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DNA strands
"Each year, about one million people are admitted to hospitals because of adverse drug events,” says Dietrich Stephan, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. “Roughly 100,000 people die because of these events. It’s a significant problem in the U.S.” “Along with the health...
acupuncture
In recent years, more people have been trying complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 30% of older adults use some type of CAM. These two terms have slightly different meanings. Complementary medical treatments are typically used along with standard medical care; whereas, alternative medical treatment replaces standard medical...
male and female medical figures
Women live longer than men, but for men and women, the gap in life expectancy is narrowing. Today on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women live 81.2 years and men live 76.4 years. This gap of 4.8 years is an improvement since 1979, when it was 5.2 years. The extra years, however, can have some disadvantages. The CDC reports that living longer means...
woman buying wine
According to the American Geriatrics Society, about half of seniors drink alcohol. For many people, cocktails are harmless, but for at least 15% of seniors, drinking alcohol is risky for their health and they may not be aware of it. “As you get older, your metabolism becomes less efficient,” says Dr. Myla Carpenter, medical director at...
yoga class
Despite increased awareness about the importance of good balance, falls remain the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. The problem is getting worse: About 24,000 people died in 2012 after falling, and over 2.4 million were seen in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries—a 50% increase over the past ten years, according to the Centers for Disease Control...
holiday goodies
Holiday time means gift-giving, parties, visiting with family and friends, and, of course, food, food, and more delicious food. But if you have diabetes, you may wonder how much and what types of treats you can safely enjoy. Sugar and carbohydrates are the main culprits for raising blood glucose. And as people with diabetes know, too much glucose in the bloodstream damages vital organs and...
senior doing rehab
W hether you’re having a joint replaced, recovering from heart surgery, or need wound care, you may find yourself faced with a weeks-long skilled nursing rehabilitation stay. It’s unlikely that you are looking forward to it, but if you’re in the right frame of mind, you might be able to speed up your progress and get home sooner. “A rehab stay is a process,” says...
heart graphic
If you have chest pain, the first thought that comes into your head might be that you’re having a heart attack. That’s not necessarily the case. “Chest pain can be related to any number of body organs and tissues,” says Lora Cox-Vance, M.D., geriatric fellowship director at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center., St. Margaret Hospital. “It can be difficult to...
health file folders
I f you haven’t already, you might receive a letter from your former company about a change to your retiree health plan. Some employers have been cutting back on benefits since the early 1990s, and the trend is continuing. According to a 2013 survey conducted by consulting group Towers Watson, about 44% of companies plan to stop administering health plans for their former workers over the...