Results of a large, population-based cohort study indicate a higher risk of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer in adults with balance impairment. More specifically, Cao, et al (2021) reported results for over 5,800 middle-aged (> 40 years) and older adults who completed the Romberg Test of Standing Balance on Firm and Compliant Surfaces.
These data were included in the cohort study using the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data collected from 1999–2004; participants were then linked to mortality data through December 31, 2015. The results suggest an increased hazard ratio for those with balance impairments compared to those without impairments after adjusting for other factors such as socioeconomic, chronic conditions, and lifestyle factors.
The authors suggest the need for further studies to confirm these findings and determine if there is a causal relationship. Answers to these questions may lead to identifying exercise programs that may have positive effects.
Cao C, et al. (2021) Association of balance function with all-cause and cause-specific mortality among U.S. adults. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. (March 11) doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2021.0057.
Severe bilateral vestibular loss (BVL), regardless of etiology, often is accompanied by significant, chronic symptoms of general imbalance, instability, and blurred vision (oscillopsia) with head movement. These symptoms necessitate lifestyle changes, and possible discontinuation of certain everyday activities. Furthermore, patients become reliant on visual and somatosensory cues to maintain balance. This creates significant functional impairment…
Government Accountability Office Releases Assessment of COVID-19 Telehealth Flexibilities in Medicare and Medicaid
The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) released testimony on May 19 regarding their ongoing assessment of COVID-19 flexibilities within the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as required under federal pandemic response oversight provisions included the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. While the GAO reported telehealth flexibilities as critical to reducing obstacles of care, they also stressed considering its potential…
By Bre Myers “I feel like I have cicadas in my head” is a regional description of tinnitus I have heard more than a few times in my career. Now, with the emergence of Brood X in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic section of the United States, that drone is stimulating most everyone’s auditory cortex. Once quiet walks in…