Sunday September 23, 2018

Opioid Use Linked To Increased Risk of Falls, Death In Older Adults

Opioid use may increase risk of falls, death in elderly

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Older adults who use opioids for pain relief may be at an increased risk of falling as well as deaths, according to researchers.

Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in older adults. However, evidence for a link between opioid use and falls is inconsistent, the researcher said.

The findings showed that patients with opioid intake were 2.4 times more likely to have a fall causing injury.

“The study confirms an association between recent opioid use and fall-related injury in a large trauma population of older adults,” said Raoul Daoust from the Universite de Montreal in Quebec, Canada.

Patients whose falls were linked to opioid use were also more likely to die during their hospital stay, the researchers said.

Representational image for elders.
Representational image. Pixabay

“Physicians should be aware that prescribing opioids to older patients is not only associated with an increased risk of falls but also if these patients do fall, a higher in-hospital mortality rate,” Daoust noted.

The study, published in the journal CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), included data on 67,929 patients aged 65 and older who were admitted for injury to one of 57 trauma centres.

Also Read: Drinking Water Boosts Mental Skills in Elders Who Exercise

The mean age of patients was 81 years, and the majority, 69 per cent, were women.

Falls were the most common cause of injury (92 per cent of patients), and more than half (59 per cent) had surgery for their injuries, with lengthy hospital stays (median stay of 12 days).  IANS

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Wrinkles on Forehead May Predict Death Risk Due to Cardiovascular Disease

The results were presented at the ESC Congress 2018, the annual conference of the European Society of Cardiology in Munich

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Wrinkles
Your forehead wrinkles may predict cardiovascular death risk. Pixabay

The wrinkles on your forehead may not be just an inevitable consequence of ageing, but could also signal an early death due to cardiovascular disease (CVD), researchers have warned.

The findings showed that increased deep forehead wrinkles, more than what is typical for their age, could be linked to death atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries due to plaque build-up — a major contributor to heart attacks and other CVD events.

“Forehead wrinkles may be a marker of atherosclerosis. The higher your wrinkle score, the more your cardiovascular mortality risk increases,” said Yolande Esquirol, associate professor at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse, France.

While the furrows in the brow are not a better method of evaluating heart risk than existing methods, such as blood pressure and lipid profiles, yet they can raise a red flag earlier, at a simple glance, the researchers said.

Changes in collagen protein and oxidative stress seem to play a part both in atherosclerosis and wrinkles. Also, blood vessels in the forehead are so small they may be more sensitive to plaque build-up meaning wrinkles could one of the early signs of vessel ageing, they explained.

Wrinkles
A score of zero meant no wrinkles while a score of three meant “numerous deep wrinkles”. Pixabay

For the new study, the team investigated a different visible marker of age — horizontal forehead wrinkles — to see if they had any value in assessing cardiovascular risk in a group of 3,200 working adults.

A score of zero meant no wrinkles while a score of three meant “numerous deep wrinkles”.

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Those who had wrinkle scores of two and three had almost 10 times the risk of dying compared with people who had wrinkle scores of zero, after adjustments for age, gender, education, smoking status, blood pressure, heart rate, diabetes and lipid levels.

The results were presented at the ESC Congress 2018, the annual conference of the European Society of Cardiology in Munich. (IANS)