ResearchPad - elderly https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the trail-making test in older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13819 The trail-making test (TMT) is a popular neuropsychological test, which is used extensively to measure cognitive impairment associated with neurodegenerative disorders in older adults. Behavioural performance on the TMT has been investigated in older populations, but there is limited research on task-related brain activity in older adults. The current study administered a naturalistic version of the TMT to a healthy older-aged population in an MRI environment using a novel, MRI-compatible tablet. Functional MRI was conducted during task completion, allowing characterization of the brain activity associated with the TMT. Performance on the TMT was evaluated using number of errors and seconds per completion of each link. Results are reported for 36 cognitively healthy older adults between the ages of 52 and 85. Task-related activation was observed in extensive regions of the bilateral frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes as well as key motor areas. Increased age was associated with reduced brain activity and worse task performance. Specifically, older age was correlated with decreased task-related activity in the bilateral occipital, temporal and parietal lobes. These results suggest that healthy older aging significantly affects brain function during the TMT, which consequently may result in performance decrements. The current study reveals the brain activation patterns underlying TMT performance in a healthy older aging population, which functions as an important, clinically-relevant control to compare to pathological aging in future investigations.

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<![CDATA[A descriptive cross sectional study comparing barriers and determinants of physical activity of Sri Lankan middle aged and older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7830 Benefits of physical activities are numerous. Barriers for physical exercise may differ among middle aged and older adults. Therefore, identifying and comparing the barriers for participating in regular physical exercises among middle aged and older adults will be useful in designing age specific physical exercise programmes.MethodsThis descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among 206 Sri Lankan adults in the age range of 40–84 years in the Colombo North region of Sri Lanka using culturally validated questionnaires to determine and compare the barriers and factors associated with regular physical activity participation. Majority were males (56%) and 54% were < 60 years. People in the age range of 40–59 years were considered as middle age and ≥ 60 years as older adults. Bivariate analysis and multivariate analysis was carried out to determine the significant factors that are associated with regular physical activity participation.ResultsLack of free time (52%), feeling too lazy (26%) and bad weather (29%) were the main barriers for the participants. In < 60 years, high level of income (p = 0.008) and in ≥ 60 years, being a male (p = 0.016), having a high level of education (P = 0.002) and a high BMI (p = 0.002) had a significant negative association with the level of physical activities.ConclusionsContrary to findings from surveys in several developed countries, this study showed that having a high level of education and being a male were strongly related with lack of physical activity participation. ]]> <![CDATA[Is postural dysfunction related to sarcopenia? A population-based study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7695 Postural dysfunction is one of the most common community health symptoms and frequent chief complaints in hospitals. Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterized by degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass, muscle quality, and muscle strength, and is the main contributor to musculoskeletal impairment in the elderly. Previous studies reported that loss of muscle mass is associated with a loss of diverse functional abilities. Meanwhile, there have been limited studies concerning postural dysfunction among older adults with sarcopenia. Although sarcopenia is primarily a disease of the elderly, its development may be associated with conditions that are not exclusively seen in older persons. Also, recent studies recognize that sarcopenia may begin to develop earlier in life. The objective of this paper was to investigate the association between the prevalence of sarcopenia and postural dysfunction in a wide age range of adults using data from a nationally representative cohort study in Korea. Korean National Health & Nutrition Exhibition Survey V (KNHANES V, 2010–2012) data from the fifth cross-sectional survey of the South Korean population performed by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare were used. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM)/height (ht)2 was used to define sarcopenia, and the Modified Romberg test using a foam pad (“foam balance test”) was performed to evaluate postural dysfunction. ASM/ht2 was lower in women and significantly decreased with age in men. Subjects with sarcopenia were significantly more likely to fail the foam balance test, regardless of sex and age. Regression analysis showed a significant relationship between sarcopenia and postural dysfunction (OR: 2.544, 95% CI: 1.683–3.846, p<0.001). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that sarcopenia (OR: 1.747, 95% CI: 1.120–2.720, p = 0.014) and age (OR: 1.131, 95% CI: 1.105–1.158, p<0.001) are independent risk factors for postural instability. In middle age subjects, the adjusted OR for sarcopenia was 3.344 (95% CI: 1.350–8.285) (p = 0.009). The prevalence of postural dysfunction is higher in sarcopenia patients, independent of sex and age.

