Items in AFP with MESH term: Aged
ABSTRACT: Physicians assess the decision-making capacity of their patients at every clinical encounter. Patients with an abrupt change in mental status, who refuse recommended treatment, who consent too hastily to treatment or who have a known risk factor for impaired decision-making should be evaluated more carefully. In addition to performing a mental status examination (along with a physical examination and laboratory evaluation, if needed), four specific abilities should be assessed: the ability to understand information about treatment; the ability to appreciate how that information applies to their situation; the ability to reason with that information; and the ability to make a choice and express it. By using a directed clinical interview or a formal capacity assessment tool, primary care physicians are able to perform these evaluations in most cases.
ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis is a common rheumatologic disorder. It is estimated that 40 million Americans and 70 to 90 percent of persons older than 75 years are affected by osteoarthritis. Although symptoms of osteoarthritis occur earlier in women, the prevalence among men and women is equal. In addition to age, risk factors include joint injury, obesity, and mechanical stress. The diagnosis is largely clinical because radiographic findings do not always correlate with symptoms. Knowledge of the etiology and pathogenesis of the disease process aids in prevention and management. Acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications remain first-line drugs. Agents such as cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors and sodium hyaluronate joint injections offer new treatment alternatives. Complementary medication use has also increased. Therapeutic goals include minimizing symptoms and improving function.
Prescribing for Older Adults: Finding the Balance - Editorials
Geriatric Screening and Preventive Care - Article
ABSTRACT: Preventive health care decisions and recommendations become more complex as the population ages. The leading causes of death (i.e., heart disease, malignant neoplasms, cerebrovascular disease, and chronic lower respiratory disease) among older adults mirror the actual causes of death (i.e., tobacco use, poor diet, and physical inactivity) among persons of all ages. Many aspects of mortality in older adults are modifiable through behavior change. Patients 65 years and older should be counseled on smoking cessation, diets rich in healthy fats, aerobic exercise, and strength training. Other types of preventive care include aspirin therapy; lipid management; and administration of tetanus and diphtheria, pneumococcal, and influenza vaccines. Although cancer is the second leading cause of death in patients 65 years and older, a survival benefit from cancer screening is not seen unless the patient's life expectancy exceeds five years. Therefore, it is best to review life expectancy, functionality, and comorbidities with older patients when making cancer screening recommendations. Other recommended screenings include abdominal aortic aneurysm for men 65 to 75 years of age, breast cancer for women 40 years and older with a life expectancy greater than five years, and colorectal cancer for men and women 50 years and older with a life expectancy greater than five years.
Painful Plaques Shortly After Hospital Discharge - Photo Quiz
ABSTRACT: Hematuria, symptomatic and incidental, that involves more than three red blood cells per high-power field on two of three properly collected urinalysis specimens warrants some type of imaging to evaluate the upper tracts. Traditionally, excretory urography or the intravenous pyelogram has been the mainstay of the hematuria work-up, but computed tomography urography has more recently been recognized to have significant advantages. Multidetector computed tomography urography, a cross-sectional technique, is less susceptible to overlying bowel gas and more sensitive for detection of small tumors and calculi. Moreover, intravenous-pyelogram-like images can be obtained by using reconstruction techniques. In specific cases, ultrasound examination and magnetic resonance imaging can also be useful, and are particularly helpful in children and pregnant women. Neither modality has the sensitivity of computed tomography for calculi, but small tumors may be visible on magnetic resonance imaging. This article reviews the appropriateness criteria for the various radiologic imaging tests used in the evaluation of hematuria, as proposed by the American College of Radiology.
ABSTRACT: Delirium is common in hospitalized older patients and may be a symptom of a medical emergency, such as hypoxia or hypoglycemia. It is characterized by an acute change in cognition and attention, although the symptoms may be subtle and usually fluctuate throughout the day. This heterogeneous syndrome requires prompt recognition and evaluation, because the underlying medical condition may be life threatening. Risk factors for delirium include visual impairment, previous cognitive impairment, severe illness, and an elevated blood urea nitrogen/serum creatinine ratio. Interventions that have been shown to reduce the incidence of delirium in at-risk hospitalized patients include repeated reorientation of the patient to person and place, promotion of good sleep hygiene, early mobilization, correction of dehydration, and the minimization of unnecessary noise and stimuli. The treatment of delirium centers on the identification and management of the medical condition that triggered the delirious state. Nonpharmacologic interventions may be beneficial, but antipsychotic agents may be needed when the cause is nonspecific and other interventions do not sufficiently control symptoms such as severe agitation or psychosis. Although delirium is a temporary condition, it may persist for several months in the most vulnerable patients. Patient outcomes at one year include a higher mortality rate and a lower level of functioning compared with age-matched control patients.
ABSTRACT: Menopause is the permanent cessation of menstruation resulting from the loss of ovarian and follicular activity. It usually occurs when women reach their early 50s. Vasomotor symptoms and vaginal dryness are frequently reported during menopause. Estrogen is the most effective treatment for management of hot flashes and night sweats. Local estrogen is preferred for vulvovaginal symptoms because of its excellent therapeutic response. Bone mineral density screening should be performed in all women older than 65 years, and should begin sooner in women with additional risk factors for osteoporotic fractures. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D should be encouraged for all postmenopausal women to reduce bone loss. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in women. Postmenopausal women should be counseled regarding lifestyle modification, including smoking cessation and regular physical activity. All women should receive periodic measurement of blood pressure and lipids. Appropriate pharmacotherapy should be initiated when indicated. Women should receive breast cancer screening every one to two years beginning at age 40, as well as colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 50. Women younger than 65 years who are sexually active and have a cervix should receive routine cervical cancer screening with Papanicolaou smear. Recommended immunizations for menopausal women include an annual influenza vaccine, a tetanus and diphtheria toxoid booster every 10 years, and a one-time pneumococcal vaccine after age 65 years.
Diagnosis of Appendicitis: Part II. Laboratory and Imaging Tests - Point-of-Care Guides