Health: United States
Profile of Older Americans 2001
This US Administration on Aging report shows that the older population in
America numbered 35 million in 2000. The 65 years or older represented one
in every eight Americans. The older population is getting older: the 85 +
group was 34 times larger than in 1900. The 65-74 age group was only 8
Health disparities among
older women (December 2001)
Reducing disparities in health and health care associated with race,
ethnicity, socioeconomic position and gender has emerged as a major
challenge for the United States health care system. These health
disparities among older women persist into old age and are coupled with
the high burden of chronic illness, comorbidity and disability.
Physical and mental
health status of American grandparents providing extensive child care to
their grandchildren (December 2001)
a study , providing extensive care for a grandchild was associated with
elevated levels of depression. Physicians should be alert to family role
changes and symptoms of depression in their older patients.
women and health disparities (December 2001)
American women are in poorer health, use fewer health services, and
continue to suffer disproportionately from premature death, disease, and
disabilities. Many also face tremendous social, economic, cultural, and
other barriers to optimal health. By the year 2050, nearly 1 in 4 adult
women will be 65 years old or older. It is a growing national and
U.S. Retirement Magnets (November 2001)
Florida has the highest proportion of people ages 65 and older (18
percent), but new retirement magnets are emerging outside Florida.
Restless Legs: Treatable, if Recognized
(November 27, 2001)
At least 12 million people in the U.S. have the restless legs syndrome. It
is characterized by a variety of discomforting sensations that occur at
rest and compel sufferers to get up and move around. In this article, you
will find some advice to see the symptoms and to treat this syndrome.
Connecticut Woman, 94, Is Fifth to Die
From Inhalation Anthrax (November 22, 2001)
Lundgren, a 94- year-old woman from Oxford, Conn., died on November 21,
2001 because she mysteriously contracted inhalation anthrax. Investigators
are looking for clues to know how she got the lethal bacteria.
This is the fifth anthrax victim and the first older one.
Politics May Curb WTO Talks (November 15, 2001)
Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick is not authorized by the American
legislation to negotiate trade deals that can not be rewritten by
lawmakers. At the WTO Conference in Doha, he launched a new global trade
negotiations but will he get the congressional approval about his trade
The Cipro Rip-Off and
the Public Health (November 14, 2001)
the U.S. government has authority, under existing law, to license generic
companies to make on-patent drugs like Cipro for sale to the government,
the Bush administration decided, that even urgent U.S. public health needs
do not merit any limitation on patent monopolies. It is time for citizens
to demand the government to prioritize public health over corporate
Drug That Helps Veins Stay Unclogged After a Bypass Proves Effective,
Study Finds (November 13, 2001)
Heart surgery patients usually face some problems such as the
tendency of veins used in bypass surgery to clog up in the years after
surgery. According to a study, an experimental drug named E2F decoy
interferes with the genetic workings of blood-vessel walls and suppresses
the genetic trigger.
Growing Old, With the
Bones in One Piece (November 13, 2001)
million Americans have osteoporosis, a form of arthritis defined by bones
seriously weakened by mineral loss and another 18 million are at high-risk
for developing it. How can you prevent it ? In this article from the New
York Times, you will find some explanations about the causes of this
disease. Because you are living longer, you have to be aware of what your
skeleton needs to be strong.
Than Death, Many Elderly Fear Dementia (November 11, 2001)
Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, but
it is a disease almost exclusively of the aged. Here are personal stories
about different elderly people who fears it and don’t know how to
prevent it. They share their “memory” pills moments and their little
family tips with us.
Care as Main Engine: Is That So Bad? (November 11, 2001)
According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, health care is
expected to account for 16 percent of the nation’s economic output by
2010. In the recent years, many studies tried to quantify the health
industry benefits with different methods. This industry is not made for
stimulating a weak economy.
Doctors Say Call to Get
Flu Shots Could Backfire (November 1, 2001)
There are not enough flu shots for everyone. So the priorities for flu
vaccine are the elderly, people with chronic diseases, people with
weakened immune systems, pregnant women in their second or third
trimesters and health care workers. For those people, it’s very
important to prevent influenza and its consequences.
Program Benefits Health of Older Women Caregivers (November 1, 2001)
Increasing numbers of aging women caregivers is one of the crucial facts
facing every graying society. This study reported that moderate exercise
and nutrition counseling a couple of times a week had good effects on old
women caregivers. They got better sleep and lowered their blood pressure.
