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Health News Results - 354

Don't Snow Shovel Your Way to a Heart Attack

Shoveling snow may trigger a heart attack if you're not careful, especially if you already have risk factors, an expert warns.

The combination of shoveling and cold weather can cause your arteries to spasm and constrict, explained Dr. Sam Kazziha, chief of cardiovascular...

Opioid Misuse Keeps Rising Among Older Americans

The opioid addict you know might not be the college kid who has always dabbled in alcohol and drugs.

It could be your grandparent.

Opioid misuse doesn't discriminate by age — and rates are rising steadily among adults aged 55 and up, new research shows.

"You can still use recre...

Could Binge Drinking Set Your Heart Rhythm Off-Kilter?

Binge drinking on Super Bowl Sunday or other special occasions could put you at risk for a dangerous heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation (a-fib), even if you've never had it, researchers warn in a new study.

"Worldwide, alcohol is the most popularly consumed drug, and it now is clear that alcohol consumption is an important risk factor for atrial fibrillation," said senior au...

Medicare Proposes to Only Cover Alzheimer's Drug Aduhelm for Use in Clinical Trials

It's a move that could severely limit the number of people taking the controversial new Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm: Medicare on Tuesday proposed to only cover the cost of the pricey medication for people enrolled in approved clinical trials.

A final decision on coverage is expected later this year.

The drug costs $28,200 per year, but that cost will only be covered for participan...

Medicare May Rethink Premium Hike for Pricey Alzheimer’s Drug

Medicare has been told to reassess a significant premium increase it had announced that largely stemmed from the expensive new Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra's directive, which was annou...

Scientists Work Out How Exercise Saves Your Brain

Exercise helps you stay fit, hale and hearty, and researchers say it may also help you stave off dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Now they have a better understanding of the hidden benefits that aid the brain.

Older folks who are more physically active have higher levels of a protein that promotes better communication between the brain's synapses, a new study reports.

"Synapses are...

Quality of Home Health Care Varies Between Urban, Rural Areas

Need in-home health care? Know this: The quality of your care may depend on where you live.

That's the takeaway from a new study from New York University that gave agencies in urban areas high marks for keeping patients out of the hospital. It found that home health agencies in rural areas, meanwhile, get care started sooner.

“Our study highlights the persistence of disparities in...

Aduhelm: Will Medicare Cover the Controversial Alzheimer's Drug?

Following a months-long and unprecedented review, Medicare officials expect to announce within the next couple of weeks whether the program will cover the controversial Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm. The drug's benefits are in question and its annual price tag tops $28,000.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tend to cover with little fanfare most drugs approved by its s...

More U.S. Seniors, Especially Women, Are Retaining Healthy Brains: Study

The percentage of older Americans reporting serious problems with memory and thinking has declined in recent years -- and higher education levels may be part of the reason, a new study finds.

Researchers found that between 2008 and 2017, the proportion of older U.S. adults reporting...

More U.S. Women Are Retaining Their Hearing as They Age

Hearing loss can happen with advancing age, but fewer American women appear to be affected now than in the past.

Researchers who studied hearing loss between 2008 and 2017 found in the earliest of those years, 16.3% of older U.S. adults reported serious hearing loss. But by 2017 that had ...

Over 60? You Have Billions of Potentially Cancer-Causing Cells

Have you just turned 60 and feel like you're in great health?

Well, new research suggests that unseen dangers lurk: Scientists found that cancer-free people older than 60 have at least 100 billion cells with at least one cancer-associated mutation.

But there's good news, too: The vast majority of these mutations won't do anything and most people (60%) will go their entire lives wit...

Many Seniors on Medicare Falling Into Medical Debt

"Medicare For All" gets tossed around a lot by advocates of universal health coverage, but a new study finds that today's Medicare is far from free for seniors and people with disabilities.

Instead, a large number of beneficiaries are sliding into medical debt and delaying needed health care due to financial holes in the system, according to findings published online Dec. 10 in

For Many, Holiday Joy Is Shadowed by COVID Fears: Poll

Stress about the COVID-19 pandemic may be eclipsing holiday joy for many older Americans, a new poll reveals.

About half (47%) of 50- to 80-year-olds polled reported a mixed experience of joy and stress.

One in five said they feel a lot of stress, while 38% said ...

Certain Meds Raise Odds for Delirium After Surgery

Older adults have a higher risk of delirium after hip and knee surgery if they're taking anxiety, depression or insomnia drugs, researchers say.

