Edna Stilwell Writing Award Presented at GSA
Journal of Gerontological Nursing (JGN) author Stewart M. Bond, PhD, RN, AOCN was selected as the 13th annual recipient of the Edna Stilwell Writing Award for his article, “Physiological Aging in Older Adults with Cancer: Implications for Treatment Decision Making and Toxicity Management,” published in the February 2010 issue of JGN (Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 26–37), which focused on cancer care in older adults. The article included a detailed overview of how age-related physiological changes may affect cancer treatment tolerance and increase treatment toxicity, specifically myelotoxicity, mucosal toxicity, cardiotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and musculoskeletal toxicity. Bond’s underlying message was that chronological age alone is not enough in treatment planning—comorbidity and functional status are also crucial factors to consider.
Journal of Gerontological Nursing Editor Kathleen C. Buckwalter, RN, PhD, FAAN (left), Presents Stewart M. Bond, PhD, RN, AOCN, with a Plaque for the Edna Stilwell Writing Award for His February 2010 Article.
The Award, which includes a plaque and a $500 cash prize, was established by SLACK Incorporated, publisher of JGN, in recognition of the contributions of Edna M. Stilwell, PhD, RN, C, as Editor of JGN from 1974 to 1997. The purpose of the Award is to continue Stilwell’s tradition of mentoring and recognizing authors in the field of gerontological nursing.
All authors published in JGN are eligible for this Award, given to the author or group of authors of the best article published each year. Entrants are nominated by Editorial Board and Review Panel members during blind peer review, and the winner is selected by a committee.
Dr. Bond accepted the award in November at the Gerontological Society of America’s annual meeting in New Orleans. JGN congratulates the author on his outstanding contribution.
Overview Outlines Assisted Living Oversight
To address the lack of federal rules and standards for assisted living, the nonprofit organization Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) has released a detailed overview of states’ assisted living oversight policies and regulations.
Currently, the development of requirements for things like quality of care, minimum safety and living standards, residents’ rights, and medication management is left to individual states, and standards vary across the country, as does the quality of their enforcement and oversight of assisted living providers. State Oversight of Assisted Living: Overview and Summaries of Different States’ Requirements includes detailed summaries for each state with available information on issues relating to assisted living oversight, such as:
- Whether licensure is required.
- Which state agency oversees assisted living residences.
- The frequency of inspections.
- Whether inspections are announced or unannounced.
- The composition of the inspection team.
- The training of the surveyors.
- The survey protocol used.
- What remedies or sanctions are used for facilities with care problems.
- Whether a facility can challenge agency findings.
- Whether inspection reports are made available to the public.
These individual summaries, along with a general review of assisted living oversight and other assisted living resources, are available at http://www.assistedliving411.org. LTCCC intends to make periodic updates to this resource as more information is made public and as state laws and regulations change.
Source.Long Tern Care Community Coalition. (2010, November 11). LTCCC releases overview of state assisted living oversight [Press release]. New York: Author.
New Study Challenges past Data on Midlife Cholesterol Levels
Contrary to earlier research, a new, long-term study published online in Neurology suggests that cholesterol level in midlife may not be linked to later development of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the results indicate that large decreases in cholesterol levels in old age could be a better predictor of developing the disease.
For the study, 1,462 Swedish women without dementia between ages 38 and 60 were followed for 32 years. As part of the study, the women were given a physical examination, heart tests, chest x-rays, and blood tests. The group was also surveyed for smoking habits, alcohol and medication use, education, and medical history. Throughout the study, body mass index and blood pressure were taken. At four study points, the women were tested for dementia.
After 32 years, 161 women had developed dementia. The study found that cholesterol measured in middle or old age showed no link to dementia, which is contrary to some earlier studies. However, the study also found that the women whose cholesterol levels decreased the most from middle to older age were more than twice as likely to develop dementia as those whose cholesterol levels increased or stayed the same. The risk increased from 8.9% for those who maintained or had increased cholesterol over the course of the study to 17.5% for people with the greatest decline in cholesterol.
The study author proposed that decreased cholesterol levels greater than what is expected in old age might be a more accurate indicator of dementia risk then cholesterol levels in middle age. In addition, despite the finding that cholesterol did not influence dementia risk, the author recommends adherence to heart healthy guidelines for cardiovascular and overall health.
Source.“Mid-Life Cholesterol Levels Not Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.” (2010, November 2). Retrieved November 23, 2010, from http://www.newswise.com/articles/mid-life-cholesterol-levels-not-linked-to-alzheimer-s-disease.
Vitamin D Deficit Risks Vary by Race
As noted in Planton, Meyer, and Edlund’s article in this issue of the Journal of Gerontological Nursing, vitamin D is a hot topic. And according to a presentation from Johns Hopkins researchers at the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions, low levels of vitamin D double the risk of stroke in White but not Black individuals.
The Hopkins team says its results fail to explain why Black individuals, who are more likely to be vitamin D deficient due to their darker skin pigmentation’s ability to block the sun’s rays, also face higher rates of stroke. Of the 176 study participants known to have died from stroke within a 14-year period, 116 were White and 60 were Black. Still, Black participants had a 65% greater likelihood of severe bleeding in or interruption of blood flow to the brain than White participants, when age, other risk factors for stroke, and vitamin D deficiency were factored into their analysis.
Nearly 8,000 initially healthy men and women of both races were involved in the latest analysis, part of a larger, ongoing national health survey, in which the researchers compared the risk of death from stroke between those with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D and those with higher amounts. Among them, 6.6% of White and 32.3% of Black individuals had severely low blood levels of vitamin D.
The researchers noted that Black individuals have adapted elsewhere to low levels of the vitamin, with fewer incidents of bone fracture and greater overall bone density than seen in White individuals, so it is possible that this group has adapted to vitamin D deficiency over the generations. Thus, vitamin D levels may not need to be raised to the same level in Black adults as those in White adults to minimize their risk of stroke.
The team’s next area of research will be to evaluate cognitive brain function as well as nonfatal and transient strokes and any possible tie-ins to nutrient deficiency.
Source.“Vitamin D Deficit Doubles Risk of Stroke in Whites, but Not in Blacks.” (2010, November 12). Retrieved November 23, 2010, from http://newswise.com/articles/vitamin-d-deficit-doubles-risk-of-stroke-in-whites-but-not-in-blacks.
Heavy Smoking Could Contribute to Dementia Risk
Heavy smoking in midlife is associated with a doubled risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. In this study, the first to look at the long-term consequences of heavy smoking on dementia, researchers followed an ethnically diverse population of 21,123 men and women from midlife onward for an average of 23 years. Compared with nonsmokers, those who had smoked more than two packs of cigarettes per day had more than a 157% increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and 172% increased risk of vascular dementia during the mean follow-up period of 23 years.
Researchers analyzed prospective data from 21,123 Kaiser Permanente Northern California members who participated in a survey between 1978 and 1985. Diagnoses of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia made in internal medicine, neurology, and neuropsychology were collected from 1994 to 2008. The researchers adjusted for age, gender, education, race, marital status, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, body mass index, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and alcohol use.
Source.“Heavy Smoking Doubles Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia Risk.” (2010, October 25). Retrieved November 23, 2010, from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/heavy-smoking-doubles-alzheimers-disease-dementia-risk-105709948.html.