A Career Spent in Study of Training and
Exercise (October 30, 2001)
Elderly people’s goal is “to maintain their independence and stay out
of nursing homes”, Dr David Costill, professor of exercise at Ball State
University, said. He is now 65 and he is looking at aging. Why do older
people gain mostly slow twitch muscles while the younger subjects gain
mostly fast twitch ones ? Dr Costill’s research examines these
EKG may not indicate accurate status of
patient (October 29, 2001)
Just because a patient's electrocardiogram appears normal after a heart
attack does not mean the patient is out of danger, according to a new
Flu Shots Are Encouraged to Reduce
Anthrax Fear (October 25, 2001)
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani urged all New Yorkers to get a flu shot and be able
not to confuse flu symptoms with inhalation of anthrax. But the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommends that the flu shot
must be given first to people over 65 and over 6 months with compromised
Announces Deal to Purchase Cipro at Discounted Price (October 24, 2001)
As reported in the New York Times, The U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services has reached an agreement with Bayer to buy Cipro at the
prices charged by manufacturers of generic alternatives. The U.S.
government is amassing stockpile of other drugs too, to be able to treat
up to 12 million Americans for anthrax. This new step begins a “public
health price” for U.S. drugs which may lower drug prices for older
persons in the future.
An easy means of
prevention : A flu shot (October 23, 2001)
Anthrax is not the only threat towards elderly people. Influenza is
another jeopardy. Everyone over 65 must get his flu shot to reduce the
severity of the illness and lower the risk of serious complications. In
this article from the New York Times, you will find some advice
about how to get your flu shot…
to Roll Back the Biological Clock, for a Price (October 21, 2001)
Nowadays, people want to pay more attention to their health and
they are more and more interested in anti-aging clinics. They offer
controversial treatments like chelation therapy to improve blood
circulation or fight hardening of the arteries, human growth hormones
therapy … But there is no evidence of successful results with these
Bodyworks (October 17,
With medical testing, older adults can know whether they are at risk for
injuries affecting their mobility as well as their independence.
Dietary Supplements Pose
Risk to Older Americans (October 17, 2001)
The General Accounting Office warns physical and financial health risks
which dietary supplements such as “anti-aging” cause to numbers of the
older Americans. Even though prosecutors have already identified some
dangerous products in the supplement industry, sales to elderly consumers
have not decreased. The Food and Drug Administration needs more strict
restrictions in order to prevent companies selling harmful supplements to
A Rush for Cipro, and the
Global Ripples (October 17, 2001)
Why buy for a drug $350 a month in the United States if you can buy the
same medicineat $10 a month in India ? It is the question raised by the
American government about Cipro, an antibiotic for treating anthrax made
by Bayer, a German company. Cheaper generic drugs could be available for
poor countries for the epidemics of AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other
Ask the Experts: Questions
and Answers on Assisted Living
(October 16, 2001)
As we age, we wonder about our future living… Some people choose to live
in assisted living facilities. But it is so difficult to find the best
place to live. This article from the Washington Post gives us some
good advice about choosing, visiting and getting a good idea of the
everyday life in assisted living facilities.
More Americans are dying
from diseases of old age (October 16, 2001)
As life expectancy has increased, more Americans are dying of disease
associated with old age. A government report finds increases in deaths
from Alzheimer’s disease, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, high
blood pressure, and septicemia or blood infection…
Flu shots urged now for
high-risk groups; others should wait
(October 15, 2001)
Senior citizens are encouraged to get their flu shot first. They have to
get it to prevent the infection and to reduce the risk of serious
complications. In this article from the Louisville Courier-Journal, you
will find some information about the location for public shots…
Supplements Work to Treat
Vision Loss in Elderly (October 12, 2001)
Macular degeneration destroys the central portion of the retina. But there
is no effective treatment to cure this disease. According to a study
published in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology, dietary supplements
like vitamins, beta-carotene and zinc, reduce the risk of vision loss
among the elderly.
