Author: Jane Farrell

Aging Well

Sun Exposure May Help Lower Blood Pressure

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Exposure to sunlight has a newly found health benefit: reducing blood pressure and cutting the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to a new study.   The findings, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, indicate that sunlight alters the level of nitric oxide (NO), a small messenger molecule, in skin and blood.   Martin Feelisch, Professor of Experimental Medicine and Integrative Biology at the University of Southampton, UK, comments: “NO along with its breakdown products, known to

Study: Warning Labels Don't Always Work

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Although warning labels are meant to warn consumers of a product's potential dangers, they may actually decrease awareness of those dangers over time. A new study Dr. Yael Steinhart of Tel Aviv University's Recanati Business School, along with Prof. Ziv Carmon of INSEAD in Singapore and Prof.

The Growing Crisis of Visual Disorders in Seniors

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Along with a host of other conditions such as diabetes, obesity and dementia, age-related eye disease is a growing health care issue, especially for older people. Forty million people worldwide are blind or have significant visual impairment. The vast majority of them - 82 percent of those who are blind and 65 percent of those who are visually impaired - are over 50. Researchers worldwide are working on "the aging eye" to address unmet needs of patients and to make scientific findings a reality in the eye doctor's office.

How to Build a Healthy Meal

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From the food authorities at choosemyplate.gov, here's how to put together healthy and tasty meals: Make half your plate veggies and fruit Vegetables and fruits are full of nutrients that may help promote good health. Choose red, orange and dark green vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli. Add lean protein Choose foods such as lean beef and pork, chicken, turkey, beans or tofu. Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate.

Exercise

Exercise and Menopause

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Along with managing weight and avoiding smoking or excess alcohol use, exercising regularly is one of the most important health habits women can practice throughout their lives.  And working out becomes especially important during menopause, because it helps prevent osteoporosis as well as illness such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It may also improve mood disorders that some women go through and help avoid middle-aged weight gain.

Statins May Reduce Delirium in Hospital Patients

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The use of statins for critically ill patients may help prevent delirium, a new study shows. The findings, by British researchers, were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Of the 470 patients included in the study, 151 received statins the evening before being admitted to the hospital.  They were given only to patients who had been given statins, blood-thinning medicines, in the past.

Most Car Accident Victims Aren't Lawsuit-Happy

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Better think twice about that old “whiplash” stereotype. Most people who complain about pain after an auto accident actually do feel it. That conclusion comes from a new study led by University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers, It’s is the first large prospective study to evaluate musculoskeletal pain outcomes after motor vehicle collision in the U.S.

Vitamin D Can Help Fibro Patients

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Fibromyalgia patients, who suffer chronic pain, depression and fatigue, may show improvement in some areas with a Vitamin D supplement, according to new research. The investigators, whose study was published in the journal Pain, said that taking the supplements could be a cost-effective way to treat the condition.

The 7 Hidden Causes of Fatigue

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From the Cleveland Clinic Fatigue can signal anemia, diabetes, hypothyroidism or hepatitis C. But once your doctor rules out major medical causes of fatigue, it’s time to consider hidden ones. "We look for the less obvious roots of fatigue — that’s our job,” says Tanya Edwards, MD, Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine. Hidden causes include: 1. A junk food diet

When Your Doctor Shames You

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New research has found that while 50 percent of patients leave their doctor’s office feeling ashamed or guilty, those feelings may have positive results depending on a number of factors. Researchers from the University of California San Diego said that investigating the issue of patient shame – and consequent avoidance of treatment – is crucial.  "More than one third of all deaths in the United States are still essentially preventable and largely due to unhealthy patient behavior,” the researchers wrote.

A Crucial FDA Warning

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Citing the danger of liver disease, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked doctors to stop prescribing medicines with a high dose of acetaminophen. The agency said that there are no statistics to indicate the taking more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dosage unit “provides additional benefit that outweighs the added risks for liver injury. Further, limiting the amount of acetaminophen per dosage unit will reduce the risk of severe liver injury from inadvertent acetaminophen overdose, which can lead to liver failure, liver transplant, and death.”

Too Much Medicine May be Bad for You

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If you’re taking a number of medicines for a single condition, you have a greater chance of being hospitalized than people who are taking multiple medicines for multiple conditions.     A study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology analyzed “polypharmacy,” a situation in which patients diagnosed with multiple conditions are being treated with multiple medicines.    

Exercise

Reaching Your Fitness Goals: Easier than You Think

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It’s no surprise to see your local gym packed to the gills in January. Whether you’re swearing up and down that 2014 will be the year you get in shape or you’re trying to shed some of those holiday pounds, you might be trying to draw up a plan of attack. Low carb? Low fat? Weight lifting? Running? Maybe a combo? Here’s some advice from Florida State University exercise and willpower experts on how to make the most out of your health and fitness goals in the new year.

Caregiving is Tough Even for Geriatrics Professionals

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The difficulties of caregiving seem to be universal: even specialists in geriatrics can find it hard to deal with in their own lives.     That discovery, by researchers from Boston  Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), appears in the journal Gerontologist.    

Mental Exercises Have Long-Term Effect

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The benefits of mental-sharpness exercises for older adults can last for as long as ten years, according to new research. The research, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that even after a decade, participants who underwent cognitive training had less difficulty in performing everyday tasks. Known as Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly, or ACTIVE, the study is the first to establish that link, according to Frederick W. Unverzagt, Ph.D., professor at Indiana University School of Medicine.

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