Health

Pain Management

Restless Sleep & Pain as You Age

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Non-restorative sleep is the strongest independent predictor of widespread pain onset among adults over the age of 50, according to a study done at Keele University in Staffordshire UK and published the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology. The researchers also report that anxiety, memory impairment, and poor physical health among older adults may increase the risk of developing widespread pain.

Pain Management

Sedation Not Always Necessary Before Diagnostic Procedure

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When it comes to treating chronic pain, sedation may not always be the best choice before the actual procedure, according to new research.  “Sedation doesn’t help, but it does add expense and risk,” says study leader Steven P. Cohen, M.D., a professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “In some places, every patient is being sedated. Our research shows it should be used very sparingly.”

Vision Health

Exercise Could Help with Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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Here’s an additional benefit of being active: Moderate aerobic exercise could help slow the progression of retinal degenerative diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The results of the animal study were published in The Journal of Neuroscience. One of the leading causes of blindness in older people, AMD is caused by the death of light-sensing nerve cells in the retina called photoreceptors.

Breast Cancer

The Mammogram Controversy Continues

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Annual mammograms for women aged 40-59 don’t reduce the death rate from breast cancer, according to a new study. The study, published on bmj.com, also said that 22 percent of breast cancers detected via mammogram were over-diagnosed—meaning that the cancers that were found were ones that would not cause symptoms or death. The findings are fueling an ongoing debate about the benefits of mammograms.

Heart Health

Heart Patients Now Less Likely to Die of Heart Disease

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Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN were pleasantly surprised to find that more people who have known coronary heart disease die from other causes — such as cancer, and lung and neurological diseases — than heart disease, compared with 20 years ago. The study was published online on February 10th 2014 in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal.  

Men's Health

Testosterone Therapy Not Always Good for Older Men

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Experts are calling for a full evaluation of the risks and benefits of hormone therapy for older men with declining levels of testosterone. The statement by the Endocrine Society was prompted by recent studies, one from the Veterans Health Care System and the other from the National Institutes of Health, that have raised concerns about the risks of testosterone therapy for older men with a history of heart disease.

Women's Health and Wellness

Women Fare Worse After Stroke

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Although more people survive a stroke now than 10 years ago, women have a poorer post-stroke quality of life than men do, according to a study done at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC and published in the February 7th 2014 online issue of the journal Neurology.  

Heart Health

New Guidelines for Preventing Stroke in Women

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For the first time, researchers have developed guidelines for preventing women from having strokes. "If you are a woman, you share many of the same risk factors for stroke with men, but your risk is also influenced by hormones, reproductive health, pregnancy, childbirth and other sex-related factors," said Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., M.H.S., author of the statement published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. The guidelines outline stroke risks for women women and provide recommendations on how o treat them, including:

Heart Health

Spousal Supportiveness = Better Heart Health

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Supportiveness from a spouse can help people fare better in their overall cardiovascular health, according to a new study. The findings, by researchers from the University of Utah, show that when partners perceive the support they get from each other as ambivalent – sometimes helpful, sometimes stressful – their levels of   coronary artery calcification (CAC) tend to be high. The findings were published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Women's Health and Wellness

Go Red for Women 2014

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In 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute created National Wear Red Day to raise awareness about the fact that heart disease was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year. The event is held annually on the first Friday in February. Today, February 7th 2014, why not wear red to participate in the effort to make sure we realize that, especially as we age and reach postmenopause, heart to heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women?

Women's Health and Wellness

New Clues to Endometriosis

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Researchers have taken a step toward better diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis by discovering a pattern of molecules and cellular activity linked to the painful condition. Endometriosis, the invasion of uterine tissue into surrounding organs, including the peritoneal cavity and the ovaries, affects an estimated 10 percent of women. It can cause severe pain and infertility. It’s also difficult to diagnose because symptoms may disappear for years at a time, and very little is known about its cause.

Mental & Emotional Health

Mental Health Care Scarce for Rural Women

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Women living in rural communities are less likely than urban-dwelling women to receive sufficient mental health care, in large part due to limited access to services and societal stigma, according to a study dome at Penn State College of Medicine and published in the journal Mental Health in Family Medicine.

Sleep Health

Sleep: Myths vs. Facts

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How much do you know about one of life’s most important activities? Here, the experts from the National Center on Sleep Disorder Research, a division of the National Institutes of Health, separate the facts from the myths and misunderstandings: Sleep is a time when your body and brain shut down for rest and relaxation

Heart Health

Patients, Have a Statin Discussion with Your Doctor

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Patients and physicians should work together to decide on individualized treatments based on new statin guidelines, according to a commentary by three Mayo Clinic doctors. The guidelines, issued last year by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, called for caregivers to prescribe statins to healthy patients if their 10-year cardiovascular risk is 7.5 percent or higher.

Pain Management

Beating Pain with Mindfulness Training

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A new intervention called Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement, or MORE, trains people to respond differently to pain, stress and opioid-related cues University of Utah researcher Eric Garland developed the treatment,  which has been shown to not only lower pain but also decrease prescription opioid misuse among chronic pain patients. The study was published published online February 3rd 2014 in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

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