Could the amount of wrinkles women have predict whether they have more brittle bones? Quite possible, according to a new finding presented yesterday by Yale researchers at the Endocrine Society's Annual Meeting in Boston.
"The loss of estrogen that occurs during menopause is when we start to see rapid deterioration in a woman's bones and skin," explains study leader Dr. Lubna Pal who is a reproductive endocrinologist at Yale School of Medicine. The connection between the two, she adds, may be due to a loss in collagen, which is a type of protein that provides the supportive matrix structure for bones and skin.
In a somewhat surprising finding, Harvard Medical School researchers found that obesity may extend the lifespan of those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka Lou Gehrig's disease). The study, involving 427 ALS patients, found that those who had a body mass index of 30 to 35 -- or 175 pounds to 204 pounds for a person who's 5'4" -- had a much lower risk of dying over the course of a year or two.
Nearly 45 percent of underweight ALS patients and 32 percent of normal weight patients died during the study compared with 17 percent of overweight patients (who have a BMI of 25 to 30) and about 7 percent of obese ones. Morbidly obese patients with a BMI over 35, however, had a mortality risk similar to slim patients.
Itís kind of sweet and kind of scary: Older people's health is far more dependent on their spouseís health than weíve realized.
A study in Health Psychology finds that the mental and physical health of older couples is tied together -- for better or for worse.
If one is depressed, the other is more likely to be. And if one is in poor physical health, the otherís physical and mental health are likely to be compromised, too, according to the analysis of a survey of 1,700 older Americans, many of whom had been married for more than 40 years.FULL ENTRY
But what if you skimp on sleep on a chronic basis? Turns out, folks who get less than seven hours a night have accelerated aging in the brain, according to a study published this week in the journal Sleep. Their cognitive function is on par with someone who 's three to seven years older. Surprisingly, getting too much sleep -- more than nine hours a night -- also appears to be linked to speeding the brain's aging process.FULL ENTRY
The study, involving more than 1,200 patients with the "wet" form of macular degeneration, found no difference between those who were randomly treated for one year with the more expensive drug Lucentis -- which costs about $2,000 a dose -- and the cheaper drug Avastin, which costs $50.FULL ENTRY
In the study, researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Mass. General Hospital recruited 100 heart failure patients for a 12-week tai chi exercise program consisting of one hour classes twice a week. A control group received educational materials on managing heart failure.FULL ENTRY
In an effort to halt or slow the aging process, many of us turn to Botox or restylane fillers to erase fine lines and wrinkles. Yet we often neglect the day to day care of our skin -- applying sunscreen before we head out in the morning, lathering on moisturizer every night, drinking enough water so our skin doesn't get deyhdrated.
Dermatologists say there are some simple things we can do to help keep our faces looking as young as possible. Avoiding excess sun exposure is number one. Using an exfoliating scrub once a day to remove dead skin cells can help bring out your natural glow. Applying a moisturizer with peptides, retinol, or antioxidants like vitamin C every night can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
And don't forget the obvious: At the end of the day, remove all makeup with a gentle cleanser and wash the oil and dirt off your face with a non-soap beauty bar.
Boston residents are among the healthiest in the nation, at least those who took the RealAge Test to determine if they're physiologically older, younger, or the same as their chronological age. From a health standpoint, Bostonians are, on average, a year younger than the year stamped on their birth certificates.
That's according to test results issued today by the RealAge folks based on a random sampling of 1,000 residents of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. Boston ranks #5 among cities after Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Austin, and Denver. Cities likely to make you old before your time? Knoxville, Greensboro, NC, and Nashville.
Hollywood icon and actress Elizabeth Taylor died today in Los Angeles. She was 79 and had congestive heart failure. Just what does that mean?
According to the American Heart Association, congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to the body's other organs.
The condition can result from a past heart attack, high blood pressure, heart defects present at birth, and coronary artery disease.
Heart failure tends to be more prevalent in older people, affecting 1% of people aged 50, about 5% of those aged 75 or older and 25% of those aged 85 years or older.
Doctors can treat congestive heart failure through rest, diet, and medications, but in some cases a heart can become so damaged over time that a person may need a heart transplant.
Two decades ago, menopause symptoms were pretty easy to treat. Any woman with hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings had the option of taking hormone replacement therapy, and her doctor encouraged her to take it for the rest of her life to protect her heart, bones, and brain. Now, women are told to take hormones only if they have horrible symptoms and, even then, are told to stop after two or three years.
The pendulum shift resulted from the government's landmark Women's Health Initiative study, which in 2002 reported higher rates of breast cancer, heart disease, and strokes in postmenopausal women who took a combination of estrogen and progestin compared with those who took placebos. Some 75 percent fewer women are taking hormones during menopause now, and the pullback appears to have contributed to a significant decline in breast cancer rates.FULL ENTRY
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