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Twice as many women who experienced a hypertensive disorder during any of their pregnancies were at increased risk of developing heart or kidney diseases earlier in life based on incidence per woman versus per pregnancy, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. This is one of the first studies to look at incidence of hypertensive disorders per woman vs. per pregnancy, which accounts for women who are pregnant multiple times.

Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) include four categories: preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, chronic hypertension and superimposed preeclampsia (women with chronic hypertension who develop preeclampsia). Women who have preeclampsia during pregnancy are at risk for death from heart disease as early as the first decade after giving birth.

“Despite the rates of HDP increasing over the past three decades, the incidence rates of HDP per-pregnancy and per-woman had not yet been studied,” said Vesna D. Garovic, MD, PhD, professor of medicine in the department of internal medicine and obstetrics and gynecology at Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study. “By only looking at HDP rates per-pregnancy, we have been vastly underestimating the number of women who are affected by this condition and may be at risk for future heart or kidney disease. Looking at the per-woman rate allowed us to assess women with more than one pregnancy, who may have had HDP, including preeclampsia, during one of her pregnancies, but not the other.”

Full article at Science Daily

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Higher alcohol consumption was shown to be associated with an increased risk of having a stroke or developing peripheral artery disease, according to new research published today in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine, an American Heart Association journal.

While observational studies have consistently shown that heavy alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of certain cardiovascular diseases, they often use self-reported data and are unable to determine cause. Researchers in this study used a different technique called Mendelian randomization that identifies genetic variants with a known association to potential risk factors to determine the potential degree of disease risk.

“Since genetic variants are determined at conception and cannot be affected by subsequent environmental factors, this technique allows us to better determine whether a risk factor — in this case, heavy alcohol consumption — is the cause of a disease, or if it is simply associated,” said Susanna Larsson, Ph.D., senior researcher and associate professor of cardiovascular and nutritional epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. “To our knowledge, this is the first Mendelian randomization study on alcohol consumption and several cardiovascular diseases.”

Full article at Science Daily

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Today marks the start of Older Americans Month. While we cannot celebrate it as usual, we still encourage individuals and communities to reflect on the countless contributions that older adults make to our lives and nation. This year’s theme, “Make Your Mark,” highlights the difference everyone can make – in the lives of older adults, in support of caregivers, and to strengthen communities.

Following are some materials available to help you observe Older Americans Month in our new “virtual” reality.

Full article at ACL

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

The accumulation of one particular protein in the brain is at the basis of three very different age-related conditions. Until recently, nobody understood how this was possible. Research by the Laboratory for Neurobiology and Gene Therapy (KU Leuven) now reveals that the shape of the protein determines the clinical picture.

The presence of α-synuclein protein deposits in the brain is characteristic for three different diseases: Parkinson’s disease (PD), multiple system atrophy (MSA) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Although these disorders are part of the same family, they are clinically and pathologically very different.

Parkinson’s disease affects around two percent of the population over 60. The condition manifests itself mainly in motor problems. Dementia with Lewy bodies is less common (0.4 percent of people over 65), but is still the second most common form of dementia, after Alzheimer’s disease. Multiple system atrophy is a rare but extremely aggressive disease for which there is virtually no treatment. It causes a variety of health issues, including general pain, bladder problems and low blood pressure, as well as motor problems. Most patients succumb to the disease within five to ten years.

Full article at Science Daily

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes, assisted living communities and other long term care facilities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, today called on state and federal government agencies to provide expanded and priority testing for nursing homes and assisted living communities and emergency funding to help the profession respond to the deadly outbreak of COVID-19 in long term care facilities across the country. 

Despite recent data and reports showing the outsized impact of the novel coronavirus on long term care residents, particularly those with underlying health conditions, industry leaders say nursing homes and assisted living communities have not been a priority for supplies, testing or resources. 

AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson said the profession is doing everything it can with current resources, but it’s not enough to stop the spread of this virus within long term care facilities.

Full article at American Health Care Association

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued updated guidance for SSI recipients with qualifying dependents eligible for COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments. SSI recipients who did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and who have qualifying dependents must submit additional information using the IRS’s Non-Filer tool by Tuesday, May 5, 2020 to receive the full amount of their Economic Impact Payments as soon as possible. Eligible SSI recipients will start receiving their automatic payments directly from the Treasury Department in early May.

Please note that Direct Express account holders may use the IRS’s Non-Filer tool, but they cannot receive their and their children’s payment on their Direct Express card. They may only enter non-Direct Express bank account information for direct deposit, or leave bank information empty to receive a paper check by mail.

For more information, visit APTA

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes, assisted living communities and other long term care facilities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released the following statement on the ongoing health crisis at long term care facilities in New York State due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA and NCAL:


“The COVID-19 pandemic in New York and across the country has presented unprecedented challenges for all health care providers, especially those caring for an extremely vulnerable population in long term care facilities.“We sincerely appreciate Governor Cuomo’s leadership and his administration’s work during this difficult time. He has led the state and inspired all New Yorkers.

Full article at American Health Care Association

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes, assisted living communities and other long term care facilities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released the following statement in response to Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus task force coordinator, and her call for states to prioritize more COVID-19 testing for long term care facilities during her comments in Tuesday’s White House coronavirus briefing. 

The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA and NCAL.

“According to a Washington Post article this week, ‘one out of 10 nursing homes have publicly reported cases of the coronavirus…with a death count that has spiraled into the thousands.’” 

Full article at the American Health Care Association

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The CARES Act provides economic impact payments of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child.

Eligible Social Security (including SSDI and SSI), Veterans Administration, and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries who don’t normally file taxes will automatically receive payments of $1,200.

Any of these beneficiaries who have qualifying children under age 17 and did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes must use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool on IRS.gov to claim the $500 payment per child.

Full article at ACL

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Older adults who live in nursing homes or long-term care (LTC) facilities are at the greatest direct risk of contracting the new coronavirus and having severe symptoms. To combat this threat, LTCs have enforced extreme social distancing measures, such as banning visitors and eliminating group recreational activities and congregate dining.

Unfortunately, those measures may also reduce social support for these older adults, which could trigger a large-scale mental health crisis in LTC. Fortunately, psychologists are considered “essential providers” and can continue to provide services to LTC residents.

Although psychologists, as essential healthcare workers, may continue to provide onsite services, for many reasons, in-person services may not be an option during the COVID-19 crisis. In these situations, telehealth is a viable service delivery modality to support LTC residents and maintain continuity of care.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is allowing psychologists to offer telehealth services directly to LTC residents using common and easy-to-use videoconferencing platforms (such as Zoom Video, Skype and Facetime), via the client’s own computer or smartphone or a facility-provided device.

Full article at American Psychological Association

Continuing Education for Nursing Home Administrators