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<![CDATA[Tsinghua facial expression database – A database of facial expressions in Chinese young and older women and men: Development and validation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf679a1e8-67cb-47b3-95b4-f3d293b80761

Perception of facial identity and emotional expressions is fundamental to social interactions. Recently, interest in age associated changes in the processing of faces has grown rapidly. Due to the lack of older faces stimuli, most previous age-comparative studies only used young faces stimuli, which might cause own-age advantage. None of the existing Eastern face stimuli databases contain face images of different age groups (e.g. older adult faces). In this study, a database that comprises images of 110 Chinese young and older adults displaying eight facial emotional expressions (Neutral, Happiness, Anger, Disgust, Surprise, Fear, Content, and Sadness) was constructed. To validate this database, each image was rated on the basis of perceived facial expressions, perceived emotional intensity, and perceived age by two different age groups. Results have shown an overall 79.08% correct identification rate in the validation. Access to the freely available database can be requested by emailing the corresponding authors.

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<![CDATA[Incidence of statin use in older adults with and without cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus, January 2008- March 2018]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N40ec07ea-30b4-4753-a09f-b8fe9ef6ec46

Background

Data from randomized controlled trials and observational studies on older adults who take statins for primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease are limited. To determine the incidence of statin use in older adults with and without cardiovascular disease (CVD) and/or diabetes (DM), we conducted a descriptive observational study.

Methods

The cohort consisted of health plan members in the NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network aged >75 years who had continuous drug and medical benefits for ≥183 days during the study period, January 1, 2008- March 31, 2018. We defined DM and CVD using diagnosis codes, and identified statins using dispensing data. Statin use was considered incident if a member had no evidence of statin exposure in the claims during the previous 183 days, and the use was considered long-term if statins were supplied for ≥180 days. Incidence rates were reported among members with and without CVD and/or diabetes, and stratified by year, sex, and age group.

Results

Among 757,569 eligible members, 109,306 older adults initiated statins and 54,624 became long-term users. Health plan members with CVD had the highest incidence of statin use (143.9 initiators per 1,000 member-years for CVD & DM; 114.5 initiators per 1,000 member-years for CVD & No DM). Among health plan members without CVD, those with DM had rates of statin use that were over two times higher than members without DM (76.1 versus 34.5 initiators per 1,000 member-years, respectively). Statin initiation remained steady throughout 2008–2016, was slightly higher in males, and declined with increasing age.

Conclusion

Incidence of statin use varied by CVD and DM comorbidity, and was lowest among those without CVD. These results highlight the potential clinical equipoise to conduct large pragmatic clinical trials to generate evidence that could be used to inform future blood cholesterol guidelines.

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<![CDATA[Gaze direction reveals implicit item and source memory in older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd6bd49f6-c3a2-422e-9a90-0c981119f651

This study looked at eye movements in relation to source memory in older adults. Participants first studied images of common objects appearing in different quadrants of a screen. After a delay, they were shown cues one at a time presented in all four quadrants. Participants stated whether or not the cue had been seen before and in which location. Participants also rated level of confidence in their responses. In trials where participants either claimed they have not seen a previously presented cue or placed it in an incorrect location, they looked significantly more at the correct quadrant. The proportion of time looking at the correct quadrants during incorrect responses was not related to confidence ratings. These results suggest that eye gaze during the memory task does not reflect memory retrieval below the threshold of verbal report. They instead point to an implicit form of source memory in humans that is accessible to eye movements but not to verbal responses.

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<![CDATA[Age-related differences in clinical characteristics of invasive group G streptococcal infection: Comparison with group A and group B streptococcal infections]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accd0d5eed0c48499008b

Purpose

Invasive Group G streptococcal infection (iGGS) has increasingly been recognized as a cause of severe disease, mainly among elderly people with chronic illnesses. This study aimed to examine age-related differences in clinical characteristics of iGGS and describe its characteristics among very elderly individuals (≥80 years).

