COURSE DESCRIPTIONPreviously, investigators have examined the use of prescription and OTC medications and dietary supplements among older adults in the U.S. These studies have revealed that more than half of older adults concurrently use prescription and nonprescription medications, including dietary supplements. A significant number of older adults use interacting medications or dietary supplements that can potentially increase their risks for adverse drug events. With new drugs continuing to emerge on the market and the increasing availability of generic and OTC products, it is becoming even more important to examine the potential safety concerns associated with commonly used drugs among older adults. Recently collected data may underestimate medication use and potential adverse effects because they do not always capture information on OTC medications and dietary supplements.
Current estimates show that allergic rhinitis (AR) is the most common chronic disease among children in the United States. Ranking as the fifth most common chronic disease in the U.S. overall, AR has been estimated to generate $2 to $5 billion in direct health expenditures annually. Numerous diagnostic tests and treatments are used to manage patients with AR, but research suggests that there is considerable variation in how they are used by clinicians who care for these patients.
COURSE DESCRIPTIONStudies have shown that influenza among healthcare personnel (HCP) increases absenteeism and the potential to spread the infection to patients as well as family and friends. Additional research indicates that influenza vaccination of HCP reduces morbidity and mortality among nursing home patients, a population shown to be highly vulnerable to influenza. To reduce influenza-related morbidity, mortality, and absenteeism among HCP and their patients, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual influenza vaccination for all HCP.
Studies show that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among adults aged 65 and older in the United States ranges between 20% and 25%. However, controversy has surrounded the most appropriate approaches to treating and managing diabetes in older adults, particularly with regard to identifying therapeutic targets for A1C and the control of other cardiovascular risk factors. In addition, research suggests there are disparities in risk factor control among racial and ethnic minorities with diabetes when compared with whites who have the disease. Diabetes continues to be a major public health problem among older racial and ethnic minorities. There are important factors to consider when managing this older patient group and developing treatment targets. These include the potential for adverse effects when using pharmacologic treatment, risks for hypoglycemia, and individual comorbidities, among other factors.