ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
Tips to Ease an Aching Back
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
CANCER
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
DIABETES
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
Compound in Berries May Lessen Sun Damage
The Best Diet? That Depends on You
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Are Medical Meetings Environmentally Unfriendly?
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
FITNESS
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Barefoot Best for Running?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Vitamin E Helps Treat Common Liver Disease
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
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When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient

THURSDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The stress of providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer's results in 25 percent of family caregivers having at least one emergency room or hospital visit every six months, says an Indiana University study.

It's long been recognized that family care of an Alzheimer's patient is difficult, but the Indiana University researchers said their study is the first to actually measure the stress and examine how it affects the physical and mental health of caregivers.

The study included 153 Alzheimer's patients and their family caregivers, for a total of 366 people. Forty-four percent of the caregivers were spouses, and 70 percent lived with their Alzheimer's-afflicted loved one. The average age of the caregivers was 61 years.

Age, education and relationship to the patient didn't affect caregivers' use of emergency room/hospital services, the researchers found. The behavior and functioning of the patient, not their cognitive disability, were the major factors that determined whether a caregiver went to the emergency room/hospital.

The study was published in the November issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

"Our findings opened our minds to the fact that society needs to expand the definition of patient to include both the person with Alzheimer's dementia and that individual's family caregiver," study corresponding author Dr. Malaz Boustani, an assistant professor of medicine, said in an Indiana University new release.

"For American society to respond to the growing epidemic of Alzheimer's disease, the health care system needs to re-think the definition of patient. These findings alert health-care delivery planners that they need to restructure the health care system to accommodate our new inclusive definition of patient," said Boustani, who directs the Healthy Aging Brain Center.

About four million older adults in the United States have Alzheimer's disease, and three million of them live in the community, often under the care of family members. By 2050, it's estimated there will be 18.5 million people with Alzheimer's in the U.S.

"While we've long known that Alzheimer's is a devastating disease to the patient, this study offers a look at how it also impacts the caregiver's health. If we don't offer help and support to the caregiver too, the stress of caring for someone with dementia can be overwhelming, both mentally and physically," Dr. Cathy C. Schubert, an assistant professor of clinical medicine in the IU School of Medicine, said in the news release.

More information

The Alzheimer's Association has more about caregiver's stress.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Indiana University, news release, Nov. 10, 2008

Last Updated: Nov. 20, 2008

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