Most Americans’ Hearts Are Older Than Their Age

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A great article from PRWeb and the CDC, please share your comments below…..

healthyheartHigher heart age means higher risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Your heart may be older than you are – and that’s not good. According to a new CDC Vital Signs report, 3 out of 4 U.S. adults have a predicted heart age that is older than their actual age. This means they are at higher risk for heart attacks and stroke.

“Heart age” is the calculated age of a person’s cardiovascular system based on his or her risk factor profile. The risks include high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes status, and body mass index as an indicator for obesity.

This is the first study to provide population-level estimates of heart age and to highlight disparities in heart age nationwide. The report shows that heart age varies by race/ethnicity, gender, region, and other sociodemographic characteristics

CDC researchers used risk factor data collected from every U.S. state and information from the Framingham Heart Study to determine that nearly 69 million adults between the ages of 30 and 74 have a heart age older than their actual age. That’s about the number of people living in the 130 largest U.S. cities combined.

“Too many U.S. adults have a heart age years older than their real age, increasing their risk of heart disease and stroke,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Everybody deserves to be young – or at least not old – at heart.”

Key findings in the report include:

* Overall, the average heart age for adult men is 8 years older than their chronological age, compared to 5 years older for women.

* Although heart age exceeds chronological age for all race/ethnic groups, it is highest among African-American men and women (average of 11 years older for both).

* Among both U.S. men and women, excess heart age increases with age and decreases with greater education and household income.

* There are geographic differences in average heart age across states. Adults in the Southern U.S. typically have higher heart ages. For example, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama have the highest percentage of adults with a heart age 5 years or more over their actual age, while Utah, Colorado, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts have the lowest percentage.

For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease and http://www.cdc.gov/stroke. Visit millionhearts.hhs.gov to learn about Million Hearts, a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Vital Signs is a report that appears on the first Tuesday of the month as part of the CDC journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report provides the latest data and information on key health indicators. These are cancer prevention, obesity, tobacco use, motor vehicle passenger safety, prescription drug overdose, HIV/AIDS, alcohol use, health care-associated infections, cardiovascular health, teen pregnancy, food safety, and viral hepatitis.

Older Brains Can Be Smarter Brains

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

brainAs we age, the brain compensates for slower processing by using more of its capacity for tasks that require reasoning and judgment.

Forgetting a name or two, taking longer to finish the crossword, or finding it hard to manage several tasks at once doesn’t mean dementia is just around the corner. These experiences may actually be signs that the aging brain is changing the way it works. In many ways, it’s actually working better. Older people have better judgment, are better at making rational decisions, and are better able to screen out negativity than their juniors, reports the April 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

“The brain begins to compensate by using more of itself,” explains Dr. Bruce Yankner, professor of genetics and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging at Harvard Medical School.
Here are several ways an older individual may outperform his or her younger self:

Inductive reasoning. Older people are less likely to rush to judgment and more likely to reach the right conclusion based on the information at hand. This is an enormous help in everyday problem solving, from planning the most efficient way to do errands to managing staff at work.

Verbal expression. During middle age, many people continue to expand their vocabulary and hone their ability to express themselves.

Basic math. Splitting the check and figuring the tip when lunching with friends may come easier simply due to years of practice.

Accentuating the positive. The amygdala, the area of the brain that consolidates emotion and memory, is less responsive to negatively charged situations in older people than in younger ones. This may explain why studies have shown that people over 60 tend to brood less.

Read the full-length article: “Why you should thank your aging brain”

Also in the April 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch:

Do you need an “advanced” cholesterol test?

6 ways to enjoy adding fiber to your diet

How to drive safely at night

Harvard Women’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/womens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Assessment Can Help Older Drivers Keep Driving Safely

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Harvard Health Publications, please share your comments below…..

seniors2Aging may affect vision, hearing, coordination, thinking, visuospatial skills, or reaction time, any of which can have a direct impact on driving. Driver assessment programs help people overcome weaknesses behind the wheel.

Driving skills may decline with age, but don’t assume that getting older brings an automatic end to driving, says the August 2015 Harvard Health Letter.

“Age and health conditions aren’t enough to determine if a person is okay to drive. It requires an individual assessment of skills,” says Lissa Kapust, a social worker at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Many hospitals, sheriff’s offices, and other agencies offer driving assessment programs that can evaluate senior drivers and help them overcome weaknesses behind the wheel. Many of these programs take a team approach to evaluating a person’s driving ability. Social workers, occupational therapists, and neuropsychologists look at the person’s driving history, family concerns, overall health, cognitive function, and driving reflexes. Then it’s on to a road test.

