What You Need to Know about Malnutrition As We Age

Date: August 3rd, 2016

When you visit your health care provider, you can expect the usual barrage of tests and measurements for height, weight, blood pressure, and the like. But have you ever been asked about your food intake or nutritional status? If not, you aren't alone. Malnutrition can be a hidden threat to older adults, with symptoms that include sudden, unintended weight loss and/or loss of appetite and decreased food intake. Many cases of malnutrition go undetected because the signs and symptoms are subtle

Related Topics: Nutrition / Prevention

New Campaign Focuses on Vaccine Awareness in Older Adults

Date: August 1st, 2016

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), an opportunity for us to educate ourselves on the value of vaccinations.  Each year, thousands of Americans are hospitalized or die from vaccine-preventable diseases, and even more are unable to carry out daily tasks while they recover from such illnesses. Even worse, older adults are disproportionately affected by these diseases. Yet, much of this can be prevented when people get their recommended vaccines. During NIAM, the Alliance has launched a campaign to remind older adults and their caregivers why

Resources to Introduce You to Medication Safety

Date: March 9th, 2016

Every year tens of millions of Americans take over-the-counter (OTC) medication for relief from everyday aches and pain. You are probably one of them. OTC pain medication may be something that you take for granted. It can usually give you effective relief from your pain, without the need to get a prescription. But just because OTC pain medications are generally safe and effective when used as directed, you need to remember that they are not harmless. And they should never be taken casually, because

What You Should Know about Supplements

Date: March 9th, 2016

As National Nutrition Month gets into full swing, the emphasis on a healthy diet is stronger than ever. And with good reason: A well-balanced diet has proven health benefits like weight loss or maintenance as well as a reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular events, and other diseases and conditions.   Most people can get the nutrients they need from eating foods such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. However, as we age, the amount of nutrients we need, and our body’s ability

Alliance Launches New ‘Pocket Film’ Series during National Nutrition Month

Date: March 7th, 2016

The minute we are born, we begin to age. Constant exposure to our environment, the things we eat, and stresses from both inside and outside our bodies all cause us to age over time. While we can’t stop aging, scientists are learning more about how to maintain health throughout our lives. Some aspects of aging are out of our control, but most of us can be healthy and active well into our later years if we take care of ourselves. One of the

Learn More about the Flu

Date: December 7th, 2015

Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus. Each year, between 5 percent and 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu, with more than 200,000 people hospitalized, and anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 dying from complications. Typical symptoms of the flu include fever, body aches, chills, fatigue, cough, sore throat, and a runny or stuffy nose. Sometimes it can lead to severe complications such as pneumonia. Young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune

A Key to Successfully Living with Valve Disease? Learning from Others

Date: August 4th, 2015

Heart valve disease involves damage to one or more of the heart's four valves. Valve defects can be there at birth (congenital) or develop later in life. It is very possible that you or someone you know has had valve disease, as it is common and affects as many as five million Americans each year. While some types are not serious, others can lead to major complications. Fortunately, valve disease can usually be successfully treated with valve repair or replacement in

Alliance Pain Survey: Focus More on Education about Acetaminophen, Don't Restrict Access

Date: March 31st, 2015

You may take it and not even know it by the technical name: acetaminophen. But if you are one of the 100 million Americans who suffer from persistent pain, you may be aware of its effectiveness as a pain reliever. In fact more than 50 million Americans use one of 600 different prescription and OTC medications containing acetaminophen every week for their pain. It’s America’s most common drug ingredient and safe and effective when used appropriately.  However, taking more acetaminophen than directed by the

The Amazing Human Heart

Date: November 25th, 2014

Did you know that the human heart is divided into four chambers? After blood passes through the lungs to pick up oxygen, it flows into the two upper chambers, called atria. When each atrium contracts, or squeezes, blood is pushed through a valve—a thin leaflet of tissue that keeps the blood moving in the correct direction—into the bottom chambers, or ventricles. Blood is then squeezed out of the ventricles through another set of valves and circulated throughout the body. Valves keep

Turning the Lights on Superbugs

Date: November 24th, 2014

Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are deadly. Some estimate that these infections kill up to 70,000 people each year. They are also expensive. HAIs cost the U.S. healthcare system as much as $33 billion annually. Earlier this fall, with support from Cubist, the Alliance for Aging Research brought together an amazing group of leaders from the fields of aging, infectious disease, health care and government to discuss the disproportionate impact of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) on older adults and the need for an improved

