Latest Senior Health News


After Heart Attack, Home Care Can Prevent a Return to Hospital

TUESDAY, May 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Receiving home health care reduces heart attack survivors' risk of hospital readmission after discharge, a new study finds. In the United States, only a small percentage of heart attack survivors receive home care such as nursing and physical therapy, according to study authors. The findings were presented recently at a virtual American Heart Association meeting. Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. "Little is known regarding the impact of home health care on heart attack patients," lead author Muhammad Adil Sheikh said. "Since patients who receive home health care tend to be older and sicker than others, and these characteristics themselves can lead to hospital...

Nursing Homes Are Ground Zero for COVID-19

26 May 2020
TUESDAY, May 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- No matter where you live, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are now lethal centers for COVID-19 in the United States. Im fact, nursing home residents and workers now comprise between 30% and 40% of all COVID-19 related deaths in the United States, according to estimates. The care centers serve as a "well of infection" for the coronavirus that will continue to feed the ongoing epidemic, said Donald Taylor, director of the Duke University Social Science Research Institute in Durham, N.C. "I believe if we don't manage to control the epidemic within nursing homes, we're not going to control it in the United States," Taylor said. He and other experts are calling for a renewed emphasis on nursing homes as a way of tackling the COVID-19...

Blood Test Might Predict Worsening MS

21 May 2020
THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A new blood test might help doctors predict whether someone's multiple sclerosis may soon get worse. The test looks for a substance called neurofilament light chain. It's a nerve protein that can be detected when nerve cells die. People with higher levels of it were more likely to have worsening MS effects within the next year. "In a disease like MS that is so unpredictable and varies so much from one person to the next, having a noninvasive blood test like this could be very valuable, especially since treatments are most effective in the earliest stages of the disease," lead investigator Ali Manouchehrinia said in a news release from the journal Neurology, where the study was published online May 20. Manouchehrinia is an assistant...

Healthier Heart, Better Brain in Old Age

18 May 2020
MONDAY, May 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Preventing heart disease may protect you from dementia, researchers say. The new study looked at nearly 1,600 people, at an average age of 79.5, who were followed for 21 years. Their heart disease risk was assessed at the outset, and participants had annual memory and thinking tests. The takeaway: People with a higher risk of heart disease also had greater mental (cognitive) decline, including an increase in markers of Alzheimer's disease. That suggests that monitoring and controlling for heart disease may be important to cognitive health later in life, the researchers said. The findings were published May 18 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. "In the absence of effective treatments for dementia, we need to monitor and...

Insomnia May Forecast Depression, Thinking Problems in Older People

16 May 2020
SATURDAY, May 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Insomnia may significantly increase the risk that older adults will be unable to shake off depression, researchers say. For the study, the investigators analyzed data on nearly 600 people over age 60 who visited primary care centers in New York City, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. All had some level of depression. Compared to patients whose sleep improved, those with worsening sleep problems were about 28 times more likely to be diagnosed with major depression at the end of the 12-month study. Patients whose sleep worsened also had nearly 12 times the odds of minor depression and were 10% more likely to report having suicidal thoughts, according to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study. The report was recently published...

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