653 research outputs found

    Interventions to reduce the adverse psychosocial impact of driving cessation on older adults

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    As a result of our aging population, the coming years will see increasing numbers of older adults faced with the prospect of giving up driving due to poor health or functional limitations. Driving cessation has been associated with negative psychosocial outcomes for older adults including restricted mobility and depression. While several studies report evaluations of interventions designed to help older adults to drive safely for longer, there is a paucity of published research concerned with the design or implementation of intervention programs intended to reduce the negative consequences of driving cessation. This paper reviews cognitive and educational interventions designed to promote older driver safety, and discusses possible approaches to the design and implementation of clinical interventions for older adults who have ceased driving. A broad framework for adaptable interventions based on the theoretical tenets of social cognitive theory, with an emphasis on planning for cessation, problem-solving and the involvement of friends and family members is proposed

    Incidence of self-reported brain injury and the relationship with substance abuse: findings from a longitudinal community survey

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    BACKGROUND: Traumatic or serious brain injury (BI) has persistent and well documented adverse outcomes, yet 'mild' or 'moderate' BI, which often does not result in hospital treatment, accounts for half the total days of disability attributed to BI. There are currently few data available from community samples on the incidence and correlates of these injuries. Therefore, the study aimed to assess the 1) incidence of self-reported mild (not requiring hospital admission) and moderate (admitted to hospital)) brain injury (BI), 2) causes of injury 3) physical health scores and 4) relationship between BI and problematic alcohol or marijuana use. METHODS: An Australian community sequential-cohort study (cohorts aged 20-24, 40-44 and 60-64 years at wave one) used a survey methodology to assess BI and substance use at baseline and four years later. RESULTS: Of the 7485 wave one participants, 89.7% were re-interviewed at wave two. There were 56 mild (230.8/100000 person-years) and 44 moderate BI (180.5/100000 person-years) reported between waves one and two. Males and those in the 20-24 year cohort had increased risk of BI. Sports injury was the most frequent cause of BI (40/100) with traffic accidents being a greater proportion of moderate (27%) than mild (7%) BI. Neither alcohol nor marijuana problems at wave one were predictors of BI. BI was not a predictor of developing substance use problems by wave two. CONCLUSIONS: BI were prevalent in this community sample, though the incidence declined with age. Factors associated with BI in community samples differ from those reported in clinical samples (e.g. typically traumatic brain injury with traffic accidents the predominate cause). Further, detailed evaluation of the health consequences of these injuries is warranted

    Co-morbidity of depression and anxiety in common age-related eye diseases: a population-based study of 662 adults

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    This study examined the prevalence of co-morbid age-related eye disease and symptoms of depression and anxiety in late life, and the relative roles of visual function and disease in explaining symptoms of depression and anxiety. A community-based sample of 662 individuals aged over 70 years was recruited through the electoral roll. Vision was measured using a battery of tests including high and low contrast visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, motion sensitivity, stereoacuity, Useful Field of View, and visual fields. Depression and anxiety symptoms were measured using the Goldberg scales. The prevalence of self-reported eye disease [cataract, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD)] in the sample was 43.4%, with 7.7% reporting more than one form of ocular pathology. Of those with no eye disease, 3.7% had clinically significant depressive symptoms. This rate was 6.7% among cataract patients, 4.3% among those with glaucoma, and 10.5% for AMD. Generalized linear models adjusting for demographics, general health, treatment, and disability examined self-reported eye disease and visual function as correlates of depression and anxiety. Depressive symptoms were associated with cataract only, AMD, comorbid eye diseases and reduced low contrast visual acuity. Anxiety was significantly associated with self-reported cataract, and reduced low contrast visual acuity, motion sensitivity and contrast sensitivity. We found no evidence for elevated rates of depressive or anxiety symptoms associated with self-reported glaucoma. The results support previous findings of high rates of depression and anxiety in cataract and AMD, and in addition show that mood and anxiety are associated with objective measures of visual function independently of self-reported eye disease. The findings have implications for the assessment and treatment of mental health in the context of late-life visual impairment.NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia

