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1.  The Relationship between Intramuscular Adipose Tissue, Functional Mobility, and Strength in Postmenopausal Women with and without Type 2 Diabetes 
Journal of Aging Research  2015;2015:872726.
Objectives. To determine (1) whether intramuscular adipose tissue (IntraMAT) differs between women with and without type 2 diabetes and (2) the association between IntraMAT and mobility and strength. Methods. 59 women ≥ 65 years with and without type 2 diabetes were included. A 1-Tesla MRI was used to acquire images of the leg. Timed-up-and-go (TUG) and grip strength were measured. Regression was used to determine associations between the following: (1) type 2 diabetes and IntraMAT (covariates: age, ethnicity, BMI, waist : hip ratio, and energy expenditure), (2) IntraMAT and TUG (covariates: diabetes, age, BMI, and energy expenditure), and (3) IntraMAT and grip strength (covariates: diabetes, age, height, and lean mass). Results. Women with diabetes had more IntraMAT. After adjustment, IntraMAT was similar between groups (diabetes mean [SD] = 13.2 [1.4]%, controls 11.8 [1.3]%, P = 0.515). IntraMAT was related to TUG and grip strength, but the relationships became nonsignificant after adjustment for covariates (difference/percent IntraMAT [95% CI]: TUG = 0.041 seconds [−0.079–0.161], P = 0.498, grip strength = −0.144 kg [−0.335–0.066], P = 0.175). Conclusions. IntraMAT alone may not be a clinically important predictor of functional mobility and strength; however, whether losses in functional mobility and strength are promoted by IntraMAT accumulation should be explored.
PMCID: PMC4322662
2.  Sustainability Literacy of Older People in Retirement Villages 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:919054.
With many developed countries experiencing the aging of the population, older people play a large role in contributing to environmental problems but also to environmental solutions. The purpose of this research is to understand the awareness and behavior of current older people living in retirement villages towards sustainability development. To achieve this, a sustainability literacy survey was conducted with 65 older residents of a private retirement village located 10 Km outside the Brisbane, Australia's central business district (CBD). Most of residents recognized the importance of environment protection and would like to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. In addition, the majority were willing to pay higher prices for a living environment with sustainable features. The importance of positive social communications was emphasized with most residents having established good relationships with others in the village. The findings provide an important insight into consumer perspectives regarding the sustainable features that should and can be incorporated into the village planning and development.
PMCID: PMC4284965  PMID: 25587448
3.  Using Structured Observation and Content Analysis to Explore the Presence of Older People in Public Fora in Developing Countries 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:860612.
There is a lack of research on the everyday lives of older people in developing countries. This exploratory study used structured observation and content analysis to examine the presence of older people in public fora and considered the methods' potential for understanding older people's social integration and inclusion. Structured observation occurred of public social spaces in six cities each located in a different developing country and in one city in the United Kingdom, together with content analysis of the presence of people in newspaper pictures and on television in the selected countries. Results indicated that across all fieldwork sites and data sources, there was a low presence of older people, with women considerably less present than men in developing countries. There was variation across fieldwork sites in older people's presence by place and time of day and in their accompanied status. The presence of older people in images drawn from newspapers was associated with the news/non-news nature of the source. The utility of the study's methodological approach is considered, as is the degree to which the presence of older people in public fora might relate to social integration and inclusion in different cultural contexts.
PMCID: PMC4273510  PMID: 25548675
4.  Prevalence of Frailty Indicators and Association with Socioeconomic Status in Middle-Aged and Older Adults in a Swiss Region with Universal Health Insurance Coverage: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:198603.
