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Aging & Public Health
Section Newsletter
Winter 2009

GREETINGS

Greetings and best wishes for a healthy and productive 2009!

 

Thank you to everyone who assisted in organizing and who participated this past October in the APHA Annual Meeting in San Diego.  The Gerontological Health Section (GHS) sponsored 27 scientific sessions at the meeting, and co-sponsored several additional sessions with other Sections, SPIGs and Caucuses.  Sessions focused on caregiving, long-term care, nursing home and hospice issues, successful aging, the environment and aging, and translating aging research into practice, among many topics.

 

A critical part of our Annual Meeting is the awards and social activities. At our awards session, we recognized Drs. Carroll Estes, Fernando Torres-Gil and Etsuji Okamoto, recipients of our Leadership Awards.  We also recognized the recipients of our scientific research awards.  Connie Evaschwik announced our newest scientific research award, the Erickson Foundation Award for Excellence in Research, funded by the Erickson Foundation.  Additional information related to the award and the process for award application and review is available in this newsletter, as well as the GHS Web site:

 

(http://www.apha.org/membergroups/sections/aphasections/gh/). 

 

The Awards Brochure is available on the GHS Web site (http://swallace.bol.ucla.edu/GHS_Awards_Brochure2008.pdf ).  It provides additional information related to out awards recipients, as well as individuals who contributed to awards selection and the Section.  A big thank you to Jennifer Curry for editing the Awards Program. 

 

To celebrate our 30th Anniversary as a Section of APHA, we celebrated with cake at the reception.  We also held our ninth auction and raffle, featuring crystal, Georgia pottery, pewter items and many others.  To date, over $43,000 has been raised through this event to support endowments of Section Research Awards.   

 

Photographs of the Awards Session, reception and auction are available on our GHS Web site:

 

(http://www.apha.org/membergroups/sections/aphasections/gh/Resources/). 

 

A special thanks to Fox Wetle for serving as photographer. 

 

Thank you to Jan Warren-Findlow, Ashley Love and Rachel Seymour for organizing our program.  As awards chair, Caryn Etkin coordinated the selection of award recipients for our numerous Section awards.  Steve Wallace and Susan Miller stepped in to coordinate the raffle and auction, as well as organizing Sunday’s dinner.  Gerry Eggert gathered many items for the auction and raffle, and other Section members generously provided items as well.  Many Section members organized the review of individual awards, reviewed manuscripts for awards, and reviewed abstracts for the scientific sessions. Thank you to all!

 

Our Annual Meeting will be held this coming Nov. 7-11 in Philadelphia.  Abstracts are due Feb. 13.  The Call for Abstracts highlights areas of interest.  The Call also describes the several Scientific Awards we will select and the process for having an abstract considered for an award. Elections will occur late spring.  GHS will be electing a chair-elect, secretary, Governing Council representative and two GHS Section Councilors.  Thank you to those who have volunteered to run and to Chair-Elect Susan Miller for coordinating the election.

 

Thank you to everyone who has expressed an interest in becoming more active with the Section.  If you would like to become more active in Section activities, please e-mail me at nanmille@umbc.edu.   We need individuals to review abstracts, review manuscripts for awards, develop policy positions, increase membership, raise support for Section awards, contribute to the newsletter and much more!

 

Photos From the 2008 APHA Gerontological Health Section Awards Ceremony

We have just posted pictures from the 2008 APHA Gerontological Health Section awards ceremony and reception. You can see them at http://swallace.bol.ucla.edu/meetings08/index.htm and there will be a link to them on the GHS Web site under resources at http://www.apha.org/membergroups/sections/aphasections/gh/Resources/ .

 

Speaking of awards, recent declines in interest rates may help the economy, but they are wreaking havoc with the interest we get on our endowments to fund our awards. In addition, several are underfunded. If you can make one last $50 tax-deductible donation (or more!), please use the attached form and help the Section fully pay for its awards. You can mail in a check ir fax the form with a credit card number to APHA. This form will also be available on the GHS Web site under Section activities: http://www.apha.org/membergroups/sections/aphasections/gh/benefits/.

 

Best wishes for the new year from the APHA GHS!

 

Section Chair

Section Chair-elect

Past Section Chair

Secretary

Governing Council

Governing Council

Section Council

Section Council

Section Council

Section Council

Section Council

Section Council

Program Chair

Program Chair

Program Chair

Membership Chair

Awards Chair

Policy Chair

Newsletter Chair

Web/Listserv Chair

Development Chair

APHA Action Board

AJPH Editorial Board

APHA Student Assembly

Representative

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2007-09

Nancy Miller
Susan Miller

Bob Burke

Pat Alt

Lene Lévy-Storms

James Swan

Allan Goldman

Ashley Love

Helena=Temkin=Greener

Janet Frank

Keith Elder

Lucinda Bryant

Jan-Warren-Findlow

Ashley Love

Rachel Seymour

Daniel Meng

Caryn Etkin

Karen Peters

Steven Albert

Steven Wallace

Gerry Eggert

Karen Peters

Dana Mukamel

 

Karon L. Phillips

 

 

The Guideline for Alzheimer’s Disease Management

 

 

The Guideline for Alzheimer’s Disease Management has been updated and is now available through the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org/californiasouthland or www.caalz.org or call (323) 930-6289 or from the California State Department of Public Health, Alzheimer’s Disease Program, at www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/alzheimers  

 

With the aging of the United States’ population, a doubling in the rate of Alzheimer’s disease is expected within the next 20 years. The increased incidence of this disease coupled with exponential growth in published research on its management creates a challenge for primary care providers.  This evidence-based practice guideline provides support for primary care providers who are increasingly encountering complex post-diagnostic management issues of this disease.  The guideline’s goal is to inform decisions for the post-diagnostic management of Alzheimer’s disease including periodic assessment of the patient with Alzheimer’s disease, treatment recommendations, support recommendations for the patient and family, and  an overview of legal considerations for the practitioner. In addition to primary care providers (family practitioners, internists, physician assistants and nurse practitioners), the Guideline will also be of interest to professionals who provide patient and caregiver education and support, care managers, social workers, Alzheimer’s Association staff, and adult day care providers.

 

The Guideline was originally published in 1998 with support from the Health Service and Resource Administration of the federal government.  It was updated in 2002 with support from the California Department of Health Services. The Guideline is authored by the California Workgroup on Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Disease Management, a statewide coalition of health care providers, representatives of managed care organizations, physician provider groups, academics, state health personnel, care managers, elder law attorneys, and representatives of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Caregiver Resource Centers. The guideline is part of a statewide initiative lead by Department of Public Health, the State’s Alzheimer’s Research Centers of California and the Alzheimer’s Association to improve health care for people with Alzheimer’s disease.  Implementation of the guideline is currently under way at a number of health care organizations and health plans throughout California. 

