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Health News Results - 311

MONDAY, Sept. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Help in retaining mental function when you age could be only a few keystrokes away.

While crosswords and exercise are often touted as ways to retain thinking skills, U.K. investigators found that the internet may also help seniors stay sharp in retirement.

Those who used the internet more after their careers ended had su...

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended booster shots of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine for millions of older and high-risk Americans, kicking off a new chapter in the national effort to protect the vulnerable from severe disease.

First, an expert CDC advisory panel called for COVID-19 booster shots for those over 65, nursing home residents and other Amer...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Pfizer booster shots for people over 65 and for those at high risk of severe COVID-19.

Under the emergency use authorization, the booster shots should be given at least six months after a person is fully vaccinated.

Wednesday's move is likely the beginning of a staggered campaign to deliver booster shots to all Americans, s...

An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday recommended a third Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine booster shot for all Americans aged 65 or older, as well as for those deemed to be at high risk for severe illness.

According to The New York Times, that vote came after a near unanimous decision (16 to 2) by the same independent panel of experts that sa...

Older adults who are socially isolated are more likely to experience serious disability or die after a stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), new research reveals.

"This important research finding sheds light on a crucial health care issue that has become more dire during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. E. Albert Reece, dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in Baltimore....

When Americans are eligible for Medicare at age 65, they see a significant drop in their out-of-pocket medical costs.

Lowering the eligibility age would save even more, especially for people with the highest out-of-pocket costs, according to a new study.

"Me...

Eight in 10 older Americans think health care workers should be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a new poll.

Among 50- to 80-year-olds, 61% of respondents said the vaccine should be required for all health care workers. Another 19% said vaccination should probably be required. The remaining 20% oppose mandatory vaccination, the findings showed.

The results are from a nation...

The number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 in U.S. nursing homes appears to have been grossly underestimated.

According to a new study, that's because U.S. federal guidelines did not require nursing homes to report cases and deaths until May 24, 2020, months after the pandemic began.

"Because of the delay in the federal reporting system for cases and deaths in nursing homes, ...

Early retirement may sound appealing, but a recent study hints that putting it off a few years might help older adults retain more of their mental sharpness.

Using data on more than 20,000 older Americans, researchers estimated that if all of those people waited until age 67 to retire, their collective cognitive health would benefit.

"Cognition" refers to a person's ability to think...

The ability of COVID-19 vaccines to protect adults older than 75 against hospitalization appears to wane over time, but still remained 80% effective as of the end of July, new federal data shows.

The same data indicates that vaccines continued to offer the same or nearly the same level of protection against hospitalization for people up to the age of 75, and the shots remained 94% effecti...

If you're a 60-something with heart disease, it's not too late to give your ticker the benefits of a regular workout.

Swiss researchers found that survival rates among heart patients who became active later in life were nearly the same as those who'd been exercising for years.

"Continuing an active lifestyle over the years is associated with the greatest longevity," said study autho...

While every worker would prefer a fun, mentally stimulating job, new research reveals an added bonus: Such work could help prevent dementia in old age.

On-the-job intellectual stimulation appears to lower levels of certain proteins that block brain cells from forming new connections -- and doing so could help prevent or postpone dementia, the study's authors said.

"This is an import...

There's an old saying, "Age and guile beat youth and exuberance," and new research suggests there might be something to that.

Some key brain functions can improve in people as they age, researchers report, challenging the notion that our mental abilities decline across the board as we grow old.

With increasing age, many people appear to get better at focusing on important matters an...

Everyone knows that your metabolism peaks in your teenage years, when you're fit and active and feeling your oats.

And everyone knows that a person's metabolism slows down in middle age, as bodies start to expand and sag, and become less energetic.

But that's all wrong, it now appears -- fake news about how humans age that's gained the currency of truth over the years.

Your me...

Older Americans already face a higher risk of falls, but the decline in physical activity during the pandemic may have made matters worse, a new survey suggests.

More than a third of the 2,074 U.S. adults aged 50 to 80 who took part in the online survey in January reported a decline in physical activity in the first 10 months of the pandemic, and 27% said their physical conditioning -- fl...

Seniors, it may be easier than you think to undo the damage of decades of bad eating and precious little exercise.

New research shows that cutting just 250 calories a day and exercising moderately could lead to not only weight loss but improved vascular health in older obese adults.

These lifestyle changes may help offset age-related increases in aortic stiffness, which is a measure...

Death rates from Alzheimer's disease are particularly high in the rural United States, a preliminary study finds, highlighting a need for health care resources in traditionally under-served areas.

Researchers discovered that over the past two decades, rural areas in the Southeast have seen the highest death rates from Alzheimer's, at 274 per 100,000 people. That's about twice the rate as ...

Plenty of seniors may struggle with problem drinking, but a new study shows that less than half of them discuss their alcohol use with their health care providers.

"Older adults are at high risk for the harms of alcohol use, especially for those with existing chronic disease and who take prescribed medications," said lead study author Pia Mauro. That makes "discussions about alcohol with ...