Frailty prevalence in older adults has been reported but is largely unknown in middle-aged adults. We determined the prevalence of frailty indicators among middle-aged and older adults from a general Swiss population characterized by universal health insurance coverage and assessed the determinants of frailty with a special focus on socioeconomic status. Participants aged 50 and more from the population-based 2006–2010 Bus Santé study were included (N = 2,930). Four frailty indicators (weakness, shrinking, exhaustion, and low activity) were measured according to standard definitions. Multivariate logistic regressions were used to determine associations. Overall, 63.5%, 28.7%, and 7.8% participants presented no frailty indicators, one frailty indicator, and two or more frailty indicators, respectively. Among middle-aged participants (50–65 years), 75.1%, 22.2%, and 2.7% presented 0, 1, and 2 or more frailty indicators. The number of frailty indicators was positively associated with age, hypertension, and current smoking and negatively associated with male gender, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and serum total cholesterol level. Lower income level but not education was associated with higher number of frailty indicators. Frailty indicators are frequently encountered in both older and middle-aged adults from the Swiss general population. Despite universal health insurance coverage, household income is independently associated with frailty.
PMCID: PMC4227447  PMID: 25405033
5.  Geospatial Relationships between Awareness and Utilization of Community Exercise Resources and Physical Activity Levels in Older Adults 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:302690.
Introduction. It is unclear if community-based fitness resources (CBFR) translate to heightened activity levels within neighboring areas. The purpose of this study was to determine whether awareness and utilization of fitness resources and physical activity differed depending on residential distance from CBFR. Methods. Four hundred and seventeen older adults (72.9 ± 7.7 years) were randomly recruited from three spatial tiers (≤1.6, >1.6 to ≤3.2, and >3.2 to 8.0 km) surrounding seven senior centers, which housed CBFR. Participants completed questionnaires on health history, CBFR, and physical activity, gathering data on CBFR awareness, utilization, and barriers, overall levels, and predictors to engagement in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Results. Across spatial tiers, there were no differences in positive awareness rates of CBFR or CBFR utilization. Engagement in MVPA differed across spatial tiers (P < 0.001), with the >3.2 to 8.0 km radius having the highest mean energy expenditure. Across all sites, age and income level (P < 0.05) were significant predictors of low and high amounts of MVPA, respectively, and current health status and lack of interest represented barriers to CBFR utilization (P < 0.05). Conclusion. Closer proximity to CBFR did not impact awareness or utilization rates and had an inverse relationship with physical activity.
PMCID: PMC4214095  PMID: 25386363
6.  Improving Quality of Life in Nursing Homes: The Structured Resident Interview Approach 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:892679.
The quality of life (QOL) of the approximately 1.5 million nursing facility (NF) residents in the US is undoubtedly lower than desired by residents, families, providers, and policy makers. Although there have been important advances in defining and measuring QOL for this population, there is a need for interventions that are tied to standardized measurement and quality improvement programs. This paper describes the development and testing of a structured, tailored assessment and care planning process for improving the QOL of nursing home residents. The Quality of Life Structured Resident Interview and Care Plan (QOL.SRI/CP) builds on a decade of research on measuring QOL and is designed to be easily implemented in any US nursing home. The approach was developed through extensive and iterative pilot testing and then tested in a randomized controlled trial in three nursing homes. Residents were randomly assigned to receive the assessment alone or both the assessment and an individualized QOL care plan task. The results show that residents assigned to the intervention group experienced improved QOL at 90- and 180-day follow-up, while QOL of residents in the control group was unchanged.
PMCID: PMC4209834  PMID: 25371822
7.  Is the Cloze Procedure Appropriate to Evaluate Health Literacy in Older Individuals? Age Effects in the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:194635.
Health literacy has received increasing attention because of its importance for older individuals' health, as studies have shown a close relation between older individuals' health literacy and their health. Research also suggests that older individuals have low levels of health literacy, but this finding is variable and may depend on which health literacy test is used. Older individuals assessed with the Test of Functional Health Literacy (TOFHLA) score lower than younger individuals, but a previous study suggested that this may result from age-related differential item functioning (DIF) on the TOFHLA. The study reported here assessed age-related DIF in a sample of community-dwelling volunteers. Twenty-two percent of items were differentially more difficult for older individuals independent of their overall ability, and when these items were eliminated from the total score, age differences were no longer found. Performance on a working memory task predicted older but not younger individuals' performance on the age-related items. At least part of older individuals' apparent deficits in health literacy when assessed by the TOFHLA may be related to DIF on its items. The TOFHLA, and any measure that employs the cloze procedure to evaluate reading comprehension, should be used cautiously in older individuals.
