Several countries of Asia, including Malaysia, have in recent years experienced spectacular economic growth and social change. This, together with declining fertility
rates and mortality rates, and accompanying increased
expectation of life at birth have resulted in rapid population ageing of these countries. However, relative
to the developed countries, where fertility and mortality declines, and improvements in social and economic conditions have evolved gradually over a period of a century, these phenomena in the developing countries of Southeast Asia are evolving in a much shorter time period aided by the availability of medical and technological advances and interventions that can prevent deaths and births and prolong the duration of disability free years of life. This poses a challenge to countries like Malaysia who have to cope with the ageing phenomenon with limited resources that are available. The elderly are a heterogeneous group who are affected by both health and non health factors. The latter are largely social factors related to health that contribute to social problems faced by the elderly. This paper addresses these before looking at the care of the elderly.
Matched MeSH terms: Aged*; Health Services for the Aged*
A 45-year-old Malay lady who presented with intermittent abdominal pain and a left hypochondrial mass was found to have a 10 x 8 x 5 cm duodenal tumour without local invasion at laparotomy. En bloc resection of the tumour with adequate margin of clearance was done and histopathological diagnosis of low grade leiomyosarcoma was made. Fourteen months later, she returned with multiple metastases in the liver and needed palliative chemotherapy for pain relief. Duodenal leiomyosarcomata are very rare tumour. Their prognostic indicators include biological grading, tumour size and presence of metastases. Recognition of its high malignant potential calls for close surveillance calls even after apparent curative surgery.
Two cases of oral speckled leukoplakia with differing behaviour are presented. This precancerous lesion of unknown aetiology requires early diagnosis for proper management. Candida albicans are frequently found in these lesions. The significance of epithelial dysplasia in relation to treatment is discussed. Surgical removal is the treatment of choice.
A case of carotid body tumour is presented. Pathology, diagnostic investigations, modalities of treatment and prognosis are discussed. With greater awareness of this condition and improvement in diagnostic investigations and surgical techniques, the outlook in managing this condition should be better.
Cryptococcosis is an opportunistic fungal infection commonly seen in HIV cases. We present a case of disseminated cryptococcosis with multiple non-continuous infective foci in a non-HIV, non-transplant case.
Background. This study determines the effects of a behavioral program on exercise adherence (step counts) and level of exercise self-efficacy (ESE) in community-dwelling older persons. Methods. Sixty-three participants (age = 63.8 ± 4.5 years) were enrolled in this controlled quasi-experimental study. They were divided into 3 groups: (1) EBG performed a 6-week exercise intervention followed by a 5-week behavioral program, (2) EG performed exercise intervention similar to EBG, and (3) control group (CG) did not receive any interventions. Step counts were measured based on the scores recorded by a pedometer while ESE was measured by a self-reported ESE scale. Results. Data analysis showed significant differences due to time effect (F(1,2) = 39.884, P < 0.01, and η = .399); time and group interactions (F(2,60) = 112.683, P < 0.01, and η = .790); and between-group effect (F(2,60) = 12.524, P < 0.01, and η = .295) for step counts. As for ESE, significant differences were also found for time effect (F(2,4) = 66.628, P < 0.05, and η = .526); time and group interactions (F(2,60) = 4.562, P = 0.014, and η = .132); and between-group effect (F(2,60) = 13.632, P < 0.05, and η = .312). EBG presented with significantly higher mean changes for both step counts and ESE compared to other groups (all P < 0.05). Conclusion. This study suggests that the addition of a behavioral program is superior as compared to exercising alone on increasing exercise adherence and level of self-efficacy in older persons.
Myelodysplastic syndromes appear to be a rare group of blood disorders in Malaysia. It usually affects the elderly and some of the cases were reported to evolve into acute leukemia. We describe our experience with five cases, seen and managed by us over a 5-year period. All patients receiving supportive therapy died with one of them definitely known to transform to acute leukemia. The patient who survives till the time of writing received low dose continuous cytosine arabinoside infusion.
Spontaneous pneumoperitoneum without peritonitis is a rare phenomenon which poses a dilemma to the surgeons faced with this problem. Two such cases and their outcome are presented. The first case was caused by tracheal rupture during emergency intubation and was treated by observation until complete resolution. The second case was caused by barotrauma during positive pressure ventilation and was treated by laparotomy. Both patients died for reasons unrelated to the pneumoperitoneum. The passage of air from the chest cavity into the abdominal cavity was along the great vessels in the first case and through the diaphragm in the second. A compilation of other aetiologies of pneumoperitoneum without peritonitis as extracted from the literature is presented. In the presence of pneumoperitoneum without peritonitis and when the clinical history does not suggest visceral perforation, an abdominal tap or lavage should be attempted. If negative, continued observation is advised.
Matched MeSH terms: Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Middle Aged
Raised intraocular pressure (lOP) is generally held responsible for causing visual loss in chronic simple glaucoma. It is therefore desirable that a safe level of lOP be maintained all the time. Elevation of lOP with change of body position has been suggested as one of the factors which result in tissue damage in low tension as well as in primary wide open angle glaucoma. Postural behaviour of lOP was therefore studied in 58 normal and 30 glaucomatous Malaysian eyes. Clinical significance and possible pathogenesis of abnormal postural response of lOP has been discussed. More application of this simple procedure is advocated.
Matched MeSH terms: Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Middle Aged