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08 Sep

Lonliness Among Seniors During the Pandemic

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

Health News Results - 277

Many aging Americans can have their vision dimmed by cataracts, but the good news is that they're easily treated, one expert says.

By age 80, half of Americans either have cataracts or have had surgery to remove them, according to Dr. Waid Blackstone, an ophthalmologist at University of Alabama at Birmingham Callahan Eye Hospital Clinic at Pell City.

"In terms of the typical age-rel...

FRIDAY, June 11, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- If you're obese, you're far more likely to have long-lasting health issues if you get COVID-19 and survive, a new study warns.

You are more likely than patients who aren't obese to be hospitalized. You're more likely wind up in the intensive care unit, need to be put on a ventilator and suffer from long-haul COVID than patients ...

People over 70 are far less likely to be considered for or to receive a new heart -- even though new research suggests their survival rates after transplant are similar to those of younger patients.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data on more than 57,000 adults (aged 18 and older) listed as heart transplant surgery candidates in the United States between January 2000 and August 2...

Drinking rose among older Americans during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that could put their health at risk, claim researchers behind a new poll.

"As we all toast the end of the worst part of the pandemic in our country, it's important to address or prevent problematic drinking of all kinds," said one of the pollsters, Anne Fernandez, a University of Michigan psychologist who s...

In some good news for those who have already suffered through a bout of COVID-19, a new study finds they may have a much lower risk of reinfection for at least 10 months.

For the study, the researchers analyzed rates of SARS-CoV-2 infections between October 2020 and February 2021 among more than 2,000 nursing home residents (median age 86) and staff. Antibody testing was used to determine...

THURSDAY, June 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The cost of COVID-19 hospitalizations averaged nearly $22,000 for older Americans in 2020 — and much more for those who became critically ill, a new government study finds.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the cost of COVID-19 care to the Medicare program, which covers Americans age...

U.S. adults with cerebral palsy aren't getting adequate physical therapy, according to a new study.

While they're more likely than other adults in community-living situations to have debilitating pain from musculoskeletal disorders, those with cerebral palsy receive significantly less physical therapy, a Michigan Medicine-University of Michigan team found.

For the study, the researc...

TUESDAY, June 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Could exercise that uses slow movements and breathing, like tai chi, do as much for trimming belly fat in older adults as aerobic exercise?

It might. A new study found that individuals aged 50 and up who practiced tai chi for 12 weeks lost about as much waist circumference as older adults who did conventional exercise (such as a...

FRIDAY, May 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- A native South American population that lives a pre-industrial lifestyle may have a slower rate of brain aging than the typical Westerner, a new study finds.

The study focused on the Tsimane population, whose roughly 16,000 members dwell in a remote part of the Bolivian Amazon. They live by farming, hunting, gathering and fishing...

Mom always said too much TV would rot your brain, and as with so many other things it appears she was right.

Middle-aged folks who regularly turn to TV for entertainment appear to have a greater risk of decline in their reasoning and memory later in life, three new studies suggest.

Researchers found that even moderate amounts of TV viewing were associated with worse performance on c...

If you're over 75, being screened for colon cancer could save your life, a new study says.

This week, the influential U.S. Preventive Services Task Force lowered the recommended age to begin colon cancer screening from 50 to 45 for people without a family history of colon cancer, but did not change its advice to halt routine screening at age 75.

After that age, the decision to be...

Just as some elderly drivers need to give up their car keys, older gun owners may eventually face "firearm retirement." And a preliminary study suggests they are open to the idea.

In focus-group interviews with older gun owners, researchers found that many had considered putting limits on their firearm access -- though they usually hadn't yet laid out plans for when and how.

It's an...

Older Americans, especially those 85 and older, are having fewer abdominal surgeries than in decades past, a new study finds.

The study examined data from 2002 to 2014, and was not able to tell the exact reasons for the trend. It might be that improvements in medical treatments and cancer screening for older adults are reducing the need for invasive surgeries, the researchers said.
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Chronic kidney disease may carry an increased risk of dementia, according to a Swedish study.

In people with chronic kidney disease, the bean-shaped organs gradually lose their ability to filter waste from the blood and eliminate fluids.

