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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci

Differing characteristics of hepatitis B and C risk factors among elders in a rural area in Taiwan.

Year 1998
Wang CS. Chang TT. Chou P.
A-Lein Community Health Center, Taiwan, Republic of China.
BACKGROUND: Both hepatitis B and C are major health concerns in Taiwan. The goal of this study was to determine how risk factors for hepatitis B and C differed in this study population. It was also hoped that the data might help determine how age and place of residence affect hepatitis risk factors. METHODS: Complete serum and hepatitis marker analysis (HBsAg and AntiHCV) was done for 282 individuals over 65 years old. Of these, 254 were interviewed for risk factor analysis. RESULTS: Of the 282 subjects, 8.2% were HBsAg+, 27.3% were AntiHCV+, and 3.2% were both HBsAg+ and AntiHCV+. AntiHCV+ subjects were more likely than AntiHCV-subjects to have had frequent medical injections, odds ratio (OR) = 2.94, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.68, 5.12), and it was the only independent risk factor for determining AntiHCV+, OR = 3.26, 95% CI (1.85, 6.11) (N = 254). The AntiHCV+ group had higher alanine and asparate aminotransferase levels but lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than AntiHCV- and HBsAg+ groups (p < .0001). Abnormal ALT existed in 40.3% of AntiHCV+ and 10.7% of AntiHCV- cases. ALT was associated with AntiHCV and sex, although abnormal AST was only associated with AntiHCV. CONCLUSIONS: AntiHCV was closely related with frequent medical injections and was the primary risk factor for abnormal ALT and AST levels in this study population. It appears that frequent medical injections are an important risk factor because of the previously common habit of reusing syringes. This is of major concern to elders in Taiwan because of their much greater likelihood of repeated exposure.

The association between chronic diseases and depressive symptomatology in older Mexican Americans.

Year 1998
Black SA. Goodwin JS. Markides KS.
Center on Aging, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, USA.
BACKGROUND: Among the elderly population, the risk for psychological distress increases with the number of chronic diseases and accompanying functional disability. The prevalence of chronic medical conditions and functional disability varies substantially across ethnocultural groups, however. Using data from the Hispanic EPESE, we previously reported that among older Mexican Americans, the total number of chronic medical conditions and the presence of functional impairment are strong predictors of depressive symptoms. METHODS: Using multiple regression, we examined the association between specific chronic diseases, individual functional disabilities, and depressive symptoms in this group of ethnic elders. RESULTS: Multiple regression models indicated that diabetes (OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.03-1.56), arthritis (OR = 1.42, 95% CI = 1.17-1.72), urinary incontinence (OR = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.46-2.59), bowel incontinence (OR = 2.28, 95% CI = 1.15-4.55), kidney disease (OR = 3.11, 95% CI = 1.13-8.58), and ulcers (OR = 2.56, 95% CI = 1.23-5.29) were predictive of high levels of depressive symptoms. Hip fracture, although recognized as having a substantial impact on functional status, was not found to be associated with depressive symptoms. History of stroke was not significantly associated with depressive symptoms in bivariate or multivariate analyses, but history of stroke with residual speech problems was predictive (OR = 2.16, 95% CI = 1.01-4.79). Among specific activities of daily living, only impaired ability to walk across a room (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.04-2.73) or to bathe oneself (OR = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.12-3.12) proved to be predictive in multivariate analyses. CONCLUSIONS: This constellation of chronic medical conditions and functional disabilities is very different from those reported to be associated with depressive symptoms in older non-Hispanic White and African Americans, and appears to comprise those conditions most associated with substantial physical impairment, pain, and discomfort.

Does artificial enteral nutrition prolong the survival of institutionalized elders with chewing and swallowing problems?

Year 1998
Mitchell SL. Kiely DK. Lipsitz LA.
Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged Research and Training Institute, Department of Medicine of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. susanm@magma.ca
BACKGROUND: There is a lack of prognostic data regarding tube feeding of institutionalized elderly people. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of feeding tubes on the survival of nursing home residents with chewing and swallowing problems, and to follow the course of the tube-fed residents over one year. METHODS: We conducted a cohort study with 12-month follow-up using Minimum Data Set resident assessments from 1991. Participants included 5,266 nursing home residents over the age of 65 with chewing and swallowing problems living in 272 Washington state nursing homes. Residents who had a feeding tube were identified. Baseline clinical characteristics and 12-month survival were compared for residents with and without feeding tubes. The proportion of tube-fed residents who became tube-free during the follow-up period was determined, and clinical features that predicted this outcome were examined. RESULTS: Among the residents with chewing and swallowing problems, 10.5% had a feeding tube. After adjusting for potential confounding covariates, tube-fed residents had a significantly higher one-year mortality rate than those without feeding tubes (risk ratio, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.17-1.76). Of the 430 residents with feeding tubes who survived the follow-up period, 25.1% became free of a feeding tube. Age less than 87 years was associated with a significantly greater likelihood of becoming tube-free (odds ratio, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.03-2.6). CONCLUSIONS: Residents selected for feeding tube placement have poorer survival after one year than residents who are not tube-fed. However, the feeding tubes are removed in a significant proportion of residents who survive one year. Residents with a potentially reversible condition, for whom the feeding tubes are a temporary intervention, need to be identified.

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