Study Backs Drugs and
Surgery for Elderly With Colon Cancer
(October 11, 2001)
Why can’t elderly people with cancer benefit from chemotherapy after
surgery ? They have the same right to live as younger people. They can
tolerate chemotherapy if they have the will to survive and if they have
access to the treatment. A person who is suffering from a cancer is not
She's taken an
alternative path to freedom from pain (October 11, 2001)
Jean Masciarelli was diagnosed with arthristis when she was 20. Thirty-one
years later, she is the director of the Greater Milford Visiting Nurse
Association. She practices every day t’ai chi movements to gain strength
and flexibility. The benefits of alternatives like meditation,
aromatherapy, herbs and standard treatments are being recognized by
For pain reliever,
questions of risk remain (October 9, 2001)
Some studies examine the unexpected side effects of pain relievers like
Vioxx made by Merckx or Celebrex made by Pharmacia. These drugs are more
and more demanded by patients. But they might increase the risk of heart
attacks. So what can we do about these new drugs which are probably
dangerous for our health ?
Healthbeat : Congress to consider
increased monitoring of food supply, uniform food safety standards (
October 9, 2001)
reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, the nation’s food supply is
vulnerable to bioterrorism. The Food and Drug Administration and the
United States Department Agriculture must take care of food safety and
prevent food poisonings especially for the elderly, vulnerable to
food-borne germs as listeria and salmonella.
Drug giant to introduce
discount plan for the Elderly (October 3, 2001)
As reported in the New York Times, GlaxoSmithKline, the second-largest
drug maker, plans to announce that it is creating a national discount
program for low-income elderly people who lack prescription drug coverage,
reducing the price of its drugs by 25 percent or more. Will this program
be efficient ?
State takes steps to
control Medicaid drug spending (October 2, 2001)
Why do doctors prescribe the most costly drugs to their patients when
cheaper and generics drugs are available? State Medicaid officials want to
save money by reinstating controls on prescription drugs.
HHS releases money to help
in nursing shortage (September 28, 2001)
don’t you study to be a nurse ? The Health and Human Services develops
programs to encourage nurse training and help nurses-in-training from
disadvantaged backgrounds to get their degrees. They repay student loans
for nurses in public facilities or they support adequate salaries and
staff levels for nurses…
Flu disparity (September 25,
As reported as the San Francisco Chronicle, flu shot is recommended for
anyone 65 or older. But some
studies have found racial differences in health care. There is an evidence
that African-Americans do not have the same access as the whites to get
their flu shot.
Workouts May Help Turn Back Clock (September 25, 2001)
Doctors urged to become
more active in fixing health care
(September 22, 2001)
In this article, published in The Olympian, doctors are encouraged to have
some “reduced activity days” or RAD’s to talk with patients,
legislators and every health care actors. Everybody has to participate in
the debate about the health care crisis to find solutions.
Study: Elderly Americans
enjoying better health (August 13, 2001)
Americans are not only living longer but also more vigorously than ever.
Fewer people over 65 require nursing home care and more are living on
their own, with little or no outside help, a study shows.
Better treatment sought for
elderly with broken hips
(August 13, 2001)
thousands of elderly Americans every year, a broken hip is not just a
painful inconvenience but the start of a downward spiral toward death.
Medical experts now are searching for ways to improve the survival rate.
House passage of Patient's
Rights Bill likely (August 2, 2001)
This article in the New York Times discusses the compromise on
Patient’s Rights Legislation between President Bush and Representative
Charlie Norwood, the leader of a six-year campaign to enact a patients'
bill of rights, clearing the way for House passage of the measure this
Stems Cells Are Used to Produce
Insulin (August 1, 2001)
As reported by Reuters, researchers in Israel have succeeded in coaxing
human embryonic stem cells into producing insulin. The scientists were
able to make the cells imitate pancreatic cells that secrete insulin. This
finding could lead to new treatments for Type I diabetes.
Widespread Abuse Found in
Nation's Nursing Homes (July 30, 2001)
As reported in WebMD Medical News, a Congressional report found
that about one-third of nursing homes have recently violated abuse
standards. The report says that much of the problem comes from the
homes failing to investigate allegations of abuse and failing to do
background checks on their employees to ensure they do.
Industry Exaggerates R&D Costs To Justify Prices, Consumer Group Says
(July 24, 2001)
drug industry exaggerates the cost of research and development for
prescription drugs to justify high prices, a consumer group said in a new
Need More of Brain Than Young People (July 17, 2001)
A new survey from the University of Michigan show
that seniors use
different regions of the brain and more of the brain than younger adults
to perform the same tasks. Surprisingly, they discover that in older
adults unexpected regions of the brain are activated for verbal and
spatial memory tasks.