Methods

Fifty-four iGGS patients for whom detailed clinical information was available were identified from 2002 to 2014 in a tertiary care hospital in Japan. iGGS (n = 54) was compared with invasive Group A (iGAS; n = 17) and B streptococcal infection patients (iGBS; n = 52) based on patient age.

Results

The incidence of iGGS in our catchment area significantly increased during the study period. The prevalence of iGGS in the very elderly population was higher than that of iGAS or iGBS (p<0.001). Among iGGS patients, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, oxygen demand, and bacteremia with unknown focus of infection were more frequent in the very elderly population (p = 0.009, p = 0.02, p = 0.04, and p = 0.04, respectively). Altered mental status was present in half of iGGS patients aged ≥60 years (p = 0.03). In contrast, alcohol drinking and liver cirrhosis were significantly more frequent in patients with iGGS aged <60 years than in other age groups (p<0.001, p = 0.001, respectively). Levofloxacin resistance in GBS isolates was significantly more frequent among very elderly patients than among other age groups (p<0.001).

Conclusions

The burden of iGGS has been increasing in our catchment area. Different iGGS-associated clinical characteristics were found in each age group. Unclear and atypical clinical manifestations and syndromes were likely to be observed in very elderly patients. Alcohol drinking and liver cirrhosis may contribute to iGGS even in patients aged <60 years. Understanding these age-related differences could be helpful for optimal diagnosis and treatment.

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<![CDATA[A prospective, multi-center study of Candida bloodstream infections in Chile]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1960d5eed0c484b4d4f3

Background

Active surveillance is necessary for improving the management and outcome of patients with candidemia. The aim of this study was to describe epidemiologic and clinical features of candidemia in children and adults in tertiary level hospitals in Chile.

Methods

We conducted a prospective, multicenter, laboratory-based survey study of candidemia in 26 tertiary care hospitals in Chile, from January 2013 to October 2017.

Results

A total of 780 episodes of candidemia were included, with a median incidence of 0.47/1,000 admissions. Demographic, clinical and microbiological information of 384 cases of candidemia, from 18 hospitals (7,416 beds), was included in this report. One hundred and thirty-four episodes (35%) occurred in pediatric patients and 250 (65%) in adult population. Candida albicans (39%), Candida parapsilosis (30%) and Candida glabrata (10%) were the leading species, with a significant difference in the distribution of species between ages. The use of central venous catheter and antibiotics were the most frequent risk factors in all age groups (> 70%). Three hundred and fifteen strains were studied for antifungal susceptibility; 21 strains (6.6%) were resistant to fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, anidulafungin or micafungin. The most commonly used antifungal therapies were fluconazole (39%) and echinocandins (36%). The overall 30-day survival was 74.2%, significantly higher in infants (82%) and children (86%) compared with neonates (72%), adults (71%) and elderly (70%).

Conclusions

Our prospective, multicenter surveillance study showed a low incidence of candidemia in Chile, with high 30-day survival, a large proportion of elderly patients, C. glabrata as the third most commonly identified strain, a 6.6% resistance to antifungal agents and a frequent use of echinocandins.

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<![CDATA[The mediating role of coping behavior on the age-technostress relationship: A longitudinal multilevel mediation model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823acd5eed0c484638de4

This study seeks to explain the interplay between chronological age and technology-related strain through techno-stressors and coping strategy choices in organizational settings. Grounded in Lazarus´ stress theory, theories of cognitive aging, the life span theory of control and socioemotional selectivity theory, this study argues that even though older workers are more prone to techno-stressors, aging is connected to gaining coping skills, which in turn reduce technology-related strain over time. Understanding these processes enables modifying employees’ coping strategy choices and mitigating negative outcomes of technostress at the workplace. Longitudinal data from 1,216 employees over a time period of 8 months were used to perform multilevel mediation modeling. The findings reveal that age was negatively related to technology-related strain. The link between age and technology-related strain was explained through behavioral disengagement, which older workers used less than younger workers. Active coping and social coping did not act as mediators of this relationship across time points. These relationships were stable after controlling for dependency on technology.

