TABLE 6-4 Known vs. Needed Information on Preventing Chronic Disease and Disability Associated With Aging

Risk Factor

Known/Available

Unknown/Needed

Hypertension

Treatment of moderate to severe diastolic hypertension in older people is warranted, but treatment of mild diastolic hypertension may be of marginal benefit.

Cost-effectiveness of anti-hypertension treatment.

 

Systolic/diastolic hypertension and isolated systolic hypertension are important risk factors in persons 50 years of age and older.

Data on effectiveness of treatment of isolated systolic hypertension, especially in persons aged 80 and older (the ''old" elderly).

 

 

Toxicity of antihypertensive medication, particularly in the "old" elderly; effect of anti-hypertension therapy on quality of life.

Medications

The older the patient, the less a physician can predict optimal dose based on lab tests and clinical judgment.

Drug testing in older persons; how the effects of medication are magnified by the physiology of normal aging.

 

Many adverse drug effects can be eliminated through more judicious prescribing.

Effect of drugs on quality of life and functional capacity in the elderly.

 

 

Risks and benefits of individual prescription drugs for the elderly.

Infection

23-valent pneumococcal vaccine is effective in preventing pneumococcal diseases.

Alternative influenza vaccines that provide protection that will last longer than current period of one year.

 

Influenza vaccine is 70% effective in preventing influenza.

Ways to reduce infection in long-term care facilities.

 

 

Safer preventive therapy and better early case detection for tuberculosis.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is responsible for a substantial portion of the 1.3 million hip fractures occurring annually, resulting in a 5-20% reduction in survival and increased dependence.

Identification of populations at high risk of fractures through a surveillance system to monitor osteoporosis prevention efforts.

 

 

More refined data on specific types and causes of injuries to develop effective interventions.



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