PMCID: PMC4180388  PMID: 25295191
8.  Could Some Geriatric Characteristics Hinder the Prescription of Anticoagulants in Atrial Fibrillation in the Elderly? 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:693740.
Several studies have reported underprescription of anticoagulants in atrial fibrillation (AF). We conducted an observational study on 142 out of a total of 995 consecutive ≥75 years old patients presenting AF (14%) when admitted in an emergency unit of a general hospital, in search of geriatric characteristics that might be associated with the underprescription of anticoagulation therapy (mostly antivitamin K at the time of the study). The following data was collected from patients presenting AF: medical history including treatment and comorbidities, CHADS2 score, ISAR scale (frailty), Lawton's scale (ADL), GDS scale (mood status), MUST (nutrition), and blood analysis (INR, kidney function, and albumin). Among those patients for who anticoagulation treatment was recommended (73%), only 61% were treated with it. In the group with anticoagulation therapy, the following characteristics were observed more often than in the group without such therapy: a recent (≤6 months) hospitalization and medical treatment including digoxin or based on >3 different drugs. Neither the value of the CHADS2 score, nor the geriatric characteristics could be correlated with the presence or the absence of an anticoagulation therapy. More research is thus required to identify and clarify the relative importance of patient-, physician-, and health care system-related hurdles for the prescription of oral anticoagulation therapy in older patients with AF.
PMCID: PMC4175391  PMID: 25295192
9.  Employing a Participatory Research Approach to Explore Physical Activity among Older African American Women 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:941019.
Introduction. Older African American women are particularly vulnerable to unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as physical inactivity and the resultant chronic diseases and conditions. This study explored older African American women's perception of physical activity as well as facilitators of and barriers to being physically active in their local environment. Methods. Using a participatory research approach, a total of 7 women aged 65 years and over had their PA level assessed objectively through accelerometry. In addition, physical activity was discussed through the photo-elicitation procedure, which was supplemented by semistructured interviews. Qualitative thematic analysis was used to identify patterns and themes emerging from participants' interview. Results. Participants exhibited low levels of physical activity and viewed “physical activity” to be a broadly defined, nonspecific construct. Interviews revealed that many participants lack important knowledge about physical activity. A variety of personal, social, and environmental facilitators and barriers were reported by the participants. Conclusion. Efforts should be made towards clarifying information on physical activity in this population in order to help them incorporate physical activity into their routines, overcome barriers, and make use of opportunities to be active.
PMCID: PMC4158153  PMID: 25210628
10.  Factors Affecting Mortality in Elderly Patients Hospitalized for Nonmalignant Reasons 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:584315.
Elderly population is hospitalized more frequently than young people, and they suffer from more severe diseases that are difficult to diagnose and treat. The present study aimed to investigate the factors affecting mortality in elderly patients hospitalized for nonmalignant reasons. Demographic data, reason for hospitalization, comorbidities, duration of hospital stay, and results of routine blood testing at the time of first hospitalization were obtained from the hospital records of the patients, who were over 65 years of age and hospitalized primarily for nonmalignant reasons. The mean age of 1012 patients included in the study was 77.8 ± 7.6. The most common reason for hospitalization was diabetes mellitus (18.3%). Of the patients, 90.3% had at least a single comorbidity. Whilst 927 (91.6%) of the hospitalized patients were discharged, 85 (8.4%) died. Comparison of the characteristics of the discharged and dead groups revealed that the dead group was older and had higher rates of poor general status and comorbidity. Differences were observed between the discharged and dead groups in most of the laboratory parameters. Hypoalbuminemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypopotassemia, hypernatremia, hyperuricemia, and high TSH level were the predictors of mortality. In order to meet the health necessities of the elderly population, it is necessary to well define the patient profiles and to identify the risk factors.