 

Practice Issues in Alzheimer’s Disease Management

 

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, and the most common form of dementia in older adults.  It is estimated to afflict over 5 million people nationally and nearly half a million in the State of California.  The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years after 60 years of age. With the aging of the baby boomers, the rate of this disease will double by 2030 and triple by mid-century.   The symptom pattern in Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by a gradual onset of continuing cognitive decline including memory impairment and at least one other cognitive deficit (aphasia, apraxia, disturbance in executive functioning or agnosia) associated with decline in function in normal activities at work or home. 

 

Risk factors for this disease include increasing age, limited education, prior head injury, and genetic predisposition.  Recent research has identified potentially modifiable lifestyle activities that may lead to reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease including aerobic exercise, a diet low in saturated fats, better control of diabetes and hypertension, cognitive stimulation and social engagement.

 

Alzheimer’s disease is significantly under-diagnosed, under-recognized untreated by health care providers.  However, once a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease has been made, a treatment strategy should be developed that includes evaluation for medications that may slow cognitive decline, management of co-morbid conditions and challenging behaviors, and referral of the family to supportive and health education services. The use of cholinesterase inhibitors can produce modest improvements in cognitive function and temporarily stabilize or reduce the rate of decline.  Three cholinesterase inhibitors currently on the market and approved for used in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease include donepezil (AriceptÒ), galantamine (ReminylÒ), and rivastigmine (ExelonÒ). In addition, Namenda (memantine) an NMDA receptor antagonist, has been approved for management of moderate to late stage disease.

 

Management of co-morbid conditions is essential to minimize unnecessary decline in cognition and function. This includes assessment and treatment of a range of possible conditions that make the symptoms of dementia appear worse.  Treatment of depression, urinary tract infections and a host of reversible conditions can restore a person with Alzheimer’s disease to a higher level of function and, in some cases, prevent premature institutionalization. 

 

New data lend strong support for a multi-disciplinary approach to the management of Alzheimer’s disease.  There is also new evidence supporting the effectiveness of patient and caregiver education and support in preventing unnecessary disease burden.  Interventions now exist for the growing population of independent, very early stage patients with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as for those needing end-of-life care.

 

See the one-page version of the Guideline for a complete summary of recommendations.

 

The newly updated Guideline for Alzheimer’s Disease Management sets the standard for post-diagnostic care in the state of California and beyond. This initiative to improve the quality of health care for people with Alzheimer’s disease also includes an educational component for patients and families. An educational booklet and workshop entitled Partnering with Your Doctor are available in English and Spanish through Alzheimer's Association Chapters. For more information, contact your local chapter at (800) 272-3900.

 

 

Submitted by:

 

Debra L. Cherry, PhD    

Executive Vice President

Alzheimer’s Association, California Southland

 

Freddi Segal-Gidan, PA, PhD

Director, Rancho/USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center of California (ARCC)

Assistant Clinical Professor, Keck School of Medicine, USC

 

Neal Kohatsu, MD, MPH

Chief, Cancer Control Branch

California Department of Public Health

State Society of Aging of New York Conference Draws Large Audience

 

This year, the 2008 SSA conference entitled “The Road to the Future:  Healthy Aging & Mental Health” had over 65 workshops/symposia and delivered diverse and enriching material to attendees.  The meeting, held in Saratoga on Oct. 23-25, 2008, kicked off with a town hall meeting focusing on substance abuse, “Getting Renewed Life: The Interface of Treatment and Legislation to Help Older New Yorkers with Substance Abuse and Addiction.” The remainder of the day was devoted to thought-provoking workshops, paper presentations, symposia, poster and artist forums, and special sessions focusing on retirement, leisure, end-of-life planning, intergenerational care and housing.

 

The SSA’s past presidents sponsored a forum with the New York State Office on Aging (SOFA) to explore issues surrounding workf orce education and training. In addition, the NYS Geriatric Education Consortium sponsored the Kermit Schooner Symposium which provided insights from a panel of esteemed experts addressing the mental health needs of elders and the importance of policy and planning to the field.  The panel included Michael Friedman and Kimberly Steinhagen from the Geriatric Mental Health Alliance of New York, Chris Langston, program director at the John A. Hartford Foundation, and Gary Kennedy, MD, director of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center.  During the evening’s dinner Dr. Michael Friedman received the esteemed Presidential Award.

 

At the George Warner Memorial Symposium, coordinated by Dr. John Krout, the audience learned about the first ever comprehensive New York Statewide Summit on Rural Aging held last fall which identified a policy agenda addressing six key quality of life areas. The symposium included representatives from NYSOFA, and representatives from the NYS Legislature and the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources.  Throughout the day workshops on HIV/AIDS, elder abuse, caregiving, poverty and health indicators were also presented.  Michael Burgess, Director of NYSOFA, received the Walter Bettie Award, which recognizes leaders in the field of aging. In addition, Robert Blancato provided an informative discussion of policy issues in the field of aging on the national front.  The annual SSA conference was a stimulating and informative event, and the 2009 conference will be held in Rochester, N.Y. from Oct. 15- 17, 2009. 

 

Dr. Janna Heyman

Fordham University Ravazzin Center on Aging

 

 

Social Insurance and Social Justice

Social Insurance and Social Justice: Social Security, Medicare and the Campaign Against Entitlements, edited by Leah Rogne, PhD; Carroll L. Estes, PhD; Brian R. Grossman, ScM; Brooke A. Hollister, PhD; Erica Solway, MSW, MPH

 

This comprehensive volume reviews the history of social insurance programs and provides a framework for understanding current policy debates. Social Insurance and Social Justice features the voices of esteemed scholars from a wide cross-section of disciplines including gerontology, public health, social work, sociology, political science and more. Throughout, it explores social insurance programs and their relation to social inequality and social justice.

 

Publication date: March 2009, Springer Publishers

Rome Conference Addresses Palliative Care Needs of Older Adults with Dementia

In November, Chair-Elect Susan Miller from Brown University gave an invited presentation at the ANTEA Worldwide Palliative Care Conference in Rome, Italy, which was held in collaboration with the European Association for Palliative Care.  The ANTEA association promotes access to high-quality palliative care and provides free home and hospice care to terminally ill patients; through its center, ANTEA Formad, it also develops palliative care training and research.  

