ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Cane Use May Cut Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
CANCER
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
CAREGIVING
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
DIET, NUTRITION
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
HELP TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A LOW CAL BUDGET
Fruits, Vegetables, Teas May Cut Smokers' Cancer Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Greener Neighborhoods Mean Slimmer Children
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
FITNESS
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
More Single Women Are Having Babies
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
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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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