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Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Archived News for 2012

Health News and Information for Senior Citizens & Baby Boomers

Nursing Home Abuse, Medical Malpractice - Contact a Lawyer


Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Earlier Detection of Cancer May Be Enhanced by MIT Discovery with Biomarkers Collected in Urine

Nanoparticles amplify tumor signals, making them much easier to detect in urine

Dec. 17, 2012 – Most senior citizens live with a fear of cancer, since the oldest are the most likely targets for many of the deadliest cancers. Certainly most have wished for a simple way to detect cancer in its earliest stage, when surgery or other treatments are most likely to end the threat. A simple blood test has not been the solution because the protein biomarkers secreted by cancer are so few that they are hard to detect. MIT researchers, however, may have found a solution to make detection much easier. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Seniors with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Do Poorly on Therapy Designed for Younger Patients

People who develop chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are typically age 65 and older, but participants in CLL clinical trials are usually several years younger

Dec. 12, 2012 – Although most people are age 65 or older – senior citizens – when they develop chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), most of the clinical trials use younger participants. And, age is not usually considered when treatment is determined. A new study says this is a mistake – the therapies should be different for older CLL patients and younger ones, although the disease is incurable. Read more...

New Strategies for Prostate Cancer Care Demanded by Longer Life Expectancy, Aging Population

As boomers pass age 65 – the most common time of prostate cancer diagnosis – researchers have a handful of new barriers to put in the path of the disease

By Garth Sundem, University of Colorado Cancer Center

Dec. 4, 2012 - The population of the United States is getting older, due not only to aging boomers but also to a four-year increase in life expectancy from 1990 to 2010. An aging population means increased diagnosis of prostate cancer. Statistically, the older the patient at time of diagnosis, the more aggressive the disease – and also the less well the patient is likely to tolerate traditional chemotherapies. In sum, we have more, aggressive prostate cancer that can’t be targeted by traditional treatments. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Lipitor Generic – Atorvastatin – Being Voluntarily Recalled Due to Glass Particles

List of recalled products by lot numbers is below news report

Nov. 24, 2012 – A voluntary recall of the Lipitor generic drug Atorvastatin calcium tablets has been launched by Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited of India, due to the discovery of glass particles in some lots. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Small Test Shows Treatment’s Potential to Stop Spread of Melanoma Cancer

Treatment uses drug believed capable of stimulating a patient’s immune system into attacking cancer cells while sparing healthy normal tissue

Nov. 16, 2012 – Most senior citizens know that melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer, if it is not caught early and surgically removed. When it is not detected early and begins to spread it can move very rapidly to other parts of the body, and becomes very difficult to stop. New hope, however, for stopping this cancer was reported recently at an international meeting. Read more...

Patients Unable to Lower Bad Cholesterol with Statins Find Success with New Drug

AMG 145 reduced LDL cholesterol by 66% in only 12 weeks

Nov. 6, 2012 - People taking statin drugs to lower "bad cholesterol" levels sometimes are unsuccessful due to their body's inability to tolerate or sufficiently respond to the medicine. Researchers announced today, however, that with the addition of a new drug - AMG 145 - they were able to help these patients reduce the LDL cholesterol by 66 percent in only 12 weeks. Read more...

Genetically Engineered Tomatoes Do the Work of Good Cholesterol to Reduce Plaque

Mice that ate the freeze-dried, ground tomatoes had less inflammation and reduced plaque build-up in their arteries

Nov. 5, 2012 — For the first time, genetically engineered tomato plants produced a peptide that mimics the actions of good cholesterol when eat1n, researchers reported today at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012. Read more...

Interpretation of PSA Tests May Be More Meaningful with DNA Study

May reduce risk of men being treated for prostate cancer unnecessarily

Oct. 30, 2012 - The still hot controversy about using prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests to detect prostrate cancer may have something just around the corner that will cool the debate. At least that is the hope of Swedish researchers who say it may be possible to refine the interpretation of PSA tests by studying a specific part of the male DNA, which could reduce the risk of men being treated for prostate cancer unnecessarily. Read more...

Many Cancer Survivors Face Health-Related Quality of Life Issues

First clear data on quality-of-life issues for U.S. cancer survivors; over 30% have post-treatment physical, mental problems; may id those at risk

Oct. 30, 2012 – Beating cancer is just the first step. More than one third of the 12.6 million cancer survivors in the United States have physical or mental problems that put their overall health in jeopardy, according to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Read more...

Big Decline in Heart Attacks, Cardiac Deaths in County After Smoke-Free Workplace Laws

Heart attacks drop by 33 percent, sudden cardiac deaths by 17 percent after protection from secondhand smoke; seniors should take note

Oct. 29, 2012 – There was a substantial drop in heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths in a Minnesota county after it implemented laws to ban smoking in restaurants, bars and all workplaces, according to an evaluation from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Senior citizens are the most common victims of these coronary problems and may benefit most from laws to restrict public smoking. Read more...

Pricey New Prostate Cancer Proton Therapy Raises Questions About Safety, Cost

Proton therapy targets more precisely, should minimize damage to nerves and tissue; hope is it translates into fewer side effects, but has become center of intense debate

By Rob Stein, NPR News (The KHN Blog)

Oct. 29, 2012 - Bill Sneddon had a feeling he was in trouble when his doctor called with his latest test results. “I just had a premonition that something’s not right,” said Sneddon, 68, of Ocean Township, N.J. And, sure enough, Sneddon’s instincts were right. He had prostate cancer. Read more...

Pancreatic Cancer Appears to be Different Disease in Different People

Study for international cancer study says each pancreatic patient may require a different treatment

Oct. 25, 2012 – Pancreatic cancer, which has the highest mortality rate of all the major cancers and is one of the few for which survival has not improved substantially over the past 40 years, appears to not be one disease, and people who appear to have the same cancer may need to be treated differently. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Nearly Half of Adults Say High Blood Pressure Under Control; Seniors Not Taking Meds

Older people, blacks, Mexican-Americans, and people with diabetes and chronic kidney disease have higher rates of high blood pressure and less likely to take blood pressure medications, survey finds

Oct. 24, 2012 - Nearly half of U.S. adults with high blood pressure said they had their blood pressure under control by the end of 2010 - a significant increase from the start of the decade, researchers reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. There was disturbing news, however, revealing that most senior citizens and some other demographic groups were most likely to not be taking the recommended drug therapy. Read more...

Shingles Vaccine Does Work but Not as Effective for Seniors Over 70

Among older adults who get the vaccine almost 50% have reduced risk of acquiring the painful disease

By Sharyn Alden, Contributing Writer, Health Behavior News Service

Oct. 18, 2012 – The shingles vaccine works, but it works better for those under 70 years old, according to a new evidence review from The Cochrane Library. Shingles, which originates from the same virus as the childhood disease chickenpox, is painful and can severely impact quality of life for weeks or months. Read more...

Cholesterol Level Decline Started in 1988 and Continues Among U.S. Adults: JAMA Report


See video in story

Favorable trends in TC, non-HDL-C, and LDL-C may be due in part to a decrease in consumption of trans-fatty acids or other healthy lifestyle changes

Oct. 16, 2012 – An analysis of nationally-representative data indicates that between 1988 and 2010 there has been a trend of declining average levels of total cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol for U.S. adults overall, according to a study in the October 17 issue of JAMA. Read more..

