Healthy Aging Archive


Why life expectancy in the US is falling

Life expectancy is one measure of the general health of a population. In the US, life expectancy had been climbing for more than a century — until the pandemic. After dropping in 2020, it dropped again in 2021, and some population groups fared worse than others.

What's the relationship between memory loss and driving?

Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia affect all the regions of the brain involved in driving, but whether or not a person should give up driving depends on the severity of the disease and the specific cognitive abilities that are impaired.

Women's heart attacks more strongly connected to different risk factors than men's

A 2022 study found that women under 55 experiencing heart attacks have different leading risk factors than men in this age group. For women, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, and low household income are strong risk factors for heart attack.

Low vitamin D levels may increase odds of dementia

A 2022 study found that low blood levels of vitamin D (under 25 nanomoles per liter) were linked with higher risks of dementia. People can boost vitamin D levels from diet, supplements, or sun exposure.

You don't say? Is there anything right about being left-handed?

Left-handers make up only 10% of the population. Despite some common beliefs, science has yet to show that left-handers have any specific advantages or disadvantages over right-handed people in terms of physical abilities, cognitive health, or longevity.

Enhanced flu vaccine suggested for older adults

Influenza vaccines that contain higher doses and extra ingredients (adjuvants) to boost their effectiveness can provide better protection than the standard flu vaccine for adults ages 65 and older, according to the CDC, and are recommended for the upcoming flu season.

Certain medications are better than others for managing spine pain

Certain medications are safer and more effective than others for treating spine pain in older adults, according to a recent study. Among these are the over-the-counter drugs acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) and some nerve pain drugs, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants.

Screening for cognitive dysfunction

Occasional forgetfulness and memory lapses are often dismissed as a sign of normal aging. But if these episodes become more frequent or problematic, or if they affect daily life, older adults should consult their primary care physician, A doctor can offer an evaluation for mild cognitive impairment. This includes a brief in-office screening test of thinking skills like short-term recall, concentration, attention, ability to juggle multiple tasks, and orientation to time and place.

Research upholds use of supplements to slow macular degeneration

Ten years of data suggest that AREDS2 supplements are associated with a reduced risk of macular degeneration progression without any increase in lung cancer risk, according to a follow-up study published online June 2, 2022, by JAMA Ophthalmology.

Light during sleep linked to conditions that harm the heart

Older adults exposed to light while sleeping at night may be more likely to have obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes compared with adults who sleep in darkness.

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