Senior Journal Health & Medicine

Health News Archives for 2011

Health News and Information for Senior Citizens & Baby Boomers

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Medicare News

Hospitals Look to Post-Discharge Clinics to Help Hold Down Readmissions

Medicare may penalize hospitals with higher than expected 30-day readmission rates for pneumonia, heart failure, heart attack - see video

By Michelle Andrews, Insuring Your Health

See video on Revolving Door of Readmissions

Dec. 20, 2011 - For patients, the transition from hospital to home is a critical time. Discharged with follow-up instructions and often a fistful of medications, many need medical guidance. But too often a smooth handoff to a primary-care physician doesn't happen, and small recovery glitches become larger ones. The result: In short order the patient is often back in the hospital. Read more, see video...

Diuretic for Hypertension Significantly Extends Life Expectancy 20 Years Later for Seniors

Chlorthalidone (brand name, Thalitone) helps senior citizens avoid cardiovascular death for years

Dec. 20, 2011 – A new study shows that treating senior citizen systolic hypertension patients with a diuretic has a long-lasting benefit that 20 years later appears to significantly prolong life free from cardiovascular death for these patients – adding one day for every month of treatment. Read more...

Cancer Survivors Face Increased Risk of Melanoma; Melanoma Survivors Even More

Melanoma the most aggressive, dangerous skin cancer, fifth most common cancer among men, seventh among women

Scar after removal of melanoma from top of senior citizens head

Dec. 19, 2011 – New research brings bad news for cancer survivors and, in particular, melanoma skin cancer survivors, who are most often senior men. A report in the Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, finds all cancer survivors have an increased risk of melanoma and this risk his greatest for those who have already been diagnosed with melanoma. Read more...

Statin Study Finds Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Save Lives of Flu Patients

Patients not receiving statins were almost twice as likely to die from influenza

Dec. 16, 2011 - Statins, traditionally known as cholesterol-lowering drugs, may reduce deaths among patients hospitalized with influenza, according to a new study released online by the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Read more...

Swinging One Arm Less Than Other is Early Sign of Parkinson’s Disease

Early detection can allow treatments to slow the disease progression, maybe save lives

Dec. 13, 2011 - People with Parkinson's disease swing their arms asymmetrically - one arm swings less than the other - when walking. This unusual movement is easily detected early when drugs and other interventions may help slow the disease, according to Penn State researchers. Read more...

Excessive Cancer Screening Among Senior Citizens Appears to Challenge Federal Guidelines

Seniors without high school diploma significantly less likely to be screened for breast, cervical and prostate cancer, compared to those with college degree

Dec. 12, 2011 – Senior citizens always seem to be doing the wrong thing - tell us to get flu shots, we won't. Tell us to cut back testing, we get more. The latest complaint is that despite federal guidelines cautioning against routine screening of those age 75 and older for some of the most common cancers, a high percentage of seniors report they are still getting screened regularly. Read more...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Brief, High-Intensity Workouts Appear to Help Diabetics Lower Blood Sugar

Improved blood sugar levels even though they did not lose weight during short two-week study - see video

Dec. 12, 2011 - Brief high intensity workouts - as little as six sessions over two weeks -  rapidly lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics, offering a potential fix for patients who struggle to meet exercise guidelines, according to researchers at McMaster University in Canada. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Why Observing Prostate Cancer Gaining Ground On Surgery: NIH Panel Says Not Cancer

‘Some think these tumors should be rebranded as something else, such as idle tumors’

By Richard Knox, NPR’s Shots blog

Dec. 9, 2011 - A federally convened panel of experts says most men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer should be offered the chance to put off treatment in favor of medical monitoring of their condition. In fact, the panel went so far as to say doctors should stop calling most of these low-risk tumors cancer at all. Read more...

Anti-estrogen Combo Extends Life for Older Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Anastrozole with fulvestrant better than single drug for hormone-sensitive breast cancer

Dec. 9, 2011 - Post-menopausal women with hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer may have a new treatment option that could lengthen their lives by months, according to results of a study by the SWOG clinical trials network that were presented this week at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Delay of Treatment for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Gets Nod from NIH Panel

Recommends active monitoring but details of strategies not determined

Dec. 8, 2011 - Many men with localized, low-risk prostate cancer should be closely monitored, permitting treatment to be delayed until warranted by disease progression, according to an independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health. Read more...

Cardiovascular Deaths Not Linked with ADT for Prostate Cancer but Lower All- Death Risk May Be

Study should be 'generally reassuring' to most men with unfavorable-risk prostate cancer considering ADT, because it was associated with improved survival

Dec. 7, 2011 - Although previous research has indicated that the use of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) to treat men with unfavorable-risk, nonmetastatic prostate cancer may increase the risk of dying from cardiovascular causes, a new study failed to find the link. It did find, however, lower risk of prostate cancer-specific death and all-cause death with ADT. Read more...

Taking Aspirin Prior to Cardiac Surgery Aids Recovery, Prevents Complications, Early Death

‘This outcome could lead to new preoperative treatment standards in cardiac medicine’

Dec. 5, 2011 – Taking aspirin within five days of cardiac surgery seems to be responsible for a significant decrease in the risk of major postoperative complications, including renal failure, a lengthy intensive care unit stay and even early death, according to a study by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University and UC Davis Medical Center to appear in the journal Annals of Surgery. Read more...

Senior Citizens in Home Health Care at High Risk of Dangerous Medications

40% of seniors cared for by home health agency are taking a prescription that is potentially unsafe or ineffective; Affordable Care Act offers hope

Dec. 2, 2011 – Senior citizens receiving home health care may be in danger of taking a drug that is unsafe or ineffective for older people, says a new study that found nearly 40 percent of seniors receiving medical care from a home health agency are taking at least one prescription medication that is considered potentially inappropriate for their age. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

M.D. Anderson Chief Predicts Cure for Cancer, Opens Institute to Speed Drug Development

Institute is designed to convert basic discoveries into effective new drugs and complementary diagnostics for cancer patients - link to video

Nov. 30, 2011 – A day after declaring he expects a cure for cancer to be found while he is president of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Ronald DePinho, M.D., announced the establishment of a major new research institute at the University of Texas cancer center. The goal is to blend the best attributes of academic and industrial research to identify and validate new cancer targets, convert such scientific knowledge into new cancer drugs, and advance these novel agents into innovative clinical trials. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Nearly 10% of Patients Having Balloon Angioplasty, Stent Placed Go Back to Hospital in Days

Readmitted patients after PCI also had higher risk of death within one year; most readmitted for cardiac-related problems

Nov. 28, 2011 - In an analysis of the outcomes for more than 15,000 patients who underwent a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI; procedures such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement used to open narrowed coronary arteries), nearly one in 10 were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days, and these patients had a higher risk of death within one year, according to a study published Online First by the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Coffee Antioxidant Properties May Protect Women Against Uterine Cancer

Drinking more than four cups of coffee daily cut risk by 25%; coffee fast-emerging as protective against a number of diseases- see video

Nov. 28, 2011 - Long-term coffee consumption may be associated with a reduced risk for uterine (endometrial) cancer, according to an extensive study of almost 65,000 women. The lead researcher sees coffee, the favorite drink of senior citizens, emerging as a protective agent in cancers that are linked to obesity, estrogen and insulin. Read more, see video...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Diabetes Drugs, Blood Thinners Cause 2/3 of Senior Citizen Adverse Events, Hospitalizations

Almost half of cases are in elderly aged 80 plus; overdoses, stronger than expected effect most common causes

Nov. 26, 2011 - Each year, there are nearly 100,000 emergency hospitalizations for adverse drug events in U.S. senior citizens (aged 65 years or older), according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. Read more...

