Work to be presented May 15-17 in National Harbor, Md., represents field's most highly rated scholarship among more than 800 abstract submissions

Physical activity and lifestyle interventions for obese older adults, research on dementia care in a managed care environment, and explorations of muscle decline in an animal model of influenza infection are among the top-ranked presentations anchoring the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Annual Scientific Meeting, to be held May 15-17 at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.

Work presented at the meeting's Plenary Paper Session (Fri., May 15, 10 a.m.) represents the field's most highly rated scholarship as assessed by the Annual Scientific Meeting Program Committee from among more than 800 abstract submissions. This year's highlights include:

The Effect of Physical Activity on Mobility in Obese, Abdominally Obese, and Non-Obese Adults: The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) Study

Obesity is common in older adults and contributes to disability and other health complications. The LIFE Study evaluated moderate physical activity or a health education program for men and women 70- to 89-years-old and at high risk for mobility disability. Researchers concluded that a regular physical activity program could prevent disability even in extremely obese older adults.

Implementing Dementia Care Management in a Medicare Managed Care Plan: A Randomized Controlled Trial

An evidence-based dementia care management plan within Medicare could be both an effective and cost-effective option for older adults living with memory disorders. Researchers randomized more than 200 primary care physicians from seven medical groups whose patients and family caregivers used either a care management program or usual care. Stakeholder interviews revealed considerable sharing of dementia care management strategies between groups, pointing to the function and utility of this approach for improving overall health quality.

Upregulation of Skeletal Muscle Atrophy Markers in Young and Aged Mice During Influenza Infection

Loss of skeletal muscle, also known as sarcopenia, is common among older adults--but might it be more prevalent among those who are infected with influenza, another common concern for older individuals? In this animal model study, researchers observed the physical effects of influenza infection on young and old mice. The virus led to significant weight loss in both groups, but older mice were much slower to recoup loss. The strong link between weight loss and certain markers of inflammation-associated muscle loss may help explain connections between viral infection, sarcopenia, weight loss, and disability in older age.

The Plenary Paper Session is one of more than 100 events comprising the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting Program. In just a few days, more than 2,000 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, social workers, long-term care and managed care providers, healthcare administrators, and others will convene for the conference just outside Washington, D.C., to expand engagement and expertise in geriatrics, education, health policy, and optimal care delivery for older adults. In addition to the Plenary Paper Session, other noteworthy focal points for the 2015 gathering include:

  • A public policy lecture that will delve into a health history first: the move of Medicare and our healthcare system overall to payment based on quality rather than quantity of care (Sat., May 16, 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.)
  • An overview of 2015 updates to the Beers Criteria, a critical tool for addressing potentially inappropriate medication use in older adults. (Sat., May 16, 4:30-6 p.m.)
  • A review of 30 seminal journal articles published in 2014 and of potential impact for the geriatrics field (Sun., May 17, 7:30-9 a.m.)
  • A refresher on new AGS guidelines to help practitioners better diagnose, prevent, and treat postoperative delirium, a serious medical condition facing many older adults admitted to the hospital for surgery. (Sun., May 17, 9-10:30 a.m.)
  • A recap of an AGS collaboration with the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to identify knowledge gaps and unmet needs tackling multimorbidity and care for older adults with cardiovascular disease. (Sun., May 17, 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)