Tag Archives: conference

Stefania’s Success Story

by Riitta Antikainen

Early in the morning in Oulu, wake-up, take a taxi to airport, a one-hour flight to Helsinki, morning flight to Milano – three hours,  train from Milano Malpensa to Milano central station, quick lunch with bread ad Coce, rushing 3-hour train trip to Venice: finally in Venice! But this was not all, there was a not-pre-planned or pre-expected 40 min ferry trip to Lido followed by short taxi trip-after having experienced all this you are there, in the Geriatric Congress Venue in Venice, Italy. Continue reading


Four helicopters and a string quartet

Desmond O’Neill is a consultant physician in geriatric and stroke medicine and immediate past president of the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society

Unlike last year, there was not a formal cultural event at this year’s European geriatric medicine congress. The organising committee may rightly have considered this superfluous with the glories of Venice at our doorstep. Indeed, large numbers of geriatricians were observed garnering informal extra-mural CPD at the many locations across the island displaying the wonderful late-life creativity of Titian,Tintoretto, and Bellini. Continue reading

Sarcopenia under the spotlight (Part 1)



The inaugural UK conference on sarcopenia was held in central London on 9th July 2013.

Delegates included clinicians, therapists, nutritionists and scientists, with representatives from Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, the Ukraine, the United States and Japan. The meeting was organised and chaired by Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, MRC Clinical Scientist and Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit in Southampton, who opened the meeting with an overview of why sarcopenia is important. Sarcopenia is the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function with age. It is common in older men and women and has serious health consequences and significant healthcare costs. 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.”