 

Dr. Miller spoke within a session on Palliative Care in the Elderly and shared with the international audience information on how hospice care is provided in U.S. nursing homes, the proportion of nursing home residents with dementia who access hospice, and research on how the provision of hospice care to nursing home dementia residents is associated with hospital utilization and pain management.  The palliative care session was introduced by Prof. Ladislav Volicer, MD, from the University of South Florida and the Universita Karlova in the Czech Republic. Dr. Volicer presented research and best practices relating to care decisions for persons with end-stage dementia.  Another session speaker, Dr. Miel Ribbe from VU University in Amsterdam, shared information on the provision of palliative care to end-stage nursing home dementia residents in the Netherlands, where nursing home medicine is recognized as a medical specialty and where nursing homes employ physicians full-time.      

 

One goal of the ANTEA conference was to begin to work toward a common (internationally recognized) curriculum for palliative care training.  Three days of intensive work led to the production of three draft documents emphasising the essential elements needed to start implementing palliative care training from an international perspective. A common statement that emerged during the conference is that the terminally ill patient is a common experience in any part of the world, and those professionals who care for him/her and his/her family must have the same skills and competencies wherever the patient lives.

 

 

 

 

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Do you know how to tell the difference between carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and the flu?  The answer to this and many other questions you may have about preventing carbon monoxide poisoning can be found in a new fact sheet developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Aging Initiative.

 

Since many of the symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those of the flu, you need to recognize the difference. Symptoms could be the result of CO poisoning when you feel better when you are away from home and/or symptoms occur or get worse shortly after turning on a fuel-burning device or running a vehicle in an attached garage.

 

Carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas, is the most common cause of poisoning death in the United States.  Unintentional CO poisonings are responsible for about 500 deaths and 15,000 visits to the emergency room each year.  

 

Everyone is at risk of being poisoned by CO exposure. Older adults with health conditions such as chronic heart disease, anemia or respiratory problems are even more susceptible. Devices that produce CO include cars, boats, gasoline engines, stoves and heating systems. CO from these

sources can build up is enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces.  Carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented by installing a carbon monoxide alarm, yet fewer than one third of homes have them installed.

 

An easy way to remember how you can prevent CO poisoning are the letters I CAN B.

 

      * Install CO alarms near sleeping areas.

      * Check heating systems and fuel-burning appliances

         annually.

      * Avoid the use of non-vented combustion appliances.

      * Never burn fuels indoors except in devices such as

         stoves or furnaces that are made for safe use.

      * Be attentive to possible symptoms of CO poisoning.

 

This is the 8th fact sheet in a series of educational information for older adults and their caregivers about preventing exposure to harmful environmental hazards.

 

The fact sheet is available on the U.S. EPA Aging Initiative Web site: 

 

http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/factsheets/pcmp/index.htm.

 

Additional copies can be sent to you at no cost by completing an order form:

 

http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/factsheets/order.htm

 

Kathy Sykes

Senior Advisor

Aging Initiative Office of Children's Health Protection and Environmental Education Child and Aging Health Protection Division EPA (Mail Code 1107A) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Room 2512N (Ariel Rios North) Washington, D.C. 20460

(202) 564-3651

FAX (202) 564-2733

www.epa.gov/aging

 

 

Opportunity to Showcase Research on Active Aging

                              Erickson Award

                              Announcement

 

 

The APHA Gerontological Health Section announces a new award to recognize excellence in research pertaining to positive aging.  The Erickson Foundation, established by Erickson Retirement Communities, has created this award to celebrate research that explores aspects of active, healthy aging, particularly creating healthy communities.  The winner will receive a cash prize ($1,000 in 2009), the opportunity to present a paper at the APHA Annual Meeting, recognition on the GHS and APHA Web sites and newspapers, a plaque and introduction at the GHS Awards Ceremony, and partial offset of conference registration fees to attend the 2009 Annual Meeting in November 2009 in Philadelphia.  Two honorable mentions will each receive a cash prize of $250, as well as the above recognitions. 

 

The Erickson Foundation Award for Excellence in Research recognizes “high caliber research that significantly advances our understanding of functional (physical), social, psychological, financial and/or civic dimensions of positive aging, on either the individual or community level, and/or enhances the impact of such scientific advances on public policy.”  Abstracts of 250 words should be submitted through the APHA Annual Meeting abstract submission process, Gerontological Health Section, with the “Erickson Award” box checked on the submission form. The submission Web site is:

 

http://apha.confex.com/apha/137am/gh.htm

 

or go to www.apha.org and follow the links for Annual Meeting Abstract Submission. The deadline for submission is Feb. 12. One does not need to be a member of APHA to submit an abstract, but must become a member to present. 

 

Dr. John Parrish, president of the Erickson Foundation, is very enthusiastic about meshing research with practice in the community.  Dr. Parrish commented on the award, “We at the Erickson Foundation are delighted to inspire and celebrate research that shows the state of the art of active, healthy aging at both the individual and community levels.    We are eager to encourage translation of research into everyday practice by the individual or community, and the visibility given to the research award is one way to do this.”

 

The criteria for selecting the award winners are importance of the topic for positive aging, innovation, research methodology, implications for practice or policy, and broad dissemination of the findings.

 

For additional information, contact the chairperson of the GHS Erickson Award Committee, Dr. Connie Evashwick, at evashwick@gmail.com.

 

NINETEENTH Annual APHA Public Health Materials Contest

 

The APHA Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section is soliciting your best health education, promotion and communication materials for the 19th annual competition. The contest provides a forum to showcase public health materials during the APHA Annual Meeting and recognizes professionals for their hard work.

 

All winners will be selected by panels of expert judges prior to the 137th APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.  A session will be held at the Annual Meeting to recognize winners, during which one representative from the top materials selected in each category will give a presentation about their material.

 

Entries will be accepted in three categories; printed materials, electronic materials, and other materials.  Entries for the contest are due by March 27, 2009.  Please contact Kira McGroarty at kmcgroar@jhsph.edu  for additional contest entry information. 

 

 

New York State Puts a Premium on Palliative Care Education

Palliative care is the kind of care we all want if we suffer from a serious life-limiting disease or condition, or someone in our family does.  In fact, from the patient and family’s perspective, we would hope that every doctor is trained in palliative care, learning how to work with a team to relieve our physical and psychosocial suffering and to provide emotional and spiritual support.   While we have not reached this goal of ensuring that every physician has this kind of training, palliative care has come a long way toward extending that reach.  And New York state is at the forefront of promoting palliative care education.

