Health Problems Among the Elderly: A Cross-Sectional Study.

Health problems among the elderly: a cross-sectional study.

Ann Med Health Sci Res. 2013 Jan; 3(1): 19-25
Thakur R, Banerjee A, Nikumb V

Estimates of health problems of the elderly in developing countries are required from time to time to predict trends in disease burden and plan health care for the elderly. Developing countries have a poor track record of equitable distribution of health care. Marginalized groups living in urban slums and rural villages have poor penetration of health services.To identify the geriatric health problems in samples drawn from a slum and a village, and also to explore any gender and urban-rural difference morbidity.A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out by house to house survey of all people aged over 60 years in an urban slum and a village in the field practice area of a teaching hospital. The total elderly population in these two areas was 407, with an almost equal representation from urban slum and rural area. Information (most of them self-reported) was collected in a pre-tested instrument, which has been used earlier in a World Health Organization multicentric study in India. Categorical variables were summarized by percentages. Associations were explored with odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).Female elders outnumbered the male elders; widows outnumbered widowers. Tobacco use was very high at 58.97% (240/407). Visual impairment (including uncorrected presbyopia) was the most common handicap with prevalence of 83.29% (339/407), with males more affected than females (OR = 2.52, 95% CI 1.32-4.87). Uncorrected hearing impairment was also common. Urinary complaints were also more common in males (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 0.93-3.04). More rural elders were living alone than their urban counterpart (OR = 2.87, 95% CI 1.23-6.86). History of weight loss was higher in the rural areas, while tendency to obesity was higher in the urban areas. An appreciable number 29.2% (119/407) had unoperated cataract. Prevalence of hypertension was 30.7% (125/407); 12% (49/407) had diabetes; 7.6% (31/407) gave history of ischemic heart disease, males more than females (OR = 3.75, 95% CI 1.62-8.82). A large proportion, 32.6%, (133/407) had dental problems. Almost half of the population gave history of depression.A large number of unmet health needs, such as unoperated cataract, uncontrolled hypertension, uncorrected hearing impairment and tobacco use, exist in marginalized groups. Health interventions for these are needed in developing countries. Preventive services such as tobacco cessation campaigns among the elderly should also get priority. HubMed – depression


Depression in the spousally bereaved elderly: correlations with subjective sleep measures.

Depress Res Treat. 2013; 2013: 409538
Monk TH, Pfoff MK, Zarotney JR

Complaints of poor sleep and symptoms of depression are likely to coexist in the spousally bereaved elderly. This study was concerned with the correlation between depressive symptoms and various measures of subjectively reported sleep using questionnaire and diary instruments in 38 bereaved seniors (60y+). Correlations between the sleep measures and days since loss and grief intensity were also calculated. All sleep disruption measures correlated significantly with depression score, but only sleep duration correlated with grief intensity, and no sleep measure correlated with days since loss. Therapies which address both sleep and depression are likely to be of benefit to bereaved seniors. HubMed – depression


Diagnosis and treatment of impulse control disorders in patients with movement disorders.

Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2013 May; 6(3): 175-88
Mestre TA, Strafella AP, Thomsen T, Voon V, Miyasaki J

Impulse control disorders are a psychiatric condition characterized by the failure to resist an impulsive act or behavior that may be harmful to self or others. In movement disorders, impulse control disorders are associated with dopaminergic treatment, notably dopamine agonists (DAs). Impulse control disorders have been studied extensively in Parkinson’s disease, but are also recognized in restless leg syndrome and atypical Parkinsonian syndromes. Epidemiological studies suggest younger age, male sex, greater novelty seeking, impulsivity, depression and premorbid impulse control disorders as the most consistent risk factors. Such patients may warrant special monitoring after starting treatment with a DA. Various individual screening tools are available for people without Parkinson’s disease. The Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease has been developed specifically for Parkinson’s disease. The best treatment for impulse control disorders is prevention. However, after the development of impulse control disorders, the mainstay intervention is to reduce or discontinue the offending anti-Parkinsonian medication. In refractory cases, other pharmacological interventions are available, including neuroleptics, antiepileptics, amantadine, antiandrogens, lithium and opioid antagonists. Unfortunately, their use is only supported by case reports, small case series or open-label clinical studies. Prospective, controlled studies are warranted. Ongoing investigations include naltrexone and nicotine. HubMed – depression


The influence of scapular depression on upper limb neurodynamic test responses.

J Man Manip Ther. 2012 May; 20(2): 75-82
Legakis A, Boyd BS

Upper limb neurodynamic testing (ULNT) can be used clinically to assist in identifying neural tissue involvement in patients with upper quarter pain and dysfunction. Consideration for scapular positioning is a crucial component of ULNT standardization, as variations in positioning may dramatically impact sensory and motor responses. This study aimed to determine if there was a meaningful difference in test outcomes when the ULNT was performed in alternative scapular positions.This cross-sectional study included 40 asymptomatic individuals. Repeated ULNT testing was performed on the dominant limb with the scapula blocked in neutral (ULNTb) and in scapular depression (ULNTd). Sensory responses, muscle activity, and range of motion outcomes were compared between the two test variations.Pre-positioning in scapular depression (ULNTd) led to reduced elbow extension range of motion, provoked greater upper trapezius muscle activity and an earlier onset and broader area of sensory responses compared to ULNTb.During ULNTb, the limbs were taken further into range and elicited reduced muscle activation and more localized sensory response providing a less vigorous version of the test. This study demonstrates that scapular positioning has a meaningful impact on ULNT test outcomes in healthy, asymptomatic individuals. The ULNTd can be considered a more vigorous version that may be appropriate when the cervical motions commonly utilized for structural differentiation are limited or contraindicated. HubMed – depression