"Our findings show that different classes of medicine are riskier than others when it comes to causing delirium after surgery, and the older the patients are, the greater the risk," said lead study author Gizat Kassie. He is a postdoctoral resear...

Overactive Bladder, Dangerous Falls Often Go Together for Seniors

An overactive bladder isn't just a nuisance and a source of embarrassment. For the elderly, it can also trigger a potentially fatal fall, a Canadian study says.

Falls are the leading ca...

Cataract Surgery Might Lower Your Odds for Dementia

People who undergo surgery to treat cataracts may have a lower likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

Of more than 3,000 older adults with the eye disease, those who had surgery were about 30% less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's in the coming years, researchers found.

  • Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 7, 2021
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  • Full Page
  • Biden Pledges to Lower Prescription Drug Prices for Americans

    President Joe Biden promised cheaper prescription drugs for all Americans on Monday as his social agenda legislation winds its way through Congress.

    Biden tried to shift Americans' focus to pocketbook provisions overlooked in his $2 trillion legislation, which deals with everything from climate to family life and taxes. The legislation has passed the House and is pending before the Senate...

    High Heart Rate Linked to Dementia Risk

    Checking older adults' resting heart rate could help identify those who are more likely to experience a decline in mental function, a Swedish study suggests.

    The researchers found that a high resting heart rate was associated with a greater risk of dementia.

    "We believe it would be valuable to explore if resting heart rate could identify patients with high dementia risk," said lead ...

    Were Cancer Patients Neglected in U.S. COVID Vaccine Rollout?

    In nearly two-thirds of U.S. states, cancer patients weren't put at the front of the line for COVID-19 vaccines in the initial phase of vaccination, a new study finds.

    Many cancer patients are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 as the disease or related treatments leaves them with weakened immune systems.

    Perhaps many cancer patients were skipped over for COVID shots because vaccinat...

    Clearing Out Clutter Might Not Help People With Dementia

    You might think de-cluttering would make it easier for people with dementia to do daily tasks. Not so, says a new study from the United Kingdom.

    "It is generally assumed that a person with dementia will be better able to carry out daily tasks when their home space is tidy and clutter-free," said Eneida Mioshi, a professor in the School of Health Sciences at University of East Anglia (UEA)...

    Black Americans Less Likely to Lose Hearing as They Age

    Older Black Americans are much more likely to have good hearing than white Americans, and the difference is especially notable among men, a new study shows.

    “We found that among males, non-Hispanic Black Americans have a prevalence of hearing loss that is similar to non-Hispanic white Americans who are 10 years younger,” co-author ZhiDi Deng, a pharmacy student at the University of To...

    Clinical Trials Are Becoming More Diverse, But There's Still Work To Do

    U.S. cancer clinical trial participants have become more diverse in makeup, but certain groups remain underrepresented, a new study finds.

    It's important to have a wide range of participants in clinical trials, to find out if treatments are safe and effective for people with different characteristics, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which has a number of initiatives to b...

    During the Holidays, Help Protect the Elderly from Falls

    A holiday visit with older relatives might be a good chance to help them remove fall risks in their home, an expert suggests.

    Older adults' risk of falling may have increased during the pandemic due to declines in physical activity and mobility, along with increased isolation, a University of Michigan poll shows. Many also became more fearful of falling, which, in turn, can increase the r...

    Housework Might Boost Your Body & Mind

    Seniors, looking for a way to stay mentally quick and physically strong? Start scrubbing.

    Researchers from Singapore say housework may be a key to keeping your brain sharp as you age.

    Their new study found that in older adults, cleaning house was tied to a better memory and attention span, a...

    'Active Grandparent': Humans Evolved to Exercise in Old Age

    Becoming a couch potato as you get older goes against evolution and puts your health at risk, a new study suggests.

    Humans have evolved to be active in their later years, and staying active can protect against heart disease and a number of other serious health problems, according to researchers at Harvard.

    "It's a widespread idea in Western societies that as we get older, it's norma...

    Many Psychiatric Patients Are Getting Risky Drug Gabapentin 'Off-Label'

    Most prescriptions for the medication gabapentin are for unapproved uses -- and many patients end up taking it along with drugs that create potentially dangerous interactions.

    That's the conclusion of a new study that looked at "off-label" use of gabapentin. In the United States, the drug is officially approved for treating certain seizures and some forms of nerve pain.

    It's known, ...

