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Health News Results - 180

Grandparents can be a bad influence on kids' weight, researchers say.

That's the upshot of an analysis of 23 studies conducted in the United States and eight other countries by a team from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

The study found that kids who were cared for by grandparents had nearly 30% higher odds for being overweight or obese.

Grab your golf clubs. Spending a day on the green at least once a month may lower the risk of early death among older adults, a new study finds.

About 25 million Americans play golf, which is a sport that can reduce stress and yield exercise benefits. Social in nature and played at a controlled pace, people often continue enjoying the sport into old age.

"Our study is perha...

Seniors who get the shingles vaccine may gain stroke protection as well, a new study suggests.

Shingles is a viral infection tied to heightened risk of stroke. But overall stroke risk dropped 20% among patients under age 80 who got the shingles vaccine. In patients 80 and older, risk was cut by about 10%, said researchers led by Quanhe Yang, a senior scientist at the U.S. Cent...

A large fraction of Americans nearing retirement age are worried they can't afford health insurance now, much less when they quit working to enjoy the good life, a new survey shows.

One in every four people between 50 and 64 are not confident they'll be able to afford health insurance during the next year, and nearly half worry they won't be able to afford coverage once they retire, r...

Missing just one eye doctor appointment can result in vision loss in older adults with macular degeneration, a new study warns.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in the elderly, and these findings show the need for patients to keep all scheduled appointments with an ophthalmologist, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers sa...

Many older people could improve their vision by getting glasses or a new prescription, a new study suggests.

Swedish researchers assessed 1,200 70-year-olds and found that most were content with their eyesight, but many overestimated how well they actually see.

The study found that 61.5% could significantly improve their vision by getting glasses or changing the power of...

Discrimination based on age -- ageism -- is widespread throughout the world, and it takes a toll, new research reveals.

The study of more than 7 million people aged 50 and older in 45 countries found that age affected whether or not they got medical treatment and, whether the treatment, its length and frequency were appropriate.

The investigators reviewed 422 published st...

When it comes to parts of your brain, bigger isn't necessarily better.

Experts long believed that a bigger hippocampus meant better memory. But new research finds that the size of this seahorse-shaped structure deep in the brain doesn't always predict learning and memory abilities.

Researchers looked at more than 330 older adults in Germany and found that a larger hippocampu...

Cardiac rehabilitation is known to help people recover after a heart attack or heart surgery, but a new study shows only one-quarter of eligible Medicare patients actually use it.

Which patients are most likely to pass on rehab? Women, those aged 85 and older, blacks, Hispanics and those who live in the Southeast and Appalachia, researchers found.

It gets worse: Of those who...

Dementia patients may develop distinct speech and reading problems depending on their native language, a new study finds.

The study included 20 English-speaking and 18 Italian-speaking patients with primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a neurodegenerative disorder that affects language areas in the brain. It is often associated with dementia.

The patients had a type of PPA cha...

Most older Americans don't fully rely on or trust online ratings of doctors, a new study finds.

Among men and women between the ages of 50 and 80, only 43% have looked online to see how patients rated a doctor, researchers report.

Of these, two-thirds chose a doctor because of good online ratings and reviews, according to the National Poll on Healthy Aging, conducted b...

Taking calcium and vitamin D might help older adults curb the risk of a bone fracture, but vitamin D alone does not do the job, a new research review concludes.

The analysis of 28 past studies found that older adults with higher blood levels of vitamin D were less likely to suffer a broken hip or other fracture over five to 15 years.

But the picture was different in studies ...

If you're a senior who loves to take in the latest art exhibit or check out a new musical, it might do more than stimulate your senses: New research suggests it could lengthen your life.

Scientists found that among over 6,700 older adults they tracked, patrons of the arts had a markedly better survival rate over the next 14 years.

People who, at the outset, devoted time to c...

Caring for a grandchild might be the best way to fight the isolation of old age, new research suggests.

This conclusion is based on 2014 data collected as part of an ongoing German survey of older adults.

Among the nearly 3,900 grandparents in the survey, more than 1,100 said they cared for a grandchild. Those who had grandchildren to care for had lower scores on loneliness...

Seniors on Medicare are going to take a hit to the pocketbook in 2020, with premiums and deductibles set to increase on coverage for medical services and prescription drugs.

The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B will rise $9.10, to $144 a month, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced.

The annual deductible for Part B also will increase...

"Training" for surgery can improve seniors' outcomes and reduce insurance costs, a new study says.

It included 523 Medicare patients in Michigan, average age 70, who exercised, ate a healthy diet and practiced stress reduction techniques for at least one week before a major operation. It's a process the researchers called prehabilitation, or prehab for short.

These patients...

Seniors in cardiac intensive care units may suffer delirium and other problems if doctors only focus on their heart, a new American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement says.

Older adults in the cardiac ICU require different care from younger patients, according to the statement. They're likely to be frail, have other medical conditions and use multiple medications.