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<![CDATA[Exploring the use of machine learning for risk adjustment: A comparison of standard and penalized linear regression models in predicting health care costs in older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89772fd5eed0c4847d264d

Background

Payers and providers still primarily use ordinary least squares (OLS) to estimate expected economic and clinical outcomes for risk adjustment purposes. Penalized linear regression represents a practical and incremental step forward that provides transparency and interpretability within the familiar regression framework. This study conducted an in-depth comparison of prediction performance of standard and penalized linear regression in predicting future health care costs in older adults.

Methods and findings

This retrospective cohort study included 81,106 Medicare Advantage patients with 5 years of continuous medical and pharmacy insurance from 2009 to 2013. Total health care costs in 2013 were predicted with comorbidity indicators from 2009 to 2012. Using 2012 predictors only, OLS performed poorly (e.g., R2 = 16.3%) compared to penalized linear regression models (R2 ranging from 16.8 to 16.9%); using 2009–2012 predictors, the gap in prediction performance increased (R2:15.0% versus 18.0–18.2%). OLS with a reduced set of predictors selected by lasso showed improved performance (R2 = 16.6% with 2012 predictors, 17.4% with 2009–2012 predictors) relative to OLS without variable selection but still lagged behind the prediction performance of penalized regression. Lasso regression consistently generated prediction ratios closer to 1 across different levels of predicted risk compared to other models.

Conclusions

This study demonstrated the advantages of using transparent and easy-to-interpret penalized linear regression for predicting future health care costs in older adults relative to standard linear regression. Penalized regression showed better performance than OLS in predicting health care costs. Applying penalized regression to longitudinal data increased prediction accuracy. Lasso regression in particular showed superior prediction ratios across low and high levels of predicted risk. Health care insurers, providers and policy makers may benefit from adopting penalized regression such as lasso regression for cost prediction to improve risk adjustment and population health management and thus better address the underlying needs and risk of the populations they serve.

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<![CDATA[Effects of frontal-executive dysfunction on self-perceived hearing handicap in the elderly with mild cognitive impairment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897757d5eed0c4847d2a69

It is increasingly agreed upon that cognitive and audiological factors are associated with self-perceived hearing handicap in old adults. This study aimed to compare self-perceived hearing handicap among mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subgroups and a cognitively normal elderly (CNE) group and determine which factors (i.e., demographic, audiometric, or neuropsychological factors) are correlated with self-perceived hearing handicap in each group. A total of 46 MCI patients and 39 hearing threshold-matched CNE subjects participated in this study, and their age ranged from 55 to 80 years. The MCI patients were reclassified into two groups: 16 with frontal-executive dysfunction (FED) and 30 without FED. All subjects underwent audiometric, neuropsychological, and self-perceived hearing handicap assessments. The Korean version of the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly (K-HHIE) was administered to obtain the hearing handicap scores for each subject. After controlling for age, years of education, and depression levels, we found no significant differences in the K-HHIE scores between the MCI and the CNE groups. However, after we classified the MCI patients into the MCI with FED and MCI without FED groups, the MCI with FED group scored significantly higher than did both the MCI without FED and the CNE groups. In addition, after controlling for depression levels, significant partial correlations of hearing handicap scores with frontal-executive function scores and speech-in-noise perception performance were found in the MCI groups. In the CNE group, the hearing handicap scores were related to peripheral hearing sensitivity and years of education. In summary, MCI patients with FED are more likely to experience everyday hearing handicap than those without FED and cognitively normal old adults. Although educational level and peripheral hearing function are related to self-perceived hearing handicap in cognitively normal old adults, speech-in-noise perception and frontal-executive function are mainly associated with hearing handicap in patients with MCI.