    TV Remotes, Nurse Call Buttons: Where Coronavirus Lingers in Nursing Homes

    Though airborne exposure causes most cases of COVID-19, the virus lurks on objects near the beds of infected nursing home patients, according to a new study.

    "Coronavirus is ubiquitous and persistent in the rooms of nursing home residents with COVID-19, and highlight the ongoing importance of rigorous cleaning and protection of staff and visitors," first author Dr. Lona Mody said in a Uni...

    Reminder Apps on Smartphones May Help in Early Dementia

    Despite stereotypes about seniors and technology, a small study suggests that older adults in the early stages of dementia can use smartphone apps as memory aids.

    The researchers found that older people with mild impairments in memory and thinking were not only able to learn how to use the apps, they said the digital aids made their daily lives easier.

    The apps were not specially de...

    Trial Begins of Nasal Vaccine for Alzheimer's Disease

    The first human clinical trial of a nasal vaccine to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease is set to begin after nearly 20 years of research.

    This is a "remarkable milestone," according to Dr. Howard Weiner, co-director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

    "Over the last two decades, we've amassed preclinical evidence sugg...

    Demand for Liver Transplant Rises Sharply Among Older Americans

    More older folks are winding up on liver transplant waiting lists than ever before, as obesity and alcoholism supersede hepatitis C as the main cause of liver failure in the United States.

    The percentage of liver transplant candidates aged 65 or older rose from 9% in the early 2000s to 23% by 2020, researchers found. Most seniors' liver failure is due to fatty liver disease, in which exce...

    Most Older Adults Plan to Travel Soon, With Precautions: Poll

    Nearly 1 in 3 older Americans plan an extended trip next year, and 1 in 4 plan to travel for the holidays, but many will take COVID-19 into account, a new survey shows.

    If COVID cases surge at their destination, 20% said they would definitely change their plans, and another 52% said they might do so.

    "These poll findings are consistent with previous AARP research which shows that op...

    Grandmother's Brain In Sync With Her Grandkids': Study

    Grandmothers can have a strong bond with the little children in their families — and the connection even shows up on brain scans, researchers say.

    The investigators embarked on a unique study, looking at the brains of older women — not for signs of dysfunction, as with dementia, but to study their connections with their grandchildren.

    "What really jumps out in the data is the ac...

    Pricey Alzheimer's Drug Drives Spike in Medicare B Premium: Officials

    A new and expensive Alzheimer's drug called Aduhelm is responsible for about half of the $21.60 increase in monthly premiums for Medicare's Part B outpatient program in 2022, Medicare officials report.

    The new premium will be $170.10 a month, and the $21.60 boost is the biggest increase ever in dollar amount, but not in percentage terms. As recently as August, a smaller increase of $10 fr...

    Alzheimer's Diagnosis May Come With Big Cost to Social Life

    Alzheimer's is a devastating disease, slowly robbing patients of their memories and even their sense of selves.

    Now, new research shows it also robs sufferers of a healthy social life.

    "Social relationships are an essential feature of our quality of life and can buffer against cognitive decline," said study co-author Addam Reynolds, a doctoral candidate at the Rutgers School of Soci...

    U.S. Sees Decline in Sepsis Deaths, But Some Americans More Vulnerable

    While deaths from sepsis have dropped in the United States since 2000, older Americans remain particularly susceptible to the life-threatening bacterial infection, new government data shows.

    Sepsis strikes roughly 2 million people each year and is the cause of one in three hospital deaths in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    "S...

    Fish on Your Plate May Keep Your Brain Sharp

    Older folks who eat fish a couple of times a week may be doing their brains a favor.

    New research suggests that fish, even in moderate amounts, helps stave off vascular disease that may ultimately lead to dementia.

    "Previous studies, including work from our team in France and others in the U.S., reported protective associations of eating fish against cognitive decline and risk of de...

    Medicare Could Negotiate Drug Prices Under Democrat Proposal

    A measure designed to lower prescription drug costs for seniors has been added to President Joe Biden's social safety net and climate change bill that Democratic leaders hope to bring to a House vote this week.

    For the first time, the measure would enable the federal government to negotiate prices for medications covered by Medicare, The New York Times reported.

    Under the proposal, ...

    Almost 1 in 3 U.S. Seniors Now Sees at Least 5 Doctors Per Year

    Nearly one-third of older U.S. adults visit at least five different doctors each year — reflecting the growing role of specialists in Americans' health care, a new study finds.