Surgery Patients with Low Body Mass Index Most Likely to Die in 30 Days

Slim patients with 23.1 BMI twice as likely to die in 30 days as obese with 35.3 BMI

Nov. 25, 2011 – People in the U.S. are pounded by health advice pointing out the health danger of being too fat. Body Mass Index measurement has become a common way for doctors to warn their patients about obesity. But, a new study published this week, has produced a puzzling result – surgery patients with the lowest BMI scores (23.1) were most likely to die within 30 days. Read more...

Pre-Melanoma Skin Lesion Found Mostly in Elderly Successfully Removed with Laser

Lentigo maligna disappears as carbon dioxide laser exerts its effect by vaporization of water-containing cells

Skin cancer, close-up of lentigo maligna melanoma

Nov. 21, 2011 – Removal of a precancerous skin lesion found primarily on senior citizens, lentigo maligna, may be successfully performed using a carbon dioxide laser, when surgery of radiation therapy is not feasible. Read more...

New York City Achieves Striking Success in Effort to Increase Colonoscopy Rates

Women 50 plus increase rate 22.3%, all senior New Yorkers 20%; erases racial gaps

Nov. 18, 2011 – A campaign to improve colonoscopy rates in New York City, with an emphasis on minorities and women, has achieved dramatic success, according to a new study. While men had a higher rate of colonoscopies when the campaign was introduced in 2003, women closed the gap: their screening rate rose 22.3%, as opposed to a 16.7% increase among men. Rates among all New Yorkers aged 50 and older jumped 20%. Read more...

Women More Likely to Have 'Broken Heart Syndrome'

11/17/11 - A woman's heart breaks more easily than a man's.Females are seven to nine times more likely to suffer "broken heart syndrome," when sudden or prolonged stress like an emotional breakup or death causes overwhelming heart failure or heart attack-like symptoms, the first nationwide study of this finds. Usually patients recover with no lasting damage.

It happens when a big shock, even a good one like winning the lottery, triggers a rush of adrenaline and other stress hormones that cause the heart's main pumping chamber to balloon suddenly and not work right.  Read more of AP report on Yahoo News

>> Archived Senior Journal story:

Broken Heart Syndrome May be Sudden Killer of  More People Than Assumed - July 19, 2011

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Jakafi First Drug Approved by FDA for Bone Marrow Disease Myelofibrosis

Increasing trend in oncology where detailed scientific understanding of mechanisms of a disease allows a drug to be directed toward specific molecular pathways

Nov. 16, 2011 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Jakafi (ruxolitinib) as the first drug approved to specifically treat patients with the bone marrow disease myelofibrosis, which normally strikes people age 50 or older. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

New Drug, Evacetrapib, Increases Good Cholesterol, Decreases Bad – Alone or With Statin

The combination of a statin and evacetrapib resulted in greater reductions in LDL but no greater increase in HDL

Nov. 15, 2011 – On the same day a study was released highlighting the efficiency of two statins to improve cholesterol levels and even reverse artery blockage, another study finds a new cholesterol fighting drug very effective. The drug evacetrapib alone, or in combination with statin medications, produced significant increases in HDL (good cholesterol) levels and decreases in LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Read more...

High Doses of Statins Lipitor, Crestor Reduce Plaque, Reverse Coronary Artery Disease

Either rosuvastatin or atorvastatin reduced plaque, reversed the progression of coronary artery disease: plaque fell 0.99% with atorvastatin, 1.22% with rosuvastatin

Nov. 15, 2011 ― High doses of two statins – Crestor (rosuvastatin) (40 mg) and Lipitor (atorvastatin) (80 mg) - reversed the progression of coronary artery disease by reducing some of the plaque in clogged arteries supplying blood to the heart, according to late-breaking research released today at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2011. Read more...

‘Death Is Always Cheaper’ – Capsules: The KHN Blog

Sapien artificial heart valve approved by FDA for use in old, frail patients to gain another year

By Christopher Weaver

Nov. 14, 2011 - Conventional health care wisdom says that a less invasive procedure will be less expensive: Fewer days in the hospital and an easier recovery should reduce costs, right? Well, it’s complicated. A new heart valve device and procedure approved by the FDA last week costs less than the standard treatment, but it can’t replace that procedure. Instead, it will allow an estimated 20,000 more patients - who would otherwise be inoperable due to frailty - to get the new valve. Read more...

Low Vitamin C Levels Appear to Increase Risk for Heart Failure Patients

Heart failure patients who don’t eat enough vitamin C-rich foods have more inflammation and a higher risk of cardiac complications and death

Nov.13, 2011 - A study presented yesterday at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2011, claims a new study is the first to demonstrate that low vitamin C intake is associated with worse outcomes for heart failure patients. Read more...

New Guidelines Lead High Risk Heart, Stroke Patients to Longer, Healthier Life

‘...important because increasing numbers of older adults are living with cardiovascular disease, and in clinical practice many patients are not getting indicated therapies’

Nov. 3, 2011 - For people who are either at high risk for a heart attack or stroke, or who have already had such an event, healthy habits and medication can help you live longer, improve your quality of life, and lower your chance of a repeat attack or the need for artery-opening procedures, according to new joint guidelines developed by the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Mayo Study Discovers Tactic to Attack Deadbeat Cells, Delay Age-Related Disorders

Potential for fundamental change in way we provide treatment for chronic diseases in older people

Nov. 2, 2011 – As we age, we accumulate cells that Mayo Clinic researchers call “deadbeat” cells. In a new study they show that by eliminating these worthless cells we can prevent or at least delay age-related disorders and disabilities. At least in mice models, they say these cells contribute to aging. Read more...

Prescription Painkiller Overdoses at Epidemic Levels Says CDC; Seniors Sometimes Source

Kills more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined; senior citizens are not big abusers but may be source for others

Nov. 1, 2011 - The death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than tripled in the past decade, according to an analysis in the CDC Vital Signs report released today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Senior citizens are not among those most often in this abuse but are increasingly seen as a source, due to their heavy use of prescription painkillers. Read more...

Prostate Cancer Patients Considering Suicide May Find Help in New Concept

Patients who have these negative thoughts before surgery are more likely to have a lower perceived quality of life 3 months afterwards

Oct. 31, 2011 - Men with prostate cancer are twice as likely to commit suicide, but a method where they put intrusive thoughts into words may reduce this risk, reveals research at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Read more...

Study Finds Heart Failure Patients Benefit from Leg Muscle Exercise

By warming up properly, patients can improve the oxygenation, performance of their leg muscles, which is beneficial in promoting beneficial exercise

Oct. 31, 2011 - Doctors should not only treat the heart muscle in chronic heart failure patients, but also their leg muscles through exercise, say researchers in a major new study of the disease that primarily hits senior citizens. Read more...

Cancer Screening May Be More Popular Than Useful

By Gina Kolata, New York Times News Service

10/30/11 After decades in which cancer screening was promoted as an unmitigated good, as the best — perhaps only — way for people to protect themselves from the ravages of a frightening disease, a pronounced shift is under way.

Now expert groups are proposing less screening for prostate, breast and cervical cancer and have emphasized that screening comes with harms as well as benefits. More at Desert News.com

Million Hearts Campaign Joins World Stroke Day Effort to Prevent Strokes

Million Hearts’ goal to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes in 5 years; CDC recommends ways to reduce the threat - See Video

Oct. 28, 2011 - In the time needed to read out loud the headline on this story, someone has died from a stroke. Every 6 seconds, someone in the world dies from stroke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in support of World Stroke Day, Oct. 29, 2011, asks Americans to take immediate action to reduce their risk for stroke. Read more, see video...