The team looks at all of the information and recommends whether the driver needs to hand over his or her car keys, or whether brushing up on certain skills is needed. “We may suggest working with a driving instructor to focus on errors we found in the driving assessment, such as maintaining lane position,” says Kapust.

Some driving programs can also help seniors get up to speed on the latest driving laws in their state and learn about technologies in newer cars, and can even help them fit better in their cars by adjusting the position of the seat, head restraint, steering wheel, and more.

Read the full-length article: “Stay behind the wheel longer”

Also in the August 2015 Harvard Health Letter:

* Ways to keep relationships strong

* Finding relief for hand pain

* The benefits of nutrient-dense foods

The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/health or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Do Older Women Need A High-Dose Flu Vaccine?

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From the web master…..Although this is from the September issue of the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, it still valuable information…..

The high-dose flu vaccine may trigger a greater immune response against the virus in adults ages 65 and over and may increase protection against the flu.

seniorwoman2For some older women, the flu is far more than a fever and sniffles that sidelines them for a few days. It can lead to serious complications like bronchitis and pneumonia. The flu can also worsen existing conditions such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. A higher-dose flu vaccine has been available since 2009 for adults 65 and over, but questions remain as to whether it can protect better than the traditional vaccine, according to the September 2014, Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

The high-dose vaccine is called Fluzone High-Dose. Like the regular-dose flu vaccine, it contains the three flu strains experts believe will be most abundant in the upcoming flu season. But it also contains four times the usual amount of immune-stimulating antigens against the virus.

Should people over 65 get the high-dose vaccine? It’s an area of debate and discussion, and so worth talking about with your physician, says Dr. Elisa Choi, a clinical instructor in population medicine at Harvard Medical School and an infectious disease specialist at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.

Some studies have found that the high-dose vaccine stimulates a higher immune system response in the lab, but it isn’t yet clear whether that translates into better protection against the flu in the real world.

The high-dose vaccine also comes with some downsides worth considering: more pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, as well as body-wide side effects like muscle pain, headache, and fever. Most of these effects are mild and short-lived.

There are currently no official recommendations advising seniors to switch to the high-dose flu vaccine.

The type of vaccine isn’t nearly as important as getting vaccinated as early in the flu season as possible. Flu outbreaks can start in October, and it takes two weeks after getting the shot for the body to produce antibodies against the virus. Some people hold off on vaccination out of concern that the protection wanes over time, but the shot should provide protection for the entire flu season.

Read the full-length article: “Time for your flu vaccine: Do you need a higher dose?”

Also in the September 2014 issue of the Harvard Women’s Health Watch:

* 8 creative ways to avoid too much sitting

* Tips to improve memory

* What to do about thinning hair

Harvard Women’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/womens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

– Courtesy of PRWeb

Pelvic Trouble: Older Women And A Difficult Battle

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By Michael Wald

seniors2Women who are going through the changes that come with menopause can face some challenging symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, depression, fatigue and sleeplessness, among many others. Adding to that challenge for many, is the fact that pelvic organ prolapse (POP) often occurs with menopause. In 2010, 75,000 women had transvaginal mesh procedures to repair POP. Unfortunately, for as many as one of every 10 of these women, these surgeries resulted in serious complications, causing symptoms more painful and debilitating than the ones they were meant to correct.

Menopause and Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse happens when the pelvic floor isn’t strong enough to support the organs in the pelvic region effectively, allowing them to slip away from their normal position. The pelvic floor damage that causes POP often begins with changes that occur during pregnancy and childbirth, with other factors that stress the pelvic floor contributing over a woman’s lifetime, such as obesity, heavy lifting, and chronic coughing or constipation. Although POP can appear at any age, for most women symptoms appear after the age of 50, when the estrogen loss that comes with menopause causes pelvic floor tissues to lose elasticity, further weakening pelvic support and allowing organs to prolapse.

Transvaginal Mesh Surgeries

About 11 percent of women with pelvic organ prolapse will need reconstructive surgery to address severe symptoms of the disorder. Over the last decade, a large portion of these surgeries have included the use of transvaginal mesh implants to reinforce weakened pelvic tissues, devices that have proven problematic for many women.

Since these devices were approved through the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) fast track program, clinical evidence of safety and effectiveness was not required prior to approval. However, as use of these devices grew, a rising number of adverse events reported to the FDA began to raise concern, prompting safety warnings and regulatory action by the FDA. Several transvaginal mesh products have been recalled by manufacturers due to high rates of serious complications, including products made by Boston Scientific Corp., Mentor Worldwide and Johnson & Johnson, and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women injured by these devices.

familywalkAmong the most frequently reported complications is mesh erosion, where sharp mesh edges wear through vaginal and pelvic tissues, which can result in organ perforation, are pain, bleeding, infection, urinary problems and sexual dysfunction. Mesh shrinkage is also common, and can cause intense pelvic and vaginal pain, vaginal scarring and shortening, and sexual dysfunction. Revision surgeries, often several procedures, have been necessary to resolve symptoms in many women and they are not always effective.