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<![CDATA[Socioeconomic vulnerability associated to Toxoplasma gondii exposure in southern Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f14bed5eed0c48467a799

Human toxoplasmosis, a protozoonosis caused by Toxoplasma gondii, has been described as a worldwide foodborne disease with important public health impact. Despite infection has reportedly varied due to differences in alimentary, cultural and hygienic habits and geographic region, social vulnerability influence on toxoplasmosis distribution remains to be fully established. Accordingly, the present study has aimed to assess T. gondii seroprevalence and factors associated to social vulnerability for infection in households of Ivaiporã, southern Brazil, with 33.6% population making half minimum wage or less, ranked 1,055th in population (31,816 habitants), 1,406th in per capita income (U$ 211.80 per month) and 1,021st in HDI (0.764) out of 5,570 Brazilian cities. Serum samples and epidemiological questionnaires were obtained from citizen volunteers with official City Secretary of Health assistance in 2015 and 2016. In overall, serosurvey has revealed 526/715 (73.57%) positive samples for anti-T. gondii antibodies by Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test. Logistic regression has shown a significant increase associated to adults (p = 0.021) and elderly (p = 0.014) people, illiterates (p = 0.025), unemployment (p <0.001) and lack of household water tank (p = 0.039). On the other hand, sex (male or female), living area (urban or rural), yard hygiene, meat ingestion, sand or land contact, owning pets (dog, cat or both) were not significant variables of positivity for anti-T. gondii antibodies in the surveyed population. Although no significant spatial cluster was found, high intensity areas of seropositive individuals were located in the Kernel map where the suburban neighborhoods are located. In conclusion, socioeconomic vulnerability determinants may be associated to Toxoplasma gondii exposure. The increased risk due to illiteracy, adult or elderly age, unemployment and lack of household water tank were confirmed by multivariate analysis and the influence of low family income for seropositivity by the spatial analysis.

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<![CDATA[Towards a universal concept of vulnerability: Broadening the evidence from the elderly to perinatal health using a Delphi approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe2ed5eed0c484e5b68a

Background

The concept 'vulnerability' is prevalent in the public domain, health care, social institutions and multidisciplinary research. Conceptual heterogeneity is present, hampering the creation of a common evidence-base of research achievements and successful policies. Recently an international expert group combined a specific literature review with a 2-stage Delphi procedure, arriving at a seemingly universal concept of vulnerability for the elderly with applications for research instruments. We replicated and extended this study, to generalize this result to health in general, and perinatal health in particular.

Methods

Two independent expert panels (general health, perinatal health) repeated the Delphi-procedure, using an extended and updated literature review to derive statements on the concept and defining pathways of vulnerability. Additional views were collected on research tools. Consensus-by-design was explicitly avoided. Data collection and processing was independent.

Results

Both panels showed surprising convergence on the pathways of vulnerability to health/ill-health, and their interaction. The agreed conceptual model describes a dynamic relation between health and ill-health and vulnerability. The 2 key pathways that link to vulnerability, are complementary, but not symmetrical as biological processes of maintaining health or obtaining better health are not reciprocal to recovery, so also not in terms of vulnerability impacts. An individual's degree of vulnerability is the net balance of risk effects and protective and healing factors (socially, biologically and in terms of health literacy and health care access). These factors can for measurement purposes (according to the panels: interview for exploration, checklists for population research) be grouped into ‘material resources’, ‘taking responsibility for one’s own health’, ‘risky activities and behaviors’, and ‘social support’.

Supportive and transforming action can thus be undertaken.

Conclusion

A universal concept of vulnerability in the context of health was successfully derived after careful replication and extension of an international Delphi study on vulnerability among the elderly.

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<![CDATA[The impact of dementia on hospital outcomes for elderly patients with sepsis: A population-based study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75abe0d5eed0c484d07df2

Background

Prior studies have suggested that dementia adversely influences clinical outcomes and increases resource utilization in patients hospitalized for acute diseases. However, there is limited population-data information on the impact of dementia among elderly hospitalized patients with sepsis.

Methods

From the 2009–2011 National Hospital Discharge Database we identified hospitalizations in adults aged ≥65 years. Using ICD9-CM codes, we selected sepsis cases, divided them into two cohorts (with and without dementia) and compared both groups with respect to organ dysfunction, in-hospital mortality and the use of hospital resources. We estimated the impact of dementia on these primary endpoints through multivariate regression models.

