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Health: United States 

Archives - 2002

Food Guide Pyramid for Older Adults (2002)
Older adults often need specialized diets to counterbalance age-related physiological changes. To accommodate the gradual loss of bone density, decreased sense of thirst, and potentially increasing need for minerals and vitamins, it’s important that older persons take more calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12. Tufts University has come up with a food pyramid designed specifically for older adults 50 years and older. Eight 8-ounce glasses of water or liquids make up the base of the pyramid, topped by specified amounts of fortified grains, deep-colored fruits, bright-colored vegetables, dry beans, nuts, poultry, fish, lean meats, and low- and non-fat dairy products. See guidelines for details.

Yoga Trumps Bingo as Centers for Aged Try New Approach (December 29, 2002)
The Lenox Hill Senior Center at St. Peter's Church in Manhattan is not a  popular image or stereotypes of senior centers. Many old people no longer act or think like "older "people. So a concern for senior centers is how to make themselves relevant to the "younger" elderly. With them it’s a matter of French lessons, music, dancing but no bingo, please...

As Drug Patents End, Costs for Generics Surge (December 27, 2002)
The benefit of generic drugs instead of brand-name drugs often turns out to be considerably less than it could be. Prices of generic drugs are rising almost twice as fast for several reasons: companies with weak profits are disappearing as the generic industry consolidates and everyone from manufacturers to distributors to retailers are grabbing a higher profit.  So the sick, disabled, and elderly patients continue to pay high prices in this unregulated market.

Drug Makers Battle Plan to Curb Rewards for Doctors (December 26, 2002)
Drug makers acknowledged that they routinely reward doctors and pharmacists for switching patients from one brand of drug to another. They also make payments to insurance plans to increase the use of their products. A coalition of 19 pharmaceutical companies and doctors are now fighting hardly a Bush administration plan to restrict these gifts and other rewards.   Do older persons and other consumers of needed pharmaceuticals have any voice in the matter?  Or does profit reign?

A New Source for Discount Prescriptions (December 26, 2002)
The practice of cross-border buying is gaining credibility. Some pharmacy-benefits programs are moving to cover drug purchases made in Canada. UnitedHealth Group, the country's biggest health insurer, recently told AARP that it would reimburse members of a benefits plan for prescriptions filled in Canada and other nations.

Chasing Youth, Many Gamble on Hormones (December 22, 2002)
Dr. Livesey and  Dr. Joseph Raffaele founded Anti-Aging Medicine Associates, a clinic in Manhattan. Older men and women taking growth hormone lost fat and gained lean body mass without dieting or exercising. This expensive treatment with growth hormone, which has been approved by Food and Drug Administration but for use by people with medical deficiencies, doesn’t stop the questions about healthy aging and the side effects of high doses.

Quick Study: Heart Disease, Osteoporosis and More (December 18, 2002)
Here you will find the latest findings from studies on diet and lifestyle and their impact on heart disease. Also, other reasons to exercise: stronger bones and lower blood pressure.

Got Wrinkles? Go Fish (December 17, 2002)
Most doctors agree that aging skin cells produce excess amounts of free radicals. Here is the funny and personal story about a woman who tried the Three-Day Nutritional Face-lift: fish, fish and …. fish anytime. But theory and real observed results have been revealed to be totally different from
what has been expected.

Note by the Secretariat to the Commission for Social Development on Modalities for review and Appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging (December 16, 2002)
"This UN note addresses the role of the Commission for Social development in integrating the different dimensions of population ageing in its work and modalities for review and appraisal of follow-up the Second World Assembly on Ageing 2002."

Treating Disease With a Famous Face (December 15, 2002)
Americans listen to celebrities, not the medical expert who is unknown to them. While attaching a celebrity to a disease can motivate sufferers to seek treatment or lead to more research financing, the arrangements are ethically complicated.  Celebrities often want to raise money for so-called orphan diseases. By example the publicist said. Lynda Carter was to be the new celebrity spokeswoman for the IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

F.D.A. Seeks Quicker Approval of New Drugs (December 12, 2002)
The decision to approve of a generic drug is supposed to be made within six months after an application is filed, but it's not at all unusual for the process to take 14 to 16 months. The new head of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Mark B. McClellan, said that he intended to speed the approval of new drugs and crack down on deceptive pharmaceutical advertising.

Merck Agrees to Pay $42 Million (December 10, 2002)
Merck & Company is one of the largest management companies (65 million drugs cards holders), that negotiate with drug manufacturers to obtain discounts for employers and health plans. It agreed to pay $42.5 million to settle long-running class-action lawsuits against its own pharmacy-benefit unit, Medco Health Solutions. It had held back $2.85 billion in rebates from 1995 to 1999. Customers most often do not know the cosy arrangement between the drug maker and Medco.


Statins: Miracles for Some, Menace for a Few (December 10, 2002)
Statins have been hailed as miracle drugs for their ability to prevent deaths from heart attacks by lowering cholesterol. There are also strong hints that statins may protect against strokes, Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis. But many patients are unaware of the signs of trouble associated with statins: major surgeries, combinations with other drugs….

Thurmond's 100 - Year Journey Senator feted by kin, peers on Capital Hill (December 6, 2002)
The oldest and longest-serving US senator, Strom Thurmond, celebrated his 100th birthday.

A Program Intended to Offer Health Insurance to the Poor  (December 4, 2002)
An experimental program sponsored by the World Bank and the International Labor Organization provides health insurance to poor people in developing countries by allowing small, regional insurers to pool risk over a large area, making them less vulnerable to large epidemics.

Medical Errors: Practicing Physician and Public Views (December 2002)
This study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Kaiser Family
Foundation documents the attitudes of doctors and the public about
medical errors and their or their families' experiences with medical
errors in the course of receiving medical care.  The surveys also
compare physician and public perspectives on the extent of the problem.

Side Effects: New Face: Younger but Blander (November 26, 2002)
Botox (botulinum A exotoxin )injections can smooth out a patient's forehead but may also limit the mobility of the eyebrows and paralyze the facial muscles that cause the skin to crease, according to a new study from the Indiana University Medical Center.

World Trade Talks Struggle Over Cheap Drugs Access (November 25, 2002)
Representatives from the World Trade Organization's145 member states are facing a looming deadline to clinch a deal. All countries agree that the poorest states should have ready access to cheap drugs, often versions copied by third world producers of medicines patented by multinationals. But they are split on which countries should get automatic exemption from patent rules.

US Launches Plan To Abolish Key Tariffs (November 25, 2002)
In an attempt to revitalize the faltering WTO Doha trade round, the US will release a proposal for all WTO countries to eliminate tariffs on manufactured (non-agricultural) goods by 2015. The proposal is based on a study by the National Foreign Trade Council, a US business lobby that pushes for lower trade barriers in developing countries.

2002 National Poll Women 50 + (November 2002)
The US Administration on Aging has conducted a poll focused on the evolving issues that confront women as they age. This interesting document shows that midlife and older women are worried about income and health first and age itself second.

California Seniors and Prescription Drugs
Report on California Seniors conducted by the KFF: nearly one in five California seniors (18%) were without drug coverage in 2001. 

US Says WTO Deal Must Safeguard Drug Manufacturers (November 21, 2002)
US government
has proposed allowing poor countries to license companies in another developing country to manufacture generic drugs in order to have safety for big drug makers.

Heart Study Bolsters Doubt on Hormones (November 20, 2002)
A new study found surprisingly that hormone supplements and antioxidant vitamins hold no heart benefits for older women who already have heart disease. Doctors suggested that the vitamins might interfere with cholesterol-lowering drugs. In fact, heart disease appeared to progress more quickly in women who took hormones, high doses of vitamins E and C, or both, than in those on placebos.

Power of Positive Thinking Extends, It Seems, to Aging (November 19, 2002)
People who are psychologically healthier live longer. Now, it
has been shown that this sentence is true: an optimistic view of life can help you to cope with the stress of life.

Is Frailty Inevitable? Some Experts Say No (November 19, 2002)
The assumption is that frailty is the price to be paid for living to an advanced age. But even if you exercise
, there is no guarantee you will get less frail. Researchers are looking at the basis of frailty to learn if it is inevitable or if it can be prevented or reduced in intensity.  A new frontier for elder health.

Ageless Apostle of Muscle (November 19, 2002)
The health and fitness guru of 1950s and '60s television fame is currently eighty-eight years old and bursting with vitality. Since age forty, Jack has performed a series of incredible feats of strength on his birthdays. For example, at age seventy, he swam, handcuffed, towing seventy boats and seventy people, for one and a half miles.

