Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Geriatrics for March 2019. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Patients With Worse RA Symptoms More Likely to Cut Alcohol Intake

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Higher disease activity, disability, comorbidity, and poor quality of life contribute to reductions in alcohol use among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published online March 20 in Arthritis Care & Research.

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Frailty May Up Fracture Risk in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

THURSDAY, March 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Patients with type 2 diabetes are frailer than participants without diabetes, and frailty increases the risk for fragility fractures, according to a study published in the April issue of Diabetes Care.

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Doctors With Malpractice Claims More Likely to Leave Medicine

THURSDAY, March 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Physicians with one or more paid malpractice claims are more likely to leave practice or shift into smaller practice settings, according to a study published in the March 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Adding Transition Services Does Not Aid Heart Failure Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, March 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Additional transitional care services do not improve outcomes for heart failure patients discharged from the hospital, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Douglas County, Colorado, Ranked as Healthiest Community

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The 2019 healthiest community in America is Douglas County, Colorado, according to a report published online March 26 by U.S. News & World Report, in conjunction with the Aetna Foundation.

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Smoking Seems Not to Be Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — After adjusting for the competing risk of death without dementia, smoking is not associated with an increased risk for dementia, according to a study published online March 26 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Statins Cut Risk for Major Vascular Events in Older Patients

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Statins reduce the rate of vascular events regardless of patient age, according to a meta-analysis recently published in The Lancet.

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Editorial

Ocular Protein Levels May Be Useful for Alzheimer Testing

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Patients with poor cognitive function have significantly lower levels of Alzheimer disease-related biomarkers in the vitreous humor, according to a study published March 8 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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2019 Residency Match Day Was Largest in History

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The 2019 Main Residency Match was the largest in history, with a record high of 38,376 applicants for 35,185 positions, according to 2019 Match Day results released by the National Resident Matching Program.

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Low, High Levels of Physical Activity Tied to Reduced Mortality

FRIDAY, March 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Both low and high levels of physical activity (PA) are associated with reduced all-cause mortality, according to a study published online March 19 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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More Vascular Risk Factors Tied to Worse Brain Health

FRIDAY, March 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A higher number of vascular risk factors (VRFs) is associated with poorer brain health across gray and white matter macrostructure and microstructure, according to a study published online March 11 in the European Heart Journal.

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Statins Tied to Insulin Resistance, Higher Serum Fasting Insulin

THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Individuals using statins may be at higher risk for hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and eventually type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online March 5 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

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Antiepileptic Drugs Not Tied to Dementia Risk

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Antiepileptic drug (AED) use is not significantly associated with dementia risk in patients in Germany, according to a study published online March 12 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Overall, Physicians Are Happy and Enjoy Their Lives

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Overall, physicians are happy and enjoy their lives, according to the 2019 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)/CompHealth Physician Happiness Survey published online March 19.

2019 AAFP/CompHealth Physician Happiness Survey

Healthy Food Rx Could Be Cost-Effective for Medicare, Medicaid

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Economic incentives for healthier foods through Medicare and Medicaid could generate substantial health gains and be highly cost-effective, according to a study published online March 19 in PLOS Medicine.

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Sugary Drinks Tied to Cardiovascular Disease Mortality

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is associated with increased mortality, mainly cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, according to a study published online March 18 in Circulation.

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Light Physical Activity Tied to Lower CHD, CVD Risk in Women

TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Light physical activity (PA) is associated with reductions in coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) among older women, according to a study published online March 15 in JAMA Network Open.

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Average of 8.8 Inactive Ingredients Found in Oral Medications

MONDAY, March 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Oral forms of medications contain an average of 8.8 inactive ingredients, many of which could cause adverse reactions, according to a perspective piece published in the March 13 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Physician Burnout Rate Increased From 2014 to 2017

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) — From 2014 to 2017, there was an increase in physician burnout, with early-career physicians being the most susceptible, according to a study published online March 15 in JAMA Network Open.

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Influences on New NIH Policy for Age Limits in Research Explored

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Authors of a paper recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society describe factors that influenced the new National Institute of Health policy that requires funded scholars to eliminate arbitrary age limits in their work.

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Having Affected Relatives Linked to Increased Alzheimer Risk

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Having affected first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree relatives (FDRs, SDRs, and TDRs) is associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer disease (AD), according to a study published online March 13 in Neurology.

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CDC: 2000 to 2017 Saw Increase in Mortality Due to Dementia

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Mortality attributed to dementia increased from 2000 to 2017, with variation by age, race, and sex, according to a study published online March 14 in National Vital Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Knee Pain Not Tied to Activity Levels in Knee Osteoarthritis

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Knee pain is not associated with daily walking levels in individuals with mild-to-moderate, symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (KOA), according to a study published online March 6 in Arthritis Care & Research.