Up And Away: Taking and Storing Medications Safely

Date: November 24th, 2014

The average 75-year-old American has three chronic conditions and takes five prescription medications. Even though older adults make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 34 percent of all prescription medication use and 30 percent of all over-the-counter (OTC) use. And many of these adults find themselves taking more than one medication at a time.  In fact, two out of five Medicare patients take five or more prescription medications. For most, these medications mean fewer symptoms, less pain, delayed

More Data for Sound Decision-Making: Improving Government Scoring for Prevention

Date: October 10th, 2013

More than 133 million Americans live with a chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease. As the population ages, that number is expected to climb to 171 million by 2030. Advanced age is the single greatest risk factor for many chronic conditions. However, the illness, suffering, and premature death caused by chronic diseases are often accelerated by risk factors that can be prevented like a lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use. As the chronic disease epidemic in the

Related Topics: Prevention

Infection: On the Rise in America's Seniors

Date: October 10th, 2013

Since the discovery of antibiotics, the leading causes of death in the United States have shifted from infectious diseases to chronic, non-contagious diseases. Unfortunately, because of low rates of adult vaccination and the increase of resistance to antibiotics, infectious diseases and fatal infections are on the rise in America’s older population. Despite their tremendous potential for prevention, vaccination rates in seniors fall far short of targets set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. In 2010: Only 62.3% of adults age 65

Under Treatment of a Treatable Disease: T.A.K.E. on Glaucoma

Date: May 1st, 2012

An estimated 2.3 million Americans are living with glaucoma and because it is a disease of aging, that number is expected to climb during this decade—surpassing 3.3 million by 2020—a 50% increase. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that are associated with elevated eye pressure that can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss. That vision loss can usually be prevented with early detection and proper treatment and disease management, yet glaucoma continues to be one of the

Go4Life: NIA Campaign Encourages Exercise at All Ages

Date: May 1st, 2012

Exercise is good for your health. Not surprising right? We’ve all watched countless news reports and read stacks of stories extolling the virtues of regular exercise. So why do only 30% of adults between the ages of 45 and 64 report that they engage in regular physical activity? That number gets even lower as we age with only 25% of people between the ages of 65 and 74, and 11% of those ages 85 and older, saying that they exercise

Investing for Falls Prevention

Date: July 1st, 2008

Falls are a menace to older adults and our overstrained health care system. The direct medical costs of falls among older adults now total more than $19 billion, most of which must be absorbed by Medicare and Medicaid. A new bill recently passed by Congress seeks to address the problem of falls, but will have little impact without adequate funding. Life Changes in an Instant For those who live with an older adult, there is no more heart-stopping sound than the crash

The Prophet of Fitness: Jack LaLanne at 93

Date: May 1st, 2008

Say “Jack LaLanne” and most Americans over 30 will remember a dark-haired fellow, in a blue jumpsuit and impressively-muscled arms, on TV. He was performing leg lifts, or one-arm push-ups on his fingertips, and urging you to do the same. Broadcast from 1951 to 1985, The Jack LaLanne Show was the first exercise program on television. hanks to video sites like YouTube, clips of Jack’s original shows are now available on the Internet. And so are clips of him on TV talk

Finding the Science Behind Alternative Medicine

Date: February 1st, 2008

More and more Americans are turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to treat a variety of their ailments and help them fight diseases. In fact, a national survey found that more than one-third of adults use some form of CAM. Despite this widespread use, many of these therapies are not supported by science and little is known about how or if they work. What is Complementary & Alternative Medicine So what exactly is complementary and alternative medicine? According to the National

Related Topics: Prevention

The Eyes Have It

Date: October 1st, 2007

Every day, our eyes enable us to respond to the smiles on our children’s faces, perform our daily tasks at work, watch our paths for obstacles, and even drive wherever we need to go. Unfortunately, for many of us aging can make these everyday moments more difficult. Diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts can gradually rob us of a precious way that we interact with the world. As seeing becomes more of a strain, we