 

In 2007 the New York state legislature took a major step toward promoting the growth of palliative care expertise by passing the Palliative Care Education and Training Act.  The Act authorized the state to spend $4.6 million to advance medical education in palliative care, and established a New York State Palliative Care Education and Training Council.  The Council began its three year term in April 2008, and has been meeting every three months.  I was appointed as one of the 19 Council members.

 

Our legislative mandate in the Council was to focus exclusively on physician education.  The Council itself is comprised of  professionals in a range of disciplines (the list of Council members can be found in this press release: http://www.nyhealth.gov/press/releases/2008/2008-04-15_palliative_care_ed_and_training_council.htm) and we all felt it was important to include these disciplines in education and training programs even though the training itself would be exclusively for medical students and physicians. Palliative care is itself broadly interdisciplinary, including, according to the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, the following domains: 

·         Structure and Processes of Care

·         Physical Aspects of Care

·         Psychological and Psychiatric Aspects of Care

·         Social Aspects of Care

·         Spiritual, Religious and Existential Aspects of Care

·         Cultural Aspects of Care

·         Care of the Imminently Dying Patient

·         Ethical and Legal Aspects of Care

 

The Council settled quickly on the idea of adapting the “faculty scholars” model of leadership training used by the Open Society Institute’s Project on Death in America and created the Palliative Care Physician Educator and Champion Program (PEC Program). Through direct salary support over three years, the PEC Program will invest in high-potential palliative care faculty and clinician educators and their projects and will provide a forum for interaction and collaboration for these individuals.

 

Our aim is to encourage leadership in palliative care.  By providing three-year salary stipends for these PEC leaders, we will enable them to spend a significant proportion of their time on palliative care education and training, and encourage the spread of quality palliative care practice among diverse populations in the State.  Up to 16 of these PEC awards may be given.

 

The preparation of this RFA is almost complete.  It will call for applications by physicians, with the support of their home institutions.  Applicants must be motivated to deepen their own knowledge of palliative care, to develop and implement educational programs for medical students and practicing physicians, and to become palliative care educational leaders in their communities and in the State.  The RFA process encourages applicants who serve children, low income populations, minority populations, and other groups traditionally under-served by quality palliative care programs. 

 

A second RFA will invite health care institutions to apply to become a resource center for palliative care professionals and programs in the state, as well as providing support and mentoring for the leaders selected.  Both RFAs should be ready for public release in summer 2009 with a deadline for responses in fall 2009.  Institutions and professionals who are interested can check for RFA release on http://www.nyhealth.gov/funding/ .  For further information contact Leah Kalm-Freeman, Principal Policy Analyst, NYS Task Force on Life & the Law at (212) 417.5444 or lxk06@health.state.ny.us .

 

Marsha Hurst, PhD

Member, New York State Palliative Care Education and Training Council.

Faculty and Masters Program Director, Narrative Medicine Program, Columbia University

Research Scholar, Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University

 

 

 

Lifelong Fitness Alliance

Are you passionate about helping others stay fit?  If you can make a personal commitment to improve fitness for mid-life and older adults ,then the Lifelong Fitness Alliance and AARP wants you!  Established by Lifelong Fitness Alliance and in collaboration with AARP, the Fitness Ambassador Team believes that peer encouragement is the strongest motivator for people to engage in physical activity.

Fitness Ambassadors organize their own weekly walking event as part of Lifelong Fitness Alliance’s Stepping Strong Program.  On average each walking group includes 8-10 individuals. Lifelong Fitness Alliance’s Stepping Strong Program is a 10-week walking program that encourages individuals to step up their physical activity through goal-setting and incentives.  Participants use a pedometer to measure steps and a journal for recording them.   They are given helpful resources on nutrition and wellness and become part of a support system to help them succeed. 

Fitness Ambassadors receive training and programmatic support from Lifelong Fitness Alliance.  In turn, Fitness Ambassadors provide information, opportunity and incentive to older adults in their communities to get moving and get and stay healthy.

Being a world-class athlete is certainly not a prerequisite for being a Lifelong Fitness Ambassador. Fitness Ambassadors are everyday people, such as retirees and people interested in health and fitness, who are simply passionate about helping people stay as fit and well as possible.

A Fitness Ambassador could be your brother who only recently took up walking, the woman who delivers Meals on Wheels, the person who lives next door, your priest or rabbi…or it could be you!  For more information, contact step@lifelongfitnessalliance.org.

 

 

 

Invitation

The APHA Community Health Planning and Policy Development  Section is coordinating a free Web conference on "The Role of Community in Health System Reform" on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Three speakers will present perspectives on a position paper the Section is working on.  They will describe community health planning from the medical and from the public health/community perspectives, and opportunities for action.  For more information, or to register, visit http://www.chppd.org.

Gerontological Health Section Abstracts

The Gerontological Health Section welcomes abstracts on all topics related to health and aging for the 137th APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Abstract submissions related to the 2009 Annual Meeting theme of "Water and Public Health" are especially encouraged.

 

Additional areas of interest for GHS sessions include:

  • Biology of Aging
  • Chronic Disease Self-care
  • Clinical Outcomes and Quality of Life
  • Community-Based Long-Term Care
  • Emergency Preparedness and Older Adults
  • End of Life Issues
  • Environment and Aging
  • Future of Public Health Policy in Aging
  • Health Promotion for Older Adults
  • Healthcare Practices and Utilization among Older Adults
  • International Health and Aging
  • Immigrant and Minority Health and Aging
  • Nutrition and Aging
  • Nursing Home Care and Utilization
  • Older Adults and Disability
  • Physical Activity and Successful Aging
  • Rural Aging Issues
  • Personal Assistance, Social Support, and Caregiving
  • Translating Aging Research into Practice
  • Women's Health Issues

We welcome empirical research or practice-related presentations, using either quantitative or qualitative methods. Individuals may submit up to two abstracts as first author to the Gerontological Health Section. Submissions may be for poster, oral, or roundtable session formats; please note desired format on the abstract form.  All presenters must become individual members of APHA and register for the Annual Meeting in order to give their presentation. The deadline for submitting abstracts to GHS is Feb. 9, 2009.

