|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News|Saliva May Improve With Age for Flu ProtectionShort Strolls After Meals May Lower Diabetes RiskClumsiness in Some Elderly Tied to Brain ChangesDoctors Should Steer Conversation to Older Drivers: StudyIrregular Heartbeat May Speed Memory Loss in SeniorsDaily Sunscreen Use During Middle-Age Slows Skin AgingSeniors More Likely to Crash When Driving With Pet: StudyMediterranean Diet Preserves Cognition in the Aging BrainGlucosamine Supplements Tied to Risk of Eye ConditionAge Amplifies Damage From Obesity, Study FindsFitness in Middle Age May Help Shield Men From Cancer LaterGet Fit in Middle Age to Cut Heart Failure Risk, Study SaysOne in Eight Over Age 60 Reports Memory Loss, ConfusionMany Seniors Suffer Mental Decline in Silence: CDCLiving Long May Protect Against Early Alzheimer's, Study FindsOmega-3s No Help Against Age-Linked Eye Trouble: StudyVideo Games Improve Cognition in Older AdultsCentenarians a Happy Lot, Survey SaysNearly One-Third Don't Pick Up New Osteoporosis RxFor Some Seniors With Skin Cancer, Surgery Not Always Best ChoiceHealth Tip: Strengthen Your BonesSeriously Stressed? Hair Analysis Tells All, Study FindsExercise May Help People With Alzheimer's Avoid Nursing HomesStudy Questions Value of PSA Test for Older Men'Mobility Shoes' May Help Those With Arthritic Knees: StudyFew U.S. Seniors Take Advantage of Shingles VaccineElder Abuse Tied to Higher Hospitalization RatesFor Older Women, Missed Mammograms Tied to Worse Breast Cancer OutcomesCMS Announces Final Rates for Medicare Drug, Health PlansToo Few Americans Pass Last Days in Hospice Care: CDCSupplement Aids Age-Related Macular DegenerationSocial Isolation, Apart From Loneliness, Can Harm HealthIsolation, Loneliness May Raise Death Risk for ElderlyPneumonia May Lead to Serious Aftereffects for SeniorsBarrier Assessment Improves Care for Elderly With DiabetesA Third of U.S. Seniors Die With Dementia, Study FindsMammograms Every Other Year OK for Women Over 50: StudyGeriatric Factors Can Foretell Tolerances to ChemotherapyBathroom Visits May Add to Sleep Problems for SeniorsMany Elderly Consider Cancer Screening ObligatoryOver 50? Checklist May Predict If You'll Be Alive in 10 YearsCertain Sleep Aids May Raise Hip Fracture Risk in Nursing Homes: StudyHealthy Older Women Advised Against Taking CalciumFlu Vaccine Fell Short for Seniors This Season: CDCTwo Endocrine Disruptors Linked to OsteoarthritisDepression Affects Efficacy of Herpes Zoster VaccineNumber of Americans With Alzheimer's May Triple by 2050Flu Shot May Not Work as Well for SeniorsBoomers' Health Fails to Measure Up to Parents'A Good Mood May Boost Seniors' Brain PowerQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Preventive Measures Pay Off for Those at Risk of Stroke
by -- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
Updated: Jul 17th 2012
TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Helping patients avoid stroke and dementia risk factors, such as high cholesterol, smoking and diabetes, can leave them with a longer, healthier old age, a new study finds.
Researchers in Germany also found that by following recommended treatment guidelines and goals, fewer patients at high risk for stroke and dementia will need expensive long-term care.
"Primary prevention pays off," the study's lead author, Horst Bickel, senior researcher in the department of psychiatry at the Technical University of Munich, said in a news release from the American Heart Association. "We found that not only the risk of long-term care dependence was lower, but also that death rates decreased."
In conducting the study, the researchers followed almost 4,000 people aged 55 and older living in a rural region of Germany. Their family doctors were given brochures summarizing treatment recommendations for stroke and dementia.
Bickel's team compared outcomes among these patients to another 13,000 people in a nearby town who received care that did not focus on the prevention of these health problems.
Over the course of five years, patients treated by doctors focused on reducing risk factors saw their need for long-term care drop by about 10 percent compared to the communities that didn't have this intervention. The study also showed that the cost of inpatient treatment for these patients was reduced.
The researchers believe a focus on curbing stroke and dementia risk factors decreased the number of deaths in the intervention group from the expected 2,112 people to just 1,939.
In order to prevent stroke and dementia, doctors encouraged patients to:
- Get more exercise
- Eat a healthier diet
- Stop smoking
- Reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels
"At the population level, even simple measures can lead to substantial achievements," Bickel said. "Our results are only one example of how health risks can be reduced through uncomplicated, routine treatment of risk factors in the framework of a real-world setting."
The study's authors noted their results could be applied to the United States and other Western populations that have sedentary lifestyles.
The study was published July 17 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on stroke prevention.
This article: Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.