"Even a mild reduction in kidney function has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and infections, and there is growing evide...

Aging potheads are now past 50 and still puffing away, but new research shows that many don't disclose this to their doctors.

Folks who use marijuana for medical reasons are more likely to tell their doctors about it than recreational users. Still, just a fraction of medical marijuana users opened up about their use, the study found.

"Older adults may worry about how doctors would r...

The younger people are when they develop type 2 diabetes, the higher their risk of dementia later in life, a new study suggests.

Many studies have pointed to links between diabetes and higher dementia risk. Experts say it's likely because diabetes can harm the brain in a number of ways.

Now, the new findings suggest that younger people with diabetes may be at particular risk down th...

Good sleep might be the best prescription for sexual satisfaction among older women, a new study suggests.

Women who did not routinely get restful slumber were nearly twice as likely to report sexual problems, such as lack of desire or arousal, researchers found.

"Sexual dysfunction…is defined as the presence of sexual problems associated with distress, and this relationship was s...

Music hath charms to soothe you off to slumber, new research suggests.

The study found that calming tunes at bedtime seem to help older people struggling with insomnia.

"We found music therapy was effective for older adults with sleep disturbance," said study co-author Yen-Chin Chen, an associate professor of nursing at National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan.

That's ...

An implanted heart defibrillator is a life changer in more ways than one. More than one in 10 patients who receive the device also developed anxiety or depression, a new study reveals.

The findings highlight the need for regular screening of patients who receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in order to identity those who may require additional mental health support, acc...

Many women older than 70 can safely receive fewer treatments for early-stage breast cancer, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that adding lymph node removal or radiation to women's treatment did not seem to cut their risk of a breast cancer recurrence, which was low overall.

The findings, experts said, support existing recommendations to "de-escalate" those procedures for many...

Finding a new doctor can be a daunting task. For help, many older adults turn to online reviews, a new study finds.

In fact, many people rate online reviews as highly as they would a recommendation from friends and family when picking a doctor, the new research found.

"Doctors and policymakers should know that many older adults are viewing and valuing online ratings and reviews when...

Older adults in long-term care develop detectible antibodies after COVID-19 vaccination, which may mean it's safe to reopen these facilities, according to a new study.

But because it's unclear how long the antibodies last, researchers from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) say there's still a need to monitor symptoms and controls on reopening.

"COVID-19 hit long-term ca...

U.S. assisted living facilities often have activities to keep seniors socially engaged -- but a new study says they need to ensure that residents with dementia are not left out.

Researchers observed residents and staff at four assisted living communities over the course of a year.

They found that a few factors stood out as key to keeping residents with dementia socially and mentally...

As the coronavirus pandemic continues in the United States, less than half of older Americans have legally stated their wishes should they become seriously ill, a new survey finds.

People 50 and older are at increased risk for severe COVID-19, and the pandemic may be an opportunity for them to discuss health care issues with their family and document their preferences if they suffer sever...

A combination of hearing and vision loss is tied to an increased risk of mental decline and dementia, but having just one of those impairments isn't connected with a higher risk, a new South Korean study finds.

It's not clear why a diminishing of both senses, but not just one, would raise dementia risks, but the study's leader had a theory that's tied to the importance of socializing in ...

A few years ago, Dr. Joseph Shrager, a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, noticed that lung cancer diagnoses were noticeably higher at age 65 than at slightly older or younger ages.

"There was no reason rates should differ much between the ages of 63 and 65," Shrager said.

He discussed this with his colleagues, who said they were seeing so...

It was bound to happen: As the pandemic wore on, many older Americans couldn't resist the urge to bring home a furry friend.

According to a new poll from the University of Michigan, about 10% of all U.S. adults between the ages of 50 and 80 adopted a new pet between March 2020 and January 2021. That number was 16% for people aged 50 to 80 who have a child under 18 at home and 9% for those...

Among older Americans, deaths from falls are up sharply, dovetailing with a surge in use of medications that increase the risk of falling, researchers say.

Two decades ago, about 57% of U.S. seniors took medications that increased their risk of falls. By 2017, that number had risen to 94%, and deaths caused by falls had more than doubled, a new study found.

The medications are meant...