    Is exposure to secondhand smoke associated with cognitive parameters of children and adolescents?—a systematic literature review

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    PURPOSE: Despite the known association of second hand smoke (SHS) with increased risk of ill health and mortality, the effects of SHS exposure on cognitive functioning in children and adolescents are unclear. Through a critical review of the literature we sought to determine whether a relationship exists between these variables. METHODS: The authors systematically reviewed articles (dated 1989–2012) that investigated the association between SHS exposure (including in utero due to SHS exposure by pregnant women) and performance on neurocognitive and academic tests. Eligible studies were identified from searches of Web of Knowledge, MEDLINE, Science Direct, Google Scholar, CINAHL, EMBASE, Zetoc, and Clinicaltrials.gov. RESULTS: Fifteen articles were identified, of which 12 showed inverse relationships between SHS and cognitive parameters. Prenatal SHS exposure was inversely associated with neurodevelopmental outcomes in young children, whereas postnatal SHS exposure was associated with poor academic achievement and neurocognitive performance in older children and adolescents. Furthermore, SHS exposure was associated with an increased risk of neurodevelopmental delay. CONCLUSIONS: Recommendations should be made to the public to avoid sources of SHS and future research should investigate interactions between SHS exposure and other risk factors for delayed neurodevelopment and poor cognitive performance

    Intraindividual variability is a fundamental phenomenon of aging: Evidence from an 8-year longitudinal study across young, middle and older adulthood

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    Moment-to-moment intraindividual variability (IIV) in cognitive speed is a sensitive behavioural indicator of the integrity of the aging brain and brain damage, but little information is known about how IIV changes from being relatively low in young adulthood to substantially higher in older adulthood. We evaluated possible age group, sex, and task differences in IIV across adulthood using a large, neurologically normal, population-based sample evaluated thrice over 8 years. Multilevel modeling controlling for education, diabetes, hypertension, and anxiety and depressive symptoms showed expected age group differences in baseline IIV across the adult lifespan. Increase in IIV was not found until older adulthood on simple tasks, but was apparent even in the 40s on a more complex task. Females were more variable than males, but only at baseline. IIV in cognitive speed is a fundamental behavioural characteristic associated with growing older, even among healthy adults

    The relationship between age-stereotypes and health locus of control across adult age-groups

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    OBJECTIVE: This study integrates healthy ageing and health psychology theories to explore the mechanisms underlying the relationship between health control expectancies and age-attitudes on the process of ageing well. Specifically, the aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between age-stereotypes and health locus of control. DESIGN: A population-based survey of 739 adults aged 20 to 97 years (mean=57.3 years, SD=13.66; 42% female) explored attitudes towards ageing and health attitudes. A path-analytical approach was used to investigate moderating effects of age and gender. RESULTS: Higher age-stereotype endorsement was associated with higher chance (β=2.91, p<.001) and powerful other (β=1.07, p=.012) health expectancies, after controlling for age, gender, education and self-rated health. Significant age and gender interactions were found to influence the relationship between age-stereotypes and internal health locus of control. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that the relationship between age-stereotypes and health locus of control dimensions must be considered within the context of age and gender. The findings point to the importance of targeting health promotion and interventions through addressing negative age-attitudes

    Applying a cumulative deficit model of frailty to dementia: progress and future challenges

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    The article by Song and colleagues presents findings from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging showing that the accumulation of health deficits, defined dichotomously and unqualified by severity or domain, predicted late-life dementia independent of chronological age. We identify strengths of this model, and also areas for future research. Importantly, this article broadens the perspective of research into measuring risk of dementia from focusing on specific neuropathological markers of dementia subtypes, to mechanisms underlying more general bodily vitality and health, as well as dysfunctions in repair. This work places late-life dementia in a new context, influenced more broadly by health maintenance, and less by specific neurological disease. While useful at a global level, the lack of specificity of this approach may ultimately limit its application to individual patients because without linking risk to etiology, assessment does not indicate an intervention. Ultimately, the article has value for stimulating debate about approaches to risk identification and risk reduction, suggesting that the current focus on cardiometabolic risk factors may be too limited.KJA is funded by NHMRC Research Fellowship # 1002560. RAD is supported in part by a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1). The research is supported by the Dementia Collaborative Research Centres (to KJA) and the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging, R01 AG008235, to RAD)

