HEALTH

CDC: Elderly patients at risk of emergency hospitalizations from blood thinners, diabetes medications

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA — Many elderly patients put themselves at risk for emergency hospitalization due to adverse drug events, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Nearly 100,000 emergency hospitalizations were reported among U.S. adults ages 65 years and older, according to data collected between 2007 and 2009 from a nationally representative sample of 58 hospitals participating in the CDC′s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance project. The study also found that four medications, used alone or together, accounted for two-thirds of the emergency hospitalizations: wafarin (used to prevent blood clots), insulin, antiplatelet drugs and diabetes drugs called oral hypoglycemic agents.

The study also found that 48.1% of the hospitalizations occurred among adults ages 80 years or older, and 65.7% of the hospitalizations were due to overdoses, or "to situations in which patients may have taken the prescribed amount of medication but the drug had more than the intended effect on the patient′s body," the CDC said.

“These data suggest that focusing safety initiatives on a few medicines that commonly cause serious, measurable harms can improve care for many older Americans,” CDC′s Medication Safety Program director Dan Budnitz said. “Blood thinners and diabetes medicines often require blood testing and dosing changes, but these are critical medicines for older adults with certain medical conditions. Doctors and patients should continue to use these medications but remember to work together to safely manage them.”


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ProPhase Labs sends ColdEeze to U.S. troops

BY Michael Johnsen

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. — ProPhase Labs on Monday partnered with Give2TheTroops to aid in the combat against the common cold this holiday season. Men and women serving in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Kosovo and other combat and disaster-relief zones are set to receive Cold-Eeze products in personalized care packages.

This holiday season, Cold-Eeze encourages its fans to visit Give2TheTroops.org for more information on how to donate products and/or send handwritten cards to the many men and women serving in the U.S. military.

 


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Study: Vitamin D supplementation saves lives

BY Michael Johnsen

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A study published online earlier this month by the American Journal of Cardiology concluded that supplementation with vitamin D conferred substantial survival benefits, specifically in patients with documented deficiency.

According to the research, evidence supported an association between vitamin D deficiency and hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, coronary artery disease and heart failure.

University of Kansas Medical Center researchers explored the associations between vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementation and patient outcomes across 10,899 patients who were 58 years old on average. Vitamin D deficiency was associated with several cardiovascular-related diseases, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy and diabetes. Vitamin D deficiency also was a strong independent predictor of all-cause death after adjusting for multiple clinical variables.

 


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