Items in AFP with MESH term: Aged

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Delirium in Older Persons: Evaluation and Management - Article

ABSTRACT: Delirium is defined as an acute, fluctuating syndrome of altered attention, awareness, and cognition. It is common in older persons in the hospital and long-term care facilities and may indicate a life-threatening condition. Assessment for and prevention of delirium should occur at admission and continue throughout a hospital stay. Caregivers should be educated on preventive measures, as well as signs and symptoms of delirium and conditions that would indicate the need for immediate evaluation. Certain medications, sensory impairments, cognitive impairment, and various medical conditions are a few of the risk factors associated with delirium. Preventive interventions such as frequent reorientation, early and recurrent mobilization, pain management, adequate nutrition and hydration, reducing sensory impairments, and ensuring proper sleep patterns have all been shown to reduce the incidence of delirium, regardless of the care environment. Treatment of delirium should focus on identifying and managing the causative medical conditions, providing supportive care, preventing complications, and reinforcing preventive interventions. Pharmacologic interventions should be reserved for patients who are a threat to their own safety or the safety of others and those patients nearing death. In older persons, delirium increases the risk of functional decline, institutionalization, and death.


Diagnosis and Treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease - Article

ABSTRACT: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is atherosclerosis leading to narrowing of the major arteries distal to the aortic arch. The most common presenting symptom is claudication; however, only 10% of patients have classic claudication. Approximately 8 to 12 million Americans have PAD, including 15% to 20% of adults older than 70 years. The ankle-brachial index (ABI) can be used to screen for and diagnose PAD in the primary care setting. An ABI of less than 0.9 is associated with a two- to fourfold increase in relative risk for cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality. To improve cardiovascular risk stratification and risk factor modification, the American Diabetes Association recommends ABI screening for patients older than 50 years who have diabetes mellitus, and the American Heart Association recommends screening all patients 65 years and older and those 50 years and older who have a history of diabetes or smoking. Because there is no evidence that screening leads to fewer cardiovascular events or lower all-cause mortality, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against screening for PAD. Management of claudication includes exercise, smoking cessation, statin therapy, and antiplatelet therapy with aspirin or clopidogrel, and possibly cilostazol in patients with no history of heart failure. Surgical revascularization may be considered in patients with lifestyle-limiting claudication symptoms that do not respond to medical therapy.


Screening for Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse of Elderly and Vulnerable Adults: Recommendation Statement - U.S. Preventive Services Task Force


Unintentional Weight Loss in Older Adults - Article

ABSTRACT: Unintentional weight loss in persons older than 65 years is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The most common etiologies are malignancy, nonmalignant gastrointestinal disease, and psychiatric conditions. Overall, nonmalignant diseases are more common causes of unintentional weight loss in this population than malignancy. Medication use and polypharmacy can interfere with taste or cause nausea and should not be overlooked. Social factors may contribute to unintentional weight loss. A readily identifiable cause is not found in 16% to 28% of cases. Recommended tests include a complete blood count, basic metabolic panel, liver function tests, thyroid function tests, C-reactive protein levels, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, glucose measurement, lactate dehydrogenase measurement, and urinalysis. Chest radiography and fecal occult blood testing should be performed. Abdominal ultrasonography may also be considered. When baseline evaluation is unremarkable, a three- to six-month observation period is justified. Treatment focuses on the underlying cause. Nutritional supplements and flavor enhancers, and dietary modification that takes into account patient preferences and chewing or swallowing disabilities may be considered. Appetite stimulants may increase weight but have serious adverse effects and no evidence of decreased mortality.


Hip Fracture: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Secondary Prevention - Article

ABSTRACT: Hip fractures cause significant morbidity and are associated with increased mortality. Women experience 80% of hip fractures, and the average age of persons who have a hip fracture is 80 years. Most hip fractures are associated with a fall, although other risk factors include decreased bone mineral density, reduced level of activity, and chronic medication use. Patients with hip fractures have pain in the groin and are unable to bear weight on the affected extremity. During the physical examination, displaced fractures present with external rotation and abduction, and the leg will appear shortened. Plain radiography with cross-table lateral view of the hip and anteroposterior view of the pelvis usually confirms the diagnosis. If an occult hip fracture is suspected and plain radiography is normal, magnetic resonance imaging should be ordered. Most fractures are treated surgically unless the patient has significant comorbidities or reduced life expectancy. The consulting orthopedic surgeon will choose the surgical procedure. Patients should receive prophylactic antibiotics, particularly against Staphylococcus aureus, before surgery. In addition, patients should receive thromboembolic prophylaxis, preferably with low-molecular-weight heparin. Rehabilitation is critical to long-term recovery. Unless contraindicated, bisphosphonate therapy should be used to reduce the risk of another hip fracture. Some patients may benefit from a fall-prevention assessment.


Dyspnea in an Older Patient - Photo Quiz


A Shiny Red Papule in an Older Person - Photo Quiz


Acute Diarrhea in Adults - Article

ABSTRACT: Acute diarrhea in adults is a common problem encountered by family physicians. The most common etiology is viral gastroenteritis, a self-limited disease. Increases in travel, comorbidities, and foodborne illness lead to more bacteria-related cases of acute diarrhea. A history and physical examination evaluating for risk factors and signs of inflammatory diarrhea and/or severe dehydration can direct any needed testing and treatment. Most patients do not require laboratory workup, and routine stool cultures are not recommended. Treatment focuses on preventing and treating dehydration. Diagnostic investigation should be reserved for patients with severe dehydration or illness, persistent fever, bloody stool, or immunosuppression, and for cases of suspected nosocomial infection or outbreak. Oral rehydration therapy with early refeeding is the preferred treatment for dehydration. Antimotility agents should be avoided in patients with bloody diarrhea, but loperamide/simethicone may improve symptoms in patients with watery diarrhea. Probiotic use may shorten the duration of illness. When used appropriately, antibiotics are effective in the treatment of shigellosis, campylobacteriosis, Clostridium difficile, traveler’s diarrhea, and protozoal infections. Prevention of acute diarrhea is promoted through adequate hand washing, safe food preparation, access to clean water, and vaccinations.


The Hospice Referral - Curbside Consultation


An Annular Rash - Photo Quiz


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