Sunday November 18, 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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Epileptic Pregnant Women Often Have Higher Risk of Death

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases affecting approximately sixty million people globally

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Risk of death 5 times higher in epileptic pregnant women: Study. Pixabay

The risk of dying during pregnancy is five times higher for pregnant women with epilepsy, finds a new study.

According to the study, from the Aarhus University in Denmark, pregnant women with epilepsy die of virtually the same conditions and events that women without epilepsy die of — ranging from accidents to blood clots, cancer and suicide — although with a greater frequency.

The results should be seen in light of the fact that in general, people with epilepsy have a higher mortality rate than the rest of the population. Overall, for women of childbearing age the mortality rate is 15 times higher, the researchers said.

“We can’t produce statistics on causes of death on the basis of five deceased pregnant women with epilepsy but we can conclude with great statistical certainty that pregnant women with epilepsy die five times more frequently than other pregnant women,” said Jakob Christensen, Associate Professor at the varsity.

For the study, the team examined a total of 2,110,084 pregnancies among which 11,976 (0.6 per cent) were pregnant women with epilepsy and a total of 176 women died during their pregnancy.

Pregnant Women
Lady with her baby. Pixabay

Mortality among women with epilepsy was compared with the mortality rate for women of the same age and social background.

“Although the absolute risk is small, we have to consider how we can follow pregnant women with epilepsy better than today,” Christensen said.

Also Read- Compound Found in Grape Skin Can Protect Against Lung Cancer: Research

“… We must take into account that the vast majority of pregnant women with epilepsy receive medication and are closely monitored during pregnancy, and that this probably helps to reduce the overall mortality because close monitoring means that there is better management of their epileptic seizures,” he said.

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases affecting approximately sixty million people globally. (IANS)