Aging: Brain Boosts, From the Other Side (November 19, 2002)
A new study adds useful information about brain aging process.Older people best able to press both brain sides into service do better on skills tests compared with those less adept at using both sides. For example as the lead author noted: “Instead of picking up a heavy object with one arm, they might use tw

Older Patients Benefit from Statin Use-Study (November 18, 2002)
A study presented at the American Heart Association meeting found that elderly patients who use cholesterol-lowering drugs may enjoy the same benefits as their younger counterparts.

Generic Drugs Are Welcomed in Discount Program for Elderly (November 15, 2002)
Seven brand-name manufacturers offer discounts on prescriptions to low-income elderly people. It’s a new program they created, called Together Rx. To qualify for the card, elderly people must be enrolled in Medicare, not have public or private drug coverage, and have annual incomes of less than $28,000 for individuals or $38,000 for couples.

The Kind of Noise That Keeps a Body on Balance (November 14, 2002)
A new survey explained how the noise made the nerves in the feet more sensitive and puts more pressure on one part of the foot. Good news for disabled elderly people.


Growth Hormone Changed Older Bodies, for Better and Worse (November 13, 2002)
American researchers find that the human growth hormone can transform older people ‘s bodies. However, this growth hormone that is also used by athletes and bodybuilders has severe side effects on the health of nearly half the test subjects.


Forgotten heroes: Family caregivers (November 12, 2002)
On the caregiving theme, Washington is debating how to slice up the Medicare pie between beneficiaries and providers, with hospitals, doctors and home-care agencies vying for bigger portions. But one key group isn't even at the table: the 27 million family members.

Nursing Home Report Card Is Released by Government (November 13, 2002)
The government wants to help consumers judge the quality of care at 17,000 nursing homes around the country. For all nursing homes that participate in Medicaid or Medicare, the government is publishing up to 10 measures of performance or quality.

Postmenopausal Pregnancy Is Medically OK, Study Finds (November 12, 2002)
Though old enough to be grandmas, there's no medical reason healthy women in their 50s should be prevented from having babies with donated eggs, according to the largest study of motherhood after menopause.

How Perils Can Await the 'Worried Wealthy' (November 12, 2002)
Anxious consumers want to have their bodies scanned by three-dimensional computerized X-rays from chest to groin. It costs a lot of money and is not always a proof of value: do American people play the “Malade Imaginaire” by Moliere?

Menopause Without Pills: Rethinking Hot Flashes (November 10, 2002)
A transformation of the medical landscape is taking place in the menopause field. Try to live with your symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats as well as vaginal dryness), doctors now say. The hormone replacement therapy can help with these symptoms and help to decrease some risks but there is no reliable way to determine which women are at particular risk for breast cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis or colon cancer. And there is still nothing yet to prevent Alzheimer’s.

Long-Term Hormone Therapy May Reduce Alzheimer's Risk for Women (November 6, 2002)
A new study observes
that women who chose to take estrogen are less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. One problem is that women who take hormones after menopause are different from those who do not take the drugs. Hormone users tend to be more educated, for example, and healthier.

HealthSouth Earns Fall on Medicare Change (November 5, 2002)
HealthSouth Corp. said its net income fell 32 percent, hit by Medicare changes for reimbursement for group physical therapy. Net income at the provider of physical therapy, outpatient surgery and diagnostic imaging centers, dropped to $53.6 million  from $79.1 million in last year's third quarter.

Drug Makers Pour Ad Money Into Final Days of Campaign (November 4, 2002)
Neither Republicans or Democrats will say publicly exactly how much they get from the drug industry contributions. But one thing is sure, Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, is spending about $4 million on ads running in major markets in 23 states, many of them battlegrounds where the prescription-drug issue is hot, such as Florida, Minnesota and Missouri.

Fuzzy line on drug prices (November 3, 2002)
Numerous private individuals and groups, as well as the federal and state governments, have launched investigations saying pharmaceutical companies funneled covert rebates to pharmacies and health plans, effectively cutting the wholesale prices of drugs without offering the same discounts to government programs as required by law. Here is an example story about Warner-Lambert's successor, Pfizer, which did not admit guilt. Pfizer agreed to settle for $49 million a whistleblower's lawsuit.

Three Generic-Drug Makers To Create a Cheaper Prilosec (November 1, 2002)
Three generic-drug makers announced that it will launch a copycat version of the huge-selling ulcer and heartburn drug Prilosec. A
n unusual court decision makes them help consumers.

The public on Prescription Drugs for Seniors (October 2002)
This Kaiser Family Foundation report deals with the debate over public knowledge about prescription drug coverage to seniors. About 9 in 10 adults support providing prescription drug coverage for seniors through Medicare.

Social Whirl May Help Keep the Mind Dancing (October 29, 2002)
New studies suggest that ordinary activities of personal contact exercise the brain
and are at least as useful as more formal intellectual activities.


Report urges healthier senior lifestyles in Nevada (October 28, 2002)
The Nevada Senior Services Task Force issued a new report on Nevada’s senior citizens. It had the fastest-growing old population nationwide from 1990 to 2000. The plan cited previous studies that show Nevadans drink and smoke at a rate higher than the national average.

Drug Agency Weighs Role of Hormone Replacements (October 25, 2002)
The future of the hormone therapy is in big trouble those days. The Women's Health Initiative study of Prempro, which costs more than $600 million, would like to answer the question of combination of estrogen and progestin at the same time. It found that Prempro conferred slight risks of heart attacks, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer that were not balanced by its benefits, slight decreases in hip fractures and colon cancer. What would makers of new drugs for menopause do to show they are safe in long-term studies?

Big Pharmas, Big Karmas (October 25, 2002)
On Friday, October 25th 2002, more than one hundred demonstrators from trade unions and senior organizations gathered outside Pfizer Corporation’s headquarters in NYC. They shouted and carried bright signs saying, “Big Pharma, Bad Karma.”   Speakers told their terrible experiences of denial of pharmaceuticals due to high prices or lack of coverage.  “We want Canada’s health system—not the profit monopoly in the United States.”  Other speakers pointed to the public health care of the European Union and asked, “Why not here?”

When consumed wisely, vitamins are more effective than other medicine (October 24, 2002) (in Russian)
Vitamins can not only preserve sight for older people, but also can help to save spending on expensive drugs. These results were presented at the annual conference of
ophthalmologists in Orlando, USA.

Many Older Adults Don't Get Enough Calcium (October 23, 2002)
Most older adults are not getting the recommended amount of calcium each day, even if they take supplements, new study findings suggest.

Gene May Trigger Age-linked Muscle Decline (October 23, 2003)
Like humans, worms called C. elegans follow the same aging process but in only 18 days. It helps scientists to understand why they didn't age in exactly the same fashion though they were all the same in the start. A
researcher at Rutgers University in New Jersey said that "certain components of aging may simply be due to chance errors at the cellular level during a worm's--or a human's—life."

Good and Bad Marriage, Boon and Bane to Health (October 22, 2002)
Married people tend to live longer than their single, divorced and widowed counterparts. By example, marriage acts as a balm against loneliness and stress. But it can mean bad news for women as well. Marital stress affects older women more intensely and lasts longer than in the men.

The Ins and Outs of Buying Legal Drugs Across Borders (October 22, 2002)
The fastest and easiest way to save on prescription drugs is to skirt the law -- and tens of thousands of Americans are already doing it.

Upstart Texas Firm Makes Stir With Cheap Drugs From Canada (October 21, 2002)
A small, Texas-based health-claims processor has opened a crucial new front in the war over whether Americans should be allowed to import cheap prescription drugs from Canada


Oxidation May Be a Factor in Age-linked Eye Disease (October 21, 2002)
Scientists discovered a link between oxidative damage and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease that is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly in developed countries. This can lead to difficulties to read, drive or perform other activities that require sharp vision.


A Biotech Outcast Awakens (October 20, 2002)
Provigil is written to treat fatigue and sleepiness. The growing sales of Provigil are raising questions about the company's promotion (Cephalon Inc., )of the drug that treats fatigue and sleepiness and about society's use of it. In the EU, such advertising is prohibited.

Is there an anti-aging medicine?
The secret to healthy aging is healthy diet and moderate exercise. This paper will help you choose between good and bad anti-aging medicine products.

Prevent Falls 
Here are eight fact sheets for helping elderly to prevent falls. Thirty percent of elderly people experience at least one fall each year.

2 Drug Giants to Restore Big Discounts for Elderly (October 24, 2002)
At the beginning of October, GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol-Myers Squibb, cut back on discounts that they had promised to low-income people. But the federal law says drug makers must offer Medicaid patients the lowest price available to any buyer: the 2 companies must return to the original discounts. It is a big victory.

Good and Bad Marriage, Boon and Bane to Health (October 22, 2002)
Married people tend to live longer than their single, divorced and widowed counterparts. By example, marriage acts as a balm against loneliness and stress. But it means bad news for women sometimes too because marital stress affects them stronger and last longer than in the men.

