Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 2023
Trends in the use of home care services among Norwegians 70+ and projections towards 2050: The HUNT study 1995–2017
Life expectancy (LE) is increasing worldwide, while there is lack of information on how this affects older individuals’ use of formal home care services.
We aimed to decompose LE into years with and without home care services and estimate projected number of users towards 2050 in Norway for people 70 years or older.
This study is based on a sample of 25,536 participants aged 70 years and older in the Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT) survey 2 (1995–1997), 3 (2006–2008), or 4 (2017–2019) linked with national data on mortality. Prevalence of home care services was standardised to the Norwegian population by age and sex. The Sullivan method was used to estimate expected years with and without home help services and nursing services for the years 1995, 2006 and 2016. Data from HUNT4 and Statistics Norway were used to estimate projected use of these services between 2020 and 2050.
During 1995–2017, the use of home help services decreased from 22.6% to 6.2% (p < 0.001), and from 6.4% to 5.5% (p = 0.004) for home nursing services. Adjusted for age and sex, the use of home help services decreased significantly over time (p < 0.001), while home nursing services were stable (p = 0.69). LE at age 70 increased from 11.9 to 15.3 years in men (p < 0.05) during 1995–2017, and from 14.7 to 17.1 in women (p < 0.05). In the same period, the expected years receiving home help decreased from 2.6 to 1.1 in men (p < 0.05), and from 4.4 to 2.1 in women (p < 0.05). The expected years receiving home nursing increased from 0.6 to 0.9 in men (p < 0.05), and from 1.3 to 1.7 in women (p < 0.05). Projected numbers of people 70+ in Norway in need of either of these services were estimated to rise from 64,000 in 2020 to 160,000 in 2050.
While overall life expectancy increased, the expected years receiving home help have decreased and home nursing slightly increased among the Norwegian population aged 70 years and older during 1995–2017. However, the substantial increase in the projected number of older adults using home care services in the future is an alert for the current health care planners.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2023
Normative Scores on the Norwegian Version of the Mini-Mental State Examination
Background: The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), a simple test for measuring global cognitive function, is frequently used to evaluate cognition in older adults. To decide whether a score on the test indicates a significant deviation from the mean score, normative scores should be defined. Moreover, because the test may vary depending on its translation and cultural differences, normative scores should be established for national versions of the MMSE.
Objective: We aimed to examine normative scores for the third Norwegian version of the MMSE.
Methods: We used data from two sources: the Norwegian Registry of Persons Assessed for Cognitive Symptoms (NorCog) and the Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT). After persons with dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and disorders that may cause cognitive impairment were excluded, the sample contained 1,050 cognitively healthy persons, 860 from NorCog, and 190 from HUNT, whose data we subjected to regression analyses.
Results: The normative MMSE score varied from 25 to 29, depending on years of education and age. More years of education and younger age were associated with higher MMSE scores, and years of education was the strongest predictor.
Conclusion: Mean normative MMSE scores depend on test takers’ years of education and age, with level of education being the strongest predictor.
European Journal of Ageing, 2023
Subjective age and the association with intrinsic capacity, functional ability, and health among older adults in Norway
This study investigates the relationships between subjective age, intrinsic capacity, functional ability and health among Norwegians aged 60 years and older. The Norwegian Survey of Health and Ageing (NORSE) is a population-based, cross-sectional study of home-dwelling individuals aged 60-96 years in the former county of Oppland. Age- and sex-adjusted regression models were used to investigate the gap between subjective and chronological age and this gap’s association with self-reported and objectively measured intrinsic capacity (covering all six sub domains defined by WHO), health, and functional ability among 817 NORSE participants. The results show most participants felt younger than their chronological age (86.5%), while relatively few felt the same as their chronological age (8.3%) or older (5.2%). The mean subjective age was 13.8 years lower than mean chronological age. Participants with urinal incontinence, poor vision, or poor hearing felt 3.1 [95% confidence interval (CI) (0.6, 5.5)], 2.9 [95% CI (0.2, 5.6)], and 2.9 [95% CI (0.3, 5.5)] years older, respectively, than participants without those conditions, whereas none of the following factors-anxiety, depression, chronic disease, Short Physical Performance Battery score, grip strength, cognition, or frailty-significantly had an impact on the gap. In line with prior research, this study finds that feeling considerably younger than one’s chronological age is common at older ages. However, those with poor hearing, poor vision, and urinal incontinence felt less young compared to those not having these conditions. These relationships may exert undesirable effects on vitality and autonomy, which are considered key factors of intrinsic capacity and healthy ageing.