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FDA Approves New Generic Valsartan to Ease Shortage

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved a new generic version of the high blood pressure/heart failure drug valsartan, saying the move might help ease the current medication shortage.

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Head of National Cancer Institute Named Acting FDA Commissioner

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will temporarily be overseen by the head of the National Cancer Institute when FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., leaves the post next month.

AP News Article

CDC: Most Americans Report Excellent, Good Health

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Most Americans report having excellent or good health and have a usual place to go for medical care, according to a report published March 13 for the National Health Interview Survey Early Release Program.

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Elderly Men Undertreated for Osteoporosis

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Elderly men are significantly undertreated for osteoporosis, according to a study published online March 5 in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research.

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Tramadol May Up Mortality Risk in Osteoarthritis Patients

TUESDAY, March 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The initial prescription of tramadol compared with commonly prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be associated with increased all-cause mortality among patients with osteoarthritis, according to a study published in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Diet Quality in Midlife Not Linked to Later Risk for Dementia

TUESDAY, March 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Diet quality in midlife is not associated with subsequent dementia risk, according to a study published in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Common Signs, Symptoms Do Not ID Dehydration in Seniors

TUESDAY, March 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Many older care home residents are not being diagnosed with dehydration based on commonly-used signs and symptoms, according to a study published online March 11 in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

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CDC: Flu Season May Have Peaked

MONDAY, March 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — It looks like the flu season has peaked in the United States, though there has been a recent rise in the number of cases involving a more severe flu strain.

AP News Article
More Information: CDC

Only About Half of Elderly Newly Diagnosed With ALL Receive Tx

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Almost half of elderly patients newly diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) do not receive treatment, according to a study recently published in Leukemia & Lymphoma.

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Home Health Clinicians Frequently Lack Access to Hospital Records

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Communication between hospitals and home health care (HHC) is suboptimal, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

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2004 to 2017 Saw Increase in Fractures for Elderly Dog Walkers

THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) — From 2004 to 2017, there was a significant increase in the annual number of elderly Americans presenting to U.S. emergency departments with fractures associated with walking leashed dogs, according to a research letter published online March 6 in JAMA Surgery.

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Preoperative Frailty Linked to Surgical Outcomes, Costs

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Preoperative frailty is associated with surgical outcomes and costs in patients undergoing elective surgery, according to a study published online March 1 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Some Lose Independence After Surgical Tx of Femoral Neck Fx

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A considerable proportion of older patients with femoral neck fracture are institutionalized or require walking aids 12 months after surgical treatment for their injury, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma.

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Few Seniors Receive Regular Brief Cognitive Assessments

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Only 16 percent of seniors receive regular cognitive assessments, according to the Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report published March 5.

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FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb Resigns

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In what probably came as a surprise to many, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced his resignation on Tuesday. Gottlieb is leaving the FDA because he wants to spend more time with his wife and three young daughters — twins aged 9 and a 5-year-old — one official said. He currently commutes each week from the family home in Connecticut to his Washington, D.C., office.

The Washington Post Article

Heat Alerts May Come Too Late in Northern States

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Hospital admissions for heat-related health problems increase in northern states long before heat alerts are issued, and these higher admission rates occur at lower temperatures than in the South, where people are more used to heat, the Associated Press reported.

AP News Article
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Eli Lilly to Sell Cheaper Version of Insulin Drug

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A cheaper version of Eli Lilly’s most popular insulin drug, Humalog, is being introduced by the drug maker.

The New York Times Article

Poll: Many Older Adults Report Feeling Lonely, Isolated

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Many older adults, especially those with health issues, report feeling lonely and isolated, according to the results of the National Poll on Healthy Aging, published on March 4.

National Poll on Healthy Aging

Pneumococcal Vaccination at Age 50 Prevents the Most Disease

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Recommending pneumococcal vaccination for all 50-year-olds prevents the most disease in underserved minorities and the general population, but the cost exceeds $250,000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained, according to a study published online March 4 in Vaccine.

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FDA Warns Americans Not to Buy Drugs From Canadian Company

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A large Canadian drug distributor sells unapproved and mislabeled medicines to Americans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday. The distributor disputes the claim, however.

The New York Times Article
More Information: FDA

Antibiotic Delay Leads to Increased Risks in Seniors With UTI

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Delaying or withholding antibiotics for older patients with a urinary tract infection (UTI) is associated with an increase in bloodstream infection and all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in The BMJ.

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