Smoking May Lead to Cataracts in Aging Population

Every individual that ever smoked cigarettes was associated with an increased risk of age-related cataract

Oct. 13, 2012 – Cigarette smoking is a well-known risk factor for a wide-range of diseases. Now, scientists have evidence that smoking may also increase the risk of age-related cataract, the leading cause of blindness and vision loss in the world. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Baby Aspirin May Slow Brain Power Decline in Elderly Women with Heart Disease Risk

Older women in Swedish study were at high risk of heart disease and stroke

Oct. 8, 2012 – Elderly women may be able to slow the decline in their brain power with a daily low dose aspirin, at least if they are at high risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a new observational study reported online in BMJ Open. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

More Precise Analysis of Scans for COPD Can Better Determine Lung Damage, Treatment Results

Parametric response mapping is path to more precise diagnosis, treatment planning; useful tool for precisely assessing the impact of new medications and treatments

Oct. 8, 2012 - A new approach to lung scanning could improve the diagnosis and treatment of a lung disease that affects approximately 24 million Americans – mostly older people -  and is the country's third-highest cause of death.

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Apple a Day Lowers Blood Chemical Linked to Hardening of the Arteries

Apple industry group funded study finds apples lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL -- low-density lipoprotein, the "bad" cholesterol

Oct. 2, 2012 - Eating an apple a day might in fact help keep the cardiologist away, new research suggests. In a study of healthy, middle-aged adults, consumption of one apple a day for four weeks lowered by 40 percent blood levels of a substance linked to hardening of the arteries. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Detects High-Grade Prostate Cancer Using Less Biopsies

Older men in ‘active surveillance’ for prostate cancer would benefit from using microbubble technique to watch progession

Oct. 1, 2012 – Anything that reduces the necessity of biopsies is usually welcomed by senior citizens, the most likely victims of cancer. New research concerning prostate cancer, a common cancer hitting older men, indicates the time has come for the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound to better detect high-grade prostate cancer and monitor low-risk ones using less biopsies. Read more...

Low Levels of Vitamin D Indicate Much Higher Risk for Heart Attack, Early Death

Large study funded by Danish Heart Foundation used blood samples from 10,000 Danes

Sept. 24, 2012 - Low levels of vitamin D are associated with a markedly higher risk of heart attack and early death in a large study that involved more than 10,000 Danes. The researchers say those with the lowest levels of vitamin D have at least an 81 percent higher risk of death from heart disease than those with the optimal levels. Read more...

Thalidomide Disfigured Children in 1950s, Improves Lives for Older People with IPF

Drug relieves disabling cough for seniors - average age 67 - with deadly lung disease, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, study shows

Risk of severe, life-threatening birth defects caused by thalidomide.

Sept. 17, 2012 – It is probably a very hard pill to swallow for senior citizens old enough to remember to shocking images on the fuzzy TV screens of the 1950s that showed the severe birth defects caused by thalidomide, when it was taken by pregnant women. Now, however, a clinical trial shows the drug has the potential to improve the lives of people – mostly seniors – stricken with deadly idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

How Melanoma Skin Cancer Can Resist Chemotherapy is Discovered

Study results suggest new approach to treating most deadly skin cancer

Sept. 17, 2012 – Melanoma – the deadly skin cancer, major killer of seniors and most rapidly increasing cancer – has been almost unstoppable and a major reason has been its resistance to chemotherapy. This advantage may be coming to an end with the discovery of a genetic pathway in melanoma cells that blocks the cellular mechanism for detecting DNA damage wrought by chemotherapy, thereby building up tolerance to cancer-killing drugs. Read more...

Health for Senior Citizens

Sam’s Club Joins Walmart to Offer Ten Immunizations in 4,352 Pharmacies

Free blood pressure screenings today (Sept. 15) in all Walmart stores offering immunizations; also on Sept. 22 and 29

Sept. 10, 2012 – Sam’s Club announced it is joining Walmart to offer 10 vital immunizations this cold and flu season at all 552 Sam’s Club locations with a pharmacy, which will open to the public. In partnership with Mollen Immunization Clinics, Walmart and Sam’s Club are offering a menu of 10 immunizations by registered nurses through November 15, including shingles, flu and pneumonia. The program began Aug. 27 at the 3,800 Walmarts with pharmacies. Read more...

Medicare News

Shingles Vaccination Not Covered for Some in Medicare; It is for Some Boomers

Seniors face many obstacles to getting needed vaccines, including the shingles vaccine

Sept. 14, 2012 – The shingles vaccine – its cost, its coverage by Medicare, its coverage provided by Medicare supplement insurance, its coverage by the drug program – are frequent questions among senior citizens. This week the answers are provided by Michelle Andrews in her column for Kaiser News, “Insuring Your Health.” Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Discovery of Biomarker for Deadly Melanoma Skin Cancer Offers New Hope

Researchers were able to reverse melanoma growth in pre-clinical studies

Sept. 13, 2012 – Researchers claim discovery of a novel opportunity for melanoma skin cancer diagnostics, treatment and prevention. Melanoma is the most dangerous of skin cancers, the leading cause of death from skin cancer and is increasing faster than any other cancer. It most often strikes older people. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

About One-Third of Stroke Survivors Suffer Depression, Mostly Men

Reducing health ambiguity with proactive communication may be effective for reducing survivor distress: small study

Sept. 12, 2012 – About 33% of stroke survivors struggle with depression and men are considerably more likely to suffer depression than are women, according to a small study reported in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The survivors’ uncertainty about the illness causes the depression. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Sorafenib May Be New Treatment for Multiple Myeloma Blood Cancer That Strikes Seniors

Sorafenib is drug used now for advanced cancer of the kidneys and liver

Sept. 5, 2012 – Multiple Myeloma is a common form of blood cancer that is usually diagnosed after people pass age 60. Although considered incurable, it often progresses slowly and is usually controllable. A problem in treatment, however, is the development of resistance to treatment drugs, according to an oncology researcher, who thinks he has found a new drug that works – sorafenib. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

CMRI Indicates Most Heart Attacks in Elderly May Go Unrecognized

Among test group, 17% had ‘unrecognized myocardial infarction;’ only 9.7% had been thought to have had MI

Sept. 5, 2012 – New research using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging suggests that many older people may have suffered heart attacks that went undetected. The study compared the prevalence and prognosis of recognized and unrecognized myocardial infarction (MI) diagnosed with CMR vs. electrocardiography (ECG) in older diabetic and non-diabetic participants. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Breast Cancer Survivors Given Chemo May Suffer Mild Cognitive Impairment

Large study finds evidence of ‘Chemo Brain’ – patients do significantly worse on tests of verbal and visuospatial ability than patients not getting chemo

Sept. 4, 2012 – Breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy are at risk of mild cognitive impairment after treatment – a condition referred to as “Chemo Brain,” according to researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center. The review of previously published studies, found that study participants on average had mild impairments in verbal abilities (such as difficulty choosing words) and visuospatial abilities (such as getting lost more easily). Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Sleep Apnea Linked with Increased Risk of Cancer Death, Growing Links to Cancers

Several new studies find links between this chronic breathing problem during sleep and cancer – sleep apnea risk highest in older people

Sept. 4, 2012 – Three new studies indicate a link between sleep apnea, a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep, and cancer. The risk of this condition increases with age. A key study that finds an association between sleep apnea and increased cancer deaths will be presented today. Read more...

Galectin-3 Protein Can Predict Higher Risk of Heart Failure, Death in Older Adults

Heart failure has enormous risk of death, often few warning signs

Aug. 31, 2012 – If you are a senior citizen, it is almost a certainty you have wondered about the chances that your heart will fail. Well, if you really want to know, a way to answer the question may have arrived. Government scientists have discovered a protein – galectin-3 – that identifies which people are at higher risk of heart failure. Read more...

Fitness at Middle Age Leads to Lower Risk of Chronic Disease in Senior Years

Even study participants who died had fewer chronic ailments to the end

Aug. 27, 2012 - A new study declares that fitness in middle age points to less chronic health problems in later life. And, even those who died in old age, seemed to have less of these chronic ailments right up to the end. The study involved both senior men and women, older than 65, who were Medicare patients. Read more...