PMCID: PMC4131474  PMID: 25147737
11.  Psychological Impacts among Older and Younger People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nanning, China 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:576592.
Objectives. The HIV epidemic has drastically increased among older adults in China, yet little research has examined the psychological impacts among older and younger people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs). This study examined and compared self-efficacy, depression, well-being, and quality of life among older and younger PLWHAs in China. Method. A two-stage sampling procedure was used to recruit a final sample of 148 participants. Older adults were defined as age 50 and older. Result. Compared to younger PLWHAs aged 18–49 years old, older PLWHAs reported lower levels of well-being (7.6 versus 11.4), higher levels of depression (18.6 versus 15.8), and poorer quality of life. Self-efficacy was similar among older (23.9) and younger (24.6) PLWHAs. A higher level of depression among older PLWHAs was associated with much lower levels of subjective well-being and quality of life (physical health and psychological health). Conclusion. The findings suggest that older PLWHAs face psychological problems and mental health challenges beyond those experienced by younger PLWHAs. Intervention programs dedicated to improving mental health and quality of life are greatly needed for HIV infected older adults.
PMCID: PMC4123477  PMID: 25132993
12.  The Relationship between Health and Community across Aging Cohorts 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:626097.
Research is needed to examine the connection between older adults and their community as they age. This is important as increasing numbers of older adults wish to age in place. Regression models were examined across 3 cohorts testing relationships among social capital indicators (neighborhood trust, neighborhood support, neighborhood cohesion, neighborhood participation, and telephone interaction) with health outcomes (self-rated health, activities of daily living (ADL), and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL)). Results showed that most social capital indicators remained significant for all health outcomes into very old age. Development of tools for individual and community interventions to ensure optimal fit between the aging individual and their environment is discussed, along with recommendations for enhancing social work theory and practice.
PMCID: PMC4071863  PMID: 25006460
13.  A Brief Report on the Factor Structure of the Cognitive Measures in the HRS/AHEAD Studies 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:798514.
Using cognitive data from the Health and Retirement Study and Asset Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old studies that were collected between 1992 and 2004, McArdle and colleagues (2007) found that a two-factor model (episodic memory and mental status) fit better than a one-factor model. The question that was addressed in the present study was whether these results would replicate in newer cohorts of data, collected between 2006 and 2010. We also tested age, education, and gender as predictors of the identified factors. Results confirm that a two-factor structure fits better than the single-factor model in the newer cohorts. Differential predictors were also observed.
PMCID: PMC4058144  PMID: 24971176
14.  Accelerometer Derived Activity Counts and Oxygen Consumption between Young and Older Individuals 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:184693.
The purpose of this investigation was to compare accelerometer activity counts and oxygen consumption between young and elderly individuals. Sixteen young (21.3 ± 2.5 yrs) and sixteen elderly (66.6 ± 2.9 yrs) participants completed 30 minutes of resting oxygen consumption to determine resting metabolic rate and four 6 min walking intensities ranging from 27 to 94 m·min−1. Resting oxygen uptake was significantly lower for the older participants. Exercise oxygen consumption was significantly higher for the elderly group. There were no significant differences in activity counts between groups at each of the exercise intensities. When using measured resting metabolic rate, activity counts of 824 and 2207 counts·min−1 were associated with moderate (3 METs) physical activity intensity for the older and young participants, respectively. However, using standard resting metabolic rate (3.5 mL·kg−1·min−1), activity counts of 784 and 2009 counts·min−1 were associated with moderate physical activity intensity for the elderly and young participants, respectively. These findings indicate that activity counts are similar across age groups even though the oxygen consumption of exercise is greater among elderly individuals.
