Monthly Archives: July 2014

US nursing supplies boosted by RNs’ delayed retirement

Nurses

Older registered nurses are working longer than in the past, one reason that the nation’s supply of RNs has grown substantially in recent years, according to a new study.

Researchers found that from 1991 to 2012, among registered nurses working at age 50, 24 percent remained working as late as age 69. This compared to 9 percent during the period from 1969 to 1990. The findings are published online by the journal Health Affairs.

“We estimate this trend accounts for about a quarter of an unexpected surge in the supply of registered nurses that the nation has experienced in recent years,” said David Auerbach, the study’s lead author and a policy researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “This may provide advantages to parts of the U.S. health care system.”

Findings indicate that the registered nurse workforce has surpassed forecasts from a decade ago, growing to 2.7 million in 2012 instead of peaking at 2.2 million as forecast. While much of the difference is the result of a surge in new nursing graduates, the size of the workforce is particularly sensitive to changes in retirement age, given the large number of baby boomer RNs now in the workforce.

Auerbach and colleagues found that in the period 1969 to 1990, for a given number of RNs working at age 50, 47 percent were still working at age 62. In contrast, in the period 1991 to 2012, 74 percent were working at age 62.

The trend of RNs delaying retirement, which largely predates the recent recession, extended nursing careers by 2.5 years after age 50 and increased the 2012 RN workforce by 136,000 people, according to the study.

Because many RNs tend to shift out of hospital settings as they age, employers may welcome the growing numbers of experienced RNs seeking employment in other settings. These include health care delivery systems such as accountable care organizations that — prodded by the federal Affordable Care Act — may be seeking to reduce hospital-based care.

The study’s researchers say the reasons that older RNs are working longer is unclear, but it is likely part of an overall trend that has seen more Americans — particularly women — stay in the workforce longer because of lengthening life expectancy and the satisfaction they derive from employment.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/279738.php

 

 

 

Advertisements

Study links high cholesterol to increased risk of breast cancer

OBGYN_Oncology_Internal Medicine_GP_FP

A new study recently presented at the Frontiers in Cardiovascular Biology meeting in Barcelona, Spain, suggests that women who have high cholesterol may be at higher risk of developing breast cancer.

The research team, led by Dr. Rahul Potluri of the Algorithm for Comorbidities, Associations, Length of Stay and Mortality (ACALM) Study Unit at Aston University School of Medicine in the UK, says their findings indicate that statins – drugs used to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad”cholesterol, in the blood – could be used to prevent breast cancer.

Past research has indicated a link between obesity – which can cause high cholesterol – and increased risk of breast cancer. A 2013 study reported by Medical News Today found that the obesity status of a woman may influence the rate of breast cancer cell growth and tumor size.

The researchers note that a more recent study suggested that cholesterol levels are what feeds this association. But the team wanted to investigate the link further.

Women with high cholesterol ‘1.64 times more likely to develop breast cancer’

To reach their findings, the investigators analyzed information from the ACALM clinical database between 2000 and 2013, which included more than 1 million patients.

Of the 664,159 women in the database, 22,938 had hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol, and 9,312 had breast cancer. The team found that 530 of the women who had high cholesterol developed breast cancer.

Using a statistical model, the researchers estimated that women with high cholesterol were 1.64 times more likely to develop breast cancer than women with normal cholesterol levels.

The researchers say although their findings are purely observational at this point, they could have important long-term implications for women with high cholesterol.

Dr. Potluri says:

“We found a significant association between having high cholesterol and developing breast cancer that needs to be explored in more depth.

Caution is needed when interpreting our results because while we had a large study population, our analysis was retrospective and observational with inherent limitations. That said, the findings are exciting and further research in this field may have a big impact on patients several years down the line.”

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the US. This year alone, approximately 232,670 American women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

The researchers point out that if their findings are validated through further research, they would like to see whether reducing cholesterol with statins could also lower the risk of breast cancer.

“Statins are cheap, widely available and relatively safe,” says Dr. Potluri. “We are potentially heading towards a clinical trial in 10-15 years to test the effect of statins on the incidence of breast cancer. If such a trial is successful, statins may have a role in the prevention of breast cancer especially in high risk groups, such as women with high cholesterol.”

Medical News Today recently reported on a study by researchers from University College London in the UK, which revealed the development of a simple blood test that could predict how likely a woman is to develop breast cancer.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: