Healthy Aging Archive

Articles

Vitamin D deficiency linked to loss of muscle strength

A 2022 study found that vitamin D deficiency significantly increases the likelihood of age-related loss of muscle strength, known as dynapenia, a major risk factor for falls.

National task force updates recommendations on hormone therapy after menopause

Updated national guidelines on hormone therapy after menopause recommend that women use it only for relief of menopause-related symptoms, not to prevent chronic conditions that become likelier with age.

Hearing aids: Can they help thinking skills, too?

A 2022 review of dozens of randomized controlled trials and observational studies found that people who used hearing aids or cochlear implants had a 19% lower risk of cognitive decline, compared with people who didn't use the devices.

Strength training might lengthen life

A 2022 study tracking 115,000 people 65 and older found that adding strength training to aerobic exercise lowered the risk of dying, regardless of cause, over nearly eight years of follow-up.

Managing the unthinkable

One in 10 Americans ages 65 and older has dementia. The condition is likely to progress slowly, offering couples the opportunity to adopt coping strategies that can smooth their path. Early on, you can consider treatment that may temporarily improve memory and thinking problems. People whose partners have been diagnosed should get informed about dementia, attend doctor's visits, take over certain tasks, keep routines, update legal documents, and join a support group.

It may not be too late to protect against dementia

Older adults can still lower their risk for dementia by taking medication to decrease their high blood pressure, according to a recent study.

Do you pass the hearing test?

Approximately one in three people ages 65 to 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. Getting a hearing test is recommended to identify any hearing loss before it worsens and prescribe a hearing aid if needed. While hearing aids are traditionally expensive, new over-the-counter devices can make them more affordable for people with mild or moderate hearing loss.

Do I still need a colonoscopy?

A 2022 study led to questions regarding whether colonoscopy is the best strategy to reduce the risk of death from colon cancer. But overwhelming evidence supports the procedure for lowering the risk of colon cancer and related death, and experts continue to recommend people at average risk get at least one colonoscopy beginning at age 45.

Bring a fuzzy memory back into focus

Keeping the brain as healthy as possible might help slow the fuzzy thinking that develops with age-related brain changes. The best way to stay sharp is by living a healthy lifestyle: exercising regularly (at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking), sleeping for seven to nine hours per night, eating a Mediterranean-style diet, managing stress, socializing, and learning new things. Doing crossword puzzles may also help sharpen cognition. So might treatment for underlying health conditions, such as depression or thyroid disease.

Surprising foods that boost bone health

Prunes boost not only digestion but bone health as well, according to a 2022 study. Most foods touted for bone health are high in calcium. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Other surprising foods that either build bone or hinder bone loss include dried figs, canned salmon, plant milks, tofu, almonds and almond butter, and white beans. People can tally their average daily calcium consumption by reading food and drink labels. Supplements can help make up any shortfall.

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