    Over the past 20 years, Americans on Medicare have been increasingly seeing specialists, researchers found, with almost no change in visits with their primary care doctor.

    On average, beneficiaries saw a 34...

    Use of Ritalin, Other Stimulants Can Raise Heart Risks for Older Adults

    ADHD medications are increasingly being prescribed to older adults, and they may cause a short-term spike in the risk of heart attack, stroke and arrhythmias, a large new study suggests.

    Stimulant medications, such as Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall, are commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But they are also increasingly being prescribed "off-label" to ol...

    Want Fewer Fractures in Nursing Homes? Put More Dairy on the Menu

    Serving more dairy products to nursing home residents could be a simple way to reduce their risk of falls and fractures, a new study suggests.

    Many consume low levels of calcium and protein, which can result in weak bones that increase the likelihood of falls and fractures. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are high in calcium and protein.

  • Robert Preidt
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  • October 22, 2021
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  • Full Page
  • How 1.3 Million Americans Became Controlled by Conservatorships

    Pop singer Britney Spears was at the height of her fame in 2008 when, through a series of arcane legal maneuverings, her father gained conservatorship over her and took control of her personal and financial affairs.

    Spears' plight and the #FreeBritney movement has shone a bright spotlight on America's guardianship system, which experts say is shrouded in secrecy, ripe for abuse and in des...

    Survey Finds Who's Most Likely to Give to Charity and How

    Older adults are more likely than younger ones to give to charity, but are more likely to support ones in their own country, an international study reveals.

    "As countries, including the U.K., are announcing cuts to foreign aid budgets, there will be an increasing reliance on global charities," said senior author Patricia Lockwood, of the Center for Human Brain Health at the University of ...

    Flu Shot Even More Important During Pandemic: Expert

    Although the focus is on the COVID-19 vaccine, don't forget to also get your flu shot — it's important, an expert says.

    "In the United States, it is recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months be vaccinated against the flu, and there are many vaccines available that will fit your need based on age and other important risk factors," said Dr. Pedro Piedra. He is a professor of mole...

    Retired and Want to Stay Sharp? Hop on the Internet More Often

    Help in retaining mental function when you age could be only a few keystrokes away.

    While crosswords and exercise are often touted as ways to retain thinking skills, U.K. investigators found that the internet may also help seniors stay sharp in retirement.

    Those who used the internet more after their careers ended had substantially higher scores on cognitive, or thinking, tests, acc...

    CDC Endorses Booster Shots for Millions of Americans

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended booster shots of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine for millions of older and high-risk Americans, kicking off a new chapter in the national effort to protect the vulnerable from severe disease.

    First, an expert CDC advisory panel called for COVID-19 booster shots for those over 65, nursing home residents and other Amer...

    FDA Approves Pfizer Booster Shots for Seniors, High-Risk Americans

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Pfizer booster shots for people over 65 and for those at high risk of severe COVID-19.

    Under the emergency use authorization, the booster shots should be given at least six months after a person is fully vaccinated.

    Wednesday's move is likely the beginning of a staggered campaign to deliver booster shots to all Americans, s...

    FDA Panel OKs Pfizer Booster Shot for  People 65 or Older, But Not Younger

    An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday recommended a third Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine booster shot for all Americans aged 65 or older, as well as for those deemed to be at high risk for severe illness.

    According to The New York Times, that vote came after a near unanimous decision (16 to 2) by the same independent panel of experts that said no to ...

    After an ICU Stay, Social Support Crucial for Seniors' Survival

    Older adults who are socially isolated are more likely to experience serious disability or die after a stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), new research reveals.

    "This important research finding sheds light on a crucial health care issue that has become more dire during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. E. Albert Reece, dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in Baltimore....

    Turning 65 Brings Big Health Care Cost Savings, Study Finds

    When Americans are eligible for Medicare at age 65, they see a significant drop in their out-of-pocket medical costs.

    Lowering the eligibility age would save even more, especially for people with the highest out-of-pocket costs, according to a new study.

    "Me...

    Most Older Americans Believe Health Care Workers Should Be Vaccinated: Poll

    Eight in 10 older Americans think health care workers should be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a new poll.

    Among 50- to 80-year-olds, 61% of respondents said the vaccine should be required for all health care workers. Another 19% said vaccination should probably be required. The remaining 20% oppose mandatory vaccination, the findings showed.

    The results are from a nation...