Are the oldest old treated more actively in hospital than previously and do they benefit from it?

Dr. Oksuzyan is Post-doctoral research fellow at the Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark.

Dr. Jeune is Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Southern Denmark and Director of the Graduate School of Public Health.

Prof. Christensen is the Director of the Danish Twin Registry and the Danish Aging Research Center University of Southern Denmark and Senior Research Scientist at the Terry Sanford Institute, Duke University, USA.Slide1 Slide2

Are older people admitted to hospitals and receiving surgical treatments more often than people of the same age did a decade ago? To answer this question, our research group compared the percentage of hospitalized people and individuals treated surgically from ages 85 to 99 years who were born in Denmark in 1895 and 1905. Those born in 1895 were followed from 1980 to 1994, whilst individuals born in 1905 were followed from 1990 to 2004. The study was based on Danish register data which is a unique data source for scientific research as it covers the entire Danish population. Continue reading

New recruits needed to help build services for frail older people undergoing operations

Dr Jugdeep Dhesi is Chair of the BGS Peri-operative Care of Older People Ungergoing Surgery SIG (POPS) and is consultant physician and clinical lead for the POPS service at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals.

The number of frail older people undergoing elective surgical procedures is rapidly increasing. In fact the number of older people undergoing operations, as a proportion of all those having surgery, is increasing more rapidly than is the proportion of frail older people across the population as a whole.

There are a number of reasons for this. Advances in surgical technique and improvements in anaesthetic management have made it possible to operate safely on patients who would have been considered too frail for surgery in the past. At the same time patients and doctors now expect that they will be able to receive operations much later in life.   Continue reading

National Hip Fracture Database Reports on Developments in Acute and Post-Acute Care

Dr Helen Wilson, is co chair of the National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD), a joint endeavour of the BGS and the British Orthopaedic Association to improve the care of patients with fragility fractures.

Hip fracture, which usually results from the combination of a fall and pre existing osteoporosis, is the most common serious injury of older people, with around 76,000 cases occurring per year across the UK. Many patients are already frail. Mortality is high, residual disability common, and care costly. Although there is good evidence on best practice in surgical, medical and rehabilitation care following hip fracture, such care and its outcomes – in terms of return home and also of mortality – continue to vary.

The NHFD has published a supplement to its 2012 National Report which demonstrates continuing improvements in acute care but  highlights variations in post-acute care and overall length of NHS stay. Continue reading

BGS Spring Scientific Meeting is in Belfast

On behalf of the President of the BGS and the 2013 Spring Meeting Organising Committee, Dr Rosemary Kelly, extends a warm welcome to the BGS Spring Meeting in Belfast which is taking place from 17 – 19 April 2013.


A combination of local, national and international experts will deliver an interesting and varied scientific programme. The Northern Ireland Minister for Health will be in attendance and Thursday’s guest lecture will be delivered by Robert Francis QC, author of the newly released Francis report.

We begin the conference on Wednesday afternoon, highlighting exciting developments within the expanding areas of nursing home medicine, psychiatry liaison and orthogeriatric medicine. There will also be a thought-provoking analysis of medicolegal aspects of geriatric medical practice as well as a timely update on appraisal and revalidation.

Continue reading

November issue of Age and Ageing out now

The November issue of Age and Ageing, the journal of the British Geriatrics Society is out now.

A full table of contents is available here, with editorials, research papers, reviews, short reports, case reports book reviews and more. Hot topics this issue include:

  • Assessment of physical function in older people
  • Probiotics in Clostridium difficile infection
  • Mild anaemia and mortality
  • Vitamin D and orthostatic hypotension
  • Will to live and survival

The Editor’s View can be read here.

This issue’s free access paper are

The Regs’ Review:- POPS Course- Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital- March 2012

A 2 day course covering all aspects of pre-operative issues concerning the older surgical patient. Organised intermittently throughout the year in London(with proper planning can make for a productive long weekend in the capital).

Target Audience
Consultants, Registrars (excellent for the pre-operative bits on the curriculum) , Specialist Nurses and other health professionals involved with surgery and the older patient

An excellent and thought-provoking course which features a diversity of speakers and covers a broad remit of pre-operative issues specific to older patients. From hypertension to cardiac status; high blood sugars to low HB the course tries to answer majority of plausible clinical scenarios that may be encountered in day-to-day clinical practice. Ortho-geriatrics is also featured during the 2 days and as a bonus there are also excellent talks and insights regarding the highs and lows of setting up a new service.

The local Pre-operative service [set-up and championed by Guys and St.Thomas hospital] is also introduced to the audience. The service is highly comprehensive covering both the Pre-operative and Post-operative journey of the older patient. Patients do seem to be managed better and there is greater integration between surgeons and geriatricians.

Overall, this is an excellent course which will leave you better off for having attended.

Value for money:
Priceless as it is the only one of its kind so far.

March issue of Age and Ageing out now

The March issue of Age and Ageing, the journal of the British Geriatrics Society is out now.

A full table of contents is available here, with editorials, research papers, reviews, short reports, case reports book reviews and more. Hot topics this issue include:

  • Surgery in frail older people
  • Tai Chi and balance
  • Screening for depression in hospital patients
  • Prevalence of CKD with advancing age
  • Strength training after hip fracture

The Editor’s Pick can be read here.

This issue’s free access paper is Frailty in the older surgical patient: a review.