 

Symposium Sessions                                                             

We also invite submissions for 90 minute symposium sessions. Please e-mail the program chair if you are submitting a symposium; these require special processing for appropriate review. There will only be a few open time slots available for consideration as a session. Because of the volume of abstracts we receive and the limited number of oral sessions we are allotted, we cannot consider symposium sessions containing fewer than four presented papers. Symposium proposals must be submitted along with each individual presentation abstract. This complete package gives the reviewers more substance from which to judge the overall merits of the proposal. Symposium submissions should contain:

                          

1. An overall session abstract, which includes a rationale for the session, the proposed paper titles, author(s), order of presentation, and the abstract numbers for the individual papers;

2. Clearly label the overall session abstract with “SESSION ABSTRACT - your proposed session title" (you fill in the italicized part but keep the SESSION ABSTRACT) on the electronic submission page form when entering your proposal;

3. The proposed moderator and/or discussant;

4. Be sure that each individual proposed presentation submits a separate abstract under the same restricted "category" (session title), otherwise they may become lost in the shuffle; please include the session abstract #;

5. Put contact information (phone and e-mail) for person in charge of session directly on the overall session abstract so we can contact you easily; and

6. Indicate whether or not you would like to have the individual abstracts considered for presentation in other sessions, if your proposed session is not accepted. Please state, "YES, I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ABSTRACTS CONSIDERED SEPARATELY" or "NO, I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE THESE ABSTRACTS CONSIDERED SEPARATELY".

 

Please be aware that each paper in the symposium is scored individually and the symposium is also scored as a group. The individual presentation abstracts must score reasonably well in order to be considered for a symposium session.

 

Abstract scoring:

All abstract submissions are evaluated based on the following criteria:

1. Significance of the problem to public health and aging.

2. Innovativeness of ideas, methods and or approach.

3. Methodological rigor of methods and approach (analytical design for research, systematic approach for practice and or policy).

4. Presentation of empirical findings.

5. Implications identified for future research, practice and/or policy.

6. Clarity of writing.

                             

GHS Awards    

The Gerontological Health Section sponsors several awards related to various categories of aging and public health.  If you would like to be considered for one of the following awards, please indicate which one on your abstract submission form by selecting the award from the drop-down box.

 

*Aetna Susan B Anthony Award for Excellence in Research on Older Women and Public Health                             

* Betty J. Cleckley Minority Issues Research Award

* Nobuo Maeda International Aging & Public Health Research Award

* Retirement Research Foundation Masters Student Research Award

* Retirement Research Foundation Doctoral Student Research Award

*Excellence in Aging and Rural Health Research Award

* James G. Zimmer New Investigator Research Award

*The Archstone Foundation Award for Excellence in Program Innovation

*The Erickson Foundation Award for Excellence in Research

 

We would like to highlight three of the above awards.  The Erickson Foundation Award for Excellence in Aging is a new award, funded by the Erickson Foundation, with the following purpose:

 

The Erickson Foundation Award for Excellence in Research recognizes high-caliber research that significantly advances our understanding of functional (physical), social, psychological, financial and/or civic dimensions of positive aging, on either the individual or community level, and/or enhances the impact of such scientific advances on public policy.  This research can be translated into policies and practices designed to enable the achievement and maintenance of health, well-being and independence among older persons, particularly those of vulnerable subpopulations.

 

Through the generous support of the Retirement Research Foundation and its president, Marilyn Henessey, GHS offers two student research awards.  The Retirement Research Foundation Masters Student Research Award recognizes research conducted while a graduate student.  Individuals who are currently in doctoral programs, or are in other settings but who completed research as a masters student are eligible to submit an abstract for this award.  Similarly the Retirement Research Foundation Doctoral Student Research Award (also known as the Lawrence G. Branch Doctoral Student Research Award), is awarded for research completed as a doctoral student, even if the doctoral degree has recently been completed.  For student awards at both levels, GHS/APHA membership will be provided through the award for attendance at the 2010 Annual Meeting.  Funding is also available to support conference attendance (e.g., registration).                                         

 

All awardees are recognized at the GHS Awards session, present their research at the Annual Meeting,  receive a monetary award, and are recognized on the GHS Web site. 

 

Each abstract can be considered only for one award. You may, however, submit different abstracts to be considered for different awards. For submission for the Archstone Foundation Award, please contact Allan Goldman for further details at abgoldman@dhr.state.ga.us. 

 

 For more information about the individual awards, contact GHS Awards Chair Daniela Friedman, PhD, at dbfriedman@sc.edu or view the GHS Web site.

 

For questions and inquiries, please contact one of the GHS 2009 Program Planners:

 

Chair: Ashley Love, DrPH, MPH, MS, State Epidemiologist/Chief, Bureau of Epidemiology,  Dept. of Delaware Division of Public Health Jesse Cooper Building

417 Federal St. Dover, DE 19901, Phone: (302) 744-4541

Fax: (302) 739-1503 E-mail: Ashley.love@state.de.us

 

Co-Chair:  Pankaja (PJ) Desai, MPH, MSW, University of Illinois at Chicago, Institute for Health Research & Policy, Center for Research on Health & Aging,  1747 W. Roosevelt Rd., Rm. 558  Chicago, IL 60608, Phone: (312)-355-3174 E-mail:  pdesai5@uic.edu 

 

Past Chair: Jan Warren-Findlow, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, CHHS #427B, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223, Phone: (704)687-7908, Fax: (704)687-6122, jwarren1@uncc.edu

 

 

Fit and Strong Program Enrolling Sites

Fit and Strong! is an award-winning, evidence-based exercise/behavior change program developed by a team headed by Dr. Susan Hughes from the University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Research on Health and Aging.  Fit and Strong! targets older adults with lower extremity osteoarthritis. The program has been tested in two large-scale randomized trials.  Results indicate that participants experience reduced joint pain and stiffness, increased self-efficacy for exercise and exercise adherence, and increased physical activity participation (Hughes et al, 2004; Hughes et al., 2006).

 

As a result of these positive findings, the Fit and Strong! team has received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventino to disseminate the program within Illinois and North Carolina.  The team is also partnering with the National Arthritis Foundation to expand the reach of Fit and Strong!.  The program is being offered within four Arthritis Foundation Chapters:  Northern and Southern New England, Michigan, Western Missouri/Kansas, and Northern California.   Fit and Strong! runs for eight weeks at a time and meets three times per week for 90 minutes.  Each session includes one hour of stretching, low-impact aerobics/aerobic walking, and strengthening exercises, followed by 30 minutes of manual-based group discussion/problem-solving.  Group discussions address arthritis management, exercising safely with arthritis, and how to develop and maintain an active lifestyle. 

 

Currently, Fit and Strong! is enrolling additional sites to implement the program.  To sign up to offer Fit and Strong! at your site or for more information about the program, please call  (312) 413-9810 or e-mail fitandstronguic@gmail.com or check out the program Web site at http://www.fitandstrong.org.

