The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a rapid shift to telemedicine across health care. Among the many challenges this new reality has created for geriatricians is how to adapt the comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) to a virtual delivery format.
It is well-established that chronic inflammation may lead to frailty. Less understood is the potential of anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin to prevent this state of increased vulnerability.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 8 out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths in the United States have been in adults 65 years and older. As such, the novel coronavirus pandemic has had a dramatic impact on geriatric care.
U.S. veterans aged 75 years or older who were prescribed statins had a 25 percent lower risk of death than their counterparts, according to a retrospective cohort study led by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the VA Boston Healthcare System. The analysis also found the risk of dying from a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, was lower by 20 percent among veterans treated with statins.
A recent study out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital advises that older cancer patients receive routine assessments of their ability to conduct certain daily living activities to identify those who need supportive intervention. The study, led by Clark DuMontier, MD, geriatrician and research fellow in Brigham and Women’s Division of Aging, found a correlation between patients’ ability to live independently and their odds of being hospitalized or dying.
Caring for a hospitalized older adult requires the coordinated efforts of various specialists and geriatricians throughout the patient’s hospital stay. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an attending physician in the Division of Aging is facilitating such collaboration by developing a co-management service that embeds geriatrics within the hospital’s internal medicine floors.
As people live longer and lead more active lives in their later years, many opt for elective surgeries to improve their quality of life. With more older people undergoing major surgeries, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of patients developing postoperative delirium and cognitive decline.
Gait speed and grip strength are objective measures of physical health that have been shown to predict important health outcomes in older adults such as functional decline, acute care use and death. According to a recent study, these measures are particularly important to assess in older patients with hematologic malignancies including leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
Delirium, a sudden onset of confusion frequently seen in older patients, was once thought to be a temporary condition that patients “snapped out of” after being discharged from the hospital. However, it is now recognized that delirium may lead to longer-term cognitive impairment and poor health outcomes, including an increased risk of death, nursing home placement and memory problems.
Many older patients with hematologic cancers have another condition to worry about—one they don’t always feel comfortable discussing with their health care team. As people are living longer, memory problems have become increasingly prevalent. However, little is known about the impact of cognitive impairment, and specific domains of cognitive impairment, on older cancer patients and their survival.