Study Designed to Help Pancreatic Cancer Patients Make Hard Choices

‘Even aggressive intervention with chemotherapy, radiation or surgery rarely yields more than an extra month to a year of survival’

Aug. 23, 2012 – The short life expectancy of a pancreatic cancer patient, even if the treatment is aggressive, motivated physicians, medical educators and students to produce a quantitative analysis of this experience that they hope will assist these victims in making quality-of-life decisions. Read more...

Prostate Cancer Survival Rates Improved After Introduction of PSA Screening

Growing evidence that questions U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommendation against PSA screening in all men

Aug. 23, 2012 – The latest round in the on-going debate over the routine use of prostate specific antigen (PSA) to screen for and monitor prostate cancer is a new study that compares studies before and after the “PSA era.” The lead investigator concludes that ‘without a doubt it has played a role in extending many lives.” Read more...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Lots of High Tech Efforts to Prevent Drug Errors but Don’t Forget Simple Stuff

Watch video by pharmacy professor on basics of medication management

Aug. 22, 2012 - As researchers develop high tech solutions like smartphone apps, computerized tools and even ingestible devices to help individuals taking multiple medications manage their pills, it becomes increasingly important to not forget the simple stuff. And, this can be critical for seniors – the most often to visit emergency rooms with drug reactions. Read more...

Features for Senior Citizens

Doc-in-a-Box Retail Medical Clinics Booming with Growth in Senior Citizen Patients

Seniors using these neighborhood clinics now almost 20% of all traffic

Aug. 16, 2012 - Fast-growing retail medical clinics are attracting senior citizen patients and delivering more preventive care, particularly flu shots and other vaccinations, according to a new study from the RAND Corporation. Read more...

Baby Boomer Alert

Baby Boomers Should All Receive One-Time Hepatitis C Test: CDC Recommendation

Over 2 million US baby boomers  infected with hepatitis C – over 75% of all adults with the virus - more about hepatitis C below news story

Hepatitis C is diagnosed through blood tests, which can also show if you have chronic hepatitis C or another type of hepatitis.

Aug. 16, 2012 - All U.S. baby boomers should get a one-time test for the hepatitis C virus, according to final recommendations published today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in 30 baby boomers – the generation born from 1945 through 1965 – has been infected with hepatitis C, and most don’t know it. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Melanoma Skin Cancer May Be More Treatable with New Discovery

Average age of melanoma diagnosis is 61; over 9,000 expected to die in 2012 - more about this skin cancer below news report

Aug. 15, 2012 - There is a new target that may hold the key to the successful treatment of melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer that primarily targets older men. Researchers have found a new channel-forming protein called Pannexin (Panx1) that is on the surface of healthy skin cells. But they found, in melanoma, Panx1 is over-produced to a uncontrolled level. If you reduce it or knock it down, the cell becomes more normal. Read more..

Senior Citizens, Boomers Destined for Cataracts if They Live Long Enough

Professionals urged seniors to take action during Cataract Awareness Month - New study finds risk of hip fractures significantly reduced in Medicare patients who had cataract surgery

Cataracts may cause colors to appear faded or yellowish, vision to be blurred, cloudy. See video...

Aug. 14, 2012 - Over half of all Americans will develop cataracts by the age of 70 and those who do not surely will if they live long enough. But poor vision doesn't have to be an inevitable fact of aging, say medical professionals promoting Cataract Awareness Month in August. Read more, see video...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements

Eating Egg Yolks Almost as Bad as Smoking for Stroke, Heart Attack Risk

‘Eating egg yolk regularly should be avoided by those at risk of cardiovascular disease’

Aug. 13, 2012 - Eating egg yolks accelerates atherosclerosis in a manner similar to smoking cigarettes, according to a researcher who surveyed more than 1200 patients. He says regular consumption of egg yolks is about two-thirds as bad as smoking, when it comes to increased build-up of carotid plaque, a risk factor for stroke and heart attack. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Cardiovascular Benefits of Taking Statins Outweigh Diabetes Risk

No risk for those without diabetes risk factors, one risk factors jumps risk 28%

Aug. 10, 2012 - The benefits of taking statins to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease outweigh the increased risk of developing diabetes experienced by some patients who take these cholesterol-lowering drugs, according to an Article published Online First in The Lancet. Those with major risk factors for diabetes should be cautioned. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

West Nile Virus Cases Reported to CDC Through July Are Most Since 2004

CDC urges seniors, others to take action to avoid this mosquito-carried disease

Aug. 3, 2012 - Concern being expressed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to the outbreak of 241 cases of West Nile virus disease, including four deaths. This is the highest number of cases reported through the end of July since 2004. Thus far in 2012, 42 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

No PSA Testing May Triple Cases of Advanced Prostate Cancer, Spread

Data very clear: not doing PSA will result in many men with far more advanced prostate cancer spread to other parts of the body

July 30, 2012 - Eliminating the PSA test to screen for prostate cancer would be taking a big step backwards and would likely result in rising numbers of men with metastatic cancer at the time of diagnosis, predicted a University of Rochester Medical Center analysis published in the journal, Cancer. Read more...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Group Yoga Helps Stroke Victims Improve Function, Balance

Helps patients long after stroke; cost effective; may help them be more active; oldest over 90

July 27, 2012 – Group yoga can improve motor function and balance in stroke survivors, even if they don't begin yoga until six months or more after the stroke and no longer receive rehabilitative care, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. One patient was in his 90s. Read more...

Sex and Romance for Senior Citizens

Older Women with Diabetes More Likely to Experience Sexual Dissatisfaction

Diabetes recognized risk for erectile dysfunction in men, but almost no data to indicate whether it affects sexual function in women

July 25, 2012 - Women with diabetes – age 40 to 80 in this study - are just as likely to be interested in sex and engage in, sexual activity as non-diabetic women, but they are much more likely to report low overall sexual satisfaction, according to a UCSF study. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Basal Cell Carcinoma Is Most Common Skin Cancer, Chronic for Many Seniors

Further confirmation that risk of basal cell carcinoma  increases with age; more of chronic disease; High sun exposure before age 30 a major predictor, as was a history of eczema; what can be done for older people

July 25, 2012 - In the powerful sunlight of July, newly published results from a large study of people at high risk for basal cell carcinoma support the emerging view of the nation’s most common cancer as a chronic ailment that often repeatedly afflicts older people but for which the seeds may be planted in youth. The research also found a new association with eczema. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Diabetes Patients Can Save Up to $60 Million a Year: New Walmart Initiative

Company that led way in reducing the cost of generic drugs, now offers lower prices on meter, test strips, more for diabetes patients

July 25, 2012 - Walmart yesterday launched an initiative it says will save diabetes patients in the U.S. up to $60 million annually with its exclusive ReliOn brand of diabetes products, including the ReliOn Prime meter and blood sugar test strips. Among U.S. senior citizens aged 65 years and older, 10.9 million, or 26.9%, had diabetes in 2010. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Hip or Knee Replacement Increases Risk for Heart Attacks Among Seniors

Worst problems for those 80 and over, very little risk for those under 60

July 24, 2012 - Total hip replacement (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) surgeries were associated with increased risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI, heart attack) in the first two weeks after the surgical procedures, according to a new study. The average age in the study for THR was less than 72 and for TKR it was just over 67. Read more...

Tradjenta Effective Fighting Diabetes for Long-Term: International Study

The drug linagliptin is marketed in U.S. as Tradjenta and as Trajenta in other countries

July 24, 2012 - An extended trial involving older people of a drug for type 2 diabetes has confirmed that the oral DPP-4 inhibitor Tradjenta (linagliptin) is a safe and effective means of lowering glucose levels for up to 102 weeks, either on its own or in combination with other selected oral anti-diabetic medication. Read more...