Results

Of the 148 293 episodes of sepsis identified, 16 829 (11.3%) had diagnoses of dementia. Compared to their dementia-free counterparts, they were more predominantly female and older, had a lower burden of comorbidities and were more frequently admitted due to a principal diagnosis of sepsis. The dementia cohort showed a lower risk of organ dysfunction (adjusted OR: 0.84, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.81, 0.87) but higher in-hospital mortality (adjusted OR: 1.32, 95% [CI]: 1.27, 1.37). The impact of dementia on mortality was higher in the cases of younger age, without comorbidities and without organ dysfunction. The cases with dementia also had a lower length of stay (-3.87 days, 95% [CI]: -4.21, -3.54) and lower mean hospital costs (-3040€, 95% [CI]: -3279, -2800).

Conclusions

This nationwide population-based study shows that dementia is present in a substantial proportion of adults ≥65s hospitalized with sepsis, and while the condition does seem to come with a lower risk of organ dysfunction, it exerts a negative influence on in-hospital mortality and acts as an independent mortality predictor. Furthermore, it is significantly associated with shorter length of stay and lower hospital costs.

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<![CDATA[Effects of microbiota-driven therapy on inflammatory responses in elderly individuals: A systematic review and meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648cddd5eed0c484c81990

Current evidence suggests that age-associated inflammation, a strong risk factor for the health status of elderly individuals, is closely associated with gut microbiota. Previous animal studies have demonstrated a benefit of microbiota-driven therapy in decreasing low-grade chronic inflammation in elderly individuals; however, it remains controversial in clinical studies. Therefore, the present systematic review and meta-analysis were designed to assess the effects of microbiota-driven therapy on inflammatory markers in elderly individuals. PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched with no language restrictions from the inception of the database to November 11th, 2018 to identify all existing literature. We calculated pooled standard mean difference (SMD) using fixed effect model or random effect model to assess the effects of microbiota-driven therapy on elderly individuals. The methodological quality of the studies was determined according to the Cochrane Handbook. The publication bias was evaluated by funnel plot and Egger regression test. Ten randomized controlled studies, with 689 elderly individuals (347 individuals in the microbiota-driven therapy group and 342 individuals in the placebo group), were included in the analysis. Compared with placebo, microbiota-driven therapy did not decrease the levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (SMD, -0.24; 95% CI, -0.69 to 0.21; p = 0.30; I2 = 82.7%), interleukin-6 (SMD, -0.13; 95% CI, -0.74 to 0.49; p = 0.69; I2 = 90.7%) and interleukin-10 (SMD, 1.00; 95% CI, -0.15 to 2.15; p = 0.09; I2 = 96.3%). In addition, the microbiota-driven therapy also did not decrease the levels of C reactive protein (SMD, -1.28; 95% CI, -2.62 to 0.06; p = 0.06; I2 = 96.2%), interleukin-1β (SMD, -0.22; 95% CI, -0.81 to 0.37; p = 0.46; I2 = 73.8%), interleukin-8 (SMD, -0.03; 95% CI, -0.67 to 0.61; p = 0.93; I2 = 88.0%) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (SMD, -0.11; 95% CI, -0.41 to 0.20; p = 0.49; I2 = 0%) when compared with placebo. No obvious publication bias was observed (p>0.05). In conclusion, the present meta-analysis of available randomized controlled studies did not suggest any significant benefit of microbiota-driven therapy in decreasing the inflammatory responses of elderly individuals.

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<![CDATA[Examining individual and geographic factors associated with social isolation and loneliness using Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df369d5eed0c484581267

Background

A large body of research shows that social isolation and loneliness have detrimental health consequences. Identifying individuals at risk of social isolation or loneliness is, therefore, important. The objective of this study was to examine personal (e.g., sex, income) and geographic (rural/urban and sociodemographic) factors and their association with social isolation and loneliness in a national sample of Canadians aged 45 to 85 years.

Methods

The study involved cross-sectional analyses of baseline data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging that were linked to 2016 census data at the Forward Sortation Area (FSA) level. Multilevel logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between personal factors and geographic factors and social isolation and loneliness for the total sample, and women and men, respectively.