Studies show elderly can tolerate strong cancer drugs (October 20, 2002)
Doctors often fear that the medication side effects may be too harsh for elderly when they have been diagnosed with cancer.  But new studies show that they can tolerate much better than the scientists thought. Researchers must start including elderly patients in clinical trials.  

US Seniors Face Higher Medicare Rates for 2003 (October 18, 2002)
Medicare's 40 million beneficiaries will pay higher premiums and deductibles next year, on top of a slim cost-of-living adjustment for 2003. But the 1.4% cost-of-living adjustment announced will be far outstripped by growing prescription drug costs.

Exercise, Moderate Drinking Keeps Seniors Active (October 17, 2002)
Moderate drinking and exercise seemed to slow age-related deterioration. These two activities protect against natural aging according to a new survey from the University of Washington.

Keeping the 'Grow' in Growing Old (October 15, 2002)
At the Chautauqua Institution, stimulation of mind and spirit is the guiding principle among elderly people with a lot of shared laughs. Education and intellectual activity are correlated with longer life spans and a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Forever Young (October 13, 2002)
Suppose you soon can live to well over 100, as vibrant and energetic as you are now. What would you do with your life?

AstraZeneca Gains Victory In Ruling on Prilosec Patent (October 12, 2002)
A US federal judge ruled that three generic-drug makers infringed on AstraZeneca PLC's patent on Prilosec, a top-selling heartburn treatment. AstraZeneca's generic challengers from countries like India and Germany had argued that the formulation patents were invalid. AstraZeneca PLC's strategy to continue its monopoly for the high price, high profit drug continue unchecked.

What Older Women Want, Men Can't Deliver-sex Study (October 11, 2002)
Many older women still want to have sex, but they may face men who have problems.

Manitoba's Controversial Niche: Exporting Affordable Drugs (October 10, 2002)
During the past two years, Manitoba is home to more than half of the 50 licensed pharmacies across Canada that use the Internet to sell prescription drugs, primarily to Americans
, at cheaper Canadian prices.

Take a Walk (October 1, 2002)
“Yes, walking. You know: one foot in front of the other, repeat, rinse, repeat.” Near 75 percent of the U.S. population fails to get 30 minutes of daily exercise. But walking is the best choice as a regular form of physical activity as it is proved in this amusing article from the New York Times.

Some Retirees Look Abroad for Prescription Drugs (September 24, 2002)
The demand for Canadian drugs has never been so high. American doctors can apply for licenses that permit them to write prescriptions that can be filled in Canada. Sometimes chartered buses are filled with senior citizens to go here.

A Chance to Sleep Through the Night (September 23, 2002)
Most men, by the time they get into their 50's and 60's, have a decrease in urinary function. Its medical name is B.P.H., for benign prostatic hypertrophy. These are men who get up repeatedly at night to urinate, or who can't get through a meeting without rushing to the men's room. Now, men with moderate symptoms are treated with medications and most get relief according to new data by N.I.H
. (National Institutes of Health)

Insurer Pushes Use of Generic Drugs As Cost-Cutter (September 20, 2002)
The area's largest health insurer, Blue Cross, is promoting the use of generic drugs over more costly brand names. It would save $3 million for each percentage-point increase in usage of generic drugs rather than brand names.

Action Alert on Prescription Drugs (September 19, 2002)
The New York Network for Action on Medicare and Social Security distributed this Action Alert to its members on September 19, 2002.  This critical US health issue shapes policies on how older people can get the medications they require.

Fighting Pain that Makes You Old Before Your Time (September 17, 2002)
Peripheral Arterial Pain (PAN) refers to extreme pain suffered during exertion.  This condition, often underdiagnosed, makes it difficult for persons to get the exercise they need.  This article details some helpful approaches.

Osteoporosis Getting Serious for Men (September 16, 2002)
Here is new information about osteoporosis affecting men—as well as women—and some approaches to retarding its progress among older persons.

Life Expectancy Hits 76.9 in U.S.; Health Costs Soar (September 12, 2002)
The good news are people live longer in the US but the bad news is that they are fatter and racial discrimination cuts short African, American and Hispanic lives.

Men: What’s normal, what’s not, as you age (September 10, 2002)
Here are some common changes men’s bodies may go through as they age. Learn what to expect and what to watch for.

Even light weights can help elderly get stronger ( September 6, 2002)
The ideal way for elderly to train is unknown. But even light loads could bring advantages and low risk of heartbreak.

Health Insurance Prognosis Is Poor  (September 6, 2002)
The latest US national survey of health insurance trends founds that employers faced another year of increases (12.7 percent this year, the largest since 1990.) And there's also less coverage for retirees and for small-business workers. The increases are attributed largely to more spending on prescription drugs and hospital care by an aging population.

Forever Cool (September 5, 2002)
Good tunes cross generation lines : Johnny Cash, Rolling Stones…

Optimism Could Help You Live Longer (September 5, 2002)
Having an optimistic outlook on aging can extend life by seven and half years, studies shows.  Though negative stereotypes exist and at times bombard the old, boomers and seniors need to acquire positive self-perceptions.

Sorting Through the Confusion Over Estrogen (September 5, 2002)
This article develops some issues that govern women’s choice to continue or discontinue hormone replacement therapy.  Veteran health writer Jane Brody gives an excellent overview.

The Search for Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy (September 3, 2002)
With hormone replacement health findings in the news recently, some women have dropped out of treatment.  Many, though, experience hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances are other menopausal symptoms that can come back after quitting hormone replacement therapy. 

Community Health Centers: Casting a Wider Safety Net (September 2, 2002)
An infusion of federal funds is fueling a boom of expansion among health centers serving the nation's low-income and uninsured patients.

Medicare+Choice in New York City: So Far, So Good? (September 2002 )
This Commonwealth Fund explains "why the Medicare+Choice program--faltering in many regions--has thus far enjoyed relative stability in New York City. However, according to the report there are signs that these conditions may soon change."

Geographic Inequity in Medicare + Choice Benefits-Findings from Seven Communities (September 2002)
This Commonwealth Fund "compares the 2002 benefit packages of Medicare+Choice plans to assess the degree of regional disparities in benefit packages. The authors find wide variations in out-of-pocket costs for Medicare+Choice enrollees depending on where beneficiaries live."

Medicare + Choice After 5 Years (September 2002)
This Commonwealth Fund report examines "the reasons behind the widespread dissatisfaction of private health plans, health care providers, and beneficiaries with the Medicare+Choice program and draws lessons for broader Medicare reform."

2003 Dennis W. Jahnigen Career Development Scholars Awards (September 2002)
An initiative if the American Geriatrics Society, the Dennis W.Jahnigen Career Development Scholars Program is designed to address the urgent need to create a structure for developing leaders in geriatrics in academic surgery and related medical specialties.

Study Suggests Carbohydrates Are Attacked in Arthritis (August 22, 2002)
Rheumatoid arthritis, a disease without cure that afflicts more than two million people in the United States, could be caused by by out-of-control immune cells. Scientists are still unsure.

Cataract Surgery May Cut Older Drivers' Crash Risk (August 21, 2002)
Older adults who have surgery to repair their cataracts may be less likely to have a car accident than cataract patients who opt out of surgery, new study findings suggest.

Mass. plans new push to home care for disabled (August 21, 2002)
Deinstitutionalization of mentally and physically disabled people to community settings  starts in Boston . The action comes  in response to federal court rulings requiring that the disabled be treated in the least restrictive setting possible.

A healthy debate ( August 21, 2002)
This year gubernatorial campaign  is stirring and  rising concern about such issues as  ballooning health costs, a sputtering economy that threatens to push more medical costs onto employees and swell the ranks of the uninsured, and a Congress that  failed to pass a prescription drug benefit for Medicare.

Male Hormone Therapy Popular but Untested (August 19, 2002)
As  fresh debates about Hormone Replacement risk and danger therapy in women proceed, when new debates arise on  hormone replacement — in older men. Testosterone – a male hormone is now being considered as a possible antidote for aging and a way to get a lean and muscular body.  But testosterone can fuel the growth of prostate cancer, it can increase red blood cell production, and possibly can increase the risk of clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes Is it safe enough to prescribe ?

Detecting heart disease early (August 19, 2002)
US researches found  that it is possible to detect early heart diseases by checking the levels of a particular protein in the blood. In a second study, doctors found antibiotics could protect against heart disease.

West Nile: Prepare, Don't Panic The risk of serious complication tends to increase with age or a failing immune system.  West Nile vaccine is on the stage of development and till that time one can protect oneself by simple measures like: wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and using insect repellent during mosquito season.

Reducing side  effects of Retinoic Acid Cancer treatment (August 15, 2002)
Retinoic Acid (RA) is being widely used by doctors in treatment of cancer. The drawback to RA however, is that it requires high dose in order to be effective and that can be very toxic for patient. Cornell University scientist found the way to use smaller doses of RA.