PMCID: PMC4070575  PMID: 25006459
15.  Redundant Vasodilator Pathways Underlying Radial Artery Flow-Mediated Dilation Are Preserved in Healthy Aging 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:876125.
Background. Blocking nitric oxide (NO) and vasodilator prostanoids (PN) does not consistently reduce flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in young adults. The impact of aging on the contribution of NO and PG to FMD is unknown. Methods. FMD was measured in older adults (n = 10, 65 ± 3 y) after arterial infusion of saline, N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA), and ketorolac + L-NMMA. Data were compared to published data in young adults. Results. L-NMMA reduced FMD in older adults (8.9 ± 3.6 to 5.9 ± 3.7%) although this was not statistically significant (P = 0.08) and did not differ (P = 0.74) from the reduction observed in young adults (10.0 ± 3.8 to 7.6 ± 4.7%; P = 0.03). Blocking PN did not affect FMD in young or older adults. In older adults, L-NMMA reduced (n = 6; range = 36–123% decrease), augmented (n = 3; 10–122% increase), or did not change FMD (n = 1; 0.4% increase). After PN blockade, FMD responses were reduced (n = 2), augmented (n = 6), or unaffected (n = 1). Conclusions. NO or PN blockade did not consistently reduce FMD in healthy older adults, suggesting the existence of redundant vasodilator phenotypes as observed previously in young adults.
PMCID: PMC4055391  PMID: 24963406
16.  Erratum to “Sarcopenia, A Neurogenic Syndrome?” 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:751469.
PMCID: PMC4009303  PMID: 24834355
17.  Interactions between Identity and Emotional Expression in Face Processing across the Lifespan: Evidence from Redundancy Gains 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:136073.
We tested how aging affects the integration of visual information from faces. Three groups of participants aged 20–30, 40–50, and 60–70 performed a divided attention task in which they had to detect the presence of a target facial identity or a target facial expression. Three target stimuli were used: (1) with the target identity but not the target expression, (2) with the target expression but not the target identity, and (3) with both the target identity and target expression (the redundant target condition). On nontarget trials the faces contained neither the target identity nor expression. All groups were faster in responding to a face containing both the target identity and emotion compared to faces containing either single target. Furthermore the redundancy gains for combined targets exceeded performance limits predicted by the independent processing of facial identity and emotion. These results are held across the age range. The results suggest that there is interactive processing of facial identity and emotion which is independent of the effects of cognitive aging. Older participants demonstrated reliably larger size of the redundancy gains compared to the young group that reflect a greater experience with faces. Alternative explanations are discussed.
PMCID: PMC4009258  PMID: 24839559
18.  The Use of Session RPE to Monitor the Intensity of Weight Training in Older Women: Acute Responses to Eccentric, Concentric, and Dynamic Exercises 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:749317.
The rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is ability to detect and interpret organic sensations while performing exercises. This method has been used to measure the level of effort that is felt during weight-training at a given intensity. The purpose of this investigation was to compare session RPE values with those of traditional RPE measurements for different weight-training muscle actions, performed together or separately. Fourteen women with no former weight-training experience were recruited for the investigation. All participants completed five sessions of exercise: familiarization, maximum force, concentric-only (CONC-only), eccentric-only (ECC-only), and dynamic (DYN = CONC + ECC). The traditional RPE method was measured after each series of exercises, and the session RPE was measured 30 min after the end of the training session. The statistical analyses used were the paired t-test, one-way analysis of variance, and repeated measures analysis of variance. Significant differences between traditional RPE and session RPE for DYN, CONC, and ECC exercises were not found. This investigation demonstrated that session RPE is similar to traditional RPE in terms of weight-training involving concentric, eccentric, or dynamic muscle exercises, and that it can be used to prescribe and monitor weight-training sessions in older subjects.
PMCID: PMC4009156  PMID: 24834354
19.  Blood Transfusion Reactions in Elderly Patients Hospitalized in a Multilevel Geriatric Hospital 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:178298.
