Elder abuse may be more common than people think

By Lisa Rapaport

(Reuters Health) - Elder abuse may be more common than is recognized, particularly among adults with dementia or other cognitive impairments, a research review suggests.

In North and South America, elder abuse prevalence ranges from 10% of lucid older adults to almost half of those with dementia, the review found. In Europe, prevalence ranges from about 2% in Ireland to about 61% in Croatia and in Asia, exposure to elder abuse ranges from 14% in India to 36% in China.

Fats from fish and plants may help older adults live longer

By Lisa Rapaport

(Reuters Health) - Older adults who eat plenty of fish and vegetables may live longer than people who don't, a large Swedish study suggests.

Among more than four thousand 60-year-old men and women, those with the highest blood levels of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) were significantly less likely to die from heart disease or any cause over about 15 years than those with the lowest levels.

Vitreous hemorrhage a risk in transition from warfarin: case report

By Larry Hand

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Patients transitioning from warfarin to rivaroxaban for atrial fibrillation, who are taking both drugs before dropping warfarin, may be at risk for spontaneous vitreous hemorrhage, according to a new case report.

Judy H. Jun and Dr. John C. Hwang, of Retina Associates of Orange County in Laguna Hills, California, report three such cases of vitreous hemorrhage in an article online June 25 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Sustained exercise training can improve glycemic control in diabetes

By Larry Hand

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Sustained exercise training benefits patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) even if it does not improve cardiorespiratory fitness, according to a new study.

Stroke centers more common where laws encourage them

By Kathryn Doyle

(Reuters Health) - State laws have played a big part in boosting the number of hospitals where specialized stroke care is available, a new study shows.

During the study, the increase in the number of hospitals certified as primary stroke centers was more than twice as high in states with stroke legislation as in states without similar laws.

At these hospitals, a dedicated stroke-focused program staffed by professionals with special training delivers emergency therapy rapidly and reliably.

Some patients with ICDs, pacemakers die due to device malfunction

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Some cases of sudden death in patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) are due to device malfunction or programming mistakes, according to a new study.

"I don't want to raise a panic in the public health world that these devices are not working, because they are working, but when a sudden death occurs with a device, half the time we're finding some kind of device concern," lead author Dr. Zian Tseng of the University of California, San Francisco, told Reuters Health.

In old age, current and former smokers face early lung disease

By Andrew M. Seaman

(Reuters Health) - There may be 35 million older Americans with undiagnosed lung disease due to cigarette smoking, a new study suggests.

They don't meet the criteria for a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but they still suffer significant lung disease and impairment, the researchers reported online June 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

"We think we can increase their quality of life by treating them before they get worse," said Dr. James Crapo, the study's senior author from National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado.

Strong nonmotor predictors of rapid Parkinson's progression identified

By Megan Brooks

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - At the initial visit for Parkinson's disease, the presence of orthostatic hypotension, mild cognitive impairment and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder define a subset of patients who will progress rapidly, a new study suggests.

"These nonmotor features identify a diffuse/malignant subgroup of patients with PD for whom the most rapid progression rate could be expected," the study team said online June 15 in JAMA Neurology.

Fitbit use tied to increase in activity

By Kathryn Doyle

(Reuters Health) - Postmenopausal women who are given an activity level goal for the week end up getting more activity when using a Fitbit than a traditional pedometer, according to a new study.

The Fitbit devices are small activity trackers that can be attached to clothing or worn on the wrist like a watch. They collect activity data, upload it to the Internet and produce simple graphs and charts for people to review.

Digital rectal exam may find dyssynergia in chronic constipation

By Larry Hand

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Digital rectal exams are a practical way to detect dyssynergia in patients with chronic constipation, according to Korean researchers.

"Digital rectal exam (DRE) is a useful bedside test for the screening and diagnosis of dyssynergic defecation, the specific type of constipation that can be treated with biofeedback therapy," Dr. Seung-Jae Myung, of Asan Medical Center and University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, told Reuters Health by email.