Bmj Usa: Minerva


BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E121

This article originally appeared in BMJ USA

Some older people deny having difficulties walking but have already modified their behavior by using walking canes. The authors of a two year longitudinal survey study found that those who used canes at the start of the study were more likely to have developed new mobility problems at follow up than were those who walked without aids. They suggest that asking patients about task modification rather than difficulty alone may be a more sensitive way to detect early problems (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2002;50:263–268).

About 1 in 40 people have an ischemic stroke within six months of a heart attack. After pooling risk factor data from over 100 000 patients, investigators have invented a new risk stratification score. Using it, they identified 20% of older patients who have a 1 in 25 chance of being rehospitalized for a stroke within six months of a coronary event. The critical factors are less about the characteristics of the infarct, and more about stroke risk factors in general, particularly in elderly people (Circulation 2002;105:1082–1087).

Sensory deprivation studies …

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