Results

The prevalence of social isolation and loneliness was 5.1% and 10.2%, respectively, but varied substantially across personal characteristics. Personal characteristics (age, sex, education, income, functional impairment, chronic diseases) were significantly related to both social isolation and loneliness, although some differences emerged in the direction of the relationships for the two measures. Associations also differed somewhat for women versus men. Associations between some geographic factors emerged for social isolation, but not loneliness. Living in an urban core was related to increased odds of social isolation, an effect that was no longer significant when FSA-level factors were controlled for. FSAs with a higher percentage of 65+ year old residents with low income were consistently associated with higher odds of social isolation.

Conclusion

The findings indicate that socially isolated individuals are, to some extent, clustered into areas with a high proportion of low-income older adults, suggesting that support and resources could be targeted at these areas. For loneliness, the focus may be less on where people live, but rather on personal characteristics that place individuals at risk.

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<![CDATA[Hand grip strength: Reference values for adults and elderly people of Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2b2d5eed0c48441e8f3

Hand grip strength (HGS) is recognized as an important health indicator, but validated reference values that can be applied to the evaluation of individuals in different populations are still lacking. This work aimed to identify correlations between HGS and anthropometric variables and to establish HGS reference values for adult and elderly populations. This is a population-based cross-sectional study considering the subsets of individuals with healthy right or left upper limbs from a sample of 1,609 adults and elderly residents in Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. Descriptive statistics of anthropometric measures and HGS values at maximum performance based on three measurements of the two hands were obtained, and Pearson correlations between these variables were applied. Percentile distributions were estimated for right and left HGS by sex and age group. Men presented, in general, a maximum HGS 57% higher than women (43.4 kg vs. 27.6 kg), and also higher HGS levels in the different age groups. In both sexes, the highest HGS values were observed in the age group of 30 to 39 years (men, 46.9 kg; women, 29.4 kg), with a subsequent decline. HGS presented a negative correlation with age and a weak to moderate positive correlation with anthropometric variables, among men and women. The median HGS of men was reduced by about 46% between the ages of 30 and 39 years and 80 years and over (right hand, 46.4 to 23.7 kg; left hand, 42.2 to 23.5 kg) and by about 44% in women (right hand, 29.0 to 16.4 kg, left hand, 27.3 to 15.2 kg). The values identified are a reference for HGS behavior among healthy adults and seniors, although they do not discriminate individuals with specific health conditions. They can be used in rehabilitation programs and subsidize future studies aimed at exploring their potential application in the evaluation of the health condition of adults and elderly individuals.

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<![CDATA[Factors influencing sedentary behaviour: A system based analysis using Bayesian networks within DEDIPAC]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b525bd5eed0c4842bc6d7

Background

Decreasing sedentary behaviour (SB) has emerged as a public health priority since prolonged sitting increases the risk of non-communicable diseases. Mostly, the independent association of factors with SB has been investigated, although lifestyle behaviours are conditioned by interdependent factors. Within the DEDIPAC Knowledge Hub, a system of sedentary behaviours (SOS)-framework was created to take interdependency among multiple factors into account. The SOS framework is based on a system approach and was developed by combining evidence synthesis and expert consensus. The present study conducted a Bayesian network analysis to investigate and map the interdependencies between factors associated with SB through the life-course from large scale empirical data.

Methods

Data from the Eurobarometer survey (80.2, 2013) that included the International physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ) short as well as socio-demographic information and questions on perceived environment, health, and psychosocial information were enriched with macro-level data from the Eurostat database. Overall, 33 factors were identified aligned to the SOS-framework to represent six clusters on the individual or regional level: 1) physical health and wellbeing, 2) social and cultural context, 3) built and natural environment, 4) psychology and behaviour, 5) institutional and home settings, 6) policy and economics. A Bayesian network analysis was conducted to investigate conditional associations among all factors and to determine their importance within these networks. Bayesian networks were estimated for the complete (23,865 EU-citizens with complete data) sample and for sex- and four age-specific subgroups. Distance and centrality were calculated to determine importance of factors within each network around SB.

