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Healthy Aging Archive


Warning: Older age makes you vulnerable to the summer heat

The ability to function relies on maintaining a core body temperature. In a hot environment, body temperature starts to rise and the body releases heat by sweating or by carrying blood away from the body's core to the skin surface, where heat leaves the body. But those functions wane in older age. As a result, heat can build up, putting organs at risk for severe damage. To avoid such problems, it helps to stay hydrated; avoid going outside during the peak temperatures of the day; stay inside in an air-conditioned environment; and wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in warm weather.

Menopause and brain fog: What's the link?

Brain fog is tied to the severity of certain menopause symptoms, especially depression and sexual problems. Estrogen loss may be a factor, but cognitive issues aren't expected to linger. Women in menopause may worry dementia is the culprit, but Alzheimer's is rare at midlife. Strategies for coping with brain fog include staying calm, challenging the brain by changing routines, writing reminders, exercising, getting sufficient sleep, and avoiding multitasking.

How much exercise does it take to avoid heart problems in your 70s?

In a study published online Feb. 14, 2022, by the journal Heart, people ages 65 or older who exercised at least 20 minutes per day—especially men ages 70 to 75—had fewer heart attacks and a lower risk of premature death, compared with people who didn’t exercise.

Social isolation and loneliness add up to higher heart risks

Social isolation and loneliness are other significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease in older women.

Mammograms may help reveal cardiovascular risk

Postmenopausal women whose screening mammograms show signs of calcification in their breast arteries may have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

New details about loneliness and dementia risk

A 2020 study found that people defined as lonely had a higher risk of dementia than those who were not considered lonely. Loneliness also was associated with smaller brain sizes and poorer executive function (the ability to plan, focus attention, and remember instructions).

Reduce your fear of falling

The fear of falling can lead to a heightened sense of caution and less physical activity—which can actually increase the risk of falling. To reduce the fear of falling, a person must address underlying conditions, such as poor eyesight or joint problems. It also helps to work with a physical therapist to improve balance, gait (walking pattern), muscle strength, flexibility, and range of motion. When physical therapy ends, one must continue doing strength, stretching, and balance exercises at home in order to keep fear at bay and reduce fall risk.

Worry and anxiety linked to higher heart risk in men

Middle-aged men who often feel worried or anxious may be more prone to problems that raise heart disease risk as they age compared with their less-worried peers.

Repeating the story: What to expect in the emergency department

If you wind up in an emergency department due to an illness or accident what should you know and what can you expect? It's frustrating to have to wait for care, and also frustrating to have to explain your situation multiple times to different people, but there are reasons why it all happens.

Primary progressive aphasia involves many losses: Here's what you need to know

When thinking about progressive brain disorders that cause dementia, you'd probably think of memory problems. But sometimes language problems, also known as aphasia, are the first symptom. There are different variants of aphasia depending on what aspect of language is disrupted, and they are caused by different diseases.

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