A Peril of the Veil of Botox (August 6, 2002) 
In the era of beauty worshiping, Botox injection for cosmetic uses seems as a panacea for theaging face.  It has many benefits – no need for  operation, it is painless and the result will be 
an endlessly renewable face-lift. Botox, however, paralyzes the underlying muscles that control facial movement and produce wrinkles. As it takes wrinkles away, it is also robs the face of some human expression. And this raises the question: What are the implications for human relationship through facial communication.

New Knees May Be in Order When Other Options Fail (August 13, 2002)
The human knee though  an engineering masterpiece , is a very vulnerable joint that can deteriorate with age. There are two ways to cope with a deteriorated knee – total knee replacement, recommended for aging people and tibial osteotomy, recommended for younger patients.

What the Tooth Fairy Forgot: Dentists for Rural America (August 7, 2002)
A shortage of dentists in rural stretches of the upper Midwest reaches crisis proportions and lead to postpone retirement for such old doctors as Dr. Nemer, 70 who had planned to retire five years ago but has stayed on because he cannot find anyone to take over the thriving practice he built over a lifetime in the isolated farm town .

Artificial insemination can work in older women ( August 5, 2002) 
If a woman lost hope of getting pregnant after 40, she can be artificially inseminated.  Artificial insemination, according to research’s works  in older women and  is less expensive than in vitro fertilization

Louisiana lawmakers seek funds to battle West Nile virus (August 4, 2002)
West Nile (WN) has emerged in recent years in temperate regions of Europe and North America, presenting a threat to public , equine, and animal health. The most serious manifestation of WN virus infection is fatal encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), often deadly for people.

Scientists unravel secrets of long life (August 2, 2002)
Scientists in the United States claim they have discovered three things can prolong person’s life. These are low body temperature, low levels of  insulin and high level of DHEAS, circulating in the blood.  

Drugstores to Boost Drug Cards After Senate Rejects Legislation (August 2, 2002)
Although the Senate  failed to pass legislation this week providing prescription-drug benefit to Medicare recipients, the  National Association of Chain Drug Stores  agreed  market a discount-drug plan for seniors organized by the  Together Rx coalition of seven pharmaceutical companies. The goal of  the Together Rx coalition is  to educate and enroll seniors, beginning with a campaign scheduled for six major cities this fall.   

Evaluation of the Wellspring Model for Improving Home Quality (August 2002)
A Commonwealth Report about the nursing home care : " The Wellspring Alliance of 11 non-profit nursing homes in Wisconsin has stabilized staff turnover and remained free serious quality deficiencies on state inspections."

Why Tai Chi Is the Perfect Exercise (July 31, 2002)
Tai Chi combines intense mental focus with deliberate, graceful movements that improve strength, agility and — particularly important for the elderly — balance.

Senate Rejects Medicare Drug Benefits for Elderly (31 July, 2002)
On July 31, 2002 the Senate killed legislation to provide prescription drug benefits promised to the elderly by both parties. Sixty votes were needed to keep the proposal alive – and Democrats could muster only 49.

Prescription drug coverage and seniors: How well are states closing the gap? (31 July, 2002)
This 2001 survey of seniors in eight states  reflects  attempts of many states to provide drug coverage for low-income seniors through Medicaid and state-funded pharmacy assistance programs. It finds marked differences among states in the percentage of seniors with coverage and in the sources providing coverage. In all states Medicaid was an important source of coverage for the poor, but the depth of Medicaid drug coverage varied widely across states.

Family Caregivers Often Frustrated With Long Term Care Options (July 29, 2002)
An NPA (National PACE Association) study  reveals that finding long term care in the community  for families and friends who provide care in the community for elderly people with chronic care needs, trying to find long term care services is frustrating. There is no single community based agency that family caregivers perceive. This study can be useful to adapt further the  programs of PACE to meet family caregivers needs.

Estrogen, After a Fashion (July 28, 2002)
Writer Ann Patchett reflects on how scientific the scientists can be as they devise drugs for some women.  Drugs, particularly those dealing with cosmetic “improvements” in women, depend on fashion, she claims.  Ignored are the many poor women throughout the world for whom drugs to combat malaria, HIV-AIDS symptoms, and other life-threatening diseases are beyond their means. The market denies health to them.

More People 65 and After Getting Cosmetic Surgery (July 24, 2002)
Expensive cosmetic surgery makes some older persons feel better about themselves.  Others do it to avoid on-the-job age discrimination.  While the  high cost of surgery makes it unavailable to almost all older persons, this article details the motivations of the few who decide they want a “lift.”

Pfizer Feeds Its Drug Habit (July 23, 2002)
Pfizer's $60 billion purchase of Pharmacia will create the world's largest drug firm with $9.2 billion in profits. This Fortune article wants to solve this question: “When it comes to drugs, is bigger necessarily better?”


States Use Their Purchasing Power As Leverage to Limit Drug Prices (July 21, 2002)
State governments have discovered a new weapon in their battle against drug makers' price increases: market forces.

Prozac Mailed Unsolicited to a Teenager in Florida (July 20, 2002)
The Prozac story is not finished.  Michael Grinsted, a young teenager, who has never suffered from depression, got a prescription drug Prozac by mail. The Grinsteds said they might join a class-action lawsuit that a 59-year-old woman filed this month in state court in Fort Lauderdale against Lilly, the Walgreen Company and several doctors.

Research Suggests More Health Care May Not Be Better (July 20, 2002)
According to a  paper published in the journal Health Affairs, Medicare's typical lifetime spending for a 65-year-old in Miami is more than $50,000 higher than for a 65-year-old in Minneapolis. Can this gap be explained by regional differences in medical costs? No. The reason is abundance of supply, including medical doctors and services. The study suggests that more doctors do not assure better health.

Brand-Name Drug Industry Overwhelms Generic in Campaign Contributions and Lobbying Spending (July 19, 2002)
As the U.S. Senate considers legislation opposed by the brand-name drug industry to provide consumers with faster access to cheaper generic drugs, a new Public Citizen study shows how the brand-name prescription drug industry has outspent the much smaller generic drug industry by a 40-to-1 margin on campaign contributions and lobbying.  

Senate Backs Use of Drug Lists By States in Medicaid Programs (July 19, 2002)
The Senate approved giving states authority to use preferred-drug lists and other cost-cutting measures in their Medicaid programs.

Plan to Import Drugs From Canada Passes in Senate (July 18, 2002)
The Bush administration does not want to sign legislation to import drugs from Canada although Congress has already approved it.  Their US based argument  is that drugs could be risky for public health. There is also big resistance from drug companies.

  Text of letter to US  Senator Ted Kennedy about affordable prescription drugs (July 17, 2002)
Anne Marie Mayer, GAA volunteer, this summer  joined the Patriot’s  Bus Ride to Washington  D.C.  to find answers to following questions “Why should we have to go to Canada for affordable   prescription drugs?” Why must we pay prices 40-60% higher than Canadians for the letter to US Senator Ted Kennedy.

Survey Halted, Drug Makers Seek to Protect Hormone Sales (July 17, 2002)
Recent results on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) research, where it was discovered that HRT can increase the risk of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots and heart attacks, presents doctors with a difficult choice--should they stop prescribing HRT or not?  The survey also shows that
sales representatives from drug companies that promote HRT drugs tripled the number of doctors they visited last week compared with the week before the study came out.

Age Lines (July 16, 2002)
Some good health news about good cholesterol, dementia and beauty: older people with prior stroke or neck conditions who want to have a salon shampoo must exercise caution. 

Pfizer to Buy Large Drug Rival in $60 Billion Deal (July 15, 2002)
Drug giant Pfizer Inc., bought Pharmacia for $60 billion and became the world’s largest pharmaceutical company.  Pfizer press releases suggest that the merger would help limit price increases.  Observers are dubious that the drug industry consolidation into several giant firms would lower prices.  Rather, it creates less competition on the basis of price.  Regulators have yet to approve the sale.

Senate Panel OKs Generic Drug Bill (July 12, 2002)
Election issues shape how serious Senators want to be over the high cost of prescription drugs.  Two other questions lurk in the background:  How indebted are Senators to political contributions originating in drug company profits?  Are back room deals underway to privatize Medicare?

A Knee Surgery for Arthritis Is Called Sham (July 11, 2002)
A popular operation for arthritis of the knee worked no better than a sham procedure in which patients were sedated while surgeons pretended to operate, researchers are reporting today.