    The choice of self-rated health measures matter when predicting mortality: evidence from 10 years follow-up of the Australian longitudinal study of ageing

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    BACKGROUND Self-rated health (SRH) measures with different wording and reference points are often used as equivalent health indicators in public health surveys estimating health outcomes such as healthy life expectancies and mortality for older adults. Whilst the robust relationship between SRH and mortality is well established, it is not known how comparable different SRH items are in their relationship to mortality over time. We used a dynamic evaluation model to investigate the sensitivity of time-varying SRH measures with different reference points to predict mortality in older adults over time. METHODS We used seven waves of data from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing (1992 to 2004; N = 1733, 52.6% males). Cox regression analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between three time-varying SRH measures (global, age-comparative and self-comparative reference point) with mortality in older adults (65+ years). RESULTS After accounting for other mortality risk factors, poor global SRH ratings increased mortality risk by 2.83 times compared to excellent ratings. In contrast, the mortality relationship with age-comparative and self-comparative SRH was moderated by age, revealing that these comparative SRH measures did not independently predict mortality for adults over 75 years of age in adjusted models. CONCLUSIONS We found that a global measure of SRH not referenced to age or self is the best predictor of mortality, and is the most reliable measure of self-perceived health for longitudinal research and population health estimates of healthy life expectancy in older adults. Findings emphasize that the SRH measures are not equivalent measures of health status.This study was funded by the South Australian Health Commission, the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund, the US National Institute of Health (Grant No. AG 08523-02) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; Grant No.229936). KJA is supported by NHMRC Fellowship No.366756

    DRD4-exonIII-VNTR moderates the effect of childhood adversities on emotional resilience in young-adults

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    Most individuals successfully maintain psychological well-being even when exposed to trauma or adversity. Emotional resilience or the ability to thrive in the face of adversity is determined by complex interactions between genetic makeup, previous exposure to stress, personality, coping style, availability of social support, etc. Recent studies have demonstrated that childhood trauma diminishes resilience in adults and affects mental health. The Dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) exon III variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphism was reported to moderate the impact of adverse childhood environment on behaviour, mood and other health-related outcomes. In this study we investigated whether DRD4-exIII-VNTR genotype moderates the effect of childhood adversities (CA) on resilience. In a representative population sample (n = 1148) aged 30-34 years, we observed an interactive effect of DRD4 genotype and CA (β = 0.132; p = 0.003) on resilience despite no main effect of the genotype when effects of age, gender and education were controlled for. The 7-repeat allele appears to protect against the adverse effect of CA since the decline in resilience associated with increased adversity was evident only in individuals without the 7-repeat allele. Resilience was also significantly associated with approach-/avoidance-related personality measures (behavioural inhibition/activation system; BIS/BAS) measures and an interactive effect of DRD4-exIII-VNTR genotype and CA on BAS was observed. Hence it is possible that approach-related personality traits could be mediating the effect of the DRD4 gene and childhood environment interaction on resilience such that when stressors are present, the 7-repeat allele influences the development of personality in a way that provides protection against adverse outcomes.The study was supported by NHMRC of Australia Unit Grant No. 973302. DD is funded by NHMRC Capacity Building Grant No. 418020 in Population Health Research. NC is funded by NHMRC Research Fellowship No. 471501. KA is funded by NHMRC Research Fellowship No. 366756

    Dementia risk estimates associated with measures of depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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    Late-life depression is consistently and similarly associated with a twofold increased risk of dementia. The precise risk estimates produced in this study for specific instruments at specified thresholds will assist evidence-based medicine and inform policy on this important population health issue
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