Hospital TIA Team Significantly Reduces Risk of Other Vascular Events After ‘Mini-Stroke’

‘...urgent treatment of patients with TIA is feasible and associated with a substantial reduction in stroke risk during the first three months

Oct. 27, 2011 - Patients who had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes referred to as a "mini stroke", were much less likely to experience further vascular events in the first year after their attack if their care was coordinated by a specialized hospital TIA team. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Coffee, Favorite Drink of Seniors, Provides Protection from Basal Cell Carcinoma

Women get almost twice as much protection as men among 3-cup a day drinkers - see video

A senior, Karen Teaser, shares her story on You Tube of how she was diagnosed and treated at Mayo Clinic in Arizona for a basal cell carcinoma. Also, she offers tips on how to protect yourself against skin cancer.

Oct. 26, 2011 – Anytime caffeine is found to have a positive effect on health, it is good news for senior citizens – coffee is by far the favorite drink of older Americans. The latest good news comes from a large study finding that drinking coffee provides protection from basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Read more, see video

Aging News & Information

Age Alone is Not Best Assessment of How Well Senior Citizens Tolerate Treatments

Older patients with acute leukemia do not tolerate and benefit from standard, aggressive therapies as much as younger patients, but it matters what kind of 70-year-old you are

Oct. 26, 2011 - In geriatric medicine, the adage that age is just a number holds true. New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center uses a simple assessment tool to determine how well senior citizens diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) can handle treatment. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Lipitor, Plavix Among Big-Name Drugs Falling Off The 'Patent Cliff'

Some of the most popular and expensive brand-name drugs are about to go generic

By Fred Mogul, WNYC

Oct. 24, 2011 - Take Lipitor, for example. In November, the heart drug comes off-patent — and by next June, there are likely to be multiple generic versions. With almost $11 billion in sales last year, it's the largest blockbuster to fall off what analysts call the "patent cliff." And it's just one of dozens of popular high-end pharmaceuticals whose prices are expected to plummet in the coming years, including drugs like Plavix (for heart disease), Seroquel (used to treat depression) and Nexium (for digestive problems.) Read more...

Clinical Trial Seeking Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Treatment for Older People Halted

Deadly disease usually affects middle-aged and older adults; 3-drug regimen more harmful than placebo

Oct. 22, 2011 – One part of a clinical trial studying treatments for the lung-scarring and deadly disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) has been halted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for safety concerns. IPF is a serious disease that usually affects middle-aged and older adults. IPF has no cure and many people live only about 3 to 5 years after diagnosis. Read more...

New Guidelines for Cervical Cancer: Annual Pap Test Too Often

Annual cancer screening tests urged less and less

10/21/11 - Annual cancer tests are becoming a thing of the past. New guidelines out Wednesday for cervical cancer screening have experts at odds over some things, but they are united in the view that the common practice of getting a Pap test every year is too often and probably doing more harm than good. A Pap smear once every three years is the best way to detect cervical cancer, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says.

>> Read the complete AP report by Marilynn Marchione

Books for Senior Citizens

Helping Patients Know Their ‘Medical Mind’ Can Ease Uncertainty

New book helps readers recognize the many influences on their medical decisions and encourages them to chart their own path

By Michelle Andrews

Oct. 21, 2011 - Medical decisions can seem overwhelming, especially when you’re sick and scared. In their new book, "Your Medical Mind: How To Decide What Is Right For You," oncologist and New Yorker writer Jerome Groopman and his wife, endocrinologist Pamela Hartzband, team up to help readers recognize the many influences on their medical decisions and encourage them to chart their own path. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Fewer Medicare Patients Hospitalized for Heart Failure, Death Rates Stable

Hospitalization rate decline due to fewer patients being hospitalized, rather than a reduction in frequency of HF hospitalizations - see video

View JAMA Video (link in story)

Oct. 19, 2011 - Between 1998 and 2008, heart-failure related hospitalizations declined substantially among elderly Medicare patients, but at a lower rate for black men, according to a study in the October 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Read more...

Mammogram Results Often Wrong, U.S. Study Finds

By Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters

10/17/11 - More than half of healthy women who have an annual mammogram will get at least one false positive result over a 10-year period, and 7 to 9 percent will undergo a biopsy that doesn't turn out to show cancer, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

Having a mammogram every other year instead of every year would cut the risk of a false positive by about a third, but it could result in catching cancers at a later stage, they reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Read more at Reuters

Burden of Breast Cancer Deaths Shifts to Poor Finds American Cancer Society Report

Death rates declining steadily; down 2% a year for women over 50 says Breast Cancer Facts 2011 - see video review

Oct. 11, 2011 – We are making gains in the battle against breast cancer, but the death rates among women living in poor areas have declined slower and exposed a major difference between death rates for the poor and the affluent. Screening rates hold the answer, says a new report – in 2008, among women 40 and older, only 51.4% of poor women had mammograms in a two year period, compared to a rate of 72.8% for the non-poor. Read more, see video...

Capsules THE KHN BLOG

Influential Panel Giving Thumbs Down To Routine PSA Test for Prostate Cancer

See links to other comments and reports on this recommendation

By Scott Hensley, NPR News

Oct. 10, 2011 - The same group that caused a ruckus by recommending against mammograms for women in their 40s is about to tell men that a routine blood test for prostate cancer does most of them more harm than good. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Raising 'Good' Cholesterol Reduces Heart Attack, Stroke Risk in Diabetes Patients

And, risks of heart attack and stroke increase when 'good' cholesterol levels go down

Oct. 7, 2011 - Increasing levels of high-density lipoproteins, better known as HDL or "good" cholesterol, reduced the risk for heart attack and stroke among patients with diabetes. That's according to a new study appearing online today in The American Journal of Cardiology. Read more...

Shortages Lead Doctors To Ration Critical Drugs for Wide Range of Problems

'We know this is a dire public health situation,' Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Howard Koh

By Richard Knox, NPR News

Oct. 4, 2011 - Drug shortages mean a growing number of Americans aren’t getting the medications they need. That’s causing drug companies and doctors to ration available medications in some cases. Read more...

Mild Strokes Appear More Serious; Efforts Needed to ID Depression, Vision, Mental Loss

Seventy-five per cent of severe strokes occur in senior citizens over age 65, mild strokes hit younger people

Oct. 3, 2011 - On the surface they appear unaffected, but people who have mild strokes may live with hidden disabilities, including depression, vision problems and difficulty thinking, according to a study released today. The authors call for new guidelines for the treatment and management of mild strokes, which account for two-thirds of all strokes and usually involve a hospital stay of one to five days. Read more...

Short-Term Death Rates Jump for Some Older Women After Hip Fracture

Association exists between age, health status (in those 80 and older) and short-term mortality after hip fracture

Sept. 26, 2011 - Hip fracture is associated with an increase in short-term mortality (death within one year) for women ages 65 to 79 years and healthy women ages 80 years and older, although the risk returns to previous levels after one year for women ages 70 years and older, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Read more...

New Models Predict Likelihood of Erectile Function Return After Prostate Cancer Treatment

Problem still there but it helps men make better informed decisions with realistic expectations - watch video report

Sept. 20, 2011 – The likely prospect of erectile dysfunction after treatment for prostate cancer is certainly one of the worst fears of men facing decisions on their treatment. There is helpful news, however, from scientists who have developed a means of predicting erectile function two years after treatment, which can help men in better understanding their recovery and making educated decisions. Read more, watch video....

Ten Ways to Improve Communications, Make Better Decisions About Your Cancer Care

Michigan researchers outline how to improve communication about the risk

Sept. 20, 2011 - Talking with doctors about cancer and cancer treatments can feel like learning a new language, and people facing cancer diagnoses often need help to understand their treatment options, and the risks and benefits of each choice. Read more...