Challenged to care: Informal caregivers in a Changing health System (July/August, 2002)
This report from a survey of informal caregivers , who provide unpaid assistance to ill, disabled or elderly people in the US, reveals the intense emotional and physical burdens on some caregivers

Should Anyone Take Hormones? (July 8, 2002), mood swings, sleep difficulties and vaginal dryness  and they used to cope with them by using HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). But recent studies question the usefulness and safety of HRT

Study: AIDS Shortening Life in 51 Nations (July 8, 2002)
Demographers and health experts report that AIDS has begun to cut longevity gains in fifty-one nations in Africa and the Caribbean.  In the USA, Black heterosexual women are increasingly contracting AIDS as are gay men who engage in high-risk sexual activities, according to experts.  Most new cases are unaware of that they might have AIDS.   

Good news/bad news story for older Americans (July 08, 2002)
Recent reports from the Administration on Aging show that Americans age 50+ are healthier and living longer overall, but at the same time receive fewer benefits from health insurance.

World Within: Validation Method Helps Confused Elders Get Heard and Understand (July 7, 2002)
This article describes the Validation method of communicating with confused older adults developed by Naomi Feil, a Cleveland-based geriatric social worker whose communication techniques are taught worldwide. Feil emphasizes that in order to understand, you have to become a detective: Listen carefully and the individual's behavior and their words will make sense, and the individual will become calmer because they finally have been heard.

With loss of independence, sadness (July 7, 2002)
This Boston Globe article documents the difficulties that Baseball Great Ted Williams faced following open heart surgery about18 months prior to his death.  According to family reports, Williams knew about the risks of poor health after the operation but chose to go ahead.  The article questions the worth of risk-taking procedures that can take autonomy, if not life, away.

Free Prozac in the Junk Mail Draws a Lawsuit (July 6, 2002)
Aggressive marketing of a drug to a doctor’s patient via a free sample in the mail may be stopped cold in a lawsuit.  Invasion of privacy of medical records,  using the mail for unsolicited drugs,  and an expiring patent on a high-price, high profit,  drug shape this drama

States Split as U.S. Offers Drug Subsidy for Elderly (July 6, 2002)
Most States are reluctant to participate in a Bush program to give matching money for a drug benefit to those with modest incomes but ineligible for Medicaid.  This Bush Program is “budget neutral” and can have the effect of directing money away from other recipients of the State’s Medicaid funds. 

Staying Cool In Extreme Heat (July 4, 2002)
As the country endures a summer heat wave, the elderly, very young and ill are especially susceptible to heat-related illnesses, including death.  This article helps identify heat-related illnesses and provides methods of relief. 

Wisconsin Begins To Enroll Seniors in Medicaid Prescription Drug Assistance Program (July 2, 2002)
In a leading initiative, Wisconsin opened enrollment for a Prescription Drug Assistance Program for low-income seniors who are eligible for Medicaid. This initiative may show whether brand name drug prices continue to go up in Wisconsin with assured payments from taxpayers.

Methods Are Many to Reduce Blood Pressure (July 2, 2002)
Here are potential risk factors for hypertension development and practical measures to reduce blood pressure.

Heart Pump Saves Lives, and Raises Questions (July 2, 2002)
With tens of thousands of Americans dying of heart failure each year, and a dire shortage of donated human hearts, cardiologists have long dreamed of a device that could be permanently implanted in people too old or sick for a heart transplant. Headlines detail a  $ 60,000  heart machine that may extend the lives of as many as 100,000 people a year. It also generates economic , social and ethical questions about who deserved  that to live.

Seniors and Prescription Drugs: Findings from a 2001 Survey of Senior in Eight States (July 2002)
A Commonwealth report about the senior's prescription use: " Nearly one quarter of the elderly say they skip medication doses or fail to get prescriptions filled because of cost concerns."

\51 Top Scientists Blast Anti-Aging Idea (June 2002)
Lots of sparks fly around anti-aging medicines.  Where does prevention strategy end and anti-aging begin?  The search for a Fountain of Youth has a long history.    

Medicare Beneficiaries and Their Assets: Implications for Low-Income Programs (June, 2002)

This report, prepared by Marilyn Moon of The Urban Institute and Robert Friedland and Lee Shirey of Georgetown University's Center on an Aging Society, reviews the income and assets of the current Medicare population, provides an overview of asset tests used to determine eligibility for programs assisting low-income Medicare beneficiaries, and considers how alternative policy options would affect eligibility for these programs.

Pharmaceutical Research Is Focusing on the Elderly (June 28, 2002)
Some 135 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are now developing 294 medicines aimed at diseases that disproportionately affect older people.  Companies hope that the new drugs will bring in high profits to replace those with expired patents.

Diet Rich in Vitamins C, E May Pare Alzheimer's Risk (26 June, 2002)

Scientists recommend to eat food, rich in vitamin E and C because it may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer disease, according to two studies, released yesterday.

Grandma's Bad Drug Deal (June 25, 2002)
This Wall Street Journal article details the proposed provisions in both Democrat and Republican drug benefit plans.  Neither political party addresses regulating the prices—and profits—of the pharmaceutical industry.  Without some form of price regulation, taxpayers could be subsidizing pharmaceutical companies for elders’ drugs with little change in older persons’ costs.

Prices for Prescription Drugs Used by Seniors Soared in 2001 (25 June, 2002)
Drug manufacturers raised prices on prescription drugs that senior citizens often use three times the inflation rate in 2001.  Generic drug manufacturers raised only 10% of their drug prices.  Pharmaceutical company profits continue to soar on the backs of sick, elderly persons.  

Familiar Blood Pressure Drugs Find an Array of Novel Uses (June 25,2002)
ACE inhibitors are familiar drugs for people with hypertension. But now it is becoming obvious that these drugs  can prevent heart attack, stroke and new cases of diabetes in a variety of patients and also slow muscle decline in the elderly.

Student Doctors Start to Rebel Against Drug Makers' Influence (24 June, 2002)
Drug makers spend big money -- more than $16 billion in 2001, according to one estimate -- cultivating physicians and medical students.Research has shown that industry largess influences doctors to the point that some improperly prescribe -- or over prescribe -- certain drugs. It also may affect how much consumers pay for the drugs.

Federal Panel Backs Prilosec For Over-the-Counter Sales (June 22,2002)
Prilosec is once the world's top-selling drug, peaking at $6.3 billion in 2000. The panel of federal medical experts said
AstraZeneca, PLC's blockbuster drug, should be sold as a once-a-day medicine. But advisers said the proposed label wasn't written clearly enough to ensure that consumers will use Prilosec properly.

Progress Is Reported on Parkinson's Disease (June 21, 2002)
Parkinson’s disease is one the frequent diseases, affecting aging people . Scientists working with human embryonic stem cells have converted them into the type of brain cell that is lost in Parkinson's disease, and have shown that the equivalent cells in mice alleviate Parkinson-like symptoms in rodents

House Panel Approves Bill on Prescription Drug Benefits (June 21, 2002)
After an all-night session, a House committee this morning approved a bill to provide prescription drug benefits to the elderly under Medicare, setting up a vote by the full House of Representatives next week. President Bush and drug companies generally support republicans proposal.


Minnesota Joins List of States Suing Firms Over Drug Prices (June 19, 2002)
With help of other states like California, a lawsuit against Pharmacia Corp. makes Minnesota the latest state to sue a pharmaceutical company.

Experts Wary of G.O.P. Drug Plan (June 15, 2002)
On the “hot” issue of prescription drugs cost, a Republican plan to provide prescription drug benefits to the elderly through private insurers seems attractive. But past experience of H.M.O. shows that  drug companies raised prices beyond the capacity of H.M.O.’s to pay. Since 1998  2.2 million beneficiaries have been dropped.

Drug Makers Plug Their Pills as the Cure For Americans' Struggle With Grief, Fear (June 14, 2002)
The drug companies have to push depression drugs. A new study notes an increase in number of people suffering with anxiety and depression, and in need of medication even on Internet.

Costs of the Tax Cut and of a Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (June 14, 2002)
This issue brief compares the cost of last year's tax cuts ≈ and especially the costs of the tax cuts provided to the top one percent of the population ≈ with the costs of two possible prescription drug plans for the Medicare population. And the difference in costs between the two prescription drug benefits  is less than the cost of the tax cut for the top one percent of the U.S. population.

Elderly drug prices soaring: report (June 12, 2002)
One new study from Families USA finds that prices of the 50 drugs most popular with seniors jumped last year, more than twice the increase of other normal living costs.  In this article you will find the top 20 drugs sellers or the highest prices from January 2001 to January 2002.
Fortune Magazine rated pharmaceuticals the most profitable industry in the country in 2001, with an 18.6 percent return.

Abundance of "cures" brings ills. (June 11, 2002)
This article shows how prescription drugs given by reputable doctors with the best of intentions can lead to health decline. And very often there is not enough communication among multiple doctors about what drugs are being prescribed.

Prilosec's Maker Switches Users To Nexium, Thwarting Generics (June 6, 2002)
Fifteen months after its patent expired, the market shows how deftly the planners handled their crisis. Prilosec still has its exclusivity, having kept the generics at bay with a series of lawsuits and peripheral patent claims.