Background/Objectives. Blood transfusion is a critical issue for patients with chronic diseases such as heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and malignancy. However, side effects are not rare. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the frequency of adverse blood transfusion reactions in hospitalized elderly patients during a one-year period. Design/Setting/Participants. Blood transfusion reactions such as fever, chills, dyspnea, and others following blood transfusions in hospitalized geriatric patients during one-year period were examined. Results. 382 blood units (242 patients) were administered during the study period. In 40 (11%) cases, blood transfusion reactions occurred. Fever was the most common reaction in 29 cases (72%), four (10%) had shortness of breath, and 3 (8%) had vomiting and chills each. There were no lethal cases in the 24-hour period following blood transfusions. Conclusion. A relatively low rate of adverse blood transfusion reactions occurred in our geriatric patients. We may speculate that this is related to underreporting of minor symptoms due to the high percentage of demented patients in this population.
PMCID: PMC3997128  PMID: 24804100
20.  Sources of Life Strengths Appraisal Scale: A Multidimensional Approach to Assessing Older Adults' Perceived Sources of Life Strengths 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:783637.
Both cognitive and psychosocial theories of adult development stress the fundamental role of older adults' appraisals of the diverse sources of cognitive and social-emotional strengths. This study reports the development of a new self-appraisal measure that incorporates key theoretical dimensions of internal and external sources of life strengths, as identified in the gerontological literature. Using a pilot study sample and three other independent samples to examine older adults' appraisals of their sources of life strengths which helped them in their daily functioning and to combat life challenges, adversity, and losses, a psychometric instrument having appropriate reliability and validity properties was developed. A 24-month followup of a randomly selected sample confirmed that the nine-scale appraisal measure (SLSAS) is a promising instrument for appraising older adults' sources of life strengths in dealing with stresses of daily life's functioning and also a robust measure for predicting outcomes of resilience, autonomy, and well-being for this age group. A unique strength of the appraisal instrument is its critically relevant features of brevity, simplicity of language, and ease of administration to frail older adults.
Dedicated to the memory of Shanta Khurana whose assistance in the pilot work for the study was invaluable
PMCID: PMC3964761  PMID: 24772352
21.  Gray and Green Revisited: A Multidisciplinary Perspective of Gardens, Gardening, and the Aging Process 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:283682.
Over fourteen years ago, the concept of “gray and green” was first introduced by Wright and Lund (2000) to represent a new awareness and a call for increased scholarship at the intersection of environmental issues and the aging process. This review paper revisits that concept with a fresh perspective on the specific role of gardens and gardening in the aging experience. As example, gardening is one of the most popular home-based leisure activities in the US and represents an important activity in the lives of older adults in a variety of residential settings. Yet, there has been a lack of any comprehensive and multidisciplinary (science and humanities) examination of the nexus between gardening and the aging experience, and in particular with research connections to stewardship and caring. In this paper, we review contemporary articles demonstrating the multidisciplinarity of gardening and the aging process. First, we will focus on the beneficial psychological effects resulting from the cultivation of caring, including personal contentment and artistic expression. Second, we will focus on stewardship and how gardening increases health, community awareness, and a connection to future generations. On the surface, this may demonstrate a separation between the humanities and science, but we will clarify a symbiotic relationship between the two disciplines in our conclusion.
PMCID: PMC3964736  PMID: 24734179
22.  Effect of Posture Training with Weighted Kypho-Orthosis (WKO) on Improving Balance in Women with Osteoporosis 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:427903.
