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Hlth/geron 210 Study Notes with some questions and answers and also learning objective for each unit. I hope this helps you!

Course Code
Nancy Pearce
Study Guide

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Unit 6: Chronic Physical Illness
Learning Objectives:
1. To distinguish “pathological” conditions (i.e., diseases) from normal, age-
related changes (covered in Unit 2).
2. To review the major causes of mortality (death) and morbidity (illness) in
older Canadians.
3. To understand how patterns of mortality and morbidity differ for older men
versus older women, as well as for certain racial or ethnic groups.
4. To help you understand the impact of the most common chronic illnesses
on older adults.
5. To help you understand why illnesses may be more difficult to diagnose
and manage (or treat) in older versus younger adults.
Note: you are not expected to know the health care costs associated with
various conditions (this information was provided for interest only, to
illustrate the magnitude of various problems).
Study Questions:
1. Explain why chronic illness may be difficult to diagnose in older adults.
- Symptomology: they under report diseases
- Co-morbidity: have more than one disease at a time
- Medications: they are on multiple medications, side effects can look
like symptom or mask symptoms
- Normal aging changes
- Variable impact: someone might have a heart disease and not be
bothered while another might be severely debilitated.
2. What is the difference between mortality and morbidity? Mortality is
the %age of people that die from a certain disease while morbidity is
the suffering that occurs in people with a certain disease.
3. What are the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in older
Canadian men & women? Leading causes of cancer-related deaths for
men versus women?
- The leading cause of death in older Canadian men than women is heart
disease and stroke
- More women die due to osteoporosis than breasecancer and ovarian
cancer combined
4. What are the similarities & differences between osteo- and rheumatoid
- In both diseases the knees hands and hips are affected, for both to be
treated a healthy body weight is to be maintained.
- In osteoarthritis the spine is involved while in rheumatoid arthritis the
spine isn’t

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- Osteroarthritis is unilateral while rheumatoid arthritis is bilateral
- Osteoarthritis is AKA wear and tear while rheumatoid arthritis has no
known cause
- In osteoarthritis vasculitis doesn’t occur while in rheumatoid arthritis it
can occur
- Osteoarthritis hits men more than women while rheumatoid arthritis
hits twice as many women as men
- Osteo shows up after tha age of 45 while rheu shows up from age 25 –
50 and cause a lot of deterioration
- Rheu affects many different organs
5. How does osteoporosis differ from osteoarthritis?
- Osteroporosis is a metabolic disorder while osteoarthritis is not
- Osteo porosis hits more women (1 in 4) than men (1 in 8)
- Osteoporosis leads to brittle bones while osteoarthritis leads to
disfigured joints
6. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in older women and men
In men the highest killers are lung , colorectal and prostate while for
women it is lung, breast and colorectal
7. Rate of prostate cancer in different ethnic group
African >European >Asian
- The problem with the Prostate specific antigen is that it is sensitive but
not specific i.e has a very high positive rate
8. List the major risk factors for breast cancer, heart disease and
Breast cancer- age, family history more aggressive in women who
get it premenopausal.
Diabetes – overweight and low physical activity, family history,
history of gestational diabetes, aboriginal, African or south Asian
Heart disease – overweight, diet, physical activity, smoking,
9. How does coronary artery disease differ from congestive heart failure
& stroke?
- Coronary heart disease affects the blood vessels that supply blood to
the heart and it can lead to a heart attack. A heart attack aka
myocardial infarction is caused when the heart muscle cells die
because of lack of blood. A stroke occus when blood supply to a part of
the brain is cut of by a clot or a bleed.
10. Two types of diabetes
a. Insulin dependent Diabetes mellitus- type one is genetic and affects
b. Non- insulin dependent diabetes mellitus- type two – affects mainly
adults and obese children
11. What are the primary complications of diabetes?
- Heart disease
- Stroke

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- Eye disease aka diabetes retinopathy
- Kidney disease
- Erectile dysfunction
- Nerve damage loss of sensation in fingers and toes
- amputation
12. Name the two most common types of COPD, as well as the most
common cause.
- Chronic bronchitis, Emphysema, Asthma 80- 90% caused by smoking
13. List & describe the major eye disorders.
- Mascular degeneration
- Diabeties retinopathy
- Cataracts
- Glaucoma
14. What symptoms would an individual with parkinsons disease
- Tremors, rigidity, Bradykinesia, movement that is not smooth, postural
15. Types of cardiovascular diseases?
Hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, stroke
Unit 7: Acute & Medication & Health Service Use
Learning Objectives:
1. To understand why some acute conditions can have serious consequences
for older adults, particularly frail seniors.
2. To help you understand some of the problems seniors experience with
respect to medication use, as well as the challenges for physicians in
prescribing medications.
3. To help you understand why medications may affect older adults
4. To describe the types of health care services available to older adults in
5. To make you aware of some of the challenges facing Canada’s health care
6. To illustrate some of the challenges of living and working in long-term
Study Questions:
1. Examples of acute illnesses in older adults?
- Pneumonia, hypo/hyperthermia, dehydration, gastric ulcers,
incontinence constipation pressure sores, TB
2. Can you distinguish between acute and chronic illness?
- Acute has a sudden onset and lasts for a short period of time while
chronic has a gradual onset and lasts for a while
- Acute has a known cause and can be cured while chronic has only risk
factors and can only be managed
3. What is the leading cause of community accuired pneumonia?
- Pneumococcus
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