Women of Color and Social Security (June 6, 2002)
This article reflects how important Social Security benefits are for women of color. . Social Security represents 50-90% or more of their retirement income, it is more then just a retirement program,  it provides family insurance in the case of premature death or disability, which is particularly important for women of color and their families. Privatization, offered by President Bush  can deeply change this benefits. It is better to strengthen Social Security then to make it private.

Massachusetts Senate Shuns Medicaid Cut (June 5, 2002)
Massachusetts Senate President Thomas F. Birmingham is releasing a budget plan that would preserve Medicaid benefits for 30,000 long-term unemployed residents and pay for additional health care. Senate leaders also propose spending 80 percent of the $300 million annual settlement with the tobacco companies.

Bristol-Myers Is Sued by 29 States Over Its Efforts to Protect Taxol (June 5, 2002)
Attorney Generals from 29 States are suring Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. The suit claims that Bristol-Myers conspired with American BioScience Inc., a Los Angeles biotechnology company, in a series of legal actions whose sole purpose was to fend off generic competition.

House Calls: How Physicians Heal Themselves (June 4, 2002)
There was a time, before physicians started seeing Rosalia Morales at her home, when this very ill 66-year-old widow was not getting any medical care at all. Mrs. Morales suffers from Alzheimer's disease and has had several strokes. She is bedridden and cannot feed herself.
Now the Moraleses are part of a five-year-old program “Visiting Doctors” of the Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine that was started primarily as a teaching strategy.

Push Up the Weights, and Roll Back the Years (June 4, 2002)
According to the article, if you would like to be a woman better able to meet whatever physical challenges life may throw in your path, start strength training. "Strength training, also called resistance or weight training, is beneficial for every woman, no matter what her age or fitness level.. More important, weight training is an almost magical way to achieve many of your health goals.
However, as a doctor I would recommend to talk to your doctor first, because these strength training is a double-edged sword and benefits can be controversial.

U.S., in Court Filing, Backs Maine's Drug Discount Plan (June 1, 2002)
This article presents the issue which is very topical these days  the price of prescription medicines and their accessibility for low-income people, the elderly and the uninsured . The Bush administration told the Supreme Court today that it should allow Maine to carry out a state law that tries to force drug companies to reduce the prices of prescription medicines sold in the state.
Many states are looking to the Maine program as a model. The program, Maine Rx, was created under a 2000 law but litigation has stalled so far.

Are Medicare Docs Taking Off?  Some Are, But Exodus Called 'Exaggerated' (May 2002)
The federal government recently cut Medicare payments to doctors by 5.4 percent, causing many doctors to begin refusing acceptance of Medicare patients.  The overall acceptance of people over the age of 65 on Medicare, however, has risen since 1994, and experts insist that the problem has been exaggerated.  The most troubled places in the country for access to doctors are: Washington State; Arkansas; Colorado; and the Boston area. 

Survey of FDA Approvals Questions Extensions for Patents, Fuels Feud (May 29, 2002)
A FDA report criticizes "me-too drugs." It is well known that drug development is often incremental. But recently, drug-company labs have run into a frightening dry patch, forcing drug companies to try to extend the franchises on their most popular drugs.

Paralysis in Health Care (May 28, 2002)
Early this year Congress and the White House entertained dreams of passing all kinds of health care legislation. President Bush and Senator Edward Kennedy were supposedly working on a patients' "bill of rights." There was even talk of enacting a prescription drug benefit for the elderly. But such talk has vanished. 

Centenarians aren't slowing down (May 23, 2002)
According to a 12-year study of 150 "expert survivors," as the University of Georgia center calls them, centenarians experience no more illnesses, take no more prescription medicines and require no more hospital stays or doctor visits than people in their 60s, 70s or 80s.

U.S. Adults Live Longer -- With Chronic Ills, Less Coverage 
(May  21, 2002)

Americans over 50 are living longer, smoking less and suffering with less disability than previous generations of midlife adults. But they are more likely to be overweight or obese, live with multiple chronic health conditions and depend more on prescription drugs, all at a time when growing gaps in medical funding threaten their access to care.

Obesity Threatens Americans Over 50 (May 21, 2002)
According to AARP, Americans over 50 are living longer, smoking less and developing fewer disabilities than their predecessors, but increasing obesity could cancel the health gains. Obesity among those over 50 nearly doubled from 1982 to 1999, to 26.7 percent of that population from 14.4 percent.

Alternative Fitness Program Offered (May 15, 2002)
"Exercise is meant to energize you, not exhaust you,'' Ann Smith says -- a message not just for the elderly. For more than 40 years, Smith has advocated fitness training. For 15 minutes, elderly cardiac patients, in sweatshirts and sock feet, move gingerly through a series of stretching exercises, under the tutelage of Ann Smith.

Falling Seniors May Get Help (May 15, 2002)
For people over age 65, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths. More than 11 million elderly in the United States fall each year -- one in three senior citizens.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 40 percent of all nursing home admissions are due to falls.

New Survey on Women’s Health in the U.S. (May 2002)
A new national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds most women report generally positive experiences with the health care system, but a sizable share faced problems.

Mixing With Care (May 14, 2002)
Twice a week, a dozen preschoolers burst into a room at the Brookland Intergenerational Day Care Center in Northeast Washington to join some unlikely playmates. "Good morning, seniors," they call, before settling in among 25 men and women. Many of the elders are in wheelchairs, and roughly half have vacant expressions, lolling tongues or other signs of dementia.

US Annual Cancer Diagnoses Will Double By 2050 (May 14, 2002)
The number of Americans diagnosed annually with cancer will double over the next 50 years, from 1.3 million to 2.6 million, according to a new study. By 2050, more than 1.1 million people 75 and older will be diagnosed each year. The increase in older cancer patients will require more cancer specialists who can treat them.

Treatments: Aspirin's Added Benefits to Heart (May 14, 2002)
Aspirin may help prevent heart disease in more ways than was thought, according to a study released in the journal Circulation. But in recent years a small and regular dose of aspirin has been recommended to many people because of the discovery that it also reduces blood clotting, cutting the risk of a heart attack.

New Face of AIDS Getting Older (May 13, 2002)
“Women after menopause are not going to use condoms because they're not afraid of getting pregnant anymore” said Jane P. Fowler, 67, infected with the AIDS virus. Elderly people don’t know much about STD (sexually transmitted disease) because they were a VD (venereal disease) generation.

Companies Trim Health Benefits for Many Retirees as Costs Surge
(May 10, 2002)

The inflation of medical costs is affecting retiree’s health care benefits, since hundreds of millions of dollars are being drained from companies. When will a cap be put on medical charges?

Helping the elderly to cope with pain (May 10, 2002)
Getting old doesn’t mean having to live with pain, the American Geriatrics Society says in new guidelines with easy-to-read pamphlets to help older Americans explain their pain to doctors and know if dementia-stricken loved ones are suffering.

Elderly Get Coping With Pain Tips (May 9, 2002)
Getting old doesn't mean having to live with pain, the American Geriatrics Society says. Tylenol is a good first choice for certain types of mild to moderate pain. But people with persistent, severe pain require far stronger drugs. Some 86 percent of elderly people have at least one chronic illness that can be painful, and they are more likely than other age group to receive inadequate treatment.

Affordability of Medicare and a prescription drug benefit (May 8, 2002)
The biggest challenge facing Medicare today is not its cost growth or even its long-term affordability but its lack of a prescription drug benefit. Seniors and people with disabilities disproportionately rely on prescription drugs. Extending the tax cut which benefited the richest should be cancelled. A $750 billion drug benefit provides real help to those that need it.

Study Shows Even Moderate Exercise Can Reverse Aging's Effects by Years (May 8, 2002)
The results of a 30-year study offer the prospect that starting a moderate but consistent exercise program later in life -- even after years of falling out of shape -- can restore aerobic capacity to levels one had as a young adult. At the same time, the research shows startling consequences of inactivity at any age.

Elderly face shortage of geriatric doctors (May 6, 2002)
Geriatricians are doctors with expertise in caring for older people. Most are trained in family practice or internal medicine but have completed one additional year of fellowship training in geriatrics and passed a certifying exam."Training in geriatric medicine can help save or improve the lives of people who still have much to give," said Dr. Charles Cefalu, director of geriatric program development at Louisiana State University.

Mind Games ( May 5, 2002)
Jane Smiley, a Washington Post writer, expresses her thoughts and feeling about how ones life can change drastically when faced with the news of carrying the Alzheimer's disease. 

Creatine May Help Older Men (May 1, 2002)
Creatine may not be just for young athletes. According to a new study, older men who took the supplement increased strength in just a week. This study showed no harmful effects. Some may not respond to the product.

