MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Reducing risk of hospitalization in the elderly

Back to society news Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Society News RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Reducing risk of hospitalization in the elderly




Elderly adults who have less strength, poor physical function and low muscle density are at higher risk of being hospitalized in comparison to adults with more strength and better function. That's the finding of a newly released study in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society
The study also observed that muscle density, a measure of how much fat in comparison to lean tissue there is in the muscle, is a more accurate gauge of a person's risk of hospitalization than muscle mass or size. The relative risk for hospitizations was 50% higher for those with poor walking or less dense muscle mass.



Reducing risk of hospitalization in the elderly

"Our research suggests that we need to re-think the way we define sarcopenia or age-related muscle loss," says Peggy Cawthon, PhD, MPH, a scientist with the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute and the main author of the study. "A number of definitions of sarcopenia today tend to focus on lean mass or muscle size, our study shows that is looking at the wrong factors. We observed that muscle strength or performance were much better ways of measuring function".

The scientists followed 3,011 healthy, non-disabled adults between the ages of 70 and 80, for an average of almost five years. They measured their physical function in many ways including walking speed, their ability to stand up from a chair repeatedly, the strength of their grip and their leg strength. By the end of the study more than 55 percent of the participants had experienced one or more hospitalizations. Those most likely to end up in the hospital were the adults who scored lowest on the measures of physical function; this held true after allowing age, medical conditions, lean mass or muscle size. They also observed that adults with the least dense thigh muscles, namely those with a higher proportion of fat in their thighs, were also at a higher risk of hospitalization in comparison to adults with more dense thighs.

"The findings are especially important because they suggest that interventions, such as physical exercise, that improve physical function could help keep more vulnerable seniors out of the hospital," says Cawthon. "That would not only reduce disability but it would also reduce the huge economic burden linked to hospitalization of the elderly."

One in five Americans over the age of 65 suffers from sarcopenia. In 2000 the direct health care cost of treating it were estimated to be more than $18.5 billion. With the number of Americans older than 65 estimated to double by the middle of the century those costs are expected to increase dramatically.

Preventing older Americans from being hospitalized is more than just a matter of saving health care dollars, it may also save lives. Numerous studies show that even short stays in the hospital are linked to a greater future risk of functional decline and disability.

"Most methods of measuring muscle mass or density rely on complex imaging procedures, such as using quantitative computed tomography (QCT). Those are time consuming and expensive," says Cawthon. "However, we observed that much simpler methods such as measuring walking speed are much easier and cheaper to do, and are even more accurate in determining a person's risk of future hospitalization. This gives us the ability to screen larger groups of people and help those at risk with some simple interventions, such as physical exercise".


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
Elderly adults who have less strength, poor physical function and low muscle density are at higher risk of being hospitalized in comparison to adults with more strength and better function. That's the finding of a newly released study in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society

Medicineworld.org: Reducing risk of hospitalization in the elderly

Asthma| Hypertension| Medicine Main| Diab french| Diabetes drug info| DruginfoFrench| Type2 diabetes| Create a dust free bedroom| Allergy statistics| Cancer terms| History of cancer| Imaging techniques| Cancer Main| Bladder cancer news| Cervix cancer news| Colon cancer news| Esophageal cancer news| Gastric cancer news| Health news| Lung cancer news| Breast cancer news| Ovarian cancer news| Cancer news|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.