Diet And Exercise Help Elderly
Diabetics, Too (June 27, 2001)
This New York Times article shows that a
great number of elderly diabetics are changing their lifestyles in order
to improve their health. Most
type 2 diabetic patients feel that improving their diet and increasing
their exercise allow them to successfully control and live with their
Sees Racial Gap in Flu Shots (June 28, 2001)
According to the New York Times, the Center of
Disease and Control finds that elderly blacks and Hispanics
are less likely to get flu shots than elderly whites.
This discovery is very troubling since the flu kills 18,000 elderly
people each year.
looks at health of caregivers following death of spouse (June 27, 2001)
A recent study suggests that people who
experience the pressures of caring for an elderly partner deal with the
death of their mate better than people who lose their mate unexpectedly.
A Devastating Lack of
(June 24, 2001)
women must learn about the risks of heart disease. As portrayed in the New York Times, cardiovascular disease is
the principal cause of death among women as opposed to breast cancer.
Even though heart disease shows up most of the time in women over
65 years old, exercise and appropriate drugs to reduce cholesterol can
reduce the chance of heart attack by 50 percent.
of most-prescribed drugs for seniors rose more than twice the rate of
inflation last year (June 12, 2001)
The 50 most heavily prescribed drugs for seniors rose in price, on
average, at more than twice the rate of inflation, according to a new
report issued by the consumer health organization Families USA. Over
one-third (18 out of 50) of the most-prescribed drugs for seniors rose in
price at least three times the rate of inflation from January 2000 to
ALZHEIMER’S (June 11, 2001)
New hope in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
This article, printed in the June 11th Business Week
magazine, takes an interesting look at the theory that treating patients
with mild cognitive impairment or MCI might slow Alzheimer’s disease.
This new discovery may stop the natural course of Alzheimer’s and
prevent millions of people from suffering this illness.
Study Finds Heart Regenerates
Cells (June 7, 2001)
This article, published in the New York Times,
informs readers about a new discovery in heart related medicine.
Cell regeneration after heart attacks may provide researchers with
the ability to tap into heart growth reserves to repair damage.
Yet, unanswered questions linger and more research is needed to
fully understand how the heart responds to heart attacks, ailments, and
AIDS Fungus Drug Offered to
Poor Nations (June 7, 2001)
provided a small helping hand in the fight against AIDS.
As portrayed in this article, taken from the New York Times,
Pfizer has offered a drug to fight fungal infections associated with AIDS
to 50 of the poorest countries in the world.
Even though this is an important step, more work needs to be done
to make drugs more accessible and cheap or free to people with this
Mysteries Need Focused Research (June 6, 2001)
This article takes a look
into cancer cluster research. Cancer
in certain communities or areas could be due to air, water, or soil
pollution but in order for this suspicion to become an indisputable fact
better data collection needs to be implemented. Only then can
epidemiologists provide a reason for cancer clusters.
Plans to Review Policy Allowing Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads for TV (March
As the number of prescription-drug commercials on
television continues to skyrocket, federal regulators are beginning to
examine whether the ads are causing more harm than good.
Often patients seek the highly advertised, highly profitable drugs
and doctors are unwilling to explain why they are not needed.
Will drug companies respond with increased campaign contributions
to candidates who promise to silence the FDA and its research?
role in long-term care (March, 2001)
This article reveals the financial, social and policy issues
of Medicaid’s role
in long term care. Medicaid is the major
source of financing for long term care for elderly and for
non-elderly persons with disabilities
Americans Living Longer,
Not Necessarily Healthier, Lives (March 2001)
Are older people today healthier than they were a generation ago ? The
answer depends on which indicator of health is used to measure change.
View From Sixety (January 23, 2001)
For his 60th birthday, Brendan Donegan planned an
elaborate party, but he was caught unprepared when the party was over.
View From Ninety (January 23, 2001)
A former correspondent for The Washington Post
gives a glimpse of what living to be 90 is like.
Older Adults and Mental Health
This report from the Administration on Aging
shows that it's possible to alleviate the suffering of older people with
mental disorders. Twenty percent of people 55+ have specific mental
disorders that are not parts of the "normal" aging.