In Pursuit of Long-Term Care: Ensuring Access,  Coverage, Quality (April, 2002)
As the oldest members of the baby boom generation approach retirement, need for long term care is rising, presenting a growing challenge to long term care providers. This article discusses the issues of federal and state regulatory policies, difficulty of measuring the  quality in elderly care services , advantages and disadvantages of formal care-giving versus informal family care-giving.  This is a good background about the options that might be available for elder care

For Mentally Ill, Death and Misery (April 28, 2002)
Every day, New Yorkers come face to face with the mentally ill who have ended up on the streets since the state began closing its disgraced psychiatric wards more than a generation ago. The mentally ill typically have shorter life expectancies than the general population, because they have difficulty caring for themselves and are more prone to health problems.

A Digest of Recent News on Aging and Health (April 23, 2002)
This article resume the latest news about health issues : hormone replacement therapy, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, heart risks…

Being Misread: A Lesson in Vigilance (April 23, 2002)
While estrogen taken for menopausal symptoms can increase a women's risk of uterine cancer, adding progesterone can reduce that risk. But in Clare’s case the progesterone made her more irritable than taking no estrogen at all. So with her doctor's permission she kept taking the estrogen but quit taking the progesterone. Biopsies were done to keep an eye out for cancer…

For a Proven Product, Blurry Claims (April 23, 2002)
Eye care company Bausch & Lomb is marketing a dietary supplement with bold claims that it is "the only eye vitamin proven effective by the National Eye Institute" (NEI), saying a study showed it helped "preserve the sight of people most at risk for age-related vision loss."

In it for the Long Run ( April 23, 2002)
When nearly 1,000 runners lined up recently for the Plaza America 5K in Reston, the world-class runners from Kenya had company at the head of the pack. Ready to run across the starting line with them were six Washington-area men, also fit and toned, but with one key difference. They were all 75 years or older.

Over the Hill -- and Back Again. Many Times (April 23, 2002)
Nationally, older runners like these represent less than 1 percent of the finishers in road races, according to the USA Track & Field Roadrunning Information Center in Santa Barbara, Calif. This year, a 90-year-old woman completed the London marathon. In the Boston Marathon, 51 of the more than 13,000 entrants were 70 years and older, including four women.

Older Americans Months May, 2002 (April 2002)
The U. S. Administration on Aging will celebrate the Older Americans Month 2002 in May. The theme of this year will be “America : A Community for All ages. Here are some links to documents about the elderly in America today.

Some Ad Firms Mount Campaign Defending Pharmaceutical Industry (April, 19, 2002)
With major drug companies increasingly under fire for their advertising messages, Madison Avenue is mounting a campaign of its own to defend the pharmaceutical industry.

Most Baby Boomers Finding It Harder To Feel Good About Their Appearance, Survey Finds (April 19, 2002)
“Baby boomers are America’s most influential generation and have seen everything from Vietnam and Woodstock to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of Starbucks”. 2001’s Varilux Boomer Watch survey reports most boomers (86%) feel it is harder than ever to feel good about their appearance

Hard Decisions for Employers as Costs Soar in Health Care 
(April 18, 2002) 

A third year in a row increase in the health care costs could lead employers to offer fewer health plans, reduce what they cover or even place more costs to employees.

Such a Comfort to Grandma, and He Runs on Double-A's 
(April 18, 2002)

Researchers are indeed hard at work exploring the uses of robots as helpmates to the elderly who want to stay in their homes. The next step for the researchers is to give robotic dogs to elderly people for six weeks to see how the relationships develop. Is a robot be able to be a caregiver for older persons.

'Spot' Goes High-Tech ( April 9,2002)
Pets have long been hailed for their ability to help older people deal the loneliness and isolation that comes with aging in the United States. But what about pets made out of plastic and metal?

Pfizer Faces a Federal Inquiry On Pricing of Cholesterol Drug (March 29, 2002)
The US Justice department is investigating whether Pfizer overcharged the government for its cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor during 1999 and 2000…. Federal law requires drug makers to offer their medicines to Medicaid programs at the best price available to any customer. In 2001, Pfizer reported Lipitor sales of $6.45 billion, a 28% increase compared with 2000…  Open up the books!

'Prediabetes' May Afflict 16 Million In U.S.; Lifestyle Changes Needed
(March 28, 2002)

An estimated 16 million Americans between 40 and 74 years old suffer from "prediabetes," a dangerous condition that can lead to full-fledged diabetes within a decade. Doctors should screen patients who are overweight and who are 45 or older for prediabetes. The diabete can be fatal, or result in blindness or amputation.

Funds for Medicare, Social Security May Run Out Later Than Expected (March 27, 2002)
More optimistic assumptions about the Medicare and Social Security trusts: the Medicare one will remain solvent until 2030 and for Social Security it will go until 2041.The improved forecast is due largely to more optimistic estimates of productivity in the work force.

 Epilepsy Mistreated in the Elderly (March 25, 2002)
Epilepsy strikes the elderly at higher rates than other ages. And experts say misdiagnosis and faulty treatment -- because too few doctors know seniors need special doses and are prone to bad side effects -- is a serious problem poised to worsen as the population ages.

Rx4U: More Drug Firms Are Trying to Get Personal (March 25, 2002)
'Personalizing" drug treatment has been one of the hottest areas of research since the human genome was mapped nearly two years ago.
The FDA is keen to receive more drug applications based on genomic profiles.

Health Insurance Coverage in America:  2000 Data Update 
(March 22, 2002)

The Kaiser Family Foundation chart book provides year 2000 data on health insurance coverage, with special attention to the uninsured. It includes trends and major shifts in coverage and a profile of the uninsured population.

Outcomes: Another Possible Aspirin Benefit for Men (March 19, 2002)
Men over 60 who took aspirin or another anti-inflammatory drug daily were half as likely as those who didn't to be diagnosed with prostate cancer during a six-year Mayo Clinic study.

Why Drug Makers Are Failing In Quest for New Blockbusters (March 18, 2002)
The collapse of Prozac was a landmark. Doctors get most of their information about drugs from drug-company salespeople and tend to prescribe the pills that are pitched to them. By contrast, generic companies, which operate on razor-thin margins, can't afford to send legions of salespeople to doctors' offices.

Drug Companies and Advertisers Blur the Line Separating Them (March 15, 2002)
An emerging convergence between the clinical development and the commercialization of drugs” said the chief executive of the New York parent to ad agencies BBDO Worldwide. Drug companies invested an estimated $30.3 billion research and development last year. Science and business, the lucrative deal?

  Drug Makers Offer Consumers Coupons for Free Prescriptions (March 13, 2002)
Drug makers acknowledged that they routinely reward doctors and pharmacists for switching patients from one brand of drug to another. They also make payments to insurance plans to increase the use of their products. A coalition of 19 pharmaceutical companies and doctors are now fighting hardly a Bush administration plan to restrict these gifts and other rewards.   Do older persons and other consumers of needed pharmaceuticals have any voice in the matter?  Or does profit reign?

Drugs: More Important, More Costly (March 12, 2002)
The importance of prescription drugs to older people is one of the most significant changes in medicine in recent decades. As drugs have become more important to the aging population, the costs have also soared.

For Family, Selfless Act Goes Awry (March 12, 2002)
Barbara Tarrant, at 69, gave a kidney to her mentally retarded son, who had lost one organ as a sickly toddler and seen the other start to fail in middle age. Today, she lives in a nursing home, paralyzed on the left side as a result of an extensive stroke that she suffered a day after the surgery.

In Hollywood, No One Gets a Casting Call for This Role 
(March 12, 2002)

The nature of acting — the irregularity of work — means that even the most successful actors spend their careers in a virtually suspended state of retirement, never knowing when the next job will come or what it will be. The Screen Actors Guild, with some 98,000 members, has about 8,000 pensioners.

Lifelong Concerns for a Special Child (March 12, 2002)
Almost 480,000 developmentally disabled people were living with family caregivers age 60 or older, with another 1.4 million living with family members younger than 60. The mean age at death for a person with mental retardation was 18.5 in the 1930's, but by 1993 it was 66.2, one study found. Parents of disabled children worry about the future of them because no one will care for them the way parents have.

Patterns: Comfort vs. Longevity: Who Decides? (March 12, 2002)
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, more than a third of seriously ill patients who requested that doctors ease their discomfort instead of prolonging their lives appear to have had their wishes overlooked. But evidence supported the patients' belief that doctors were trying to prolong their lives, despite their wishes.

The Body May Creak, but the Brain Hums Along (March 12, 2002)
Here are the stories of four distinguished octogenarians, none of whom seem to have considered retiring for even a moment. They are people whose force of ambition, personality and thinking defined slices of American culture for at least the last half-century. Despite their now-creaky bodies, they are still working. Their mental journeys have not slackened one bit. But are there advantages to having lived a lot, seen a lot and — maybe — thought a lot?

