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08 Sep

Lonliness Among Seniors During the Pandemic

There's no one way to tackle the problem, expert says

31 Mar

Does Life Really Get Better With Age?

Older people are better at using mindfulness techniques to improve wellbeing, new study finds.

Health News Results - 236

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers may have uncovered a key reason some people remain sharp as a tack into their 80s and 90s: Their brains resist the buildup of certain proteins that mark Alzheimer's disease.

The study focused on what scientists have dubbed "super agers" -- a select group of older folks who have the memory performance of people decad...

Many older Americans lack knowledge about antibiotics, with some admitting to using leftover medication, a new survey reveals.

More than 2,200 adults, aged 50 to 80, were questioned. Nine out of 10 said they're cautious about using antibiotics, and nearly that number knew that overuse of the drugs can lead to them becoming ineffective, according to the University of Michigan National Poll...

Breathing in air that has even low levels of pollution poses a threat to older adults' heart and lungs, a new study warns.

Researchers analyzed medical records of more than 63 million Medicare patients from 2000 to 2016. They found that long-term exposure to low levels of air pollution could increase the risk of pneumonia, heart attack, stroke and the irregular heart rhythm known as atria...

A number of new treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a progressive eye disease, are under development. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in older people.

About 11 million Americans have AMD, which affects part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. There are two types: wet and dry. Wet AMD is treated with eye injections every month or two, and dry AMD with an...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults who get little sleep each night may be at heightened risk of dementia or earlier death, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among 2,600 older Americans, those who were deemed "short sleepers" -- catching no more than five hours of sleep at night -- were more likely to develop dementia or die over the nex...

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. nursing homes have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the toll on Black and Hispanic residents has been especially harsh, a new study confirms.

Researchers found that COVID-19 death rates were more than three times higher at U.S. nursing homes with the highest proportions of Black and Hispanic residents, compared ...

The risk of death from COVID-19 is more than triple that from seasonal flu, researchers in Canada say.

Their findings are similar to recent studies from the United States and France. The study was published Feb. 10 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"We can now say definitively that COVID-19 is much more severe than seasonal influenza," said study author Dr. Amol ...

Few older adults with prediabetes will actually go on to develop type 2 diabetes, new research concludes.

The surprising finding suggests that while prediabetes is a useful predictor of diabetes risk in young and middle-aged adults, that's not the case in older folks.

"Our results suggest that for older adults with blood sugar levels in the prediabetes range, few will actually devel...

Although Alzheimer's disease is a devastating diagnosis that is better delivered earlier rather than later, new research suggests poor patients living in rural areas may not have access to the specialists who could spot the first signs of memory declines.

The team from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., led by Sayeh Nikpay, now an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota...

Severe frailty significantly increases the risk of death in COVID-19 patients, British researchers say.

In their new study, the investigators analyzed data from more than 5,700 COVID-19 patients at 55 hospitals in 12 countries. They found that those who were severely frail were three times more likely to die than those who weren't frail.

That increased risk was independent of age, a...

If there is one thing the coronavirus pandemic has taught people, it is that how much living space you have matters when you or someone you love falls ill with COVID-19.

But a new survey shows that the very group most vulnerable to infection may have precious little room in which to safely weather the illness: 1 in 5 older Americans can't isolate in their home when infected with ...

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it's crucial for homebound older adults to find safe and effective ways to exercise, an expert says.

At-home workouts can help strengthen muscles, improve balance, increase blood flow to the heart, boost the immune system and reduce stress, according to Summer Cook, an associate professor of kinesiology and an expert on senior fitness at the University of New...

Irene Greenhalgh, 83, considers herself a pretty computer-savvy senior, but even she got lost in a maze of websites and e-mails trying to get an appointment for her COVID-19 vaccine.

One health provider's e-mail provided links to sites that were giving vaccinations, but the dates listed were a week old. A board of health's website proved glitchy and unusable.

After weeks of searchin...

People in nursing homes have been suffering in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic, with their institutions in constant lockdown to prevent potentially fatal outbreaks.

Now that they're some of the first in line to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, it would be natural for nursing home residents to expect that visits from friends and family will soon resume.

That might not happen,...

When it comes to pumping iron, women have as much to gain as men.

A new study compared the results of women and men aged 50 to 90 who started resistance training exercise programs, finding that though men were more likely to gain absolute muscle size, their gains were on par with women's relative to body size.

"Historically, people tended to believe that men adapted to a greater deg...

Blood plasma from people recovering from COVID-19 could help prevent severe illness in older patients newly infected with the virus, a small new Argentinian study finds.

The findings give new hope to the notion that so-called "convalescent plasma" might have a role to play in treating COVID-19. Earlier studies had been disappointing, showing the treatment had little effect on people with...

Telemedicine rapidly expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic as people turned to their phones and computers rather than leave their homes for health care.

But some groups of people were left behind in the telemedicine boom, a new study reports.

