A primary care prevention program focusing on stroke and dementia successfully reduced the risk for long-term care dependence in older adults in Germany.
During 5 years, the need for long-term care was cut by 10% (P<.01) among women and 9.6% (P<.05) among men who were assigned to the multidomain prevention program.
Further, fewer incident cases of long-term care dependence were reported in the intervention groups as compared with similar patients who were assigned to usual medical care (P<.001)
“We found that not only the risk of long-term care dependence was lower, but also that death rates decreased,” Horst Bickel, PhD, senior researcher at the department of psychiatry at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, said in a press release.
Based on data collected in a comparison district, 2,112 deaths were expected in the intervention group, but only 1,939 died.
“In addition, the cost of inpatient treatment was reduced in the intervention region,” Bickel said.
The study included about 4,000 adults aged 55 years and older living in Upper Bavaria, Germany, who were enrolled in a statutory health insurance plan. Their family doctors were given a brochure summarizing the recommendations, treatment guidelines and goals. Those patients were compared with about 13,000 people in a nearby area who received usual care without the focus on preventing stroke and dementia.
According to the researchers, the prevention program consisted of systematic identification and evidence-based treatment of vascular risk factors.
“Our results support the feasibility and effectiveness of a primary care prevention program for stroke and dementia to reduce the risk of developing long-term care dependence,” the researchers wrote in the study.
Disclosure: Dr. Bickel reports receiving a speaker honorarium from Dr. Willmar Schwabe Arzneimittel and research support from the German Federal Ministry of Education.