BMC Geriatrics, 2023
Clinical expressions, characteristics and treatments of confirmed COVID-19 in nursing home residents: a systematic review
Background: The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a high rate of infections, frequent outbreaks, and high mortality rates in nursing homes (NH) worldwide. To protect and improve the treatment and care of the vulnerable NH population, it is pivotal to systematise and synthesise data from cases of COVID-19 among NH residents. In our systematic review, we therefore aimed to describe the clinical expressions, characteristics, and treatments of NH residents confirmed to have COVID-19.
Methods: We conducted two comprehensive literature searches in several electronic databases: (1) PubMed, (2) CINAHL, (3) AgeLine, (4) Embase, and (5) PsycINFO in April and July 2021. Of the 438 articles screened, 19 were included in our sample, and we used the Newcastle–Ottawa Assessment Scale to assess the quality of the reported studies. A weighted mean (Mweighted), was calculated to account for the large variation in sample sizes of the studies, and due to heterogeneity among the studies, we report our findings in a narrative synthesis.
Results: According to the mean weights (Mweighted), common symptoms and signs in NH residents confirmed to have COVID-19 were fever (53.7%), cough (56.5%), hypoxia (32.3%), and delirium or confusion (31.2%). Common comorbidities were hypertension (78.6%), dementia or cognitive impairment (55.3%), and cardiovascular diseases (52.0%). Six studies presented data concerning medical and pharmacological treatments, such as inhalers, oxygen supplementation, anticoagulation, and parenteral/enteral fluids or nutrition. The treatments were used to improve outcomes, as part of palliative care, or as end-of-life treatment. Transfers to hospital for NH residents with confirmed COVID-19 were reported in six of the included studies, and the rate of hospital transfers ranged from 6.9% to 50% in this population. In the 17 studies reporting mortality, 40.2% of the NH residents died during the studies’ observation periods.
Conclusions: Our systematic review allowed us to summarise important clinical findings about COVID-19 among NH residents and to identify the population’s risk factors for serious illness and death caused by the disease. However, the treatment and care of NH residents with severe COVID-19 warrant further investigation.
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2023
Mobility and associations with levels of cerebrospinal fluid amyloid β and tau in a memory clinic cohort
Background: Mobility impairments, in terms of gait and balance, are common in persons with dementia. To explore this relationship further, we examined the associations between mobility and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) core biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we included 64 participants [two with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), 13 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 49 with dementia] from a memory clinic. Mobility was examined using gait speed, Mini-Balance Evaluation Systems test (Mini-BESTest), Timed Up and Go (TUG), and TUG dual-task cost (TUG DTC). The CSF biomarkers included were amyloid-β 42 (Aβ42), total-tau (t-tau), and phospho tau (p-tau181). Associations between mobility and biomarkers were analyzed through correlations and multiple linear regression analyses adjusted for (1) age, sex, and comorbidity, and (2) SCD/MCI vs. dementia.
Results: Aβ42 was significantly correlated with each of the mobility outcomes. In the adjusted multiple regression analyses, Aβ42 was significantly associated with Mini- BESTest and TUG in the fully adjusted model and with TUG DTC in step 1 of the adjusted model (adjusting for age, sex, and comorbidity). T-tau was only associated with TUG DTC in step 1 of the adjusted model. P-tau181 was not associated with any of the mobility outcomes in any of the analyses.
Conclusion: Better performance on mobility outcomes were associated with higher levels of CSF Aβ42. The association was strongest between Aβ42 and Mini-BESTest, suggesting that dynamic balance might be closely related with AD-specific pathology.
Journal of Thoracic Oncology, 2023
Treatment outcomes of older participants in a randomized trial comparing two schedules of twice-daily thoracic radiotherapy in limited stage small-cell lung cancer
Introduction: Half of patients with limited stage small cell lung cancer (LS SCLC) are >70 years, but account for <20% of participants in most trials. Comorbidities, reduced organ- and physical function might lead to more treatment toxicity and population-based studies indicate that fewer older than younger LS SCLC patients receive standard chemoradiotherapy, although there is limited evidence for such a policy.
Methods: We compared baseline characteristics, comorbidity, survival, treatment completion, toxicity, health related quality of life (HRQoL) and treatment outcomes between patients >70 and <70 years in an open label randomized phase II trial comparing twice-daily thoracic radiotherapy (TRT) of 45 Gy in 30 fractions with 60 Gy in 40 fractions in LS SCLC. All patients received concurrent platinum/etoposide chemotherapy.
Results: 170 patients who were >18 years and had performance status (PS) 0-2 were randomized. Of these, 53 patients (60 Gy:25, 45 Gy:28) were >70 years and 117 (60 Gy:64, 45 Gy:53) were younger. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics, treatment completion rates, toxicity, or response rates across age groups. HRQoL mean scores was similar during year one, but older patients reported more decline on functional scales than younger patients during year two. OS was significantly shorter for older patients while there was no significant difference in PFS or TTP.