Objectives. To determine the effect of weighted kypho-orthosis (WKO) on improving balance in women with osteoporosis. In this nonrandomized controlled clinical trial, 31 patients with osteoporosis were included. The patients were assigned to two groups: (1) control group who received 4-week home-based daily exercise program including weight bearing, back strengthening, and balance exercises and (2) intervention group (WKO) who performed aforementioned exercises and wore WKO for one hour twice a day. Patients were assessed using clinical balance tests (timed up and go test, functional reach test, and unilateral balance test) before and 4 weeks after start of treatment. Results. Functional reach and timed up and go test were improved significantly in both groups compared to baseline. The improvement in intervention group was more significant in comparison to control group (P < 0.05). Discussion. Posture training with WKO together with exercise program improved two clinical balance tests in women with osteoporosis. Conclusion. Posture training support (PTS) applied as WKO together with back extension exercises can be prescribed as an intervention in elderly women in order to reduce the risk of falling.
PMCID: PMC3964740  PMID: 24734180
23.  The Propensity for Inducing Atrial Fibrillation: A Comparative Study on Old versus Young Rabbits 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:684918.
It is well established that atrial fibrillation (AF) is far more common in elderly humans. Autonomic activation is thought to be an operative mechanism for AF propensity. The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of age on atrial tachyarrhythmia induction in a rabbit model. Six old (aged 4–6 years) and 9 young (aged 3-4 months) New Zealand white rabbits were subjected to a catheter-based electrophysiological study. Atrial tachyarrhythmia susceptibility was tested by burst pacing before and after infusion of increasing concentrations of acetylcholine. Both young and old rabbits were in normal sinus rhythm at the beginning of the infusion/burst pacing protocol. The old rabbits had faster heart rates and a marked increase in atrial tachyarrhythmias compared to the young rabbits. Nonsustained and sustained AF events were more frequent in the old rabbits. No significant fibrosis was observed in the atria of either young or old rabbits. In conclusion, the old rabbits have a greater propensity for induction of AF. The significantly faster heart rates in the old rabbits suggest that dominant sympathetic activity may play an important role in the propensity for AF in this group.
PMCID: PMC3955625  PMID: 24719763
24.  Effect of Dementia on the Use of Drugs for Secondary Prevention of Ischemic Heart Disease 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:897671.
Background. Dementia and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are frequently comorbid. The presence of dementia may have an effect on how CVD is treated. Objective. To examine the effect of dementia on the use of four medications recommended for secondary prevention of ischemic heart disease (IHD): angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, beta-blockers, lipid-lowering medications, and antiplatelet medications. Design. Retrospective analysis of data from the Cardiovascular Health Study: Cognition Study. Setting and Subjects. 1,087 older adults in four US states who had or developed IHD between 1989 and 1998. Methods. Generalized estimating equations to explore the association between dementia and the use of guideline-recommended medications for the secondary prevention of IHD. Results. The length of follow-up for the cohort was 8.7 years and 265 (24%) had or developed dementia during the study. Use of medications for the secondary prevention of IHD for patients with and without dementia increased during the study period. In models, subjects with dementia were not less likely to use any one particular class of medication but were less likely to use two or more classes of medications as a group (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.36–0.99). Conclusions. Subjects with dementia used fewer guideline-recommended medications for the secondary prevention of IHD than those without dementia.
PMCID: PMC3955600  PMID: 24719764
25.  Dementia Care: Intersecting Informal Family Care and Formal Care Systems 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:486521.
Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependence amongst older people and previous research has highlighted how the well-being of people with dementia is inherently connected to the quality of their relationships with their informal carers. In turn, these carers can experience significant levels of emotional stress and physical burden from the demands of caring for a family member with dementia, yet their uptake of formal services tends to be lower than in other conditions related to ageing. This paper is based on a qualitative study undertaken in the Australian state of Queensland and explores issues of access to and use of formal services in dementia care from the perspective of the informal family carers. It identifies three critical points at which changes in policy and practice in the formal care system could improve the capability of informal carers to continue to care for their family member with dementia: when symptoms first become apparent and a diagnosis is sought; when the condition of the person with dementia changes resulting in a change to their support needs; and when the burden of informal care being experienced by the carer is so great that some form of transition appears to be immanent in the care arrangement.
PMCID: PMC3950589  PMID: 24701350

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