Aging News & Information

Signs of Aging Linked to Blocked Brain Blood Vessels Undetected by Current Technology

Shaky hands, stooped posture, slow walking - ‘We shouldn’t accept this as normal aging. We should try to fix it and understand it’

Sept. 19, 2011 - Many common signs of aging, such as hands that shake, stooped posture and walking slower, may be due to tiny blocked vessels in the brain that can’t be detected by current technology, according to a study in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Older Americans Most at Risk of Peripheral Artery Disease, But Least Aware

American Heart Association offers advice for seniors on avoiding risks, but some, like aging, cannot be fixed - PAD Awareness Month

Sept. 17, 2011 - Awareness of peripheral artery disease is low among those at greatest risk for developing the condition, according to the American Heart Association. Only 26 percent of older adults, - age 50 and older - are familiar with PAD, or know that becomes more common with age. Read more...

Many Older Women Have Dense Breast Tissue That May Hide Cancer

California has passed law ordering patients be informed, but many doctors oppose it.

9/16/11 - About 40 percent of women over 40 have breast tissue dense enough to mask or mimic cancers on mammograms, but many of them don't know it. Mammogram providers in California will be required to notify those patients, and suggest that they discuss additional screenings with their doctors based on their individual risk factors, if Gov. Jerry Brown signs a bill that the Legislature passed this month. Similar laws have passed in Texas and Connecticut in the past two years but no data is available yet from either state on the effect of the legislation. AP/Yahoo News

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Medicated Stents Reduce Heart Attacks by Delivering Medication Downstream

‘patients receiving drug-coated stents do better than patients receiving bare metal stents’

Sept. 15, 2011, Cardiac patients receiving medicated stents – a procedure that occurs often when blood vessels are blocked – have a lower likelihood of suffering heart attacks or developing new blockages in the vessel downstream from the stent, according to researchers at Cleveland Clinic. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Long-Term Use of Nonaspirin Anti-inflammatory Drugs Linked to Renal Cell Cancer

Pain relievers popular with senior citizens for pain relief, cancer protection

Sept. 13, 2011 - Long-term use of nonaspirin anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with an increased risk of renal cell cancer (RCC), according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Concern Is Growing That the Elderly Get Too Many Medical Tests; Little Benefit

Growing skepticism about widespread, routine screening for cancer and other ailments of people in their 70s, 80s and 90s

By Sandra G. Boodman, Kaiser Health News

Sept. 13, 2011 - Every year like clockwork, Anna Peterson has a mammogram. Peterson, who will turn 80 next year, undergoes screening colonoscopies at three- or five-year intervals as recommended by her doctor, although she has never had cancerous polyps that would warrant such frequent testing. Her 83-year-old husband faithfully gets regular PSA tests to check for prostate cancer. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Brain Stenting Appears to Increase Strokes in Highest Risk Cases; Study Stopped

NIH clinical trial sees more deaths among those given stents than those using just medical management to ward off second stroke

Sept. 8, 2011 – A study seeking life-saving help for patients at the highest risk of a second stroke was halted in April because these patients treated with a brain stent were having more strokes and deaths than those in the other half of the study that received just medical management. Read more...

Elderly 80+ Do As Well As Younger Patients After Open Skull Surgery for Hematoma

80-year-olds may be just as likely to return to their previous health state after surgery as those younger - with a little more rehab

Sept. 6, 2011 – Despite a popular belief that craniotomy – surgery requiring removal of part of the skull – should not be used on patients older than age 80, a new study finds these elderly patients can, with a bit more rehabilitation and hospitalization, fare as well as younger ones treated for removal of a hematoma following a head injury. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

CDC Sounds Warning of Tickborne Parasite, Babesia, Spreading by Blood Transfusions

Elderly among those most in endangered; screening of donors needed but no FDA approved systems

Sept. 6, 2011 – Babesia, a parasite transmitted to humans by tick bites is endangering the U.S. blood supply, since the disease babesiosis is also spreading through transfusions and is potentially fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more...

Aging News & Information

Menopause Does Not Increase Heart Deaths; Aging Alone is Culprit for Men and Women

John Hopkins study says older women and men have about same death rates from heart disease; each generation has better longevity

Sept. 6, 2011 – John Hopkins researchers challenge long-held beliefs about cardiovascular death risks in men and women with findings that menopause does not increase death rates for women and that older men and women have about the same rates of mortality risk from heart disease starting after age 45. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements

Dieting Beats Exercise for Diabetes Prevention in Older Women, Combo Is Best

Strengthening exercise appears to have greater benefits for insulin resistance than aerobic exercise

Sept. 2, 2011 - Lifestyle changes that include dieting to lose weight and exercise can help prevent type 2 diabetes, but researchers were uncertain which element contributes more. A new study suggests that, in postmenopausal women at least, dietary weight loss alone is effective while exercise alone is not effective, and both together are best of all. Read more, see video

Senior Citizen Alerts

For Some Surgeries It Makes Difference if Hospital Has Performed Them Many Times

Hospitals doing most aortic aneurysm repairs, heart bypass surgeries or gastric bypass surgeries have less adverse events

Sept. 2, 2011 - Seniors scheduled for heart bypass surgery or weight loss surgery may want to find out just how frequently different hospitals in their area are performing those procedures before deciding where to go. A new study finds that hospitals with higher surgical volumes for certain procedures are less likely to cause unintentional serious injuries... Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Death Risk May Double for Senior Citizens with Highest Level of Blood Biomarker

Protein biomarker cathepsin S may be related to cardiovascular disease and cancer

Aug. 30, 2011 – Data from two studies of elderly men and women found those with high levels of the protein biomarker cathepsin S in their blood had a much higher risk of death, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) In one study, the high level cathepsin people had double to risk of death compared to those with the lowest level. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens Facing Melanoma Should Worry More About Their Health Than Their Age

Patients with lower muscle density had much higher rates of their cancer returning – regardless of the tumor size or patient's age

Aug. 30, 2011 – Don’t worry about your age, when diagnosed with deadly melanoma skin cancer, as thousands of senior citizens will be this year. New research finds older people in good physical shape often fare better in treatment than younger patients in poor health. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Beyond Pills: Cardiologists Examine Alternatives to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Growing number require a large number of drugs to control blood pressure and look for something to help

August 30, 2011 - An increasing number of people battling hypertension – many of them senior citizens - show up at their doctor’s office with a bag full of “natural” products” that they hope will lower their high blood pressure. In an effort to help these patients and their doctors, two physicians have published a wide review of products most often used in efforts to reduce blood pressure. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Older Men at High Risk of High Blood Pressure If Not Getting Ample Deep Sleep

Reduced level of dreamless, deep sleep is powerful predictor of hypertension; as important to health as diet and exercise

Aug. 29, 2011 – Older men with low levels of slow wave sleep (SWS) - one of the deeper stages of sleep – are at high risk of developing high blood pressure, according to new research in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association. Average age of the men in the study was 75. Read more...

Unique Peripheral Arterial Disease Program Works for Older People in Michigan

University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center helps seniors with PAD leg pain get back on track - see video

Aug. 29, 2011 - Henry Gibbs, 58, is a ballroom dance instructor, but he was forced to hang up his dancing shoes when a circulation condition, common among older adults, caused severe leg pain and cramping. Read more, see video

A Magic Wand That Detects Cancer: Michigan Researchers Hope Gene-Z Will Do It

Their objective is a low-cost way for poor countries to reduce cancer deaths

Aug. 26, 2011 – How about this for a magic wand – it’s passed over your body and detects if you have cancer. Well, that’s what two University of Michigan researchers hopes the Gene-Z will do. They are trying to develop the low-cost, hand-held device for nations with limited resources to help physicians detect and diagnose cancer. Read more...