Conclusion: Patients >70 years tolerated concurrent twice daily chemoradiotherapy and achieved similar disease control as younger patients, indicating that older patients should receive the same treatment as younger patients.
Journal of Sleep Research, 2023
Insomnia and risk of dementia in a large population-based study with 11-year follow-up: The HUNT study
Despite evidence suggesting that insomnia is associated with the risk of dementia and cognitive dysfunction, studies have shown mixed results. Dementia has a long prodromal phase, and studies with long follow-up are required to avoid reverse causality. In our 11-year follow-up study, we assessed whether probable insomnia disorder (PID) based on diagnostic criteria, and insomnia symptoms were associated with risk of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and cognition, measured with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment scale. We also examined if Apolipoprotein E genotype modified any associations with dementia through interaction. We analysed data from 7492 participants in the Norwegian Trøndelag Health Study. PID was not associated with all-cause dementia (odds ratio = 1.03, 95% confidence interval = 0.74–1.43), AD (odds ratio = 1.07, 95% confidence interval = 0.71–1.60) or Montreal Cognitive Assessment score (regression coefficient = 0.37, 95% confidence interval = −0.06 to 0.80). The insomnia symptom “difficulties maintaining sleep” was associated with a lower risk of all-cause dementia (odds ratio = 0.81, 95% confidence interval = 0.67–0.98), AD (odds ratio = 0.73, 95% confidence interval = 0.57–0.93), and better Montreal Cognitive Assessment score, mean 0.40 units (95% confidence interval = 0.15–0.64). No interaction with Apolipoprotein E genotype was found. PID and insomnia symptoms did not increase the risk of dementia in our study. More research with longer follow-up is needed, and future studies should explore if the associations to dementia risk vary across insomnia subtypes.
The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2023
Cerebrospinal fluid quinolinic acid is strongly associated with delirium and mortality in hip-fracture patients
BACKGROUND: The kynurenine pathway (KP) has been identified as a potential mediator linking acute illness to cognitive dysfunction by generating neuroactive metabolites in response to inflammation. Delirium (acute confusion) is a common complication of acute illness and is associated with increased risk of dementia and mortality. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying delirium, particularly in relation to the KP, remain elusive.
METHODS: We undertook a multicenter observational study with 586 hospitalized patients (248 with delirium) and investigated associations between delirium and KP metabolites measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum by targeted metabolomics. We also explored associations between KP metabolites and markers of neuronal damage and 1-year mortality.
RESULTS: In delirium, we found concentrations of the neurotoxic metabolite quinolinic acid in CSF (CSF-QA) (OR 2.26 [1.78, 2.87], P < 0.001) to be increased and also found increases in several other KP metabolites in serum and CSF. In addition, CSF-QA was associated with the neuronal damage marker neurofilament light chain (NfL) (β 0.43, P < 0.001) and was a strong predictor of 1-year mortality (HR 4.35 [2.93, 6.45] for CSF-QA ≥ 100 nmol/L, P < 0.001). The associations between CSF-QA and delirium, neuronal damage, and mortality remained highly significant following adjustment for confounders and multiple comparisons.
CONCLUSION: Our data identified how systemic inflammation, neurotoxicity, and delirium are strongly linked via the KP and should inform future delirium prevention and treatment clinical trials that target enzymes of the KP.
Tidsskrift for omsorgsforskning, 2023
Sykehjemslegers erfaringer med covid-19. En kvalitativ intervjustudie
Beboere med covid-19-sykdom på norske sykehjem hadde høy risiko for alvorlig forløp og død. Hensikten med denne studien var å utforske sykehjemslegers erfaringer med å ivareta behandlingsansvaret for beboere med covid-19 og hvordan de samarbeidet med pårørende og sykepleiere. Denne intervjustudien inkluderte ti sykehjemsleger med erfaring fra covid-19 i sykehjem fra tre av de fire helseregionene i Norge. Vi gjorde en kvalitativ innholdsanalyse av de transkriberte intervjuene. Analysen identifiserte følgende tre hovedfunn: 1) Krevende ansvar for medisinskfaglige vurderinger og avgjørelser, 2) Kommunikasjon og samarbeid med pårørende – viktig og tidkrevende, og 3) Sykepleierne – en viktig samarbeidspartner. Sykehjemslegene opplevde et krevende ansvar og utfordringer med å ivareta multimorbide og skrøpelige beboere under pandemien. Dette illustrerer behovet for gode rutiner samt lokale og nasjonale retningslinjer. Samarbeidet med erfarne og rutinerte sykepleiere ga trygghet. Sykehjemslegenes beskrivelse av følelsesmessige utfordringer under covid-19-pandemien understreker behovet for faste, kollegiale og faglige nettverk.