“Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished?
Yes, work never begun.”
~ Christina Rossetti
Mental Attitude: Sense of Purpose Protects the Brain.
A review of data from the Health and Retirement Study indicates that seniors who feel their life has purpose have a 30% reduced risk for developing dementia.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, January 2018
Health Alert: Hearing Loss May Lead to Other Problems.
After reviewing health data concerning 3,777 older adults for 25 years, a team of French scientists reports that that seniors with self-reported hearing loss have an increased risk for disability, depression, and dementia. However, the investigators did not observe these associations among those who wore a hearing aid. The researchers conclude, “These results highlight the importance of assessing the consequences of treating hearing loss in elders in further studies.”
The Journals of Gerontology, January 2018
Diet: Mediterranean Diet May Keep Older Adults from Becoming Frail.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of past studies examining associations between adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet and the development of frailty revealed that people who consumed a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts were less than half as likely to become frail over a four-decade period than seniors who consumed a more high-fat Western-style diet. Researcher Dr. Gotaro Kojima adds, “Our study supports the growing body of evidence on the potential health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, in our case for potentially helping older people to stay well as they age.”
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, January 2018
Exercise: Set Goals When Using Activity Monitors.
In a new study, researchers followed 400 healthy adults for six months and found that when people used activity monitors without a specific goal in mind, their activity declined and their heart health failed to improve. Researcher Dr. Luke Burchill notes, “When paired with activity goals—such as 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day or 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week—these trackers can be powerful tools for increasing physical activity.”
British Journal of Sports Medicine, December 2017
Chiropractic: Do Lower Extremity Injuries Increase Low Back Pain Risk?
Each year, about one in twelve soldiers will experience an episode of acute lower back pain (LBP). A recent study found that a previous injury to the lower extremities increases a soldier’s risk for developing LBP by about 70%. They authors of the study conclude, “These findings suggest that a potential second order effect of [lower extremity injury] is an increased short-term risk for developing LBP, which should be considered during rehabilitation planning.”
Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise, December 2017
Wellness/Prevention: Improved Screening and Treatment Reduces Breast Cancer Deaths.
Due to improvements in screening and treatment, researchers report that the survival rate of breast cancer patients rose about 32% between 2000 and 2012. Lead researcher Dr. Sylvia Plevritis explains, “Mammography is an important contributor to the reduction in breast cancer mortality… But the overall benefit is greater largely because of the advances in treatment.”
Journal of the American Medical Association, January 2018
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