Secret to Melanoma Cancer’s Resistance to Treatment Exposed - Hope for Seniors

Researchers say they have found why treatment is difficult and may have answer for turning this around

July 23, 2012 - Melanoma skin cancer is one the most aggressive of all cancers and its favorite victims are senior citizens. Not only does it progress rapidly but successful treatment is difficult because it is usually resistant to conventional chemotherapy treatment. Researchers reporting on a new study say they may have a found a new way to treat this cancer more successfully. Read more...

Chemical that Affects Biological Clock Offers New Way to Treat Diabetes

Fishing with ‘longdaysin’ found new chemical to slow biological clock; inhibits production of enzymes in liver – Second study finds why hypertension and diabetes damage eyes

July 12, 2012 - A chemical that offers a completely new and promising direction for the development of drugs to treat metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes does not directly control glucose production but it can regulate our circadian rhythm or biological clock. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements

Older Women Lower Osteoporosis Risk with Moderate Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol appears to behave similarly to estrogen in that it reduces bone turnover; moderate drinkers have a higher bone density than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers

July 11, 2012 - Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol as part of a healthy lifestyle may benefit women's bone health, lowering their risk of developing osteoporosis. A new study assessed the effects of alcohol withdrawal on bone turnover in postmenopausal women who drank one or two drinks per day several times a week. Read more...

Aging News & Information

Scientists Find Genetic Clues to Why Immune System Gets Weaker with Age

Understanding how to maintain strong, healthy immune systems could help many live longer, healthier lives

July 11, 2012 – A team of U.S. scientists say they have discovered important insights that explain why our ability to ward off infection declines with age. They identified genes responsible for this decline by examining fruit flies – a model organism often used to study human biology – at different stages of their lives. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Nine Factors Found to Play Key Role in Quality of Life for Dying Cancer Patients

When a cure for cancer is no longer an option, the focus of care often shifts from prolonging life to promoting the quality of life

July 9, 2012 - Better quality of life at the end of life for patients with advanced cancer was associated with avoiding hospitalizations and the intensive care unit, worrying less, praying or meditating, being visited by a pastor in a hospital or clinic, and having a trusting alliance with their physician, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication. Read more...

Senior Cardiac Surgery Patients May Suffer Extended Cognitive Problems

Postoperative delirium a common complications in hospitalized senior citizens over 65; may be key to improve recovery of cognitive ability

July 5, 2012 - Older patients undergoing cardiac surgery often experience changes in cognitive function, such as memory problems or an inability to focus, in the days immediately following their operations. While these changes are usually temporary, for unknown reasons, a significant number of cardiac patients will encounter long-term cognitive problems, lasting as long as a year after their surgeries. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements

Moderate Coffee Drinking Good for Your Heart; Favorite Senior Drink Wins Again

Good news may warrant changes to current heart failure prevention guidelines of American Heart Association that say coffee drinking may be risky for heart patients; bit of bad news - excess coffee bad!

June 27, 2012 - If you drink coffee regularly in moderation, you could significantly reduce your risk of heart failure, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation Heart Failure. But there may be serious problems for those who drink too much. This adds to the growing number of research reports concluding coffee is good for your health, including one last month declaring coffee drinkers live longer. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements

Seniors May Find Relief for Spine Damage with Omega-3, Curry Spice Diet

Diet minimized disease-related changes and repaired damage to the spinal cord of UCLA lab rats – preserved walking

June 26, 2012 – New research indicates that combining a popular omega-3 fatty acid, derived from fish oil, with an ingredient of curry spice may offer millions of older people some relief from cervical myelopathy, the most common spine-related walking problem for people over age 55, and other spinal damage. Read more...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Breast Cancer Risk Reduced by Mild Physical Activity if Weight Maintained

Reduced risk for older women who exercise after menopause is particularly encouraging

June 25, 2012 - Physical activity – either mild or intense, and before or after menopause – may reduce breast cancer risk, but substantial weight gain may negate these benefits, according to a new analysis by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Coronary Heart Disease Hospitalization Drops by 50 Percent for Senior Citizens

Elderly 75 to 84 did not do as well in the 2000 to 2010 period with 42% decline; other studies show heart disease, stroke in decline

June 21, 2012 - Perhaps Medicare and the free preventive care programs put in place by Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) are having a significant impact in the reduction of serious coronary heart disease among senior citizens. The rate of hospitalization of this disease among seniors age 65 to 75 declined by 50% from 2000 to 2010. Read more...

New Platelet Blocker Reduces Clots, Artery-Opening Surgery in PAD Patients

Vorapaxar is first in a new class of anti-platelet drugs called PAR-1 antagonists

June 20, 2012 - An investigational platelet-blocking drug reduced the rate of dangerous blood clots in the legs and the need for artery-opening surgery in people with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Unfortunately, the drug didn't significantly reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, and those taking the blood thinner had higher rates of serious bleeding incidents. Read more...

Much Higher Rate of Untreated Kidney Failure Found Among Older People

Incidence of advanced kidney disease in the elderly may be substantially underestimated by rates of treated kidney failure alone

June 19, 2012 - A study involving almost 2 million adults in Canada to determine whether age is associated with the likelihood of treatment for kidney failure found the rate of progression to untreated kidney failure was considerably higher among older adults – the elderly in particular. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Living Alone Increases Risk of Mortality, Cardiovascular Death for Older Adults

Among patients older than 80 years, living alone was not associated with an increased risk of mortality

June 18, 2012 - Living alone was associated with an increased risk of death and cardiovascular death for middle-aged people and seniors up to 80 years old in an international study of stable outpatients at risk of or with arterial vascular disease (such as coronary disease or peripheral vascular disease). Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Seniors with Diabetes, Poor Glucose Control Show Greater Cognitive Decline

Supports hypothesis that older adults with diabetes have reduced cognitive function,  poor glycemic control may be contributor

June 18, 2012 - Among well-functioning older adults without dementia, diabetes mellitus (DM) and poor glucose control are associated with worse cognitive function and greater cognitive decline, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Neurology, a JAMA Network publication. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Older Women with Hysterectomy at Greater Risk of Stiff Arteries, Cardiovascular Disease

Study says postmenopausal hysterectomy leads to stiffening of arteries, which can lead to cardiovascular disease – leading cause of death in women

June 13, 2012 – Estrogen-deficient, postmenopausal women who have had their uterus removed appear to have stiffer carotid arteries compared to similar women who have not had a hysterectomy, according to new research from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Read more...

Seniors Increase Death Risk by Smoking But Can Still Live Longer by Quitting

'Many older smokers misbelieve that they are too old to quit or too old to benefit from quitting'

'If you have helped two smokers quit, you have saved (at least) one life'

June 11, 2012 – Few of the studies probing the dangers of smoking have focused on older people, but researchers who studied 17 studies involving seniors age 60 and older say that even those who stop smoking at an advanced age increase the probability of longer life. Read more...

Elderly Diabetes Patients Have Less Hypoglycemia in Januvia Study

Comparison data with sulfonylurea to be presented at the American Diabetes Association 72nd Annual Scientific Sessions that opened yesterday

June 9, 2012 – Senior citizens – those age 65 or older – with type 2 diabetes will cheer the analysis results announced today by Merck that its drug Januvia (sitagliptin) achieved similar blood sugar reductions as those produced by sulfonylurea but with “significantly” less low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Merck says it may suggest fewer falls for seniors. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Relief from Pain of Shingles May Soon by On Way with Horizant Approval by FDA

GSK and XenoPort get approval for valuable drug to treat postherpetic neuralgia but relief for senior victims may be delayed by contract dispute, says Reuters

See video

June 8, 2012 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug – Horizant – that has been proven to provide relief for the nerve pain that strikes millions of senior citizens after they have been stricken with shingles. Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox and is most common in people age 60 and older. Read more, see video...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

New Laxative-Free Virtual Colonoscopy May Increase Colon Cancer Screening

No bowel cleansing is necessary in new method that combines with virtual colonoscopy; clinicians support any effective method that increases screening

By Michelle Andrews

June 6, 2012 - Colorectal cancer screening can cut a person's risk of dying from the disease in half, yet about 40 percent of those who should get tested don't do it. One reason is that the "gold standard" for screening, an optical colonoscopy, requires a rigorous preparation to empty the colon, and it gives many people pause. A new method that doesn't require patients to take laxatives to empty their bowel beforehand could boost screening rates. Read more...

