MEDICAL STUDIES LACK SENIOR PARTICIPATION

Experimental studies are critical to advancing medical treatments and drugs, however recent statistics have shown that the senior population is underrepresented. Seniors are often omitted from controlled testing because of complicated health conditions or for fear they will increase the risk of side effects.

In a recent New York Times article, Stanford researchers Dr. Donna Zulman and Dr. Keith Humphreys write, “As clinicians who care for older patients ourselves, we want to make sure that we’re giving them the best treatment possible. But we can’t do that if we don’t have evidence for what works and what doesn’t.”

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RED MEAT LINKED TO BREAST CANCER

A recent study at Harvard found that women who ate a higher amount of red meat also had higher instances of breast cancer.

This may be in part to the carcinogens released when cooked at high temperatures and the protein intake which affects the level of growth hormone IGF-I, a known trigger of cancer cell growth.

While there could be other factors that contributed to the increased instances of cancer, the researchers conclude that red meat “may be a risk factor for breast cancer, and replacing red meat with a combination of legumes, poultry, nuts and fish may reduce the risk of breast cancer.”

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THE CHANGING FACE OF RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES

Retirement communities have long been Sun Belt developments filled with golf carts and “early-bird” specials. But real estate developers are finding that today’s boomers have different ideas about their retirement homes.

“Today, people do not want a geezer ghetto,” said Margaret Wylde, president of ProMatura Group, a market research firm in Oxford, Miss., “Buyers want an active environment with walking trails and easy access to amenities outside the community.”

Buyers are also increasingly choosing to stay near their hometowns, rather than retire to warmer climates, so they can be closer to their families and health care providers. Del-Webb has built a number of age restrictive neighborhoods in the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit areas.

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Broccoli May Prevent Arthritis

A recent study has found that broccoli may help people who suffer from arthritis. The study shows that broccoli, a vegetable containing vitamins A, B, C and K, and nutrients like zinc, fiber and potassium, can help fight inflammation which is a main cause of osteoarthritis. Broccoli can also help rid the body of carcinogens that aid in tumor growth. Doctors say that adding broccoli, along with foods like cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts, may help lower the risk of arthritis related surgery. More here

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Head Trauma and Poor Heart Health May Increase Chance of Alzheimer’s Disease

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles nearly every five years after age 65 and scientists have found a number of factors that can increase one’s risk of the disease.  Some of these factors are out of one’s control – family history, genetics, and age.  However, there are some factors that can be influenced by one’s actions/lifestyle.  Head trauma and cardiovascular disease – including high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and high cholesterol – have been found to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.

To combat this, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends always wearing a seat belt and helmet when biking or playing sort to protect your head and adopting a heart healthy diet, quitting smoking and exercising to protect your heart.  It is also important to stay mentally and socially active to encourage strong brain cells.   For more information and resources, please visit the Alzheimer’s Association website – www.alz.org

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Boomers Facing Identity Theft

The Boston Globe reports that baby boomers have become prime targets for thieves, including caregivers and internet scammers, because of their considerable savings and clean credit histories.  People age 50 and older are less likely to monitor their accounts, are often lured by sweepstakes letters with the promise of prizes, or are taken advantage of by those hired to provide care.

Experts suggest shredding credit card offers and other mail that contains sensitive data, regularly checking bank accounts/credit history records for suspicious activity, and ignoring emails or phone calls from banks and other institutions requesting passwords, social security number, and other key information.   Click here to read the full article.

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Baby Boomers Aid Home Sales

According to new housing market research, baby boomer homeowners may be pushing young homebuyers out of the market. As home values and prices continue to increase, many younger Americans are unable to afford down payments due to low income jobs and school debt. Home builders are now targeting an older generation, age 55 and up, who are more likely to have equity. Older homeowners are expected to help home sales this year as it is a prime time for the age group to buy, according to experts. More here

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Stroke May Affect Males and Females Differently

New research shows that more people are surviving strokes now, than when compared to statistics from ten years ago. Experts say that the current treatment and prevention tactics that are provided help to lower the risk of death during stroke. Studies have also shown that strokes may affect males and females differently. Studies have shown that females are at a higher risk of having further complications after strokes than males. Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center said, “as more people survive strokes, physicians and other healthcare providers should pay attention to quality of life issues and work to develop better interventions, even gender-specific screening tools, to improve these patients’ lives.” More here

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Vitamin C May Help Chemotherapy Effectiveness

According to recent studies, vitamin C may help boost the effects of chemotherapy used to treat cancer patients. The study found that cancer patients who take large doses of vitamin C in tandem with chemotherapy, may have greater help in protecting the body from harmful side effects caused by the drug, and the mixture may also help kill cancer cells. Qi Chen, assistant professor of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics at KU Medical Center said, “what we’ve discovered is that, because of its pharmacokinetic differences, intravenous vitamin C, as opposed to oral vitamin C, kills some cancer cells without harming normal tissues.” More here

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Experts Say Life Insurance Imperative For Senior Workers

An increasing number of older Americans are working longer, some to help with financial struggles, and other out of pure enjoyment. Experts say that, while delaying retirement can have positive effects on your health, many people need to be sure that they have enough life insurance while employed. Walter Zultowski, a principal of WZ Research + Consulting said, “if seniors are planning to continue working because they need the income, and not just to stay active, then they should be protecting against the possible loss of that income during this time period. This is especially true if these seniors primarily owned term which may now be expiring, and/or have reduced group life benefits due to a job change or reduced benefits from their employer.” More here

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