Nearly one-third of seniors who take thyroid hormone also take drugs known to interfere with tests of thyroid function, a new study finds.

It's common for older adults to take a thyroid hormone (levothyroxine) to treat low levels of natural thyroid hormone. But tests used to determine the dose and effectiveness of treatment can be affected by other medications, including prednisone, predn...

Serious vision problems among older Americans have declined sharply, and the improvement has been greatest among women, folks over 85 and seniors who are Black or Hispanic, a nationwide study shows.

"The implications of a reduction in vision impairment are significant," said study first author ZhiDi Deng, a pharmacy student at the University of Toronto in Canada. "Vision problems are a ma...

About 7 out of 10 Alzheimer's patients wound up free of the brain plaques that are a hallmark of the disease after treatment with a potentially breakthrough experimental drug, clinical trial results show.

The drug, donanemab, also significantly slowed the patients' brain decline, according to findings published March 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Donanemab diss...

The trauma and loss of stroke can often leave survivors with long-term depression, and women appear to be at special risk, new research shows.

"We did not expect that the cumulative risk of depression would remain so persistently elevated," said study author Dr. Laura Stein, an assistant professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, in New York City.

She said ...

Older Americans are far more willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine than they were last fall, a new survey shows.

The survey was conducted in late January. It found that 71% of adults aged 50 to 80 said they're ready to get vaccinated when a dose is available to them, or that they'd already been vaccinated.

That's a significant increase from 58% last October found by the National Poll on...

Many older adults with dementia are prescribed dangerous combinations of drugs that raise their risk of overdose, falls and further mental deterioration, a new study finds.

About 1 in 7 people with dementia living outside of nursing homes are taking three or more drugs that act on their brain and nervous system, researchers reported.

The most troubling combinations involved opi...

Just one dose of the Pfizer or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines significantly reduces the risk of hospitalization for COVID patients in their 80s with preexisting health conditions, a preliminary study shows.

The findings are from AvonCAP, an ongoing surveillance project funded by Pfizer Inc. It gathers detailed information from two National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in Bristol, U.K., on ...

Even though research has shown that at least 50% of older adults suffer some degree of hearing loss, a new study finds that most aren't getting their hearing checked.

A national survey of more than 2,000 adults, aged 50 to 80, found that 80% said their primary care doctor hadn't asked about their hearing in the past two years. Nearly as many said they haven't had their hearing checked by ...

Wider use of prescription generic drugs could save Medicare nearly $2 billion a year, researchers say.

The new analysis of Medicare Part D prescription drug claims for 2017 used a random 20% of beneficiaries, 224 drugs with one or more generic substitutes and at least 1,000 claims.

Medicare Part D accounts for roughly one-third of all prescription drug spending in the United States....

Older Americans on a Medicare Advantage plan could face hospital bills of $1,000 or more if private insurers start charging out-of-pocket costs for lifesaving COVID-19 care, a new study warns.

Cost data show that Medicare Advantage patients pay an average $987 out-of-pocket when they are hospitalized with the seasonal flu, and about 3% pay more than $2,500, according to the report.

...

Putting the oldest people near the front of the line for COVID-19 shots will save more lives and may extend their lifespan, too, researchers say.

The new study findings challenge the view that older people should be lower on the list for shots because they have a shorter life expectancy, according to the team from the University of California, Berkeley.

"Since older age is accompani...

While many Americans await their turn for the COVID vaccine, a potentially record-setting number have already had their flu shot.

That's the key finding in a nationwide poll of more conducted in December by the University of Georgia, involving more than 1,000 adults . In all, 43.5% of respondents said they had already had a flu shot, 13.5% said they would "definitely" get one; and 9.3% s...

Helping your brain stay sharp with age may be as simple as changing up the food on your plate at dinnertime, a new study suggests.

The study focused on the healthy "Mediterranean" diet, a regimen reliant on olive oil, beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, with chicken and fish largely replacing red meat. Dairy products and eggs are only used in "low to moderate amounts," accor...

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 decades younger.

Compared with older people who had average b...

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...

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 next five years.

Their risks were double that of older people...

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 to those with mostly white residents.

The study, of more...

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...

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