High Risk of Major Bleeding from Low-Dose Aspirin Found by New Study

Study looked at those with and without diabetes in large study; aspirin appears to not increase risk for diabetics but non diabetics

June 5, 2012 - Just when new studies were beginning to solidify aspirin’s position as the wonder drug, for senior citizens in particular, the bubble of optimism is burst by news that daily use of even low-dose aspirin may increase the risk of major bleeding in the stomach, intestines or skull by more than 50 percent. Read more...

Type 2 Diabetes Patients Can Add Cancer of the Blood to Their List of Worries

Researchers say preventing diabetes can lower the incidence of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma - see video

June 5, 2012 - Patients with type 2 diabetes have a 20 percent increased risk of developing blood cancers, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma, according to a new meta-analysis led by researchers at The Miriam Hospital. The findings, published online in the journal Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology, add to the growing evidence linking diabetes and certain types of cancer. Read more, watch video...

Debate About Recommendation Against PSA Test for Prostate Cancer to Continue

The recommendation by U.S. Preventive Services Task Force against PSA screening for men of any age for prostate cancer stirs swirl of controversy: says special report in NCI Cancer Bulletin

By Carmen Phillips, National Cancer Institute

June 5, 2012 - A long-awaited update from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against screening men for prostate cancer with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. The task force's 2008 recommendation advised only against screening men aged 75 and older; the update has extended that guidance to include all men. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Alcohol May Trigger Dangerous Palpitations in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

No clear associations between age as a trigger, but study group was small; problem named ‘holiday heart syndrome’ in 1978

June 1, 2012 — A new study of a clinical group with an average age of 59 builds a stronger link between alcohol consumption and serious heart palpitations in patients with atrial fibrillation, the most common form of arrhythmia. A study in 1978 first discovered such patients experiencing a common and potentially dangerous palpitation after excessive drinking. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Aspirin, Painkillers Ward Off Skin Cancer; Second Study Lets Immune System Stop Melanoma

NSAIDs decreased risk for squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma; advanced melanoma patients see scientist lower cancer barrier to allow immune system attack

May 29, 2012 - Senior citizens – the major targets of skin cancers – received significant good news from two sources in the last few days. A study released today says aspirin and other painkillers appear to offer protection from skin cancer. Another study out a week ago found a means of allowing the immune system to attack melanoma skin cancers and causing them to stabilize or recede in half those in the clinical trial. Read more, see video...

Heart Disease, Stroke Deaths Drop for People with Diabetes: Often Seniors

Healthier lifestyles, better disease management are helping people live longer; Among U.S. seniors 65 and older, 10.9 million, or 26.9% had diabetes in 2010.

May 23, 2012 - Death rates for people with diabetes dropped substantially from 1997 to 2006, especially deaths related to heart disease and stroke, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. It is encouraging news for senior citizens, the most common victims of type 2 diabetes. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Walmart Adds Generic for Plavix on Saturday, More Generics on Way

The company that led  on making generic drugs more affordable, more popular with seniors will roll out a dozen more this year

May 17, 2012 – Walmart, the company that was the first to make drastic reductions in the price of generic drugs for senior citizens, announced yesterday that it will be among the first retailers to offer Clopidogrel, the generic version of Plavix. Clopidogrel will be available at all Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies on May 19. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Key Topics for Many Seniors Presented at American Heart Association Session

Heart attack patients treated faster at PCI hospitals, pharmacists on telemonitors help control blood pressure, physically fit in mid-life saves money in aging, stroke patients on blood thinner warfarin can be treated with clot-busting tPA, Romney health plan made no big difference in heart attack readmissions

May 10, 2012 - The American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2012 Scientific Sessions is off to a running start with several research reports of interest to senior citizens presented today. These included studies that found heart attack patients get much faster treatment if taken to a properly equipped hospital, patients getting telemonitoring support from pharmacists are more likely to control their blood pressures, physically fit middle-aged adults have significantly lower healthcare costs as they age, and the Romney health care bill did not improve heart attack readmission rates. Read more...

Elderly Women with Irregular Heart Beat at Higher Risk for Stroke Than Men

Most common anticoagulant to prevent stroke in Atrial fibrillation patients may not be as effective in women, 75 or older, as in men

May 9, 2012 - Older women who have been diagnosed with an irregular heart beat are at higher risk of stroke than men. A new study led by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) shows that warfarin, the most common anticoagulant therapy used to prevent stroke in patients with Atrial fibrillation (AF) may not be as effective in women, 75 years or older, as in men. Read more...

Sex and Romance for Senior Citizens

Doctors' Advice Key in Heart Attack Victims' Return to Healthy Sex Life

Underscores need for doctors to address sex as important part of overall physical function, even after a life-threatening event

May 9, 2012 - Older people who were sexually active before suffering a heart attack were one and a half times more likely to recapture their sex lives if they received guidance on the topic before leaving the hospital, a new study finds. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Older Adults with Diabetes Live Long Enough to Benefit from Interventions

‘…with the exception of patients over age 76 with the poorest health status, all showed strong survival rates’ - U-M study

May 2, 2012 - Middle-aged and older adults with diabetes showed substantial survival rates in a new University of Michigan Health System study of retirees. Survival rates were strong even for adults living in nursing homes or who have multiple health issues like dementia and disabilities that make self-managed care for diabetes difficult. Read more...

Doctors Put Too Much Emphasis on Age When Choosing Which Patients to Treat

Researchers recommend considering other illnesses, as well as age, before starting treatment

By Steve Tokar

May 2, 2012 - In a study of senior citizen patients 65 and older with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), younger patients were more likely to receive treatment than older patients, regardless of overall health and prognosis. Read more...

Two Year Trial Finds Avastin, Lucentis Effective in Restoring Vision for Elderly with AMD

Age-related macular degeneration is leading cause of vision loss and blindness for senior citizens - see video on AMD

April 30, 2012 – At the conclusion of a two-year clinical trial, good news was reported for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in senior citizens. The study concluded the two widely used treatment drugs – Avastin (bevacizumab) and Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) – are both effective in producing “a robust and lasting improvement in vision.” Read more, see video on AMD...

Positive Attitude Appears to Offer Protection from Heart Attacks, Strokes

Greater well-being related to better biological function - lower blood pressure, healthier lipid (blood fat) profiles, normal body weight

April 17, 2012 – The most optimistic individuals had an approximately 50% reduced risk of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers, according to a new study that concludes that positive psychological well-being appears to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events. Read more...

Seriously Injured More Likely to Survive if Transported to Care by Helicopter

Patients transported by ground were more likely to be discharged from level I centers to a nursing home

April 17, 2012 – Speed is better, when it comes to getting badly injured adults to trauma care. A large study of the cases involving 200,000 adults with serious injuries who were transported to trauma centers finds that those who traveled by helicopter had a better chance of survival than those carried by ground emergency medical services. Read more, see video...

