In middle-aged and older men with low testosterone levels, long-term testosterone replacement therapy greatly improves their fatty liver disease and their risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, a new study found. The results were presented at The Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Testosterone deficiency, which becomes more common with age, is linked not only to decreased libido but also to a number of medical problems. These include the metabolic syndrome a cluster of metabolic risk factors that increase the chances of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, also called a fatty liver, commonly co-occurs with the metabolic syndrome and may aggravate the metabolic problems.
Sleep disturbances increase as we age. Some studies report more than half of seniors 65 years of age or older suffer from chronic sleep disturbances. Researchers have long believed that the sleep disturbances common among the elderly often result from a disruption of the body's circadian rhythms - biological cycles that repeat approximately every 24 hours. In recent years, scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center and elsewhere have demonstrated that blue light is the most effective at stimulating the circadian system when combined with the appropriate light intensity, spatial distribution, timing, and duration.
Many drugs commonly prescribed to older adults for a variety of common medical conditions including allergies, hypertension, asthma, and cardiovascular disease appear to negatively affect the aging brain causing immediate but possibly reversible cognitive impairment, including delirium, in older adults according to a clinical review now available online in the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging, a peer reviewed, open access publication. Drugs, such as diphenhydramine, which have an anticholinergic effect, are important medical therapies available by prescription and also are sold over the counter under various brand names such as Benadryl®
Reuters reports that, due to the difficulties in getting or paying for health insurance, "countless workers in the United States are trapped in jobs they would like to leave ... calcifying innovation and mobility in the world's largest economy." Reuters notes that when he was head of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, "Todd Stottlemeyer frequently encountered would-be entrepreneurs who let their ideas go stale and their products languish on the workbench because they did not want to shoulder their own health care costs. " Reuters also reports that it has several other consequences, noting that, "Because health insurance is tied to employment in the United States, workers who leave their jobs can see health bills skyrocket if they strike out on their own or take a position with a company that offers fewer benefits.
Over the past 20 years, the health care system has made tremendous progress in reducing the use of physical restraints among hospitalized elderly patients, a positive change that has had numerous numerous ripple effects, improving outcomes, maintaining mobility and preserving dignity and independence for these individuals. But, a new Congressional mandate changing hospital reimbursement made by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could inadvertently reverse these positive steps, according to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) gerontologist Sharon Inouye, MD, MPH, writing in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
Sleeping tablets have been associated with a four-fold increase in suicide risk in the elderly. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Geriatrics have shown that, even after adjusting for the presence of psychiatric conditions, sedatives and hypnotics were both associated with an increased risk of suicide. Anders Carlsten and Margda Waern from Gothenburg University carried out a case control study to determine whether specific types of psychoactive drugs were associated with suicide risk in later life. According to Carlsten, "Sedative treatment was associated with an almost fourteen-fold increase of suicide risk in the crude analyses and remained an independent risk factor for suicide even after adjustment for the presence of mental disorders.