Unerstanding the Effects of Grapefruit Juice on Medications

Date: July 1st, 2006

For more than a decade, doctors have known that some compound in grapefruit juice interacts with a small number of drugs to triple the amount of that drug absorbed into the bloodstream. While the compound has remained a mystery, doctors simply tell their patients to avoid grapefruit juice while on the medication. In a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, however, Paul Watkins, MD, and his colleagues, finally tracked down furanocoumarins as the active

CMS Should Maintain Focus on Prevention

Date: February 1st, 2006

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is the federal agency that administers Medicare, Medicaid, and related programs, to ensure that beneficiaries are aware of health care services and that these services are accessible. CMS' mission includes a commitment to policies and actions that promote efficiency and quality in health care delivery. In recent years, CMS has demonstrated an increasing focus on disease prevention. Access to routine preventive screenings and vaccinations has improved. CMS has also made strides in educating beneficiaries about

A New Class of Medical Tests

Date: October 1st, 2002

Cholesterol checks, mammograms, prostate exams-all these screenings have become routine as science discovers ways to detect disease at its earliest and most treatable stages. So what about new tests that have been gaining attention in news reports lately? Are they more hope, or just hype? The truth is, some of both. There may be promising new blood tests on the horizon to help physicians determine which patients are at risk for developing heart disease. The increasingly widespread use of diagnostic imaging

Related Topics: Prevention

Adding Luster to Your Golden Years

Date: July 1st, 2002

Exercise may well hold the key to the fountain of youth. Besides boosting longevity, getting fit is one of the most important steps older adults can take to maintain their mobility, independence and quality of life. Gone are the days when growing old gracefully meant slowing down and taking it easy. For the 77 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 it means just the opposite. Inactivity, not aging is the culprit behind chronic conditions such as heart disease,

Related Topics: Prevention

Exercise and Strength Training: It's Never Too Late to Start

Date: October 1st, 2001

The best medicine to combat the vagaries of old age is exercise. And it's never too late to start, says Dr. Maria Fiatarone Singh, professor of Medicine and Sports Science at the University of Sydney in Australia. Dr. Fiatarone and colleagues at Tufts University developed and tested a strength training program using weights on frail men and women in their 80s and 90s who live at the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged in Boston. Nearly all have arthritis and heart disease

Related Topics: Prevention

Putting People First: It's Time to Own Your Health Destiny--No One Else Will

Date: April 1st, 2001

Dr. S. Robert Levine is a crusader. He likes to say, "Just as 'all politics is local,' all healthcare is personal." After all, who cares more about your health than you do? Levine, who heads the Progressive Policy Institute's Health Priorities Project, argues that people should be the central focus of the health care system, because each of us has differing health needs. Referring to his philosophy as 'personal health ownership,' Levine says, "Everyone experiences health and illness differently. Individuals differ not

Related Topics: Prevention

What to Take for Hype: The Truth About the Anti-Aging Benefits of Vitamins

Date: May 1st, 2000

When it comes to taking care of our aging bodies, some things are obvious: exercise regularly, reduce fat intake, watch your cholesterol, get plenty of rest, and eat a well-balanced diet. But what exactly is a well-balanced diet? Do some vitamins and minerals really have anti-aging benefits? And if so, which ones should you be taking? Research has indicated that supplementation of some vitamins and minerals above the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances) can reduce the risk of age-related disease. But there

Related Topics: Nutrition / Prevention

A Healthy Way to Sweat Aging

Date: October 1st, 1999

Aerobic Exercise and Weight Training Offer Many Benefits If you think your softening body is an irreversible byproduct of aging, think again. A regular, long-term exercise program can produce the following list of wonders: strengthen the heart and lungs stop muscle loss and slow bone loss that begins at about age 40 and accelerates at age 50 help burn fat faster increase strength, stamina, and self-confidence improve balance lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis lessen arthritis pain improve sleep What's more, women between 40 and 65 who

Related Topics: Prevention

Take a Gene Tweak and Call Me in the Morning

Date: March 1st, 1999

Government genetic research may completely transform medicine You want cutting edge? Try this: in the health care world of tomorrow, simple blood tests accurately forecast a person's life long predisposition to disease. Doctors are able to custom fit medicines to a person's genes, eliminating the chances that drug treatments will prove dangerous or ineffective. It will also be possible to substitute healthy genes for defective ones, a procedure that spares people the horrible suffering and devastating expense of catastrophic illness. All of