Senior Citizen Longevity & Statistics

Longer Life Possible By Practicing One or More Health Lifestyle Behaviors, CDC Finds

Four keys to longevity - not smoking, eating well, regular exercise, limiting alcohol

Aug. 23, 2011 – It’s not a miracle cure for aging but a new study by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention pretty much nails down what aging studies have been finding for some time – if you want to live longer don’t smoke, eat healthy, exercise and drink alcohol moderately. If you do them all it makes a gigantic difference. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Great Gains: Almost All Heart Attack Victims Get to Angioplasty on Time

From 2005-2010, average time from hospital admission to angioplasty decreased from 96 to 64 minutes

Aug. 22, 2011 - Great news for senior citizens: nearly all heart attack patients who require emergency artery-opening procedures are treated within the recommended 90 minutes from hospital arrival, compared with less than half the patients just five years prior, according to a report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Read more, see video...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Senior Citizens Increase Risk of Cognitive Decline with Too Much Salt, Too Little Exercise

Believed to be first study linking benefits of a low sodium diet to brain health in healthy older adults

Aug. 22, 2011 – Senior citizens who lead sedentary lifestyles and consume a lot of sodium in their diet may be putting themselves at risk for more than just heart disease. A new reports says it appears to also be detrimental to your mental health. Read more...

Senior Citizen Longevity & Statistics

Compound SRT1720 Improves Health, Increases Lifespan of Obese Mice

Mice given the highest doses saw mean lifespan increase by 44 percent; improved heart, pancreas, liver function

Aug. 19, 2011 - Obese male mice were given a synthetic compound called SRT1720 and their lives become healthier and, more importantly, they lived longer than obese mice that did not get the magical compound. Researchers say the treated mice experienced improvements in the function of the liver, pancreas and heart. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Pap and HPV Tests for Cervical Cancer Screening Given Too Often; Conflict with Guidelines

Centers of Disease Control & Prevention investigators find physicians not close to national recommendations

Aug. 18, 2011 – Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have determined that the majority of primary care providers continue to recommend annual cervical cancer screening, and less than 15% would extend the screening interval when using the Papanicolaou test and human papillomavirus (HPV) test together, as some guidelines suggest. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Echocardiogram Before Elective Surgery Does Not Help Survival, Study Says

Echocardiography may actually cause harm, physicians should reconsider its role for elective surgery

Aug. 18, 2011 - A new study has found no evidence that patients who had a heart ultrasound, known as an echocardiogram, before major surgery had improved survival rates one year or even one month after their operation. Some groups of patients actually had worse survival rates. Read more...

Near-infrared Imaging System Shows Promise to Diagnose Pancreatic Cancer Early

FDA approves test in humans using an OCT probe small enough to be inserted into pancreas through a biopsy needle: earlier study reports using targeted endoscopic ultrasound for early detection of pancreatic cancer

Aug. 17, 2011 – Pancreatic cancer is among the most deadly, especially if not discovered early. Researchers from four Boston-area institutions think they have found something that may provide an edge in early diagnosis - optical coherence tomography (OCT), a high resolution optical imaging technique that works by bouncing near-infrared laser light off biological tissue. Read more...

Vitamin D Appears Linked With Risk of Skin Cancer, Although Relationship Complex

Study looked at vitamin D level in senior citizens with non-melanoma skin cancers

Aug. 15, 2011 – Skin cancer, like most other cancers, plague older people. Most seniors are well aware of the dangers of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation for increasing the risk. A new study, however, finds that a high level of vitamin D also may increase the risk of the non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC). Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Cancer Killing Breakthrough with Leukemia May Lead to Gene Attacks on Other Cancers

‘Within three weeks, the tumors had been blown away’ - Watch Video

Watch video of researchers

Aug. 10, 2011 - In a cancer treatment breakthrough 20 years in the making, researchers have shown sustained remissions of up to a year among a small group of advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells, according to the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center and Perelman School of Medicine. The medical team reports the cancer-killing cells are still active. Read more, see video...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Age and Severity of Heart Failure Associated With Impairment in Verbal Memory

Stable memory function was maintained in patients younger than 63 years

Aug. 8, 2011 - Older patients – those age 63 or older - with lower rates of left ventricular ejection fraction (a measure of how well the left ventricle of the heart pumps with each contraction) appear more likely than younger patients to have significantly reduced verbal memory function, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens Risk Pulmonary Embolism with Knee Replacement Surgery

Study finds 80+ elderly and those with three other common senior problems most at risk in hip, knee surgery

July 27, 2011 – Senior citizens - those 80 and over in particular - may not be the best candidates for knee replacement surgery according to new research that found pulmonary embolism, an often fatal condition, was most common after replacement surgery in those over 79 and those who had three other health problems common to the elderly. Read more...

Add Lower Risk of Stroke to Many Benefits of an Optimistic Attitude

Protective effect of optimism may primarily be due to behavioral choices

July 21, 2011 - Previous research has shown that an optimistic attitude usually leads to better heart health, a stronger immune-system and other health benefits. Now, we can add a lower risk of stroke as a result of a positive outlook on life, according to a new University of Michigan study. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Broken Heart Syndrome May be Sudden Killer of  More People Than Assumed

Stress cardiomyopathy often associated with older women who suddenly fall dead after loss of a loved one; new study says this is problem for younger people and men, too - videos below story

July 19, 2011 – For generations we have just said people who collapsed and died soon after a severe personal loss just died of a “broken heart.” The cause was probably stress cardiomyopathy, which is now often referred to as “broken heart syndrome.” New Research, however, indicates this acute heart failure triggered by stressful events is more common than thought and includes younger people, men and even some without an identifiable stress. Read more, see videos...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Prostate Cancer Patients Live Much Longer with Hormone Therapy Added to Radiation

ADT therapy works well with intermediate grade cancer, not so well with low grade; only two grades tested in this trial

Larger graphs of prostate cancer cases and deaths 1987-2007 below story

July 15, 2011 – Adding short-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) to radiation therapy for men with early-stage, intermediate risk prostate cancer made a significant improvement in their overall survival after 10 years, according to a clinical trial supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. Benefits of the combined treatment were not seen for men with low-risk prostate cancer. Read more, info on prostate cancer...

Senior Citizen Alerts

CDC Releases New Outpatient Safety Checklist to Reduce Infections

Senior citizens most at risk of infections because they are most frequent patients

By Bara Vaida, Kaiser Health News

CDC Press Release below news report

CDC Safety Checklist below press release

July 14, 2011 - Just as airline pilots are required to use safety checklists before taking off, so should medical facilities who are treating people on an outpatient basis, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Men More Likely to Get Cancer, Die from Cancer than Women

Gender not a major role in cancer survival; driving up the greater frequency of cancer deaths in men is the greater frequency of cancer diagnosis

July 13, 2011 - Most of the publicity war on cancer prevention in the U.S. seems to focus on cancer in women, breast cancer in particular, but a new study shows cancer is a much bigger killer of men than women. The main reason that it kills more men than women, is that more men get cancer. Read more...

Features for Senior Citizens

Family Cancer History Should be Updated to ID Need for More Screening

Study finds substantial changes occurring between ages 30 and 50 - see video

JAMA videoJuly 13, 2011 – First, everyone should accept the need to maintain a family cancer history, but a new study adds that we should also commit to updating this history at least every five to ten years. Researchers found substantial changes occurring between the ages of 30 and 50 for colorectal, breast and prostate cancer, which could result in recommendations for earlier or more intense cancer screening. Read more, see video...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Regional System to Cool, Warm Cardiac Arrest Patients Saves Brain Function

‘… if you have a cardiac arrest 200 miles away or on our doorstep, the quality of the outcomes is identical’ - What is cardiac arrest? - see below news story

July 12, 2011 - A broad, regional system to lower the temperature of resuscitated cardiac arrest patients at a centrally-located hospital improved outcomes, according to a study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Cooling treatment, or therapeutic hypothermia, is effective yet underused, researchers said. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

FDA Oks Boostrix for Senior Citizens to Prevent Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis

Whooping cough (Pertussis), increasing since 2007, is highly contagious; outbreaks among elderly in nursing homes and hospitals

July 11, 2011 – Senior citizens – people age 65 and older – no longer have to get separate vaccinations to prevent tetanus and diphtheria. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the Boostrix vaccine, which will prevent both of these diseases, plus pertussis (whooping cough), which is increasing among the elderly. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Healthy Living by Women Dramatically Cuts Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death

SCD kills within an hour and accounts for more than half of all cardiac deaths; watch video below

July 7, 2011 - Adhering to a healthy lifestyle, including not smoking, exercising regularly, having a low body weight and eating a healthy diet, appears to dramatically lower the risk of sudden cardiac death in women. Women abiding by all four lifestyles lowered their risk by 92 percent, compared to women following none of the four. Read more, watch video...

