Serum cholesterol and triglyceride elevate with age until middle generation, and decline in old age. This change is partly accounted for by the change of endogenous sex hormones, especially in women. The incidence of dyslipidemia is not different between people of middle age and old age. However, the treatment is not the same in the two age groups. This is based on the idea that the impact of hyperlipidemia declines with age. There are some reports in which the significance of treatment of hyperlipidemia was examined: statin treatment appears beneficial for young-old people, while treatment of hyperlipidemia appears no longer beneficial for old-old people. Prospective study is needed before understanding the necessity of the treatment of hyperlipidemia in the old-old people.
Obesity is one of the most important causes of life-style related diseases, and recently its pathophysiology is emphasized as metabolic syndrome. Preventing obesity by good dietary habit is a key to achieve healthy longevity. However, a lean body is not always good for health. There is an ideal body size for each person. This ideal body size differs according to age. Especially in the elderly, to prevent weight loss is more important for maintaining health and longevity than to be obese. Malnutrition is a critical factor of diseases and death in the elderly. Problems in nutritional status, and dietary intake, and methods of nutritional assessment in the elderly are discussed. Ideal body size for health and longevity, the relationship of body fat distribution and intra-abdominal fat accumulation health, and the effects of rapid weight change are also discussed to clarify the association of dietary habit and nutrition with longevity.
Aim: This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between anthropometric measurements and mortality among community-dwelling frail elderly. Methods: This study was a prospective cohort analysis of 520 community-dwelling elderly registered in the Nagoya Longitudinal Study for Frail Elderly (NLS-FE). Data included the participants' demographic characteristics, body mass index (BMI), mid-arm circumference (MAC), triceps skinfold (TSF), and arm muscle area (AMA), basic activities of daily living, comorbidity. BMI and TSF values were categorized into three groups, respectively, according to above the 75th percentile, the 25-75th percentile, and below the 25th percentile of Japanese Anthropometric Reference Data (JARD 2001). Survival analysis of 21-month mortality was conducted using Kaplan-Meier curves and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models. Results: BMI and TSF were independent risk factors for 21-month mortality in the study participants. Significant higher risk of 21-month mortality was observed in participants below the 75th percentile of BMI or below the 25th percentile of TSF set in JARD 2001. A striking increase in the risk of 21-month mortality, adjusting for potential confounding factors, was observed in the below 75th percentile of the BMI group with a below 25th percentile TSF of JARD 2001, compared with the 75th or above percentile BMI group with the 25th or above percentile TSF. Conclusion: The combination of BMI and TSF is a predictor of 21-month mortality among older people with ADL dysfunction.
Aim: To clarify the clinical features of terminally ill patients in our hospital and elucidate the implications of administering artificial nutrition. Methods: Between April 2004 and March 2005, we assessed 155 patients who died in Nishimaruyama Hospital-a geriatric long-term care facility in Sapporo. We analyzed their clinical backgrounds on admission, the clinical course up to the terminal stage of the illness, and the outcome of patients who received artificial nutrition. Results: In 95 patients, the main cause of the terminal illness was infection. The symptoms of these patients, such as cerebral infarction and cognitive dysfunction, deteriorated progressively, and eventually, eating became difficult. At this point, alternative methods for providing nutrition were discussed. For 60 patients (41 died of acute disease and 19, of advanced cancers), artificial nutrition was not considered. Artificial nutrition was administered to 63 patients; tube feeding was carried out in 30 patients. Because of repeated aspiration pneumonia, 14 of these 30 patients eventually underwent intravenous hyperalimentation (IVH). Thirty-three patients directly underwent IVH. Thirty-two patients did not undergo any feeding course. The mean survival times of the tube feeding and non-artificial nutrition groups were 827 and 60 days, respectively. The difference in the survival times was statistically significant. Conclusion: The outcome of patients who were placed on tube feeding was good. This may be because we selected those patients considered most suitable for tube feeding or IVH. The criteria that were used to select an appropriate method for providing nutrition varied, although the patients in our hospital requested palliative care.
Objectives: This study was conducted in order to examine the prevalence of geriatric syndrome (falls, incontinence, depression, and under-nutrition) in community-dwelling elderly people, and to analyze the health status of the elderly with geriatric syndrome risk compared to those of a group not at risk. Methods: The subjects comprised 1,784 residents (769 men and 1,015 women) aged 70 years or more living in Itabashi-ku, Tokyo, who took part in the study. For this study, we divided the subjects into two groups: those with geriatric syndrome (n=688) and those without (n=1,096). Results: It was found that 33.6% of men and 42.4% of women had geriatric syndrome. Elderly with geriatric syndrome in both men and women had a significantly lower the proportion of subjects who perceived as 'healthy' in terms of the self-rated health, the higher-level functional capacity, higher prevalence of fear of falling, and decreased physical performance including handgrip strength and usual·maximal walking speed than those in the group who did not have geriatric syndrome. Logistic regression analysis showed that geriatric syndrome was associated with poor perceived self-rated health, a lower hemoglobin level and a slower usual walking speed in men, whereas in women it was associated with poor perceived self-rated health and fear of falling. Conclusion: Elderly individuals with geriatric syndrome have significantly decreased health status and physical performance compared to those without geriatric syndrome.