Middle-aged and older folks are much less likely to complete their scheduled telemedicine visits, as well as Medicaid recipients and those who...

Hip dislocations are much more common in people who've had total hip replacements than previously reported, Danish researchers say.

The investigators analyzed data from Denmark and found that the rate of hip dislocations within two years after total hip replacement was 3.5%. That's roughly 50% higher than some previous estimates.

More than 40% of patients with dislocations had at le...

While everyone is dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults may feel the loss of holiday traditions the most.

It is possible to make this season feel joyful, even with all the changes. It's also a good time to check on their health and boost their mood, even from afar.

"As much as you love the older adults in your life, now is not the time to gather with them, e...

Hospitals are swamped with older patients after hurricanes, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data on hospitalizations for adults 65 and older in the month following eight of the United States' largest hurricanes in recent years.

In this age group, post-hurricane increases in hospitalizations for any reason ranged from 10% (Hurricane Irene, 2011) to 23% (Hurricane Sandy, 2012)...

Getting fit before surgery can limit the amount of muscle older adults will lose during their recovery, researchers say.

Strength training before a scheduled operation ("prehabilitation") helps counteract muscle wasting during bed rest after a procedure. But it needs to be a long-term, targeted exercise program to be effective, according to the new report.

For the study, Br...

Some older folks are still sharp as tacks and dementia-free well into their 80s and beyond. Now German researchers have uncovered a possible reason why: Their genes may help them fend off protein build-up in the brain.

The finding is based on a study of brain images of 94 participants, all aged 80 or older. They were characterized by the amount of tau protein tangles and beta-amyloid pro...

High doses of vitamin D may increase seniors' risk of falls, rather than reduce it, according to a new study.

Preliminary studies suggested vitamin D may increase muscle strength and improve balance, so Johns Hopkins researchers investigated whether high doses of vitamin D might reduce the risk of falls in people aged 70 and older.

But the investigators found that large doses of vit...

If you have a choice, you might want to avoid having an operation on your surgeon's birthday.

A new study finds that seniors who have emergency surgery on their surgeon's birthday have a much higher risk of dying in the following weeks.

Researchers analyzed data on nearly 981,000 emergency surgeries performed on Medicare beneficiaries by about 48,000 surgeons between 2011 and 2014. ...

Even before signs of Alzheimer's disease or dementia appear, people are prone to make poor financial decisions, a new study finds.

Older people diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's were more likely to miss credit card payments as early as six years before their diagnosis, compared with similar people without dementia (about 8% versus 7%), the researchers found.

Patients with demen...

Delirium is often the first symptom of COVID-19 to appear in older people, a new study finds.

They may have confusion with an altered level of consciousness, disorientation, inattention and other mental disturbances, but none of the other typical signs of the coronavirus infection, such as fever and cough, researchers say.

"COVID can operate through multiple ways to affect the ...

The majority of older Americans say they're likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but many would want to wait a bit before getting the shot, a new survey reveals.

Older adults are among the groups with the highest priority for COVID-19 vaccination. This poll of more than 2,000 adults, ages 50-80, was conducted in October by the University of Michigan's Institute for Healthcare Policy and Inno...

Strong sleeping pills known as "Z-drugs" may increase the risk of falls, fractures and stroke among people with dementia, British researchers report.

People with dementia can have trouble sleeping and are often prescribed drugs such as zaleplon (Sonata), zolpidem (Ambien) and zopiclone to help them nod off, but higher doses of these drugs can have negative effects.

"As many as 90% o...

Older adults with memory problems may progress to Alzheimer's more quickly if they are also suffering from anxiety symptoms, a preliminary study suggests.

It's common for people with Alzheimer's disease to have mood symptoms, including anxiety and depression. And some research has suggested those symptoms can, in older people, act as early indicators of the dementia process.

The new...

A COVID-19 vaccine under development at Oxford University in England appears safe and triggers an immune response in older adults, researchers report.

Older adults have an increased risk of COVID-19, so it's crucial that vaccines against the disease are effective in this age group.

"Immune responses from vaccines are often lessened in older adults because the immune system gradually...

Participating in group exercise classes is good for seniors and not just in the ways one might expect.

The classes reduce loneliness and social isolation, according to a new study. And early results suggest that's true even after the coronavirus pandemic forced those classes to meet virtually.

"As the demographics of our country shift, more people are living alone than ever before,"...

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2020 (HealthDay) -- Vitamin D, fish oil supplements and weight training have long been touted for their health benefits, but for healthy seniors, none of them -- either in combination or alone -- boosts physical or mental performance or prevents broken bones, Swiss researchers report.

For three years, they tracked more than 2,100 men and women (average age: 74) who were...

More than one-third of older Americans are prescribed drugs they may not need, a new study finds.

In fact, these patients are prescribed twice as many drugs as needed and are nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized or wind up in the emergency department. On average, they pay more than $450 a year in extra health care costs, the researchers said.
"Inappropriate prescribing to older a...