Medicare News

Medicare Bites Bullet to Cover Expensive Provenge, Prostate Cancer Drug for Bad Cases

CMS also to continue expensive breast cancer drug, Avastin; Sipuleucel-T activates immune system to defend against prostate cancer; first approved autologus cellular immunotherapy

July 1, 2011 - Medicare patients with metastatic prostate cancer can get a first-of-its kind treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration in April, under a final coverage decision issued yesterday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Provenge (sipuleucel-T) activates a patient’s own immune system to defend him against prostate cancer. The majority of the men tested with the drug were senior citizens - age 65 or older. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Study of Particular Importance to Older Women Shows Long-Term Mammography Saves Lives

Twenty-nine-year study finds 30 percent fewer women in screening died of breast cancer

June 28, 2011 - Results from the longest running breast screening trial show that screening with mammography over a long period of time reduces the number of deaths from breast cancer. The results are new evidence of the long-term benefits of regular breast screening. Read more...

Cancer Death Rates Continue Decline That Began in Early 1930s Says Cancer Society

Cancer Statistics 2011 shows among men the reduction in lung, prostate, and colorectal cancers is nearly 80% of decline; among women, almost 60% of decrease in breast and colorectal - see chances of seniors getting cancer

June 17, 2011 – A steady decline in overall cancer death rates appears to have saved 898,000 deaths from cancer between 1990 and 2007, according to the latest statistics from the American Cancer Society. Good news for the primary targets of cancer - senior citizens. This progress has not, however, benefitted all segments of the population equally - cancer death rates for individuals with the least education are more than twice those of the most educated. Read more, see chance of seniors getting cancer in 2011

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Bariatric Surgery Does Not Extend Life for Older Men, But Many Still May Find It a Good Choice

Study tried to determine if bariatric surgery reduced mortality among predominantly older male high-risk patients - watch video

June 14, 2011 - The use of bariatric surgery among older, severely obese men was not associated with a decreased risk of death, according to a study in the June 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The researchers add, however, that many such patients may still choose the surgery, because of the strong evidence of significant weight loss, illness reduction and better quality of life. Read more, see video...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Shingles, a Disease Primarily Striking Senior Citizens, Increases Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

A virus associated with MS is varicella zoster virus, the cause of herpes zoster (shingles) - see video on shingles

June 8, 2011 – Shingles (herpes zoster), a painful disease that primarily attacks senior citizens, has also been found to significantly increase – by almost four times - the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) occurring in the year following the shingles attack, according to a massive study from Taiwan. Read more...

Older Breast Cancer Patients Want Radioactive Implants, No Radiation for E+ Tumors

Women with estrogen negative tumors 91% more likely to die if they did not receive radiation therapy after a lumpectomy, finds second study

June 3, 2011 – More older women – 70 and older – with stage I breast cancer are opting for radioactive implants, and those with estrogen positive tumors are opting out of radiation therapy, according to studies being presented Saturday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. These are notable changes in past patterns of radiation usage among senior citizens. Read more

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Drug Approved to Treat Nail Fungus Found to Delay Chemo in Advanced Prostate Cancer

Itraconzole slows prostate cancer progression but has potential of serious side effects

June 3, 2011 - The oral antifungal drug itraconazole, most commonly used to treat nail fungus, may keep prostate cancer from worsening and delay the need for chemotherapy in men with advanced disease, according to new research from John Hopkins.  Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Rising PSA Levels May Sometimes Lead to Negative Biopsies But Usually Means Cancer

News study shows nearly 70 percent with rising PSA eventually get prostate cancer

May 18, 2011 - A man's rising PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level over several years – which had been seen as a possible warning sign of prostate cancer – has recently come under fire as a screening test because it sometimes prompts biopsies that turn out to be normal. That’s true, the study shows, but most are headed for prostate cancer. Read more...

New Surgery-Free Treatment for Enlarged Prostate Avoids Sexual Dysfunction

Prostatic artery embolization as effective as popular TURP surgical method; more than half of senior men have enlarged prostate; also silodosin a new treatment for prostatitis

May 18, 2011 - A new radiology treatment that limits blood flowing to a man’s enlarged prostate gland – an ailment impacting over half of male senior citizens - appears to be as effective as today’s most popular treatment, but without the risks, such as sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence, blood loss and retrograde ejaculation, noted researchers... Read more

Avastin and Lucentus Equal for Treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration Says NIH Study

AMD is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in senior citizens

May 4, 2011 - Researchers are reporting results from the first year of a two-year clinical trial that Avastin, a drug approved to treat some cancers and that is commonly used off-label to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is as effective as the Food and Drug Administration-approved drug Lucentis for the treatment of AMD. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in senior citizens. Read more...

Man Without Pulse for 96 Minutes Survives after CPR with Help of Capnography

Mayo Clinic researcher says this may be longest duration of pulselessness cardiac arrest that ended with a good outcome

May 2, 2011 - By all counts, the 54-year-old man who collapsed on a recent winter night in rural Minnesota would likely have died. He'd suffered a heart attack, and even though he was given continuous CPR and a series of shocks with a defibrillator, the man was without a pulse for 96 minutes. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment with Gene Therapy Shows Promise

AMD results in a loss of sharp, central vision; number one cause of visual impairment among Americans age 60 and older

April 29, 2011 — A gene therapy approach using a protein called CD59, or protection, shows promise in slowing the signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new study from Tufts University School of Medicine. Read more...

Low Health Literacy Associated With Higher Rate of Death Among Heart Failure Patients

Low health literacy patients were older, of lower socioeconomic status and less likely to have a high school education; also more likely to have multiple chronic diseases - watch video

April 26, 2011 – An examination of health literacy - such as understanding basic health information - among managed care patients with heart failure, a condition that requires self-management, found that nearly one in five have low health literacy, which was associated with a higher all-cause risk of death, according to a study in the April 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Read more...

Older Diabetes Patients with Very Low Glucose Have Slightly Higher Risk of Death

Well controlled blood sugar level lowers risk of heart attack, amputation, kidney disease

April 18, 2011 - A new study of older diabetes patients has found that well-controlled blood sugar levels were associated with a lower risk of major complications such as heart attacks, amputation and kidney disease, but the very lowest blood sugar levels were associated with a small but significant increased risk of death. Read more...

Senior Citizens Have Better Chance of Surviving a Stroke Living in Sociable Neighborhoods

Seniors living in closely-knit, supportive neighborhoods have significantly better stroke survival rates, regardless of other health, socioeconomic factors

April 14, 2011 - The odds of surviving stroke appear to be much better for seniors living in neighborhoods where they interact more often with their neighbors and count on them for help, according to research published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Read more...