Aspirin’s Ability to Prevent Cancer Gets Attention of American Cancer Society

‘Exciting opportunity to reconsider the potential role of aspirin in cancer prevention’

April 12, 2012—A new report by American Cancer Society scientists says new data showing aspirin's potential role in reducing the risk of cancer death bring us considerably closer to the time when cancer prevention can be included in clinical guidelines for the use of aspirin in preventative care. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Heart Patients Warned of Using Drugs to Block ‘Flush’ from Popular Niacin Pills

Questions blocking DP1 in patients prone to cardiovascular disease, especially those taking niacin to treat cholesterol

April 9, 2012 - Niacin, or vitamin B3, is the one approved drug that increases "good" cholesterol (high density lipoprotein, HDL) while depressing "bad" cholesterol (low density lipoprotein, LDL), and has thereby attracted much attention from patients – seniors in particular - and physicians. Niacin keeps fat from breaking down, and so obstructs the availability of LDL building blocks. Read more...

Senior Citizen Politics

Physicians Wade Into Efforts To Curb Unnecessary Medical Treatments

Groups suggest one third of health care spending is for unnecessary treatments; Dr. Donald Berwick, the former head of Medicare, called the campaign "a game changer."

By Julie Appleby, KHN Staff Writer

April 4, 2012 - Nine prominent physician groups today released lists of 45 common tests and treatments they say are often unnecessary and may even harm patients. The move represents a high-profile effort by physicians to help reduce the extraordinary amount of unnecessary treatment, said to account for as much as a third of the $2.6 trillion Americans spend on health care each year. Read more...see video

Which Medical Procedures Should You Question?

On April 4, 2012, the ABIM Foundation, along with nine medical specialty societies and Consumer Reports, formally launched the Choosing Wisely campaign. Participating medical specialty societies each identified "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" to help spark conversations between physicians and patients about the need - or lack thereof - for many frequently ordered tests or treatments.

Click to pdf booklet of recommendations.

Click to news story on Choosing Wisely

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Walking Helps Senior Citizens Alleviate Fatigue after Cancer Operation

New study reveals how a regular walking regimen helped pancreatic cancer patients overcome fatigue; major problem for almost all cancer survivors

April 2, 2012 Researchers have affirmed that pancreatic cancer patients can literally take a step-by-step approach to combat fatigue. A study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons reports that patients who underwent an operation as part of their cancer treatment and then started a regular walking regimen experienced less fatigue than cancer survivors who did not do the walking program. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Robotic Bladder Cancer Surgery Safer, Less Invasive But More Costly

One in 100 receiving open radical cystectomy died during hospitalization, no in-hospital deaths for robotic-assisted cystectomy; fourth leading cancer for men

April 2, 2012 - With technological advancements opening the door to less invasive medical procedures, robotic-assisted surgery is becoming increasingly popular, despite being more expensive than traditional surgery. Robotic-assisted surgical removal of the bladder due to cancer is a new approach to the traditional "open" - or more invasive - operation called a radical cystectomy. Read more...

Senior Citizen Thyroid Surgery Patients at Greater Risk of Postoperative Problems

Large study challenges assumption that thyroidectomy is a low-risk operation for elderly patients

March 29, 2012 - Elderly patients who undergo thyroid surgery are at a much higher risk than their younger counterparts for serious cardiac, pulmonary and infectious complications, according to a recent study. Compared to younger patients, senior citizens (age 65-79) are twice as likely and the super-elderly (age 80 and above) are five times as likely to have a postoperative complication. Read more...

New Report Shows Cancer Death Rates Continue Decline from 1990s

Special feature highlights cancers associated with excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity

March 28, 2012 - Death rates from all cancers combined for men, women, and children continued to decline in the United States between 2004 and 2008, according to the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975–2008 released today. Read more...

Survival Better for Older Patients with Bypass Surgery Than Coronary Angioplasty

Largest-ever national study shows patients selected for heart bypass surgery have better long-term survival than those opting for percutaneous coronary intervention

March 27, 2012 - Patients with coronary heart disease and their doctors have long been challenged by the decision of whether to pursue bypass surgery or opt for the less-invasive percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI, which includes stenting and balloon angioplasty). New evidence reveals bypass surgery appears to carry a higher long-term survival rate, according to research presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 61st Annual Scientific Session. Read more...

Half of Heart Attack Victims May Be Saved on Way to Hospital by GIK Cocktail

Life-saving drugs in the hands of paramedics cost about $50; mixture of glucose, insulin, potassium

March 27, 2012 - Paramedics can reduce someone's chances of having a cardiac arrest or dying by 50 percent by immediately administering a mixture of glucose, insulin and potassium ("GIK") to people having a heart attack, according to research presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 61st Annual Scientific Session. Read more...

Pre-Cancerous Polyps Missed in Third of Colonoscopies Due to Poor Patient Prep

Most seniors dread their colonoscopy exam and a big part of this consternation is due to the required preparation - about a quarter do poor job - see video

By Jim Dryden

March 27, 2012 - What happens on the day before a colonoscopy may be just as important as the colon-screening test itself. Gastroenterologists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that when patients don’t adequately prep for the test by cleansing their colons, doctors often can’t see potentially dangerous pre-cancerous lesions. Read more...

American Heart Association Says 14 Percent of Heart Transplants in 2010 Were for Senior Citizens

Heart transplant for former vice president, Dick Cheney, raises questions about priorities; AHA issues statement

March 26, 2012 – Former Vice President Dick Cheney had a heart transplant on Saturday at the age of 71. This has raised questions about who gets the few hearts available for transplant and if they should be used on senior citizens. The American Heart Association points out in a statement on this questions that about 14 percent of those receiving transplants in 2010 were senior citizens. Read more...

Overweight, Obese Women at Greater Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence, Death

Problem persists even after adjusting chemo dose for weight; no proof that losing weight after diagnosis will make a difference

March 23, 2012 -Women who are overweight or obese when they are diagnosed with breast cancer are at higher risk of cancer recurrence or related death than are leaner women, according to a new study to be presented to the 8th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-8) today by U.S. researchers.  Read more...

Lifestyle Changes Reduced Type 2 Diabetes Risk 58%; Highly Effective for Seniors

Over 10 years, the lifestyle and metformin interventions resulted in health benefits and reduced the costs of inpatient and outpatient care and prescriptions…

March 22, 2012 - Programs to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in high-risk adults would result in fewer people developing diabetes and lower health care costs over time, researchers say. A program involving lifestyle changes, which was particularly effective for people age 60 and older, reduced the rate of diabetes in high risk adults by 58 percent. Read more...

Cymbalta Antidepressant Proves Effective in Relieving Osteoarthritis Pain

Duloxetine (Cymbalta) provided a number of advantages over NSAIDs, which can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding, and opiates such as morphine, which can cause constipation

March 22, 2012 - Antidepressants can play a key role in alleviating painful conditions like osteoarthritis and may result in fewer side effects than traditionally prescribed drug regimes, such as anti-inflammatories and opioids, according new research. Read more...

Survivors of Multiple Cancers Most Likely to Engage in Unhealthy Behavior

Large study suggests clinical interventions to change the pattern

March 22, 2012 – A very large study has resulted in findings that are not that surprising – people who survive multiple cancers are more likely than those who have had no more than one cancer to engage in unhealthy behaviors after being diagnosed. The researchers suggest clinical interventions to change this behavior pattern. Read more...

