antigen level, and considering remaining patient life expectancy (affected by age and comorbidity). Men with low-risk disease can consider expectant management, surgery, or radiotherapy (either external beam or brachytherapy). In intermediate-risk patients, all options except expectant management are associated with excellent long-term survival. In high-risk patients, combining either radiation or surgery with androgen deprivation has emerged as the best option. There is no role for primary androgen deprivation for most patients.
Key words: prostate cancer, screening, treatment, surgery, radiotherapy.

Diagnosis and Management of Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Impaired Fasting Glucose

Diagnosis and Management of Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Impaired Fasting Glucose

Teaser: 


Shobha Rao, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Practice and Community Medicine, UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX, USA.

Impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose (prediabetes) form an intermediate stage in the natural history of diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk for developing diabetes and thus are a key target group for primary prevention of the disease. A structured program of lifestyle interventions that includes weight loss and regular exercise has demonstrated benefit in delaying or preventing diabetes among people with prediabetes. Lifestyle interventions are most effective. Pharmacotherapy with metformin, acarbose, orlistat, and thiazolidinediones has also shown success in preventing diabetes, although cost effectiveness of these agents in managing prediabetes has not been assessed.

Key words: prediabetes, screening, primary prevention, impaired glucose tolerance, impaired fasting glucose.

Identification of Nutrition Problems in Older Patients

Identification of Nutrition Problems in Older Patients

Teaser: 

Heather H. Keller, RD, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON.

Although the prevalence of malnutrition and, specifically, undernutrition are unknown among Canadian seniors, nutritional risk has been identified as a common problem. As nutritional risk can lead to malnutrition and all of its sequelae, efforts are needed to identify nutrition problems early in their course to improve the quality of life of seniors. The following article provides a variety of approaches for identifying nutritional problems, from simple indicators to a simplified and standardized nutritional assessment. Suggestions also are provided on how the practitioner can seek assistance with intervening and helping the senior to overcome these problems.
Key words: nutrition, older adults, screening, intervention, risk, weight.

Screening and Management of Diabetic Microvascular Complications in Older Adults

Screening and Management of Diabetic Microvascular Complications in Older Adults

Teaser: 

Amish Parikh, MD and I. George Fantus, MD, FRCPC, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Microvascular complications of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) can be classified into three major categories: retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. Numerous studies have consistently shown that the development of complications in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is related to several factors. The most important ones, however, include glycemic control (as measured by hemoglobin A1c) and the duration of diabetes. This article reviews the details of screening and management of diabetic microvascular complications in older adults. It incorporates guidelines from both the Canadian and American Diabetes Associations, as well as reviews of recently published literature.
Key words: diabetes mellitus, retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, screening, management.

An Overview of Delirium in the Critical Care Setting

An Overview of Delirium in the Critical Care Setting

Teaser: 

Yoanna Skrobik, MD, FRCP(C), Director, Adult Critical Care Training Program, Université de Montreal; Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montreal, Montreal, QC.

Delirium is a morbid and common complication in the critically ill patient. Its recognition is made more difficult by the inability to interview the intubated patient, and by the presence of drugs and confounding comorbidities. Delirium screening (described with the ICDSC and the CAM-ICU) with tools specifically designed for the acute care setting can help the nurse or clinician identify its presence. Risk factors for delirium in the critical care setting differ from those described in other populations. Treatment is currently empiric.
Key words: delirium, critical care, outcomes, intensive care, screening.

Depression in Older Survivors of Myocardial Infarction

Depression in Older Survivors of Myocardial Infarction

Teaser: 

Roy C. Ziegelstein, MD, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Depressed mood is common after a myocardial infarction and is associated with increased mortality risk. Although mild forms of depression often resolve without specific treatment, moderate to severe depression is typically longer lasting. Depression is particularly unlikely to resolve spontaneously in those who are socially isolated, a common problem in older individuals. Patients may be screened for depression using one of several short and valid instruments. If antidepressant treatment is indicated, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor is preferred and should be combined with efforts to improve social support, to address medication adherence issues and to encourage participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program.
Key words: depression, myocardial infarction, screening, social support, antidepressants.

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.

Screening for Colorectal Cancer in Older Adults

Screening for Colorectal Cancer in Older Adults

Teaser: 

Peter G. Rossos MD, FRCP(C)
Elaine Yeung MD

Division of Gastroenterology, University Health Network
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Introduction
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cause of cancer and second leading cause of cancer death in Canada. It is estimated that there were 17,200 new cases and 6,400 deaths from colorectal cancer in Canada in 2001. When both women and men are considered together, colorectal cancer is the second most frequent cause of death from cancer among Canadians.1 Most CRC occurs in average risk individuals for whom there are no accepted guidelines for screening.2 Higher risk categories include those who have a family history of CRC, a personal history of CRC, colonic adenomas or inflammatory bowel disease, and the familial syndromes including familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC).3 This discussion will focus on average risk older adults, who comprise almost all CRC cases in patients 65 years of age or older.

Epidemiologic Considerations
Although age-standardized incidence and mortality rates have been declining for CRC since 1985, the number of new cases has continued to rise steadily and significantly among both men and women as a result of the growth and aging of the population. Recent data from the National Cancer Institute of Canada is displayed in Figures 1 and 2.