New Injectable Gel Shows Promise for Treating Millions with Arthritis

Half of senior citizens – aged 65 and over – suffer with arthritis, one of most common causes of disability

April 13, 2011 - Some 25 million people in the U.S. suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or its cousin osteoarthritis, diseases characterized by often debilitating pain in the joints. At least half of all senior citizens suffer with some form of arthritis. Now researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) report an injectable gel that could be a key to future treatment these diseases. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Senior Citizens Should Cheer Today’s Initiative to Combat Deadly Infectious ‘Super Bugs’

Antibiotic-resistant infections kill nearly 100,000 U.S. hospital patients; but while 16 new antibiotics were approved between 1983 - 1987, only two since 2008

April 7, 2011 – Senior citizens should be cheering on this World Health Day. The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is rolling out a multi-pronged plan today to combat deadly antibiotic-resistant “super bugs.” The elderly, generally, are the most likely to be attacked by these lethal “super bugs,” because they are the most likely to visit hospitals and clinics where infections are most often found. Older people also have less resistance to fight the infections. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Follow-Up to Estrogen Therapy Trial Finds Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer, But...

Younger women achieved better health gains than older women - 'need to counsel women about hormone therapy differently depending on their age' - see video

April 6, 2011 - Among postmenopausal women with a prior hysterectomy and who had used estrogen therapy for about 6 years and then stopped, longer-term follow-up indicates that the risk of breast cancer was reduced, regardless of age. Health outcomes were, however, more favorable for younger compared with older women for CHD, heart attack, colorectal cancer, total mortality, and a global index of chronic diseases. Read more, see video...

Cancer Primarily

A Disease of Aging

"The actual number of people dying from cancer (sometimes called the count) can be influenced by several factors, including the growth in the number of older people in the United States (cancer is primarily a disease of aging) and the increase in size of the population.'" - Annual Cancer Report

Cancer Rates Continue to Decline Despite Booming Senior Citizen Population

First ever decrease in death from lung cancer for women; men see small increase in prostate cancer rate

April 1, 2011 – Senior citizens, the favorite targets for a variety of cancers, should be pleased with news released yesterday that rates of death from all cancers continued to decline for men and women in the latest report on the period between 2003 and 2007. And, despite the growth in the elderly population, the overall rate of new cancers diagnosed decreased almost one percent a year during this period. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens Jumping Online to Monitor Personal Health Records

Read all about personal health records below news report , with key links

March 28, 2011 - Senior citizens, for once, are not the age group lagging behind in an online endeavor. A study to measure participation on adopting the use of online personal health records finds those patients aged 65 and older are more likely to get involved than young adults between the ages of 18 and 35. Read more...

On World Kidney Day U.S. Asked to Focus on Link with Heart Disease

National Kidney Disease Education Program suggests at least 10 things people can do to be kind to their kidneys - below news story more about kidney disease

kidney dialysisMarch 10, 2011 - More than 20 million adults, including millions of senior citizens, have chronic kidney disease and an estimated 16.3 million or roughly 7 percent of adults — have heart disease. Over 7.1 million have both. On World Kidney Day, Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is asking people to consider the link, and what they can do to protect kidney health. Read more...

Senior Women Who Survive Breast Cancer Have a Greater Risk of Falling

Cancer therapies may affect balance, says new study in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

March 10, 2011 – Researchers have found that women who are senior citizens and survived breast cancer appear to fall more often than their peers. They note that the combined effects of chemotherapy and endocrine therapy may increase the risk of bone fractures in breast cancer survivors. Read more...

Trauma Patients – Especially Seniors - Have Higher Rate of Death for Years Following Injury

Age strongly predicted risk of death as did discharge to a skilled nursing facility; Medicare on risk list, too. See video

March 8, 2011 – The headline from the new study of 120,000 adult trauma patients is that 16 percent died within 3 years of their injury – with no injury the expected mortality would be about 6 percent. But the study also notes some key factors, including being a senior citizens, that increase this risk of death following a trauma injury. Read more...watch video

High Blood Pressure Meds Protect Cardiovascular Patients from Stroke, Death

Many studies show persons with CVD can obtain significant benefit from antihypertensive treatments

March 1, 2011 - Seniors citizens battling cardiovascular disease may want to consider a prescription for high blood pressure medications, even if their blood pressure is fine. These hypertension drugs appear to reduce the risk of stroke, congestive heart failure and death from all causes according to an analysis of more than two dozen studies that appears in tomorrow's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Read more...

Seniors Not Impressed by Evidence-Based Solutions; Want to Know Medications are Safe

Study says elderly patients only willing to take medications to prevent cardiovascular disease if benefits far greater than risks

Feb. 28, 2011 – Senior citizens think a little differently about health and medications than younger people who are not so encumbered by chronic disease. A new study finds these elderly patients also have views that differ with the guidelines for medical care that are scientifically prepared to enhance patient treatment. Read more...

Melanoma Skin Cancer a Chronic Disease Causing Long-Term Problems for Women

Women need additional care, including follow-up and possibly counseling to optimally cope with melanoma

Feb. 21, 2011 – Melanoma, the most deadly skin cancer, is considered a chronic life-threatening disease and a source of significant stress. Women, however, seem to experience more health-related quality of life issues than men for up to 10 years after being diagnosed with melanoma, says a new report. Read more...

CDC Releases 34th Annual Report on the Nation’s Health; Feature Section on Dying

Data from state and federal health agencies as well as an in-depth feature section on death and dying

Feb. 16, 2011 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today released the 34th annual report on health in the U.S. "Health, United States, 2010" was prepared by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics includes a compilation of health data from state and federal health agencies as well as an in-depth feature section on death and dying. Read more...

New Risk Factor for Heart Disease Death Found in Healthy Senior Citizens

Older people not expected to die of cardiac causes found in danger by abnormal heart rate turbulence - appear healthy but they're not

Feb. 16, 2011 - Abnormal heart rate turbulence is associated with an increased risk of heart disease death in otherwise low-risk senior citizens, finds a new study. The research indicates that an abnormal response to an early beat in the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber, can identify high-risk patients even when they have no other evidence of cardiovascular disease. Read more...

CyberKnife Tested for Treatment of Breast Cancer in Clinical Trial at UT Southwestern

CyberKnife focuses multiple beams of radiation with millimeter precision, while leaving surrounding healthy tissue unharmed; painless treatment

Feb. 15, 2011 – Breast-cancer patient Kristin Wiginton is the first to be treated at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, with high-beam radiation using the Accuray CyberKnife System, which doctors say offers improved cosmetic results, less radiation exposure to surrounding tissue and a shorter treatment period. Read more...

Limited Lymph Node Removal for Breast Cancer Patients Does Not Result in Poorer Survival

Important contribution to the surgical management of sentinel lymph node metastasis in breast cancer: says JAMA editorial - watch video

Bobbie Saunders has been cancer free for eight years.

Feb. 9, 2011 – One of the most unpleasant aspects of breast cancer treatment may be coming to an end. A new study finds certain patients with early-stage breast cancer that had spread to a nearby lymph node, and who received treatment removing lymph nodes from the armpit, had no better chance of survival than women who just had the sentinel lymph node removed (the first lymph node to which cancer is likely to spread from the primary tumor). Read more, watch video...

Avodart Not Cost Effective Way to Prevent Prostate Cancer in Some Men

For average man, dutasteride provides minimal survival benefits, reduction on treatment-related complications does not offset the high costs

Feb. 8, 2011 – The popular drug Avodart (dutasteride) may not be a cost-effective way to prevent prostate cancer in men who are at elevated risk of developing the disease, according to findings by a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher. Prior research has shown the drug lowered the risk of prostate cancer over a four-year period by 22.8 percent, but questions have remained about its cost-effectiveness. Read more...

Another Study Points to Increase in Cancer Risk from Low-Dose Radiation Scans

Study looked at senior heart attack patients; questions enthusiasm for imaging after acute myocardial infarction; exposure should be tracked

Feb. 7, 2011 - Exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging and other procedures after a heart attack is associated with an increased risk of cancer, found a new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). The study is another in a growing list raising concern about the cancer risk of common medical scans. Read more...