Large Increase in Use of Costly Sedation Services for Colonoscopies, Endoscopies

Study says anesthesia services for low-risk patients was more than two-thirds in Medicare population, three-quarters of commercially insured - see JAMA video

March 21, 2012 – Colonoscopies are certainly at the top of the list of preventive exams most senior citizens dread. The good news has been you are sedated during the rectal exam. Now, however, there are researchers finding a large increase in costly anesthesia services for endoscopies and colonoscopies and questioning the necessity. Read more, see video

Antioxidants Used as Anti-Aging Treatment May Also Kill Cancer Cells; Be Better Than Chemo

Three antioxidants - resveratrol, genistein and baicalein - are used or studied as anti-aging treatments and to treat heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteopenia and osteoporosis and chronic hepatitis; resveratrol found in red wine is in 44 clinical trials as potential treatment for even Alzheimer’s disease

March 20, 2012 - Antioxidants have long been thought to have anti-aging properties, primarily by protecting a person's genetic material from damaging chemicals. The story, however, now appears to be much more complicated. Read more

Early Success in Curing Melanoma in Mice Spurs Mayo Vaccine Development

Success with melanoma adds to Mayo Clinic's growing portfolio of experimental cancer vaccines

March 19, 2012 – Sixty percent of mice with melanoma skin cancer tumors were cured in less than three months by researchers at the Mayo Clinic. The researchers trained the immune system of the mice to eradicate skin cancer from within, using a genetic combination of human DNA from melanoma cells and a cousin of the rabies virus. Read more...

New Therapies May Mean More Life for Patients with Advanced Melanoma

Two new drugs, vemurafenib (Zelboraf) and ipilimumab (Yervoy), showing promise in slowing the progression of this skin cancer

March 16, 2012 – A hot topic at the American Academy of Dermatology’s 70th Annual Meeting today was the presentation on the recent reports of success in slowing deadly melanoma skin cancer – a major killer of senior men – with two new drugs, vemurafenib (Zelboraf) and ipilimumab (Yervoy). Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Women Consuming Moderate Amount of Alcohol Significantly Lower Stroke Risk

Ischemic stroke risk 21% less in women drinking up to 15 grams of alcohol per day

March 15, 2012 – A study of female nurses over 26 years has led to the conclusion that women drinking light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol significantly reduce their risk of have ischemic stroke. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Blood Vessel Disease of Retina in Senior Women May Indicate Cognitive Decline

UCSF-led study points to potential tool for early diagnosis of vascular damage in brain

By Jennifer O'Brien

March 15, 2012 - Women 65 or older who have even mild retinopathy, a disease of blood vessels in the retina, are more likely to have cognitive decline and related vascular changes in the brain, according to a multi-institutional study led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Read more...

JAMA Study Finds People with Stroke Symptoms Still Not Calling 911

Study showing ambulance use for fast, effective treatment not increasing; urgent need to recognize stroke symptoms- see videos

March 14, 2012 – Despite the efforts to inform the public of the urgency for rapid treatment for stroke victims and the effective treatments now available, the number of patients using an ambulance for rapid transportation to a treatment center has not changed since the mid-1990s. Read, see videos

Heart Beats May Soon Power Pacemakers, Implanted Defibrillators

Would save many seniors worry of surgical battery replacement

March 5, 2012 – For thousands of senior citizens a cardiac pacemaker and an implanted defibrillator are wonderful inventions, but there is the worry about batteries to keep them going and the stress of having them surgically replaced. Scientist think, however, they are making progress on a solution – a way of using vibrations from heartbeats to power the devices. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Trans Fat Increases Stroke Risk in Older Women; Aspirin Reduces Risk in Study

Those who ate the most trans fat were 66% more likely to have an ischemic stroke

March 1, 2012 -Older women whose diets include a substantial amount of trans fats are more likely than their counterparts to suffer an ischemic stroke, a new study shows.  However, the risk of stroke associated with trans fat intake was lower among women taking aspirin, according to the findings from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers. Read more...

Senior Citizen Politics

House Bill Would Make Colonoscopy, Polyp Removal Free for Medicare Patients

Groups want to allow removal of polyps during procedure with no unexpected co-pay

March 1, 2012 - Colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening saves lives, but a loophole in current Medicare law may cause patients to think twice before undergoing this vital test, says three medical groups. Legislation introduced today seeks to ensure that colorectal cancer screening for all Medicare beneficiaries is free, as was intended. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Statin Link to Cognitive Problems, Memory Loss by FDA Shock to Seniors

New safety warnings also cite liver problems, blood sugar elevation, drug interactions with lovastation

Feb. 29. 2012 – Statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs taken by millions of senior citizens for better cardiovascular health, have enjoyed a long ride of positive feedback on their benefits. Yesterday, however, the Food and Drug Administration sent shock waves through the elderly community with a caution that statins may be associated with cognitive problems and memory loss, a major fear for many seniors. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Diabetes Drug TAX-875 Improves Glucose Control Without Increasing Hypoglycemia

Researchers say it is as effective as glimepiride with lower risk of drop in blood sugar - good news for about 11 million seniors with type 2 diabetes

Feb. 27, 2012 - Only about half of those with type 2 diabetes – most of them senior citizens - have their blood sugar levels on target, but a new drug, studied by the University of Michigan shows promise in managing glucose levels. TAK-875 works by boosting the release of insulin from pancreatic B cells, but only when diabetics need it most – such as when glucose and fatty acids rise in the blood after a meal. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Statins Appear to Reduce Risk of Depression in Heart Patients

Statins may have long-term protective effect against depression, perhaps by helping to prevent atherosclerosis in the brain

Feb. 25, 2012 – Senior citizens – the primary users of cholesterol-lowering statins – may look forward to less depression if they have been prescribed the drugs for heart disease. A new long-term study finds these statin users are much less likely to suffer depression than non-users. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Metastatic Melanoma Patients Live Almost Twice as Long with New Drug

Zelboraf (vemurafenib) changes the natural history of the disease to extend survival - see video

Feb. 23, 2012 - A new drug for patients with metastatic melanoma – mostly older men - nearly doubled median overall survival. More than half of patients who were treated with the drug vemurafenib, known commercially as Zelboraf, responded to treatment and experienced an impressive median overall survival of nearly 16 months – far longer than the typical survival of just six to 10 months for most patients whose melanoma has spread beyond the initial tumor site. Read more, see video...

Virtual Colonoscopies Suitable for Senior Citizens, Mayo Clinic Research Shows

No sedation needed for virtual colonoscopy, but requires same dreaded cleansing as standard colonoscopy - see video

Feb. 23, 2012 - There is good news for the millions of older Americans who have developed a dread for a colonoscopy. A new study, led by a physician from Mayo Clinic in Arizona, shows that virtual colonoscopy - less invasive than the regular kind, isn't just for younger people anymore. The American College of Radiology Imaging Network study published in Radiology now indicates that virtual colonoscopy is comparable to standard colonoscopy for people better than 65 years old. Read more, see video...

Removal of Polyps by Colonoscopy Cuts Colon Cancer Deaths in Half

Removal of these lesions resulted in a 53 percent reduction in colorectal cancer mortality: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center - see video, Medicare coverage, about colonoscopy

Feb. 23, 2012 - For the first time, a new study has shown that removing polyps by colonoscopy not only prevents colorectal cancer from developing, but also prevents deaths from the disease. Patients in the study were evaluated for up to 23 years after having the procedure, providing the longest follow-up results to date. Read more, see video, Medicare coverage...

Women Less Likely to Feel Chest Pain with Heart Attack, More Likely to Die in Hospital

As women age their symptoms become more like those of men - see videos; American Heart Association advice

Feb. 21, 2012 - Women suffering a heart attack – younger women in particular - are more likely than men to arrive at a hospital without chest pain. They also have a higher rate of in-hospital death following a heart attack than men within the same age group, although these differences decrease with increasing age, according to a study in the February 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Read more, see videos

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Four New Drugs Will Change Prostate Cancer Care, Colorado Expert Says

Hope this will lead to making prostate cancer a disease a patient is more likely to die with than from

By Garth Sundem

Feb. 16, 2012 - After a decade and a half of near stagnation, four new drugs could help make advanced prostate cancer a chronic illness instead of a terminal disease, a leading Colorado prostate cancer expert says. Read more...