Background: The present study was conducted to identify the characteristics of non-participants in intervention for geriatric syndrome among community-dwelling elderly. Methods: The subjects were 208 men and 399 women aged 70 years and over who were eligible for participation in intervention programs for geriatric syndrome (falls, urinary incontinence, depression, and malnutrition) after recruitment based on a baseline health examination survey in 2002. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to assess non-participation in the intervention program as a dependent variable, and the relevant characteristics for participation in the baseline survey as the independent variables. Results: The rates of participation in the intervention were 16.8% for men and 32.6% for women. Logistic regression analysis showed that male non-participants had not participated in group social activity (odds ratio (OR)=2.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08-5.59), and had no medical history of heart disease (OR=0.38, 95%CI 0.17-0.89), whereas female non-participants had not lived alone (OR=0.53, 95%CI 0.34-0.83), and had no medical history of hyperlipemia (OR=0.54, 95% CI 0.34-0.84). Conclusion: Social activity, living arrangement, and medical history are related to non-participation in intervention for geriatric syndrome. It is necessary to devise various intervention programs and approaches to encourage participation.
Aim: The housebound state is a risk factor for disability. This prospective study aimed to determine factors predictive of houseboundedness in the elderly, with an ultimate goal of preventing this condition. Methods: A self-report questionnaire pertaining to mental, physical and social status was administered to 732 community-dwelling elderly persons (313 men, 419 women; age range, 65-85 years) in October 2000. All subjects independently performed both basic and instrumental activities of daily living, went out alone for long distances, and did not use long-term care insurance. They were followed up until March 2003. "Housebound" was defined as leaving the house once a week or less. A stepwise multiple logistic regression model, adjusted for age, was used to identity factors predictive of houseboundedness. Data were analyzed on the basis of gender. Results: By the end of the follow-up period, 14.4% of men and 26.0% of women had become housebound. Stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis showed that predictive factors for men were lack of frequent contact with friends, neighbors and relatives; symptoms of lower limb pain; and self-assessed weight or muscle loss; and predictive factors for women were lack of frequent contact with friends, neighbors and relatives; lower limb pain; and self-assessed deterioration in health. Limited social contact and the presence of lower limb pain were common predictive factors for houseboundedness in both men and women. Conclusion: The findings from this study show that, among autonomous elderly persons, those who are socially isolated or who have physical pain are more likely to become housebound.
Aim: We conducted a national survey to examine how programs to teach end-of-life care to medical students in Japanese medical schools influence their death attitude. Methods: Sixteen medical schools participated. We conducted a questionnaire survey on fifth- or sixth-year medical students' death attitude at each medical school. Attitude of death was analyzed by the Death Attitude Inventory formed by Hirai et al, which is composed of seven factors: Afterlife belief, Death anxiety, Death relief, Death avoidance, Life purpose, Death concern, and Supernatural belief. We studied how students' attitude to death relates to programs to teach end-of-life care. Results: Overall 1,017of 1,510 students (67.4%) from the 16 medical schools participated. The students who took a program to teach end-of-life care presented Afterlife belief, Death concern and Supernatural belief score higher than those who did not participate in any program. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted and it was found that those trend disappeared, and the students who took a program had greater Death anxiety significantly higher than those who took no program. Conclusion: We concluded that the attitude of medical students to death was not related to programs to teach end-of-life care in medical schools. Our survey suggested that improving end-of-life care education is needed to mold the attitude of medical students to death.
A 81-year-old woman with a thyroid tumor and subclinical hyperthyroidism since ten years ago was admitted to our hospital for palpitations and hyperthyroidism (FT4 1.75ng/dl, FT3 5.37pg/ml, TSH<0.03μIU/ml). Although thyroid stimulating antibody (TSAb) was transiently and mildly positive, anti-TSH receptor antibody (TRAb), microsome test, and thyroid test were negative. Thyroid echogram showed an isoechoic nodule in the left lobe (33×42×22mm) and a small nodule (10×15×9mm) in right lobe. Thyroid scintiscan showed a hyperfunctional (hot) nodule in left thyroid lobe with suppressed uptake in the remainder of the gland. The uptake rate of thyroidal radioiodine (123I) in 24 hours was within the normal range (7.3%). Based on the above findings, a diagnosis of Plummer disease was made. Since she refused invasive surgical or radioiodine treatment, she was treated with 10mg thiamazole daily. After treatment with propranolol and thiamazole, the thyrotoxic symptoms disappeared and thyroid function returned to normal level. She had osteoporosis but she had neither atrial fibrillation nor cardiac symptoms. This was a rare case of Plummer disease that appeared in extremely old age after a long course of subclinical hyperthyroidism.
An 81-year-old woman was admitted due to exacerbation of chronic back pain from a vertebral osteoporosis fracture. The lumbar MRI examination revealed compression fracture of Th12 and L1 bones. Initial treatment with roxoprofen, calcitonin, bupurenorfin, and morphine did not achieve pain reduction in the patient. Because her geriatric depression scale score was low, we next tried to treat the pain using an antidepressant. Although the pain was improved by amitriptyline, the side effects of dry mouth and urinary incontinence were occurred. Milnacipran, a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), was then tried for the treatment of the chronic pain instead of amitriptyline, but the pain was increased. Then, she was given amitriptyline again for treatment of the chronic back pain instead of SNRI. The second-time amitriptyline treatment was effective to reduce the pain, with minimal side-effects. Because chronic pain due to osteoporosis is often difficult to treat in elderly patients, the classic antidepressant, amitriptyline, may help pain control by narcotics and anti-inflammatory agents in some elderly patients.