Despite media stories about a "loneliness epidemic" plaguing the elderly, two new studies find that they feel no more lonely than their peers from past generations.

The studies -- one in the United States, one in the Netherlands -- reached the same basic conclusion: Yes, people tend to feel more lonely after age 75 or so. But today's older adults are no more likely to feel isolated or...

Romance was absolutely the last thing Gloria Duncan and Al Cappiello had on their minds when they became nursing home residents.

"When I got here, I felt almost like my life was over. I was a very active, social person. I was almost devastated," Gloria said.

But then she met Al, who asked Gloria to be his date at the "Seniors' Senior Prom."

Al said he had notice...

Playing cards and board games like chess, bingo and Scrabble might be the mental workout you need to keep your wits as you age, Scottish researchers suggest.

People in their 70s who regularly play board games score higher on tests of memory and thinking skills than those who don't. And 70-somethings who step up their game-playing are more likely to maintai...

Even a little exposure to the fine particles of air pollution can translate into higher hospitalization rates for a number of common conditions among older Americans, a new study suggests.

"The study shows that the health dangers and economic impacts of air pollution are significantly larger than previously understood," said study author Yaguang Wei, a doctoral candidate at the Harva...

Many Americans believe they are likely to develop dementia -- and they often turn to unproven ways to try to better their odds, a new study suggests.

In a survey, researchers found that almost half of Americans in their 50s and 60s believed they were at least "somewhat likely" to develop dementia. Yet few -- 5% -- said they had talked to their doctor about ways to lower their risk...

Regular exercise lowers older adults' risk of heart disease and stroke, even if they have health problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes, researchers say.

For the new study, researchers analyzed data from more than 1 million people aged 60 and older in South Korea. The study participants' health was checked in 2009 to 2010, again in 2011 to 2012, and they were followed until ...

A commonly prescribed muscle relaxant known as baclofen can leave older kidney patients so disoriented that they land in the hospital, a new study warns.

"It can present with acute stroke-like symptoms, even though it's not a stroke," said senior researcher Dr. Amit Garg, a professor of nephrology at Western University in Ontario, Canada. "It can present wi...

Vitamin D deficiency is linked with poor muscle health in older adults, a new study finds.

Maintaining muscle health helps seniors maintain their independence, mobility and quality of life. It also lowers their risk of falls and frailty.

Researchers looked at more than 4,100 people, aged 60 and older, in England. About 4 in 10 with vitamin D deficiency had muscle weakness --...

A new poll delivers good and bad news: Half of American seniors report taking antibiotics in the last two years, but many also say they have misused them.

As many as 1 in 5 say they take leftover antibiotics without checking with their doctor, and 2 in 5 expect doctors to prescribe them for viral conditions, which don't respond to antibiotics.

Even though 89% of older...

Even with Medicare coverage, older Americans with serious health conditions are often burdened by medical bills, a new study finds.

In a survey, researchers found that more than half of seriously ill Medicare beneficiaries said they'd had major trouble paying medical bills. Prescription drugs were the biggest hardship, followed by hospital and ambulance bills.

For some, medi...

If you were good with words and puzzles at age 8, you're likely to fare well on tests of mental acuity at age 70, too.

That's among the findings of a new study that followed the thinking abilities of a group of Britons born in the 1940s. Researchers found that their performance on standard cognitive tests at age 8 predicted their performance around age 70. People who scored in the top...

Heart failure deaths are reaching epidemic proportions among America's seniors, a new study finds.

About one in eight deaths from heart disease are from heart failure, and nine out of 10 are among those over 65 years of age, researchers report.

"We are now in the midst of a 'silver tsunami' of heart disease and heart failure," said senior study author Dr. Jamal Rana, chief o...

Nearly 13 million Americans will have dementia by 2040 -- nearly twice as many as today, a new report says.

The number of women with dementia is expected to rise from 4.7 million next year to 8.5 million in 2040. The number of men with dementia is projected to increase from 2.6 million to 4.5 million.

Over the next 20 years, the economic impact of Alzheimer's disease and oth...

Patients aged 85 and older who have colon cancer surgery have high survival rates, a new study finds.

People are living longer, so more seniors are being diagnosed with colon cancer, according to the authors of a study presented Tuesday at a meeting of the American College of Surgeons, in San Francisco.

"Given the burden of colon cancer in this [age group], we were hoping to...

The rate of hospital readmissions for seniors with infections that were first treated during their initial hospital stay is too high, researchers report.

"We found that as many as 5% of patients leaving the hospital with an infection have a readmission for that pre-existing infection -- that's bad," said Geoffrey Hoffman, an assistant professor in the University of Michigan's Scho...

Unpaid bills, overdrawn accounts, dwindling investments: When seniors begin experiencing fiscal troubles, early dementia or Alzheimer's disease could be an underlying cause, researchers say.

In the early stages of the disease, people with undiagnosed Alzheimer's are at high risk of making foolish and dangerous decisions about their finances, mostly because families may not know they ...

