Elderly Adults

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A high prevalence of chronic diseases and increased risk of acute morbidity are associated with older age, leading to an increased use of drugs and health services. Within the QICH framework several measures refer to the older population:

1. Vaccines - The seasonal Influenza (flu) vaccine is recommended for the general population with a special emphasis on high-risk populations, including the elderly. The pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for infants and for the elderly; both were proven effective in preventing complications associated with these diseases (mostly pneumonia, associated with high mortality rates especially in older age).

2. Body weight monitoring - the following indicators are included: documentation of BMI components, the proportion of elderly who experienced significant weight loss, and the prevalence rates of underweight and obesity. A significant and unintentional weight loss in older age is often one of the first signs for morbidity; hence the great importance of monitoring body weight in the elderly.

3. Use of benzodiazepines - Benzodiazepines are sleep-inducing and anti-anxiety drugs. Due to alarming evidence of damages related to excessive use or use of medications that are not suitable for elderly persons, the OECD has developed measures to monitor the use of these drugs. QICH adopts the organization's definitions to enable monitoring and international comparison.