Monthly Archives: July 2013

July issue of Age and Ageing out now

The July issue of Age and Ageing, the journal of the British Geriatrics Society is out now.

full table of contents is available here, with editorials, research papers, reviews, short reports, case reports book reviews and more. Hot topics this issue include:

  • Use and abuse of bed rails
  • Management of spasticity
  • Mortality in the oldest old
  • Changes in the incidence of age-related disorders
  • HIV infection in older people

The Editor’s Pick can be read here.
This issue’s freely accessible papers are:

The first TNT Geriatric course in Israel

 June 27th-28th  2013

Alumni of the first TNT GER course in Israel

Alumni of the first TNT GER course in Israel

35 physicians practicing in the community as family practitioners or in home services for the elderly, as well as several internists and geriatricians practicing in general and geriatric hospitals, participated in two intensive days of the first TNTGER ( Total Nutrition Therapy- Geriatrics)  in Israel. Continue reading

Desmond O’Neill: A tale of three cities—geriatric medicine in Australia

ImageSome minds improve by travel, wrote the nineteenth century poet and humorist, Thomas Hood: others, rather, resemble copper wire, or brass, which get the narrower by going farther. And so it was with the spirit of keen metallurgical inquiry that I stress tested this theorem on a recent ten day visiting professorship with the Australian and New Zealand Geriatric Medicine Society.

Wonderfully hosted by my colleagues, my first visit to the Antipodes involved three cities—Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane—each with a very distinct character, although sharing the bonus of almost free bike hire (akin to the “Boris bikes” in London) in each. Continue reading

Chronic Disease begins in Childhood

dis_childThis blog was posted with the kind permission of the BGS Blog Team and
is an extract of a conference report from the British Geriatrics Society Spring 2013 Meeting in Belfast, by Liz Gill, Freelance Journalist.

Research is increasingly suggesting that old age is influenced by conditions and events in early life, a concept supported by data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, TILDA, which has studied 8,500 people aged 50 and over for the past ten years. behaviour, family background and use of health care. They were then revisited every two years providing a rich set of data involving almost one in every 140 people in Ireland.

The study is already shedding light on the biology of ageing as well as allowing for the rapid transfer of findings into policy. For example, it has unearthed a huge discrepancy between reported health and objective health in conditions such as atrial fibrillation, hypertension, osteoporosis and the risk of polypharmacy,  prompting new awareness campaigns.

One of its most interesting findings is the influence of the early years, as Dr Cathal McCrory, TILDA research fellow, explains. “Poor health in childhood increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, cancer, lung disease and psychiatric disorders. The lower the social class in childhood the higher the blood pressure and body mass index in adulthood. Parental illness, family dysfunction, neglect, abuse and poverty which probably means poor nutrition and overcrowding, all chip away at physical and mental health. They may even influence the foetus: developing systems may be particularly vulnerable to adversity.”

What happens is that stress hormones are released as a fight or flight reaction to perceived threats increasing blood pressure and heart rate. A young body can cope over a short period but chronic activation can lead to long term problems. “Childhood really is a critical period. The more challenges a child faces the more likelihood he or she is to develop disease later in life.”

Old and Still Driving

This blog was posted with the kind permission of the BGS Blog Team and
is an extract of a conference report from the British Geriatrics Society Spring 2013 Meeting in Belfast, by Liz Gill, Freelance Journalist.


One of the most negative images of older people concerns older drivers. Yet by any yardstick they are the safest group on the roads, as Prof Des O’Neill, consultant physician in geriatric and stroke medicine at Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Dublin, pointed out. There were issues though with increasing age and it was worth geriatricians getting involved with assessing someone’s fitness to drive. Continue reading

Early diagnosis and treatment of HIV infection in older patients

This blog was first published on the BGS blog and highlights a paper published in the Age & Ageing journal.

Daniel Davis is a Research Training Fellow at the Institute of Public Health at Cambridge University and SpR in Geriatric Medicine at Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals.

It has recently become clear that HIV is increasingly affecting the older population. Notifications of new infections to the UK Health Protection Agency are rising in the over 50s, and this subgroup presents different characteristics compared to those typically associated with the HIV epidemic.

Of course, better treatments mean that life expectancy is now much greater in those with chronic infection, and so prevalence of HIV is increasing among those in their fifties and sixties. But this is not the area of concern. Continue reading