 

 

Call for Proposals

Dear Colleague:

 

There are two exciting trends that are exploding both in the United States and globally:  diversity and aging. As we move farther into the 21st century, the intersection of these two characteristics will have more profound implications on public policy, programming, service delivery, marketing, outreach, the workplace and the marketplace.  Aging and diversity will touch us whether we are 50 and older or 50 and younger.  The question is, are we prepared?

 

AARP will be holding a Diversity and Aging in the 21st Century conference, June 8-10, 2009 at the Marriott Downtown Hotel in Chicago.  The theme of the conference is the Power of Inclusion.  It promises to be enlightening, provocative and educational.  We hope you can join us! 

 

About the Conference

 

The Diversity and Aging in the 21st Century Conference is designed to address the challenges faced by diverse populations as they age.  It will purposefully bring together the field of diversity and the field of aging to examine their impact on our society. While we strive to recognize and accept our individual differences –  race and ethnicity, sexual orientation/identity, gender, current physical and mental abilities, socio-economic status or in the way we choose to express our spirituality – we also understand that there is power in inclusion.  This conference will set the tone for continued dialogue and examination of the pressing issues challenging an aging and diverse society.

 

Who Should Attend

 

Managers and administrators, health care professionals, marketing and business professionals, social service and other professionals in the field of aging, diversity practitioners and others interested in the intersection of diversity and aging and its impact on the marketplace and the workplace.

 

Why You Should Attend

 

The Diversity and Aging Conference will give you an opportunity to:

·         Learn about emerging trends, cutting-edge research and innovative programs in the fields of diversity and aging as well as how to best put this information to work at your organization.

·         Learn about the issues faced by older people from diverse communities.

·         Network with colleagues and prospective collaborators.

·         Build personal and professional cultural competence.

·         Receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

 

Registration Fees

 

Regular Registration (March 1-June 1, 2009)                  $250

On-Site Registration                                                              $300

 

The conference fee of $250 entitles you to all conference sessions, the Celebrate Chicago event, meals, and the pre-conference sessions and activities.

For more information, contact diversity@aarp.org

 

Call for Proposals

 

We encourage you to attend and to submit a Call for Proposals to present at the conference.   Below is a link to the conference Web site, where you will also find the Call for Proposals.  You can also address your questions to diversity@aarp.org or (202) 434-3611.

 

 

www.aarp.org/diversityandaging

Proposal submissions are due Feb. 27, 2009.

 

 

Section Business Meeting I

 

Business Meeting I

Sunday, October 26, 2008

 

Attendees: Nancy Miller, Pat Alt, Tom Prohaska, Cindy Bryant, Daniela Friedman, Jim Swan, Ruth McCully, Krystal E. Knight, Maria Genne, Imelda Padilla-Frausto, Steve Wallace, Daniel Meng, Dennis Kodner, Kathy Sykes, Fox Wetle, Debra Cherry, Rick Fortinsky, John Prochaska, Karen Peters, Susan Miller, Dana Mukamel, Kathy Wilson, Keith Elder, Rabbi Reuven Becker, Ashley Love, Janet Frank, Pierrette J. Cazeau (sp?), Marcia Ory

 

I. Welcome and introduction: Nancy Miller opened the meeting and welcomed all. She announced that we have received a $60,000 grant from the Retirement Research Foundation for student awards for the next ten years. This will support a master’s and a doctoral awardee and two honorable mentions, as well as student travel. This is our second ten-year grant from RRF, with the promise that we will endow the awards after that time. During the first ten years, we have given awards to approximately 40 students, many of whom have become active in the section. We have also received a new award from the Erickson Foundation.

          We do have better retention than APHA as a whole (There will be a story about this in the Nation’s Health this Fall). In addition, Daniel Meng did a survey over the summer of our members, and we have remained active in the policy arena. Steve Wallace also keeping our website and listserv current.

 

II. Minutes from 8/08 conference call: Nancy postponed the review of these minutes until the next conference call.

 

III. Introduction of new officers: Susan Miller reported that Lene Levy-Storms will be on the APHA Governing Council from 2008-2010. The new GHS Council members are Daniela Friedman and Denyse Lau.

 

Fox Wetle moved a resolution of thanks and get well wishes for Gerry Eggert. It passed unanimously.

 

IV. Awards:

Steve Wallace encouraged everyone to sell raffle tickets (6 for $5), and to bring the stubs and money back to the raffle. It will also include a 10-15 minute live auction, in addition to the silent raffle. The raffle and auction are being used to endow the awards. Our funds are pretty solid right now, and we did also get contributions from members for an “enrichment fund”.

 

Nancy announced that she will be reactivating a Finance and Development committee soon.

 

V. Membership:

Daniel Meng reported on his survey. Between April and August, the committee met over the phone. The survey itself was conducted in August. In June, we had a list of 441 “member” emails, which had dropped to 400 by August. Between July and September, we gained 46 new members, about 1/3 of them students.

          The August phone survey supplemented the email survey. There were 394 invitees, with two reminder rounds. The study got about a 30 percent response rate. We know from the 2002 survey that the more active members are more likely to respond.

Among the respondents:

69 percent were on the listserv.

85 percent decide at least two months ahead of time whether to go to the conference.

91 percent said GHS was their primary or only section.

27 percent said they wanted to get involved in the Section.

There were 47 members without e-mails, but a reasonable level of response to the mailed letter.

 

Nancy asked that we think about different types of members…consider how to reach out to those with whom we are co-chairing sessions, etc.

Jim Swan pointed out that now members are counted as full members in 2nd sections as well as in the first one.

 

APHA is doing a pilot study in several states, seeking to create more overlap between state affiliates and sections. Dr. Benjamin’s view is that much of the action in APHA is at the state level. In these states (California, Kansas, Ohio, and Massachusetts), there will be a combined and cheaper rate for state affiliate and section membership.

Fox Wetle pointed out that the Rhode Island Public Health Association did a white paper on Long Term Care (connected with the push toward a comprehensive waiver).

Kathy reported that the Aging Forum is working with state affiliates on Healthy Aging pilots in two places.

Tom stated that through the AOA initiative on Healthy Aging, state health departments and their aging networks are working together. They are pushing for only evidence-based programs, mostly through the ASA and NCOA.

 

 

VI. Update on Annual Meeting:

A. Program: Jan Warrren-Findlow was not present yet. But it was reported that the committee did an excellent job of incorporating ideas from last year.

 

B. Awards:

There will be three leadership awards and eight others, including a new one this year. Each award had a subcommittee, and the process worked quite smoothly.