Prilosec costs for New Yorkers (March 8, 2002)
New Yorkers are paying $12.5 million more than necessary each month to obtain Prilosec, the most prescribed drug in America, according to the SPAN coalition. The overpayments to Prilosec-maker, London-based AstraZeneca, may end when a New York federal court settles a dispute between AstraZeneca and companies that have been approved to sell generic versions of the drug.

Bush Prescription Drug Card Proposal is Much Ado About Very Little (March 1, 2002)
 “The President's discount card proposal offers little in terms of prescription drug price relief for America's seniors. Despite skyrocketing pharmaceutical costs that are making drugs more and more unaffordable for seniors, this proposal offers very meager price relief,” released Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA.

Senior drug discount plan not without critics (March 1, 2002)
The Bush administration is touting its revised plan to promote private drug discount cards as a much-needed step toward helping seniors save money on prescriptions. The plan still encourages older Americans to buy the cards from private companies, by giving some cards what amounts to a government seal of approval. After paying a one-time enrollment fee -- not more than $25 -- senior citizens could get discounts of up to 15 percent on some medicines.

Questions for Elaine Stritch (February 24, 2002)
“The only thing I ever say about age is what Bette Davis said -- it is not for sissies. I don't feel old. And I look the way I am supposed to”, Elaine Stritch said. She is performing in Broadway in a one-woman production called “Elaine Stritch at Liberty”.

Guidelines by U.S. Urge Mammograms for Women at 40 
(February 22, 2002) 

"Mammography is an important and effective early detection tool that helps to save lives.", said Tommy G. Thompson, the secretary of health and human services. After months of controversy over whether mammograms save lives, federal health officials today issued new guidelines for breast cancer screening that strongly recommend the tests and lower the age at which women should begin receiving them to 40 from 50.

Test of Alzheimer's Vaccine Is Halted (February 22, 2002)
Twelve volunteers inoculated with a highly touted experimental vaccine designed to reverse the course of Alzheimer's disease have fallen seriously ill with brain inflammation, forcing the vaccine's manufacturer to stop giving the shots. The vaccine, known by its code name AN-1792, had generated unusually intense enthusiasm among scientists and patient advocates during the past two years but now the test difficulties raise doubts.

Rats give pointer to elixir of youth (February 19, 2002)
“We significantly reversed the decline in overall activity typical of aged rats,” Dr Hagen said. “This is the equivalent of making a 75- to 80-year-old person act middle aged.” Researchers fed elderly rats two chemicals, acetyl-L-carintine and the anti-oxidant alpha-lipoic acid and made them dance the Macarena.

Eli Lilly's Evista May Hold Benefits Beyond Treatment for Osteoporosis (February 19, 2002)
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates women at high risk for heart attack and stroke had 40% fewer such cardiac events when taking Evista compared with high-risk women on a placebo. The research follows evidence pointing to a possible reduction in the occurrence of breast cancer in older women taking this drug.

In Quest for Wrinkle-Free Future, Frown Becomes Thing of the Past (February 7, 2002)
Now, the injectable drug known as Botox, in use since 1991, is on the verge of achieving what it never has before: approval by the Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic use, which could allow it to burst into the mainstream. In a Botox treatment, a doctor injects a diluted form of the drug into a patient's facial muscles. Over the next four days, the toxin paralyzes the muscles that control facial wrinkling, not only stopping more wrinkles, but eradicating existing ones.

More Crises As Women Live Longer (February 6, 2002)
According to a report by the Administration on Aging, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is expected to increase 17 percent, from 33.5 million in 1995 to 39.4 million in 2010.By 2030, that population is expected to grow a whopping 75 percent to over 69 million. The government estimates that by the year 2050, women will make up 61 percent of the 85 and over population. Many of them will spend some part of their lives caring for sick spouses or other relatives.

Census information for older Americans available (January 28, 2002)
The 2001 edition of A Profile of Older Americans, which includes census information on those over age 65, is now available online. It provides key statistics in 13 subject areas.
More information: www.aoa.dhhs.gov/aoa/stats/profile/default.htm

Grants Available Through Active for Life Program (January 28, 2002)
A new program, “Active for Life: Improving Physical Activity Levels in Adults Age 50 and Older”, will provide technical assistance and support for up to eight grants for local, state, or regional organizations.

92-Year-Old and Carrying the Olympic Flame (January 25, 2002)
As the Olympic torch passes through Idaho for this year's games, it's worth noting that among those carrying the flame will be 92-year-old Jamie Thomson. Until last July, Jamie was the owner and publisher of the Idaho State Grange newspaper. He sold the business in order to take on some new challenges like running with the Olympic flame.

Minnesota's elderly are healthier, wealthier, worried (January 25, 2002)
Seniors in Minnesota have more money than they did in 1995 and are healthy. Yet they worry about their children and grandchildren, their own health, needing care, money, getting medical care, and paying for prescriptions-especially those ages 55 to 59.

Pfizer's Net Jumps 38% on Strong Sales Of Blockbuster Cholesterol Drug Lipitor (January 24, 2002)
The Pfizer Inc. firm said its revenue climbed 12% to $9.03 billion from $8.05 billion. Meanwhile, company's drug-discount card for poor Medicare beneficiaries had attracted more than 165,000 inquiries.

Health Care Cost Containment: Is Managed Care Just the Latest Impossible Dream? (January 23, 2002)
A new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation published today in the online issue of the journal Health Affairs traces the effectiveness of government and private sector attempts to reign in health care costs over the past three decades. Perhaps citizens can demand national health care system similar to France and Canada (better quality, lower costs)

Health Clubs Cater to Seniors (January 23, 2002)
As doctors are encouraging exercise and more older people wanting to do it, the number of gym-goers has jumped to 33 million at the end of 2000. The 55-plus market is the fastest-growing part of the also fast growing health club market. Gyms for the elderly have better-educated personal trainers and specific equipment.

Facing the journey at 80 (January 2002)
Last January, Judy Lerner, an NGO (non governmental organizations) representative at the United Nations for Peace Action (a national peace group), turned 80. She wrote this article to share her experience of “active ageing”, the new way of thinking about ageing.

Help in Navigating Health Care Web Sites (January 15, 2002)
As any Web-surfing patient and potential patient knows, the Internet overflows with medical information. “Choosing your online health information resource is like choosing your doctor. You wouldn't just go to any doctor, and you may get opinions from several.” Some books are now available to help you to find medical information on the Web.

Prevention: Aspirin's Heart Benefits Are Endorsed (January 15, 2002)
The United States Preventive Services Task Force, an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, "found good evidence that aspirin decreases the incidence of coronary heart disease in adults who are at increased risk for heart disease." But the report urged also people to discuss the issue with their doctors.

Common Variation of "Klotho" Gene Associated With Human Life Expectancy (January 14, 2002)
Scientists report finding of new gene responsible for human life expectancy. Study results show strong link between "Klotho" and life expectancy, but exact influence on health and aging are not known yet.

Adverse drug reactions plague elderly (January 12, 2002)
People over the age of 65 represent 14 percent of the U.S. population but consume more than a third of prescription medications. This article reports on the risks of multiple prescriptions.

Better Scanning for Alzheimer’s (January 10, 2002)
New Technique Allows Viewing of Brain Lesions in Living Patients. Prior to this study, viewing these brain lesions was only possible through examination after the patie
nt had died.

Report details national health care spending increases in 2000 
(January 8, 2002)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid made a report about the U.S. health care spending increases in 2000. Nursing home expenditures rose by 3.3 percent. Spending for freestanding home health services increased by 0.3 percent. Spending for Medicarewas $224 billion in 2000, an increase of 5.6 percent for the year.

Propelled by Drug and Hospital Costs, Health Spending Surged in 2000 (January 8, 2002)
According to the U.S. government, national health spending shot up 6.9 percent to $1.3 trillion in 2000. Total national spending on prescription drugs doubled from 1995 to 2000 and tripled from 1990 to 2000. The surge in health spending is due to resistance to managed care by doctors, hospitals and consumers and the restoration of money cut from Medicare, the federal program for the elderly and disabled…

Governors Seek Broad Emergency Powers, But Model Law Raises Civil-Liberties Issues (January 7, 2002)
A model law gives governors the power to order quarantines, restrict residents’ movement and ration medical supplies during public-health emergencies. It will strengthen state authorities to cope with a serious bioterrorist attack or other emergencies like natural disasters, outbreaks of dangerous flu or viral strains, and chemical or nuclear disaster.

Therapies: Hormone Replacement's Added Benefit (January 1, 2002)
According to a new study, women who undergo hormone replacement therapy after menopause appear to enjoy better mental functioning. Women 85 and older had very good results. The researchers need to verify the findings because the group of women studied came from Cache County, Utah, which is 90 percent Mormon.