Research Roundup

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Debbie Rigby takes a look at the latest in research news

Differences in stroke risk and cardiovascular mortality for Aboriginal and other Australian patients with atrial fibrillation

Stroke risk and cardiovascular mortality are markedly higher for Aboriginal than non‐Aboriginal patients with atrial fibrillation, particularly for patients under 60. This retrospective data linkage cohort study of nearly 55,500 people with atrial fibrillation shows the incidence of stroke was 3.2-fold higher for Aboriginal patients than for non-Aboriginal patients.

Med J Aust, Published online: 2 March 2020.


Unprecedented smoke‐related health burden associated with the 2019–20 bushfires in eastern Australia

An estimated 417 excess deaths, 1124 hospitalisations for cardiovascular problems, 2027 respiratory problems, and 1305 emergency department presentations with asthma occurred in NSW, Queensland, the ACT and Victoria during the 19 weeks of continuous fire activity (1 October 2019 and 10 February 2020) that could be attributed to bushfire smoke exposure.

Med J Aust, first published: 12 March 2020.


Adverse Outcomes of Polypharmacy in Older People: Systematic Review of Reviews

A systematic review, of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational studies has found consistent evidence for hospitalisation and inappropriate prescribing associated with polypharmacy (5 or more medicines) in older people. It is worth noting polypharmacy in older people may be appropriate but it also has potential negative effects including reduced adherence, adverse drug events, increased health care utilization, falls, cognitive impairment, and mortality.

JAMDA 2020;21:181-187.


The role of a residential aged care pharmacist: Findings from a pilot study

Activities by a residential care pharmacist, integrated part‐time (15 hours per week) in a residential aged care facility included organisation‐oriented and resident‐oriented roles. The activities most frequently performed were pharmaceutical opinion, quality improvement and comprehensive medication review.

Australasian Journal of Ageing, first published 2 March 2020.

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