Millions of Older Americans Living with Total Knee Replacements; 10% of Those 80 Plus

Total knee replacements have doubled in last decade, more young people

Feb. 14, 2012 – Total knee replacements have doubled in the last 10 years and more than 4.5 million Americans now have them. Even more surprising, the new study discovered that 10 percent of Americans age 80 and older are living with a TKR. Osteoarthritis continues to be the primary reason for TKR. Read more...

New Hope for Survival of Heart Failure Patients Treated with AHA Recommended Therapies

Heart failure increases but death rates stabilizing with improved treatment options

Feb. 13, 2012 - More than six million American adults suffer from heart failure and the numbers continue to increase. There are signs, however, that deaths from heart failure are stabilizing and healthcare professionals say the future looks even more promising. Read more...

Fasting Slows Cancer Growth, Spread; Makes Chemo More Effective

Short fasting cycles work as well as chemotherapy in fighting cancer in mice, finds NIH backed study

Feb. 8, 2012 - Man may not live by bread alone, but cancer in animals appears less resilient, judging by a study that found chemotherapy drugs work better when combined with cycles of short, severe fasting. Even fasting on its own effectively treated a majority of cancers tested in mice, including cancers from human cells. Read more...

Researchers Find Possibility of Heart Disease Causing Prostate Cancer

Duke researchers find evidence linking prostate cancer and coronary artery disease

Feb. 8, 2012 – Is heart disease the cause of prostate cancer? New research from the Duke Cancer Institute has found a “significant correlation” between coronary artery disease and prostate cancer, suggesting they may have shared causes. Read more...

Risk of Death from Breast Cancer Increases with Age for Senior Citizens

Increasing age was, however, associated with a lower number of deaths due to breast cancer as a proportion of all-cause mortality

Feb. 7, 2012 – Being a senior citizen diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer puts you at increased risk of death from the breast cancer – as well as other causes – and at higher risk of breast cancer relapse, according to a study in the February 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Read more...

Knee Replacement for Elderly Also Lowers Risk of Death and Heart Failure

It does, however, cost Medicare a little more than treating those osteoarthritis patients who did not choose the replacement

Feb. 7, 2012 – Elderly patients needing a total knee replacement (TKR) due to osteoarthritis have new reasons to say, “Yes.” Research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says the operation not only repairs the knee, it also lowers the patient’s probability of heart failure and death. Read more...

Cigarette Smoking Causes More Rapid Cognitive Decline in Older Men, Not Women

Study shows smokers who quit 10 years or more do not show faster cognitive decline

Feb. 6, 2012 - Cigarette smoking in men – especially older men - appears to be the cause of a more rapid cognitive decline, according to a report published Online First by Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Read more...

Adding Plavix to Aspirin for Preventing Small Strokes May Increase Death Risk

Study stopped early due to increased bleeding compared to aspirin alone

Feb. 6, 2012 - The anti-blood clot regimen that adds the drug Plavix (clopidogrel) to aspirin treatment is unlikely to prevent recurrent strokes and may increase the risk of bleeding and death in patients with subcortical stroke according to late-breaking research presented Friday at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2012. Read more...

Study Fails to Find Reason for Frequent, Inconsistent Surgery After Partial Mastectomy

No consensus on optimal width to be removed around cancer because it has not been addressed in prospective randomized trials - see video

Feb. 1, 2012 - Nearly one in four women who undergo a partial mastectomy for treatment of breast cancer have another surgery to remove additional tissue (reexcision), and there is substantial surgeon and institutional variation in the rate of reexcisions that cannot be explained by patients' clinical characteristics, according to a study in the February 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Read more, see video...

FDA Approves Erivedge to Treat Most Common Skin Cancer - Basal Cell Carcinoma

About a million cases of basal cell carcinoma in U.S. each year with senior citizens prominent victims; most common of skin cancers

Feb. 1, 2012 - Erivedge (vismodegib) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week for the treatment of adults with basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, and should be available in pharmacies within two weeks. Senior citizens are at high risk of these cancers. The drug is intended for use in patients with locally advanced basal cell cancer who are not candidates for surgery or radiation and for those whose cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic). Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Older Women with Diabetes Have Greater Hearing Loss as They Age

Men lose even more hearing regardless of diabetes or age; women lose less if diabetes controlled

Jan. 26, 2012 - Having diabetes may cause women to experience a greater degree of hearing loss as they age, especially if the metabolic disorder is not well controlled with medication, according to a new study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. It also found men have worse hearing loss even without diabetes. Read more...

Many Older Women May Be Able To Skip Osteoporosis Screening

By Mike Stobbe, Huffington Post

1/19/12 - New research could mean millions of older women can skip frequent screening tests for osteoporosis: If an initial bone scan shows no big problems, many can safely wait 15 years to have another one, the study suggests.

Government advisers and leading doctor groups urge osteoporosis screening, but no one has known how often that should happen. The findings offer the best information to date on that question, experts said.

At issues are bone mineral density tests, which usually are done through X-rays and cost around $250. It takes about 10 minutes and involves less radiation than what's emitted during a chest X-ray. Medicare pays for testing every two years.

The new study feeds concerns that the tests are done too often, at least for some women. Complete story at Huffington Post

Aging News & Information

Nursing Home Dementia Patients Three Times as Likely to Fall if on Antidepressants

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) appear to cause risk to rise with higher doses

Jan. 19, 2012 - Nursing home residents with dementia who use average doses of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are three times more likely to have an injurious fall than similar people who don’t use these drugs. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Daily Aspirin Drops Heart Risk 10%; Ups Bleeding Risk 30%; No Benefit to Heart Disease Patients

Lead author warns people with an established history of heart conditions must not stop taking their medication

Jan. 17, 2012 - People without a history of cardiovascular disease (such as heart attack or stroke) are unlikely to benefit from a regular dose of aspirin, given the associated risk of internal bleeding. Aspirin does reduce the risk of clots forming in blood vessels and thereby protects against heart disease and stroke, but maybe less than previously thought. Read more...

Older Americans with Cirrhosis of Liver Suffer High Rates of Disability and Care

Cirrhosis burden expected to climb as obesity, age increase; found in 75% of those obese; 5.5 million with chronic liver disease

Jan. 12, 2011 - Older patients with cirrhosis have significant functional disability, require twice the amount of informal caregiving, and contribute added strain on the health care system, according to U-M research published in Hepatology. Read more...

Features for Senior Citizens

Glaucoma Week Aims to Make Seniors More Aware of Second Leading Cause of Blindness

Older Americans at high risk of this ‘sneak thief of sight’ says National Eye Institute

Jan. 11, 2012 – Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the major cause of blindness and the primary victims are senior citizens. The National Eye Institute, however, is pointing out this month that older people need to also be aware of glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness that most often attacks older people. This is Glaucoma Awareness Month in the U.S. and a good time for the simple eye test. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Statins of Any Kind May Increase Risk of Diabetes in Postmenopausal Women

Researchers say current recommendations by diabetes association nor statin guidelines should change

Jan. 10, 2012 - Statins have become the go-to drug for most senior citizens trying to maintain a healthy, cardiovascular system and most of the research has confirmed a number of health benefits. A red flag has gone up, however, after a new study has found statins appear to increase the risk of diabetes for postmenopausal women. Read more...

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Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Fat Hormone Adiponectin May Increase Dementia, Alzheimer’s Risk for Women

tudy participants averaged 76 years of age at start of study – in 13 years 19% developed dementia; about 79% of those had Alzheimer’s

Jan. 2, 2012 – Adiponectin, a hormone in visceral fat, appears to play a role increasing the risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in older women, according to a study published Online First today by the Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Read more...