According to the latest report in The Journal of the American Medical Association by Becca Levy, an associate professor of epidemiology and psychology at Yale University who has been researching the effects of negative and positive stereotyping in older adults, suggests that seniors with this positive bias are 44% more likely to completely recover from a struggle with disability. Study showed that when seniors are introduced to negative stereotyping they are more likely to suffer memory loss, have poor physical functioning and possibly die earlier as opposed to seniors who are introduced to positive stereotyping. More here
Research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society states high blood pressure can effect your walking speed. Researchers were aware that older adults with high blood pressure were not as likely to function as well as adults without high blood pressure. Studies also have shown that adults with the condition run higher risks of becoming physically impaired as they age. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Washington in Seattle conducted a study that may give proof that high blood pressure can actually slow walking speed over the course of time. More here
Recent research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Critical Care, showed that 5% of Medicare patients, age 66 and older treated in the ICU, Intensive Care Unit in 2005, later received a diagnosis of dementia. Over the next 3 years, survey participants’ health and medical records continued to be watched closely. The survey confirmed that infections, acute dialysis, severe sepsis and neurological dysfunctions have all been associated with the risk of subsequent diagnosis of dementia as well as age, race and sex. Dr Hannah Wunsch, from Columbia University Medical Center, lead author of the study stated, “Our study provides a greater understanding of the consequences of these hospitalizations on subsequent risk of receiving a diagnosis of dementia, and may allow for better planning and targeting future studies to high risk populations.” More here
Research suggests that antidepressants can help stroke sufferers recover by reducing depression and anxiety during the aftermath of a stroke. The medicine may also aid in the reduction of physical disability and dependence. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh examined 52 studies that show antidepressants can stimulate nerve cell growth in the brain and protect cells that have been damaged by stroke. More here
A recent report from Hertfordshire Cohort, published in the journal Bone, has found new data showing when clinicians know their patients’ fall history, they are able to effectively predict future fractures. New tools have been created to help clinicians assess the level of risk patients may have after falls. Dr Mark Edwards, Clinical Research Fellow at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton says “Fracture prediction is extremely important to allow us to target treatment to those at greatest risk.” More here
An Emory University expert claims that most older adults overuse daily vitamins and supplements. Making simple diet improvements can help obtain needed nutrients, although it may be difficult for older adults with reduced appetite to receive their required amount of nutrition by diet alone. According to Donald B. McCormick, PHD, an Emory professor emeritus of biochemistry and the graduate program in nutrition and health sciences at Emory says “A lot of money is wasted in providing unnecessary supplements to millions of people who do not need them.” more here.
According to recent research from the University of Michigan, people who take statins have a lower risk of developing open-angle glaucoma. Statins are commonly prescribed to help lower cholesterol but have also been found to have protective effects in diseases affecting the central nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis. The study, which examined data on 524,109 patients, found that the longer a person used statins, the lower their risk of developing glaucoma became. In fact, after a year of using statins, the risk dropped by 4.0 percent. Two years of statin use was associated with an 8.0 percent decrease. More here.
Danish researchers have found four signs of aging that may signal poor heart health and a higher risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease. The research followed 11,000 men and women over the age of 40 for 35 years and discovered that those who had a receding hairline at the temples, baldness at the crown of their head, earlobe crease, or fatty deposits around their eyelid were 57 percent more likely to have a heart attack. Fatty deposits around the eyelid were the strongest predictor of heart trouble. Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen, MD, of the University of Copenhagen, said looking old for your age is a marker of poor health. Individuals in their 70s were at highest risk. Participants over the age of 70 who exhibited three of the four signs of aging had a 40 percent increased risk of heart disease over the next 10 years. More here.
Conventional wisdom often links aging to sleep problems. And, according to recent research, sleeplessness can raise the risk of everything from hypertension to diabetes. But though that may seem like a reason for older adults to be concerned, a new study from the University of Pittsburgh’s Sleep and Chronobiology Center and University Center for Social and Urban Research found that seniors aren’t having as much trouble sleeping as as assumed and sleep trouble may have more to do with poor health than age. The study surveyed 1,200 retired seniors. Results showed that 75 percent of respondents reported sleeping more than 6.75 hours a night and just 25 percent reported sleeping less than that. Timothy H. Monk, Ph.D., the study’s lead author, said the stereotype of seniors going to bed early and having trouble staying asleep is inaccurate. More here.
Cold winter weather was long thought to be the primary cause of seasonal increases in heart-related deaths. But, according to new research, circulatory deaths, including heart attack, heart failure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, rose up to 36 percent during the winter months regardless of climate. The study, presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012, analyzed four years worth of death certificate data from seven locations across the country. The results found that, despite covering seven very different climate patterns, the trend in cardiac deaths was very similar. The research wasn’t designed to identify a cause for the increases but Bryan Schwartz, M.D., of the University of New Mexico, said people generally don’t live as healthy in winter as they do in the summer. Schwartz, who was lead author of the study, theorized that the spike in heart-related events may be due to the fact that people don’t eat as well or exercise as much during the winter. More here.