Results

In the young (15–25), adult (26–44), and middle-aged (45–64) groups occupational level was directly associated with SB for both, men and women. Consistently, social class and educational level were indirectly associated within male adult groups, while in women factors of the family context were indirectly associated with SB. Only in older adults, factors of the built environment were relevant with regard to SB, while factors of the home and institutional settings were less important compared to younger age groups.

Conclusion

Factors of the home and institutional settings as well as the social and cultural context were found to be important in the network of associations around SB supporting the priority for future research in these clusters. Particularly, occupational status was found to be the main driver of SB through the life-course. Investigating conditional associations by Bayesian networks gave a better understanding of the complex interplay of factors being associated with SB. This may provide detailed insights in the mechanisms behind the burden of SB to effectively inform policy makers for detailed intervention planning. However, considering the complexity of the issue, there is need for a more comprehensive system of data collection including objective measures of sedentary time.

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<![CDATA[Effects of Nordic walking training on quality of life, balance and functional mobility in elderly: A randomized clinical trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5264d5eed0c4842bc750

Purpose

There is physiological and biomechanical evidence suggesting a possible advantage of using poles in walking training programs. The purpose of this proof-of-concept study was to test the hypothesis that untrained elderly training Nordic walking for eight weeks will show higher improvements on the functional mobility, quality of life and postural balance than that training without poles; more likely to occur in self-selected walking speed (primary outcome), and the locomotor rehabilitation index than the quality of life, the static balance and the dynamic stability. It was a two-arm randomized sample- and load-controlled study.

Methods

Thirty-three untrained older people were randomly assigned into Nordic walking (n = 16, age: 64.6±4.1 years old) and free walking (n = 17, age: 68.6±3.9 years old) training groups.

Results

Improvements in the self-selected walking speed (primary outcome, p = 0.011, ES = 0.42 95%CI -0.31 to 1.16), locomotor rehabilitation index (p = 0.013, ES = 0.36; (95%CI -0.39 to 1.10), quality of life (p<0.05), static balance (p<0.05) and dynamic variability (p<0.05) were found in both groups.

Conclusions

The hypothesis was not supported, our findings indicated that after 8 weeks, the Nordic walking training did not result in greater improvements than free walking training for the primary outcome (self-selected walking speed) and most of the secondary outcomes (including locomotor rehabilitation index, static balance, dynamic stability, and psychological and social participation domains of quality of life).

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03096964.

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<![CDATA[Who gets lost and why: A representative cross-sectional survey on sociodemographic and vestibular determinants of wayfinding strategies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52bdd5eed0c4842bcf61

When we think of our family and friends, we probably know someone who is good at finding their way and someone else that easily gets lost. We still know little about the biological and environmental factors that influence our navigational ability. Here, we investigated the frequency and sociodemographic determinants of wayfinding and their association with vestibular function in a representative cross-sectional sample (N = 783) of the adult German-speaking population. Wayfinding was assessed using the Wayfinding Strategy Scale, a self-report scale that produces two scores for each participant representing to what degree they rely on route-based or orientation (map-based) strategies. We were interested in the following research questions: (1) the frequency and determinants of wayfinding strategies in a population-based representative sample, (2) the relationship between vestibular function and strategy choice and (3) how sociodemographic factors influence general wayfinding ability as measured using a combined score from both strategy scores. Our linear regression models showed that being male, having a higher education, higher age and lower regional urbanization increased orientation strategy scores. Vertigo/dizziness reduced the scores of both the orientation and the route strategies. Using a novel approach, we grouped participants by their combined strategy scores in a multinomial regression model, to see whether individuals prefer one strategy over the other. The majority of individuals reported using either both or no strategy, instead of preferring one strategy over the other. Young age and reduced vestibular function were indicative of using no strategy. In summary, wayfinding ability depends on both biological and environmental factors; all sociodemographic factors except income. Over a third of the population, predominantly under the age of 35, does not successfully use either strategy. This represents a change in our wayfinding skills, which may result from the technological advances in navigational aids over the last few decades.

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