While there are many additional risks with transvaginal mesh procedures as compared to non-mesh surgeries, the benefits are few. Many mesh products have been pulled off the market in a recent transvaginal mesh recall. According to the FDA, mesh procedures have not proven to be more effective than traditional POP repair. The FDA has ordered further research to be done on these products due to the controversy, a move that comes too late to help many women who are struggling with mesh-related symptoms far more devastating than the prolapse problems the surgery was supposed to relieve.

Sources:

FDA Safety Communication: UPDATE on Serious Complications Associated with Transvaginal Placement of Surgical Mesh for Pelvic Organ Prolapse: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm262435.htm

FDA: Surgical placement of mesh to repair pelvic organ prolapse poses risks: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm262752.htm

Harvard Medical School:What to do about pelvic organ prolapse: http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0805c.shtml

OBG Management: Are new tools for correcting prolapse and incontinence better just because they’re new?: http://www.obgmanagement.com/article_pages.asp?aid=9946

– Dr. Michael Wald, aka The Blood Detective, is the director of nutritional services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, located in Westchester New York. He has appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Channel 11 PIX, Channel 12 News, CNN, The Food Network and other media outlets. Dr. Wald earned the name Blood Detective for his reputation to find problems that are often missed by other doctors. He earned an MD degree, is a doctor of chiropractic and a certified dietician-nutritionist. He is also double-board certified in nutrition. He has published over a dozen books with three additional titles due for release late 2013 including: Frankenfoods – Genetically Modified Foods: Controversies, Lies & Your Health and Gluten-A-Holic: How to Live Gluten Free and the Blood Detective’s Longevity Secrets. Dr. Wald can be reached at: www.intmedny.com or www.blooddetective.com or by calling: 914-242-8844.

Active Older Women Can Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

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By Richard Ueberfluss PT, FACHE

seniors2According to a Reuters story that highlighted an American Cancer Society (ACS) study, older women who take regular walks are less likely to get breast cancer than their less-active peers.

ACS researchers studied 74,000 postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 74 who walked for at least one hour each day. The found that they had a 14 percent lower chance of getting breast cancer than infrequent walkers. More vigorous exercise was tied to an even lower risk.

The study began in 1992, which asked women to report on their health, medications and exercise habits. They also reported how much exercise they got in 1999, 2001 and 2005. Between 1992 and 2007, about 6.5 percent of all women in the study were diagnosed with breast cancer.

The researchers found that women who walked at a moderate pace for at least seven hours each week were 14 percent less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to those who walked for three hours or less each week. And women who exercised more vigorously for at least seven hours per week were about 25 percent less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to women who participated in those activities less often.

It is important for older women—and men—to exercise in the home. Home aides, working with the healthcare team, can create an exercise regimen that keeps people active. Our workers are trained to help seniors with walking and exercise.

By Richard Ueberfluss PT, FACHE, President of Assisting Hands® Home Care Naperville/Hinsdale

Adrenal Fatigue: A Stealthy Culprit Setting Us Up To Be Sad, Sick, Fat And Older Faster

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By Genie James

Adrenal Fatigue: A Stealthy Culprit Setting Us Up to Be Sad, Sick, Fat and Older Faster

(Or, What Happens When Superwoman Stubs Her Toe!)

stressStress can make us tense and sick. It can also make us fat. Worst of all, it will accelerate our aging. I should know…I am unfortunately the “poster girl” for repeat bouts of adrenal fatigue. Let me first define adrenal fatigue, then explain how you and I get set up for it. In upcoming weeks, if you are interested, I will also share a few tips for turning adrenal fatigue and the ravages of stress around.

Our adrenal glands produce three stress hormones: adrenaline, cortisol and DHEA. Short-term, urgent stress – such as seeing your five year old reach for a hot skillet or having your husband ask you to watch him sky dive – triggers a rush of adrenaline. Long-term, chronic stress has a different impact at a cellular level.

Chronic stress is defined as a circumstance that exists for three months or more. Some more common chronic stressors for women include ongoing financial pressures, single motherhood, caring for an ill and aging parent, attempting to juggle a heavy workload and home life, or attempting to discipline an irascible teenager. Chronic stress causes the adrenal glands to, first, produce an overabundance of cortisol; however, once this supply is exhausted, cortisol levels plummet.

