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Surgeons can now perform laparoscopic procedures with the
assistance of remotely controlled instruments attached to a
robot’s arms. Although robot-assisted surgery can provide greater
magnification and improved dexterity for the surgeon, outcomes
may not be better than with traditional laparoscopic procedures,
and costs for robotic surgery can be higher.
Dry eye becomes more common with age, and it can cause corneal
irritation or inflammation, which may even lead to vision
changes. Eye drops can keep eyes moist, while avoiding irritants
in the air can reduce the dry feeling. In some cases, surgery is
needed to block the tear ducts.
Lichen sclerosus (LS) is a skin condition that can affect the
skin around the vulva and anus, causing it to become thin,
whitened, and sometimes wrinkled. Untreated, LS may lead to
scarring, cracking, and fissures in the tissue. Although there is
no cure for LS, it can be controlled with medication.
Body fat is dangerous to the heart, in part because it increases
the risk for conditions that contribute to heart disease, such as
high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. The fat
located in the abdomen—called visceral fat—is particularly bad
for the heart. Measuring waist circumference can help determine
whether a woman has metabolic syndrome—a cluster of factors that
can increase heart risks. Cutting portion sizes, eating less
sugar and fat, and exercising are effective ways to help banish
Nearly 40% of older women (8.1 million) live alone. Living alone can foster a sense of independence, but it can also raise health and safety risks. It’s important for women who do live alone to stay socially active by keeping in touch with friends and family in person and online. Making home modifications can also help improve safety for women who live alone. Women should consider moving into a group living situation if they are less able to care for themselves or they’re not in good health.
Considering that about five times as many women will die from
heart attacks than from breast cancer, cardiac screening should
feature prominently on our list of health concerns. Screening
EKGs or other routine imaging tests are not recommended for women
who do not have heart disease risk factors, such as diabetes,
high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, or smoking. Women
who are at a higher risk for heart disease should visit a doctor
to determine whether they need further testing.
Incorporating balance and strength activities into daily routines-such as by standing on one leg while cooking dinner-may reduce the risk of falling.
Postmenopausal women who eat fewer desserts and fried foods, drink fewer sugary beverages, eat more fish, and eat at restaurants less often are better able to lose weight and keep it off. Over the long term, eating more fruits and vegetables and less meats and cheeses is also important for weight loss.
Blood pressure medicines can reduce heart attacks, strokes, and deaths in people with moderate to severe high blood pressure, but according to one study, they may not significantly reduce heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or deaths in those with milder elevations in blood pressure. Women with mildly elevated blood pressure may want to try nondrug interventions for lowering blood pressure—such as diet, exercise, and stress management—before turning to medications.
A study published online in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity finds that meditation could be an effective method for combating loneliness. A meditation program can significantly decrease loneliness and reduce markers of inflammation, which might benefit the immune system.