Information to Live and Feel Better – March 2014

 

Hormone replacement therapy cuts risk of repeat knee/hip replacement surgery by 40 percent *** 

Half of hospitalized adults over 65 need surrogate decision-makers ***

Boosting vitamin D could slow progression, reduce severity of multiple sclerosis ***

Forget about forgetting: Elderly know more, use it better ***

Signs point to sharp rise in drugged driving fatalities ***

Hospital bullies pose a danger to patient safety ***

 

Hormone replacement therapy cuts risk of repeat knee/hip replacement surgery by 40 percent

  Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) taken regularly for six months after a knee or hip replacement seems to cut the risk of repeat surgery by around 40 percent, indicates a large population based study published.

 Can fish oil help preserve brain cells?

 People with higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may also have larger brain volumes in old age equivalent to preserving one to two years of brain health, according to a study published. Shrinking brain volume is a sign of Alzheimer’s disease as well as normal aging.

 Half of hospitalized adults over 65 need surrogate decision-makers

 Nearly half of hospitalized American adults age 65 and older require decision-making assistance from family members or other surrogates because the patient is too impaired to make decisions independently, according to a new study.

 Small elliptical exercise device may promote activity while sitting

People may be able to keep the weight off by using a compact elliptical device while sitting at a desk or watching TV, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

 Boosting vitamin D could slow progression, reduce severity of multiple sclerosis

For patients in the early stages of multiple sclerosis, low levels of vitamin D were found to strongly predict disease severity and hasten its progression.

Forget about forgetting: Elderly know more, use it better

What happens to our cognitive abilities as we age? If your think our brains go into a steady decline, research reported this week may make you think again. The work takes a critical look at the measures usually thought to show that our cognitive abilities decline across adulthood. Instead of finding evidence of decline, the team discovered that most standard cognitive measures, which date back to the early twentieth century, are flawed.

Signs point to sharp rise in drugged driving fatalities

The prevalence of non-alcohol drugs detected in fatally injured drivers in the US steadily rose from 1999 to 2010 and especially for drivers who tested positive for marijuana. Researchers found that of 23,591 drivers who were killed within one hour of a crash, 39.7 percent tested positive for alcohol and 24.8 percent for other drugs. The prevalence of non-alcohol drugs rose from 16.6 percent in 1999 to 28.3 percent in 2010; for marijuana, rates rose from 4.2 percent to 12.2 percent.

Hospital bullies pose a danger to patient safety

Disrespectful doctors create a “bullying culture” in hospitals, which organizations must address to improve patient care, argues a column in Aeon Magazine

Heavy Drinking in Middle Age May Speed Memory Loss by up to Six Years in Men

 Middle-aged men who drink more than 36 grams of alcohol, or two and a half US drinks per day, may speed their memory loss by up to six years later on, according to a study published in the January 15, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. On the other hand, the study found no differences in memory and executive function in men who do not drink, former drinkers and light or moderate drinkers. Executive function deals with attention and reasoning skills in achieving a goal.

Nutritional supplement improves cognitive performance in older adults, study finds

A neuroscientist and gerontologist team up to investigate the effects of a antioxidant-rich nutritional supplement on the mental performance of older adults without impaired memory. An initial clinical trial indicates that the supplement, including blueberries and green tea extracts, improves cognitive processing speeds.

Decriminalizing pot may land more kids in the ER

States that decriminalized marijuana saw dramatic increases in children requiring medical intervention, although the overall number of unintentional marijuana exposures among children remained low. Researchers studied call volume to US poison centers from January 2005 through December 2011.

Promising cancer therapy treatment: Vitamin C

New research suggests that vitamin C might make cancer drugs more effective. But past discredited claims about the vitamin’s effectiveness in treating cancer are likely to hinder further study.

Moderate exercise cuts women’s stroke risk, helps offset increase risk from hormone therapy

Moderate exercise like brisk walking may cut women’s stroke risk 20 percent. Moderate exercise also helps offset some of the increased stroke risk in women taking postmenopausal hormone therapy.

Could restless sleep cause widespread pain in older people?

Researchers in the U.K. report that non-restorative sleep is the strongest, independent predictor of widespread pain onset among adults over the age of 50. According to the study anxiety, memory impairment, and poor physical health among older adults may also increase the risk of developing widespread pain. Muscle, bone and nerve (musculoskeletal) pain is more prevalent as people age, with up to 80% of people 65 years of age and older experiencing daily pain. Widespread pain that affects multiple areas of the body —- the hallmark feature of fibromyalgia —- affects 15% of women and 10% of men over age 50 according to previous studies.

Status of healthcare security: ‘Alarming’ Report says cybersecurity strategies have fallen behind

The networks and Internet-connected devices of healthcare organizations–from hospitals to insurance carriers to pharmaceutical companies–are being compromised at an “alarming” frequency, according to analysis of malicious traffic by The SANS Institute.

Using data gathered by a live threat intelligence platform between September 2012 and October 2013, it found 49,917 malicious events, 723 malicious source IP addresses and 375 compromised U.S.-based health-related organizations.

Dangers of … sitting? Regardless of exercise, too much sedentary time is linked to major disability after 60

If you’re 60 and older, every additional hour a day you spend sitting is linked to doubling the risk of being disabled — regardless of how much exercise you get, reports a new study. The study is the first to show sedentary behavior is its own risk factor for disability, separate from lack of moderate vigorous physical activity. In fact, sedentary behavior is almost as strong a risk factor for disability as lack of exercise.

 

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