The leadership award winners will speak at the ceremony on Monday night.

The plan is that for awards other than leadership awards a brief abstract will be read aloud during the ceremony as the awardee approaches the front of the room. John Parrish will also be on the agenda to announce the new award.

 

C. Conference arrangements:

1. Booth: Volunteers were solicited to staff the booth.

 

D. Local Arrangements:  Steve announced that the cabs will leave for a restaurant in Old Town right after this meeting.

 

VII. APHA Elections and Resolutions:

1. Elections: APHA candidate meetings will be on Monday from 7-9 a.m. The candidates gave a brief presentation to the Governing Council on Saturday. Various candidates were discussed. There are also three openings for the nominating committee.

 

2. Resolutions:

The End of Life resolution has raised concern in the disability community about the effort to exclude those with a preexisting disability. This section did support the resolution last year.

 

There is a late-breaker resolution about the expansion of health promotion research for older adults (focused on CDC and the HAN centers). The resolution asks for $10 million to make the funding more solid. It will be voted on by the Council on Tuesday.

 

VIII. Working with other sections:

Kathy Sykes reported that the Task Force on Aging is now a Forum. They were working with two communities on change efforts for the built environment. The projects will go on for three years in Atlanta, through the regional commission, and in Toledo, Ohio through the AAA.

 

There is also a panel planned on health aging and the environment on Tuesday from 2:30-4.

 

XIX. Planning Ahead:

Nancy reported that APHA is open for proposals for plenary sessions for next year’s meeting.

She also expressed her appreciation for the Section leadership with small gifts.

 

 

The meeting was adjourned with thanks to all at 5:30 p.m.

Section Business Meeting II

 

Business Meeting II

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

 

Attendees: Nancy Miller, Pat Alt, Ashley Love, Irena Pesis-Katz, James Swan, Steve Wallace, Susan Miller, Daniela Friedman, Cindy Bryant, Jan Warren-Findlow, Pankaje Desai, Denys Lau, Daniel Meng, Fox Wetle, Karen Peters, Rick Fortinsky

 

I. Welcome and introduction: Susan Miller opened the meeting and welcomed all. She reported that APHA will be recognizing our 30th anniversary at the awards ceremony tonight. She also reported that the raffle and auction took in just under $3,000.

 

II. Governing Council report: Jim Swan reported that the following people were elected:

Carmen Rita-Navarez, President-elect

Executive Board: Diana Conti, Joseph Telfair, Susan West Marmagas (sp?)

Nominating Committee will be made up of the top three vote-getters.

Resolutions – Seven were on the consent agenda

 

1. End of Life resolution: 58 percent voted to leave out the piece about disabilities, and today the council voted for a moratorium on the policy.

2. Late-breakers: All passed except for “Access for Medical Care for Gaza Residents”, which failed. The GHS late-breaker got postponed to the regular process for next year (they need to be submitted by February).

3. The 2010 Annual Meeting in Denver will have the theme: “Social Justice, Public Health’s Imperative”.

 

III.2008 Scientific Sessions and Awards:

         

Sessions were well-attended. We tried hard to group topics to be sequential. There was a Task Force on Aging session today which wasn’t co-sponsored, partly because it isn’t clear if we can cosponsor sessions. There will be a program planners meeting tomorrow to plan for 2009, and this question will be raised.

         

Jan raised the problem about symposium submissions. Submitters need to tell her ahead of time so that she can focus the panel around a symposium. We are the only section who proposed them.

         

Discussion followed about potential sections to co-sponsor panels with, including Injury Control, Emergency Service/Preparedness, and Vision Care. If we co-sponsored panels, might be able to get additional slots.

         

Awards: Irina pointed out that for the non-doctoral awards we only had three papers submitted. And the international award had only one. There was some discussion of how to market the awards better, and to make sure we use them every year, since we’re being funded for travel as well as the award itself. In the past, we did an awards portfolio, describing what they are about and the amount available, etc. We need to get more students involved, through their student groups and their advisors. One way would be to get an article in The Nation’s Health about the awards. There was also some comment on the session having too much detail, and starting to drag. There were various views on the best approach, including: not reading abstracts; only reading abstracts for the awardees, not the honorable mentions; or reading a much abbreviated description of the papers. This should be discussed during the next conference call.

 

IV. Webinars:

Susan Miller suggested that we use these, particularly as a way to get new members, especially students. Grant writing and publishing were two topics which were suggested. PJ (a student from the University of Illinois at Chicago) volunteered to get information on how webinars could be done (through APHA or other means). At the next leadership call there will be further discussion of possible topics and of PJ’s findings. Another suggestion was to get someone from NIA on a webinar (i.e., Sid Stahl) who could talk about NIA proposals/funding. We could offer more than one a year, and that they would be free to GHS members (as a member benefit), and possibly to non-members at a charge.  

 

V. Membership:

         

Daniel Meng reported further on his survey, distributing a draft handout. He acknowledged the wonderful volunteers, and asked which committees could use those who indicated interest in greater involvement. There was discussion of the need to follow-up with new and lapsed members, and about those who were not on the listserv (Steve indicated that they would be added). Susan Miller indicated that she would be thinking about roles for those wishing more involvement, and suggested that one place they could serve would be on the membership committee to help with the follow-up of new and newly lapsed members.

         

There was discussion about how best to share the results of the survey. One possibility would be to follow up with new members before abstracts are due, and also reminding them about the student awards. The membership committee and section councilors could contact new members in their regions of the country.

 

VI. 2009 Planning:

         

Ideas for the program were discussed, including starting with ideas from this year. What topics had no papers proposed? Chronic disease self-care, for one.

         

We also need a booth coordinator for next year, perhaps one of those offering to be more involved?

 

VII. New Business:

 

1. Shortage of travel dollars: It was suggested that a cash prize could go to the student winner(s)’ department so that the institution could use the money for travel funds. It was also suggested that members could donate frequent flier miles to be used by GHS members/students lacking travel funds. Again, we’ll need to discuss this in the next conference call.

 

2. Co-sponsorship of sessions: Susan Miller will check further to see what the other sections had in mind (i.e. whether we would give up one of our slots or they would use theirs). Jan mentioned how difficult it was to jointly present sessions, and Ashley Love offered to find out more about it at a meeting later in the week. If it is feasible, Jim Swan would like to be involved in something related to disaster preparedness, and he has students interested in it.

 

3. The executive group needs to be talking about potential candidates for Chair-elect and other positions. Susan will run the nominating committee.

 

The meeting was adjourned with thanks to all at 8:00 p.m.