If you're a senior who can't smell onions, smoke, chocolate or natural gas, it's time to see your doctor.

Seniors who lose their sense of smell -- which doctors call olfactory dysfunction -- have higher odds of dying from all causes within five years, new research shows. Scientists had previously found a link between olfactory dysfunction and impaired thinking and memory.

"We ...

Active older adults -- cancer survivors included -- are in better physical and mental health than their sedentary peers, a new study finds.

More regular moderate to vigorous physical activity and less sedentary time improve the mental and physical health of older cancer survivors and older people without a cancer diagnosis, say researchers from the American Cancer Society.

Marijuana is fast becoming a favorite medication among older Americans, a new study finds.

Cannabis is being used to ease problems such as pain, sleep disturbances and psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression, researchers say.

Among more than 550 patients surveyed, 15% had used cannabis within the past three years, and 50% of users said they used it regul...

Older adults who get together with friends, volunteer or go to classes have healthier brains, which could help them ward off dementia, according to a new study.

Researchers who used brain imaging to examine brain areas involved in mental decline found that greater social engagement made a difference in brain health.

Being socially engaged -- even moderately -- with at least one ...

Older adults who aren't interested or enthusiastic about their usual activities may have a higher risk of developing dementia, new research suggests.

The nine-year study of more than 2,000 older adults -- average age 74 -- found that people with severe apathy (a lack of interest or concern) were 80% more likely to develop dementia during the study period than those with low apath...

A procedure to restore normal heart rhythm is more effective than medications in reducing dementia risk in people with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (AF), researchers report.

Previous studies have shown that AF is associated with an increased risk of dementia. This one assessed whether catheter ablation and medications for AF reduced that risk.

In catheter ab...

When older people hospitalized for heart failure are sent home, they are often given a whopping 10 medications to take for a variety of conditions. But is this "polypharmacy" practice necessary, or does it just place a bigger burden on already frail patients?

It's not a question so much of the quantity of the medications, but whether the medications patients are taking are the right ...

Preventing falls in older age could be as fun as dancing them away, new research shows.

Researchers found a 31% reduction in falls and a 37% reduction in fall risk for those aged 65 and older when reviewing clinical trials on "dance-based mind-motor activities" from around the world.

"We were positively surprised by the consistency of our results," said study author ...

Elderly people who get COVID-19 have lower levels of important immune cells, which may explain why they are more likely than younger patients to have severe symptoms or die, new research suggests.

For the study, the researchers analyzed blood samples from 30 people with mild COVID-19, ranging in age from the mid-20s to late-90s. Compared with healthy people, all of the COVID-19 patien...

Isolation due to the pandemic and failure to get hearing aids checked has fueled anxiety, depression and more hearing loss for many seniors.

"This has been a very difficult time as senior facilities and individuals try to balance poor health outcomes related to COVID-19 versus poor health outcomes related to social isolation," said Catherine Palmer, president of the American Academy o...

Seniors who take depression and anxiety drugs shouldn't be prescribed opioid painkillers by their dentist because it puts them at increased risk for problems, researchers warn.

They analyzed 2011-15 dental and medical data for 40,800 patients aged 65 and older across the United States. There were 947 emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the 30 days after a dental visit.

...

Young adults in their 20s now account for more cases of COVID-19 than any other age group, according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From June through August, people in their 20s accounted for more than 20% of all COVID infections in the United States, CDC researchers found.

Unfortunately, these cases have implications for older folks...

Middle-aged Americans are living with more physical pain than older adults are -- and the problem is concentrated among the less-educated, a new study finds.

The pattern may seem counterintuitive, since older age generally means more chronic health conditions and wear-and-tear on the body. And the middle-age pain peak is not seen in other wealthy countries, researchers said.

In older people a fall can sometimes be a sign of oncoming Alzheimer's disease, even in the absence of mental issues, new research suggests.

Although falls are common among older people, in some cases they can be a sign of hidden mental problems that can lead to dementia, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Older people who hav...

The constraints of the coronavirus pandemic have many more older adults feeling lonely this summer than in years past.

According to a new poll, many older adults are feeling isolated while they protect themselves from the virus.

In June, the National Poll on Healthy Aging surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 50 to 80.

More than half said they sometimes or ...

Alzheimer's disease is more common in rural Appalachian areas of Ohio than in other rural parts of the state, new research shows.

For the study, the investigators analyzed 11 years of Medicare data, ending in 2017, and found that Alzheimer's rates were 2% to 3% higher in rural Appalachian counties than in other rural counties in Ohio.

The study, published online rece...

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is becoming more common among Americans, putting them at increased risk for heart attack and stroke, a new study shows.

Previous research showed that in 1999-2000, 32.2% of Americans maintained blood pressure less than 140/90 mm Hg, but the rate rose to 54.5% in 2013-2014. However, the rate fell to 48% in 2015-2016.

Unfortunately,...

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