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Golden Age at the Golden Arches

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Fast food might not be very good for you in terms of physical health, but a survey conducted of 125 older adults (ages 55-92) in the Minneapolis area found that regular visits to familiar eateries was good for their mental health, mostly because it provided a comfortable, easy-to-access place in which to socialize with others.

"Traditionally,...Read more

Going Without Medications

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Women more often say they are likely to skip taking medications due to cost concerns, says a new study. Researchers looked at data from three years in 11 high-income countries, focusing on persons ages 18-64.

They found that 1 in 4 women in the U.S. reported skipping medications because they were unaffordable, compared with 1 in 7 men. It was...Read more

Portrait of a Heavy Drinker

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Two-thirds of U.S. adults reported consuming alcohol in 2018. Five percent were defined as "heavy drinkers." Here's what they look like:

They are equally divided among men and women. They consume 15 or more alcoholic beverages weekly. They tend to be between the ages of 45 and 64. They are two to three times more likely to be white, compared ...Read more

Vaccines Are Safe

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A new Food and Drug Administration review of 20 years of data collected on 57 vaccines approved during that time found that after hundreds of millions of doses, only one vaccine was withdrawn from the market for safety reasons.

There were 58 modifications to use, however, mostly involving people whose immune systems were compromised, pre-term...Read more

Opioid Deaths Up but Prescriptions Down

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Fatal opioid overdoses were up in 2019, reaching a record high of 70,980 deaths. That's worrisome because the pandemic threatens to make matters worse. But a new American Medical Association study reports that prescriptions of opioid drugs decreased 37% in 2019, the sixth year in a row. That works out to 154 million prescriptions in 2019 ...Read more

Blanks for the Memories

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

As people get older, they become less likely to share memories of past experiences, according to published research out of the University of Arizona. And when they do share those recollections, they provide fewer details than younger people do.

Researchers wanted to know how often older adults spontaneously bring up memories in the course of ...Read more

The Year Just Flu By

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Parents of kids under age 5 often schedule their child's annual checkup for around their birthday. That practice may influence who gets the annual flu shot. Researchers found that kids whose birthdays fall between September and December -- when flu shots first become available -- had higher rates of flu vaccination than those whose birthdays ...Read more

Maybe Smoke Got in Their Eyes

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

For more than a decade, tobacco companies have been compelled to sponsor antismoking advertising campaigns. New research suggests the effort hasn't quite caught fire.

Scientists surveyed more than 5,300 people (610 smokers) about their smoking habits and whether they had seen any industry-sponsored antismoking messages. Those who said they ...Read more

Monkey See, Humans Do

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Humans and monkeys share about 93 percent of their DNA. We think a lot alike as well.

In experiments involving indigenous Tsimane people in Bolivia's Amazon rainforest, American adults and preschoolers, and macaque monkeys, researchers found that, in varying degrees, all participants displayed "recursion" abilities, that is, a cognitive ...Read more

The State of Caregiving

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States is an unpaid caregiver for an adult with health or other functional problems, up from 1 in 6 in 2015. Almost one-quarter of these caregivers are caring for more than one person.

These numbers come from a new AARP report. Other details:

-- Twenty-six percent of caregivers say they're having difficulty...Read more

Painful Reality

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Roughly 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. has a recent prescription for a pain medicine, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey. Six percent of those prescriptions are for opioids.

Prescription pain medication use rises with age. Only 5% of people ages 20-39 said they used a prescription painkiller, compared with 15% for ...Read more

Herpes and Alzheimer's

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

New findings in a lab model of the herpes simplex virus HSV-1 suggest it might cause Alzheimer's disease. Researchers used mini-3D models of the human brain that were infected by the herpes virus (which causes cold sores).

The brain organoids went on to develop the hallmarks of Alzheimer's including amyloid plaques and neuroinflammation. They...Read more

 

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