Call for Nominations

The APHA Gerontological Health Section is accepting nominations for the 2009 Archstone Award for Excellence in Program Innovation.  The award was established in 1997 to identify best practice models in the field of health and aging, and to provide recognition and an opportunity to highlight the work at the annual meetings of APHA.

 

Programs that effectively link academic theory to applied practice in the field of public health and aging are eligible for nomination.  Nominees should also have documented results, but have been in operation less than 10 years. 

 

In two single-space typed pages, please describe the program to be nominated.  The narrative should include information about the problem being addressed, the population served, the project’s design, partnerships or collaboration, funding, and measurable benefits and outcomes. Only one program may be nominated per agency or organization.  Please include an electronic copy of the nomination on disk readable in MSWord or WordPerfect.

 

An independent panel will review all nominations.  The criteria for award selection will include:

 

ü  Creativity in project design;

ü  Documented outcomes and benefits of the program;

ü  Replication potential;

ü  Evidence of collaboration and partnerships; and

ü  Dissemination strategy.

 

The winner is expected to attend the 137th APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Nov. 7-11, 2009 and make a presentation in a special Gerontological Section Award Session.  In recognition of this achievement, and to assist with the travel expenses, the winning organization will receive a $1,000 cash award.  Honorable mention(s) may also be awarded to one or more nominees submitting distinguished programs as judged by the review panel.


Nominations are to be postmarked by April 1, 2009 and may be sent or E-mailed to:

 

Allan Goldman, MPH

Chair, Archstone Foundation Awards Committee

Planning and Policy Development Specialist

Georgia Department of Human Resources

Division of Aging Services

Two Peachtree Street N.W., 9th Floor

Atlanta, GA 30303

Phone: (404) 657-5254

E-mail: abgoldman@dhr.state.ga.us

 

For an application form and a list of past winners, please visit www.archstone.org.

                                 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Reports

Three reports from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's  Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)Statistical Brief series have been recently added to the HCUP User Support Web site: Hospital Stays Related to Mental Health, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #62); Hospital Stays for Lung Cancer, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #63); and Hospitalizations Related to Pressure Ulcers among Adults 18 Years and Older, 2006 (Statistical Brief #64).

 

 

REPORT SUMMARIES:

 

One in Five Hospital Admissions Are for Patients with Mental Disorders

About 1.4 million hospitalizations in 2006 involved patients who were admitted for a mental illness, while another 7.1 million patients had a mental disorder in addition to the physical condition for which they were admitted, according to the latest report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The 8.5 million hospitalizations involving patients with mental illness represented about 22 percent of the overall 39.5 million hospitalizations in 2006. AHRQ's analysis found that of the nearly 1.4 million hospitalizations specifically for treatment of a mental disorder in 2006:

  • Nearly 730,000 involved depression or other mood disorders, such as bipolar disease.
  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders caused another 381,000.
  • Delirium — which can cause agitation or inability to focus attention — dementia, amnesia and other cognitive problems accounted for 131,000.
  • Anxiety disorders and adjustment disorders — stress-related illnesses that can affect feeling, thoughts, and behaviors — accounted for another 76,000.
  • The remaining roughly 34,000 hospitalizations involved attention-deficit disorder, disruptive behavior, impulse control, personality disorders, or mental disorders usually diagnosed in infancy or later childhood.

These findings are based on data from Hospital Stays Related to Mental Health, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #62). The report uses statistics from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in all short-term, non-Federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type, as well as the uninsured.

 

Lung Cancer Rates Dropping but Hospitalization Rates Remain Constant

Hospital admissions for lung cancer remained relatively stable at roughly 150,000 a year between 1995 and 2006 despite a steady decline in the number of Americans diagnosed with the disease, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Admissions have remained constant, in part, because lung cancer patients are surviving longer and undergoing more hospital-related treatments such as chemotherapy and tumor-removal surgery, according to AHRQ experts. Smoking is considered a main cause of lung cancer — the most deadly type of cancer — but the disease can also result from exposure to hazardous substances such as asbestos, radon, pollution or second-hand smoke, as well as genetic predisposition to the disease.

AHRQ's analysis also found that:

  • The average hospital cost for a lung cancer patient in 2006 was $14,200 (about $1,900 a day). The total cost for all patients was about $2.1 billion.
  • The death rate of hospitalized lung cancer patients was 13 percent — 5 times higher than the average overall death rate (2.6 percent) for hospitalized patients.
  • Only 2.4 percent of hospitalized lung cancer patients in 2006 were younger than 44. About 63 percent were 65 or older.
  • Hospitalizations for lung cancer were far more common in the South (89 admissions per 100,000 persons) than in the Northeast (25 admissions per 100,000 persons).

These findings are based on data from Hospital Stays for Lung Cancer, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief # 63). The report uses statistics from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in all short-term, non-Federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type, as well as the uninsured.

Pressure Ulcers Increasing Among Hospital Patients

Hospitalizations involving patients with pressure ulcers — either developed before or after admission — increased by nearly 80 percent between 1993 and 2006, according to the latest an AHRQ report.

Pressure ulcers, also called bed sores, typically occur among patients who can't move or have lost sensation. Prolonged periods of immobility put pressure on the skin, soft tissue, muscle, or bone, causing ulcers to develop. Older patients, stroke victims, people who are paralyzed, or those with diabetes or dementia are particularly vulnerable. Pressure ulcers may indicate poor quality of care at home, in a nursing home, or hospital. Severe cases can lead to life-threatening infections.

AHRQ's analysis found that of the 503,300 pressure ulcer-related hospitalizations in 2006:

  • Pressure ulcers were the primary diagnosis in about 45,500 hospital admissions — up from 35,800 in 1993.
  • Pressure ulcers were a secondary diagnosis in 457,800 hospital admissions — up from 245,600 in 1993. These patients, admitted primarily for pneumonia, infections, or other medical problems, developed pressure ulcers either before or after admission.
  • Among hospitalizations involving pressure ulcers as a primary diagnosis, about 1 in 25 admissions ended in death. The death rate was higher when pressure ulcers were a secondary diagnosis — about 1 in 8.
  • Pressure ulcer-related hospitalizations are longer and more expensive than many other hospitalizations. While the overall average hospital stay is 5 days and costs about $10,000, the average pressure ulcer-related stay extends to between 13 and 14 days and costs between $16,755 and $20,430, depending on medical circumstances.

These findings are based on data from Hospitalizations Related to Pressure Ulcers Among Adults 18 Years and Older, 2006. The report uses statistics from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in all short-term, non-Federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type, as well as the uninsured