Study Finds Way to ID Aggressive Prostate Cancers; Save Men from Aggressive Therapy

Many prostate cancer patients treated unnecessarily; vast majority would not become life-threatening, even if left untreated

Feb. 3, 2011 – A new discovery lays the ground work for the first gene-based test for determining whether a man's prostate cancer is likely to remain dormant within the prostate gland, or spread lethally to other parts of the body. Today, many men, mostly senior citizens, endure drastic procedures that are used unnecessarily on unaggressive cancers. Read more...

Study Finds Treatment of Senior Citizens with Rheumatoid Arthritis is Unacceptable

Wide variations found in Medicare Managed Care patients receipt of recommended drug therapy: see video

Feb. 1, 2011 - An analysis of data from more than 90,000 Medicare managed care enrollees who received care for rheumatoid arthritis finds that more than one-third did not receive the recommended treatment with a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug, and that receipt varied by demographic factors, socio-economic status, geographic location and health plan, according to a study in the February 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Read more, watch video...

Senior Citizens Lead the Way as Diabetes Spreads to 26 Million in New U.S. Estimate

Estimates in U.S. have risen since CDC estimated in 2008 that 23.6 million (7.8) had diabetes and 57 million adults had prediabetes

Jan. 27, 2011 - Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes but about 42 percent of them are senior citizens aged 65 or older, according to new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among all seniors living in the U.S., 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent had diabetes in 2010. Read more...

Admission to Designated Stroke Centers Appears to Be Helping Save Lives

Nearly 700 of the 5,000 acute care hospitals in the United States are now Joint Commission-certified stroke centers - watch video

Jan. 25, 2011- Since 2003 many hospitals have been focused on achieving recognition as a certified stroke center, an idea pushed by the Brain Attack Coalition that envisioned a reduction in deaths from this third leading cause of death in the U.S. A new study finds the stoke centers are lowering the stroke death rate, but only modestly. Read more, watch video...

Stress Therapy Prevents Repeat Heart Attacks, Saves Lives of Heart Patients

Those in program had 41% fewer fatal and non-fatal heart events and a 28% lower death rate

Jan. 24, 2011 - A cognitive behavioral therapy program focusing on stress management appears to decrease the risk of recurrent heart attacks by 45 percent and other cardiovascular events in patients with heart disease, according to a report in the January 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Read more...

Smoking Before Menopause Increases Breast Cancer Risk, Post Menopause May Lower Risk

‘Never smoking and passive smoking in childhood or adulthood were not associated with an increase in breast cancer risk’

Jan. 24, 2011 - Smoking before menopause, especially prior to giving birth, may be associated with a modest increase in the risk of developing breast cancer, says a new report. The study also found a possibility that smoking after menopause my reduce the risk. Read more...

Cost to Treat Heart Disease in U.S. to Triple by 2030 as Boomers Flood Senior Citizen Ranks

By 2030, approximately 116 million people in the United States (40.5%) will have some form of cardiovascular disease: American Heart Association

Jan. 24, 2011 - The cost to treat heart disease in the United States will triple by 2030, according to a policy statement published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The $545 billion increase will be due in part to the growth of the senior citizen population. AHA says it’s urgent to implement effective strategies to prevent heart disease and stroke. Read more...

A Positive Attitude is Good for the Health of Senior Citizens, Research Proves

One way is it reduces stress, which is a source of many ailments for seniors

Jan. 20, 2011 – Feeling good and having a positive attitude has often been associated with good health. A new review of existing research seems to prove this is true for senior citizens – positive emotions do influence healthy outcomes for older people. Read more...

Incontinence Following Radical Prostatectomy Reduced by Behavioral Therapy Program

Editorial writers ask if limited benefits are worth the patient and clinician time and effort; researchers say 'yes' do to significant, durable improvement in incontinence and quality of life,

Illustration of the urinary tract - More at MedlinePlusJan. 12, 2011 - Men who suffered with incontinence – lack of bowel control - for at least one year following radical prostatectomy, achieved a significant reduction in the number of incontinence episodes after participating in a behavioral training program that included pelvic floor muscle training, bladder control strategies and fluid management. Read more....

Books for Senior Citizens

New Book Targets Better Nutrition for Heart Attack Survivors: Prevent a Second Heart Attack

Author Janet Bond Brill inspired after her father dies from second heart attack; focus is on 8 foods, includes recipes

Janet BrillJan. 12, 2011 - Each year, roughly 1.5 million Americans have a heart attack -- and most of them survive. But research shows that just one year after their diagnosis, the vast majority of these 13 million American heart attack survivors fail to adhere to the dietary changes that could prevent a second heart attack. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Herpes Zoster Vaccine Associated With Lower Risk of Shingles in Most Older Adults

Confirms other studies showing more than half of seniors will be protected by shot but they are still not getting it (not covered by Medicare) - link to video in story

Photograph of a male doctor talking with a senior female patientJan. 11, 2011 – A new study confirmed what previous research has shown about the effectiveness of the shingles vaccination for senior citizens – it protects slightly more than half who get the shot from the painful rash that can be disabling. This study looked at a large group of older adults and found the vaccination reduced the risk of shingles, regardless of age, race or the presence of chronic diseases. Read more...

Pancreatic Cancer Stopped in Early Stages by University of Oklahoma Scientists

‘This is one of the most important studies in pancreatic cancer prevention’ – clinical trials underway

National Cancer Institute Graphic, read more below news report.Jan. 11, 2011 – The most dangerous of cancers – pancreatic – has been eliminated in a research model by the use of an old treatment in a new way during the early stage of the cancer. The researchers at the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Oklahoma Cancer Center say the discovery has far-reaching implications in chemoprevention for high-risk patients. Read more...

Major Cause of Blindness in Senior Citizens, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Appears in Decline

U.S. study says AMD in those over 40 drops to 6.5% from 9.4% in 1994 - watch videos

Jan. 10, 2011 – In a rare bit of good news for senior citizens about their health, a new study has found a significant decline in the rate of the eye disease known as AMD or age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in senior citizens around the world. Read more...

Mayo Clinic Researchers Determine Your Lifetime Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Also calculate risk for five other autoimmune rheumatic diseases for women and men - watch video

Jan. 6, 2011 – A popular pastime for many older people is to try and figure out their chances of getting one ailment or another. Mayo Clinic researchers have simplified it – they have figured out the lifetime risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and six other autoimmune rheumatic diseases for both men and women. Read more...watch video...

Senior Citizen Longevity & Statistics

How Fast Senior Citizens Walk Found to be Good Predictor of How Long They Will Live

Large study of older Americans says prediction most accurate for those 75 and older; works for men and women - watch video

Jan. 5, 2011 – How fast senior citizens walk appears to be a better gage of how long they will live than trying to do a more complicated analysis using age, sex, chronic conditions, smoking history, blood pressure, body mass index, and hospitalization. This study of senior citizens found walking gait is especially accurate for predicting remaining life for those age 75 and older. Read more...Watch Video...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Top Research Advances to Fight Heart Disease and Stroke Selected for 2010

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association 2010 select two lists

Jan. 3, 2011 - Research on reducing risks, improving medical treatment and improving lifestyle behaviors to fight the battles against heart disease and stroke are among the key scientific findings that make up last year’s top cardiovascular and stroke research recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Read more...

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Older Women with Diabetes and Depression Have Twice the Risk of Death

Both problems linked to unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle

Jan. 3, 2011 – Older women suffering with diabetes and depression have a significantly increased risk of death from heart disease, as well as an increased death risk from all causes, over a six-year period, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Read more...

 


 

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