Illustrating a heartbreaking cycle, new research finds that lonely seniors are much more likely to take opioid painkillers, sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs and other medications.

This puts them at increased risk for drug dependency, attention problems, falls, accidents and mental decline, the University of California, San Francisco researchers warned.

"There's a misconception that as ...

Could reducing racial disparities in health care be as simple as lowering the age at which Americans qualify for Medicare?

Yes, claims a new study that suggests lowering eligibility from age 65 to age 60 could go a long way toward addressing inequities in health insurance, access to care and self-reported health decline.

Racial and ethnic disparities in insurance coverage fall by mo...

Midsummer heat and high humidity aren't just uncomfortable -- they're a combo that can cause serious illness and even death.

"Whenever you walk or do outdoor activity, take a friend with you who can help you if you run into trouble," Dr. Eleanor Dunham advised. She's an emergency medicine doctor at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa.

Babies and seniors...

What's better -- a long life or quality of life?

New research suggests that people balance both when thinking about their desired life span, and fears of suffering dementia or chronic pain in old age tend to limit how long they want to live.

"Dementia tops the list of conditions where people would prefer to live shorter lives -- which is a particular challenge given the rapid incr...

An active mind in old age may delay Alzheimer's disease by up to five years, a new study suggests.

Activities like reading, writing letters, playing cards or doing puzzles may prolong brain health even for those in their 80s, researchers say.

"The key element is that you're processing information," said lead researcher Robert Wilson, a professor in the neurological sciences departme...

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Sandra Banner was an active octogenarian. She enjoyed going to movies, traveling from her Palm Desert, Calif., home to Los Angeles for Dodgers baseball games and having friends over for happy hours.

Early on, she avoided isolation by teaching outdoor tai chi classes and staying engaged online, but once she was fully vaccinated, Banner, 85, was ready to get ba...

Brushing and flossing is good not only for your teeth: It might also benefit your brain, a new study suggests.

The findings showed that tooth loss is tied to an increased risk of dementia, though getting dentures may help reduce that risk.

For the study, New York University researchers analyzed 14 studies that included more than 34,000 older adults and nearly 4,700 with diminished t...

Can Costco beat Medicare Part D when it comes to prescription drug prices?

Apparently so, claims a new study that found that roughly half of generic medications were cheaper when purchased from the discount retailer than from the government program.

The researchers compared the prices paid by Medicare Part D plans (including patient out-of-pocket payments) for 184 generic prescripti...

Dementia patients who have the same nurse for all of their home health care visits are a third less likely to be readmitted to the hospital, a new study finds.

"While continuity of nursing care may benefit every home health care patient, it may be particularly critical for people with dementia," said study co-author Chenjuan Ma. "Having the same person delivering care can increase familia...

Most Americans with dementia are undiagnosed, which shows how important it is to screen and assess seniors for the disease, researchers say.

Their new analysis of data from a nationwide survey of about 6 million Americans aged 65 and older revealed that 91% of people with cognitive impairment consistent with dementia did not have a formal medical diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's disea...

A new report raises questions about the training and qualifications of many caregivers for the elderly across the United States.

The study by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, found that nearly a third of Americans who arranged for paid care of a frail elderly adult or person with dementia hired someone from outside of a regulated agency.

Known as "gray market...

Surgery for the most common type of benign brain tumor should be considered for patients 80 and older, Finnish researchers say.

Meningiomas originate in the meninges surrounding the brain, and the primary treatment is surgery. But the risks of operating increase with age, so surgery for meningioma patients who are 80 and older is rare in most countries, according to University of Helsinki...

Many older adults are still taking a daily baby aspirin to ward off first-time heart problems -- despite guidelines that now discourage it, a new study finds.

Researchers found that one-half to 62% of U.S. adults aged 70 and up were using low-dose aspirin to cut their risk of heart disease or stroke. And aspirin use was common even among those with no history of cardiovascular disease -- ...

U.S. health experts warn there is a ticking time bomb in 11 states where 20 percent or more of seniors still haven't gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.

Top priority for vaccinations was given to Americans aged 65 and older because they are far more vulnerable to serious illness and death from the virus than younger people are. Accordingly, this age group does have the highest rate of vaccina...

Just a fraction of older Americans with arthritic knees try physical therapy, pain-relieving injections or other more conservative measures before undergoing knee replacement surgery, new research shows.

And this may be driven by what type of doctor they see to treat their achy knees, as well as where they live, the study findings suggest.

Knee osteoarthritis occurs when the cartila...

Living longer often means living with multiple health problems and numerous medications to manage them. Understandably, many doctors and their patients wonder if any of these drugs can be discontinued safely.

A new study from Italy suggests statins should not be culled from the list.

Among more than 29,000 adults 65 and older, those who stopped taking these cholesterol-lowering drug...

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...

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 who aren't obese, researchers reported.

"About 40% of C...

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...

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 aged 65 and up.

On average, the investigators found, the prog...

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...

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 aerobics and strength training).

Though tai chi is consi...

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 - a lifestyle devoid of processed food, couch time and stre...

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 s...

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...