Clinical studies show that too high or too low cortisol levels pack pounds around the waist. And, according to American experts from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), “Persistent or chronic stress has the potential to put individuals at a substantially increased risk of depression, anxiety and many other emotional difficulties.” Randy (C.W. Randolph, Jr, MD) cautions: “Long-term adrenal exhaustion is dangerous because it can:

• Slow down healing and normal cell regeneration.

• Co-opt parent molecules needed to make other vital hormones.

• Impair digestion, metabolism and mental function.

• Interfere with healthy endocrine function.

• Weaken our immune system.”

stresssleepingI was first diagnosed with adrenal fatigue in 2002. At the time I was to the outside world a successful corporate get-it-done-girl, heading the sales team for multi-million dollar healthcare company. Unfortunately, high-pressure expectations combined with dawn-to-midnight seven day work weeks and none-too-glamorous jet-setting from meeting to meeting ultimately did me in. I was depressed, constantly sick with colds and/or flu, and had the vitality of an old mushroom. In the mirror, I sadly saw how I also resembled that mushroom.

My second adrenal collapse occurred in 2007 on the heels of the death of one of my best friends, Smiles Randolph (Randy’s mother). As any of you know who have cared for an ill or dying parent, love cannot neutralize the brutal effects of the worry and inevitable thirty-six hours days. Even though my caretaking stint was of much shorter duration than that of Smiles’s loving three daughters, I was once again down for the count. It took months before I felt like myself again. The new wrinkles around my eyes, however, were there to stay. Honestly, that’s okay. I think of Smiles’s twinkly eyes and a few creases on my own face are a small price to pay.

This last time I should have known better, seen the warning signs. In late September I was feeling in high-cotton having wine and cheese with female venture capitalists in Silicon Valley while I pitched my new women’s health business idea. Then word came (and I got your emails!) that there were serious customer service issues back home in our medical practice. I debated and delayed for a few days. How can I finish my new book, continue to champion my new business idea while also stepping back into day-to-day operations? I wondered. A chorus of well-meaning friends and colleagues encouraged, “Of course you can do it all.”

I listened. Wrong choice. Let me assure you that I, for one, am testimony that fifty-three year old wannabe Superwomen end up with headaches, hemorrhoids, depression, droopy jowls, listless days and nights…and adrenal fatigue. Is there hope for the hyper-achieving me, and possibly you? Yes, there is.

It would seem as if I am finally becoming wiser. I do wish that were the case. The truth is that for months I ran around like a crazy woman moving mountains and pulling miracle-level achievements out of my bazoom; then something unforeseen brought me to a screeching, hobbling halt.

I’ve just had labwork done to determine just how suppressed my adrenal system might be. After my labwork is in, I will look to my personal physician, Lori Leaseburge, MD, to advise me if additional nutritional supplementation is recommended. In the meantime, I have finished my new book but am putting my new business idea on hold for now. “Doing it all” was about to “do me in.” Instead, I am resting more and taking more and more “good and needed” activities off my plate.

It would seem as if I am finally becoming wiser. I do wish that were the case. The truth is that for months I ran around like a crazy woman moving mountains and pulling miracle-level achievements out of my bazoom; then something unforeseen brought me to a screeching, hobbling halt.

I broke my big toe in a yoga class. Don’t laugh. It hurt, and still hurts, but Divine intervention or not, this toe-thing has slowed me down to a crawl. Irregularly, I am finding myself grateful. It is forcing me to make different, better, more discerning choices…

What will it take for you to slow down and live the one life the best woman in you has to live?

– Genie James is an Author, Speaker, Business Owner and Liftoff Activist for women and girls.
As a trailblazer in natural women’s health, personalized medicine and relationship-centered care, Genie first turned the traditional medical community on its ear with Making Managed Care Work (McGraw-Hill, 1997) and Winning in the Women’s Healthcare Marketplace (Jossey-Bass, 2000). She is the co-author of From Belly Fat to Belly Flat (Health Communications, Inc. 2007; now in five languages), and From Hormone Hell to Hormone Well (Health Communication, Inc. 2009; winner of the 2010 National Consumer Health Information Bronze Award) with her husband C.W. Randolph, Jr., M.D., R.Ph. Genie’s fifth book In the Mood Again (Simon and Schuster 2010) offers hope and solutions for the over forty million American women and men living in low-sex, no-sex relationships. THE FOUNTAIN OF TRUTH! Outsmart Hype, False Hope and Heredity to Recalibrate How You Age (Health Communications, Inc. April 2013) is a recommended toolbox that every woman will need to healthily and happily navigate the decades. For more information: agelessandwellness.com