A diet high in trans fats could put you at increased risk for dementia, a new study suggests.

Most trans fats were banned in the United States last year. But foods with less than a half-gram of trans fats can be labeled as containing zero, so some foods still contain them.

The new study included over 1,600 people in Japan without dementia. Their average age was 70, and they ...

Many older hospital patients suffer delirium after surgery, but a new program that involves the patient's family in recovery may help, a new study suggests.

Called the Tailored, Family-Involved Hospital Elder Life Program (t-HELP), it appears to help lessen the burden of postoperative delirium while maintaining or improving physical and thinking functions, and shortening the time pat...

Could your personality as a teen forecast your risk for dementia a half-century later?

Very possibly, say researchers, who found that dementia risk is lower among seniors who were calm, mature and energetic high schoolers.

"Being calm and mature as teen were each associated with roughly a 10% reduction in adult dementia risk," said study co-author Kelly Peters, principal...

Many people know treating high blood pressure reduces the odds of a heart attack, stroke or heart failure. Now, a new study suggests another added benefit: a lower risk of lesions in the brain that increase the chances of dementia, stroke and falls in older adults.

The study, published this week in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, included 199 women and men ...

Dealing with the agitation, anxiety and aggression that often come with dementia is one of the most challenging aspects of caring for someone with this brain disorder. But new research suggests that massage and other non-drug treatments may be more effective than medications.

Even just taking people with dementia outdoors can help, said study author Dr. Jennifer Watt, a geriatrician ...

Hurricanes can harm anyone in their path, but new research suggests that seniors with diabetes face a 40% increased risk of dying within the first month after a storm hits.

It's not just the first month they have to worry about: The study also found seniors with diabetes still had a 6% higher risk of dying even up to 10 years later.

"We compared seniors with diabete...

Starting in the late 1980s, stroke rates among older Americans began to fall -- and the decline shows no signs of stopping, a new study finds.

The researchers found that between 1987 and 2017, the rate of stroke incidence among Americans aged 65 and older dropped by one-third per decade. The pattern has been steady, with no leveling off in recent years.

It's not completely c...

Almost 1 in 10 U.S. seniors doesn't have enough food to eat, a new study shows.

And for those under 65 who qualify for Medicare because they're disabled, 4 of 10 may be going hungry, the researchers added.

"People are always talking about Medicare and how to tweak it and improve access to care, but these kinds of social problems [hunger] can be just as much of an issue," sa...

Are elderly people with diabetes being overtreated?

A new study suggests that's so: Older, sicker patients tend to be the ones most likely to still be using insulin to manage their blood sugar, despite guidelines that suggest it's often safer to lower diabetes treatment intensity with age.

The study found that nearly 20% of people with type 2 diabetes older than 75 were...

Many older people show evidence of mental decline, called mild cognitive impairment, but doctors often miss this sometimes early sign of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

To help doctors get a better handle on their patients' mental state, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is urging physicians to assess patients aged 65 and older at least once a year.

The academy reco...

The loss of a loved one is one of life's most stressful events. But new research suggests that having a furry loved one still at home may help ease the pain.

Investigators looked at 437 older adults, some of whom lost a spouse, either through divorce or death. They found that having a cat or dog at home was linked to an easing of loneliness and depression.

Study leader Daw...

While you can take Social Security benefits at age 62 and get 75% of your maximum, waiting until you reach full retirement age (between age 66 and 67 depending on the year you were born) gets you much closer to the full amount. But the age at which Americans can collect the most dollars has inched up to 70.

The problem is that, in general, people today aren't as healthy during th...

Intensive treatment to lower high blood pressure can decrease older adults' risk of sharp blood pressure drops that can cause dizziness and increase the likelihood of falling, a new study says.

It included more than 2,800 patients, average age 63, who had recently suffered a stroke.

Half received more aggressive treatment to lower their blood pres...

Although regular screening mammograms can catch breast cancer early, new research suggests women over 75 who have chronic illnesses can probably skip this test.

The study findings indicate that women with chronic conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, would likely die from those conditions before developing breast cancer.

"For those 75 and over with chronic illness...

As Hurricane Dorian continues to churn up the east coast of Florida, a new poll shows that many older Americans aren't fully prepared to cope with natural disasters or severe storms.

The poll of more than 2,200 adults, ages 50 to 80, found that less than one-third have an emergency kit with essential supplies and medicines that can sustain them at home or that they can take with them ...

There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to an expert.

"People think Alzheimer's is an entirely genetic disorder, but most often, it's not," said Dr. Charles Duffy, a neurologist at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa. "The two biggest risk factors for developing Alzheimer's are a person's age and prior...

Even seniors who never exercised regularly can benefit from a workout program, researchers say.

A new study found that men in their 70s and 80s who had never followed an exercise regimen could build muscle mass as well as "master athletes" -- those of the same age who had worked out throughout their lives and still competed at the top levels of their sports.

The U.K. researc...

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