Determining accurate life expectancy of older adults requires provider, patient discussion

Health care providers must have detailed discussions with their older adult patients to better determine their true life expectancy, as older adults do not accurately predict their own prognosis, a key factor in making decisions about future health interventions, according to researchers at UC San Francisco and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Their research letter appears online in JAMA …

Study reveals connection between fitness level, brain activity, and executive function

The aging process is associated with declines in brain function, including memory and how fast our brain processes information, yet previous research has found that higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness in older adults leads to better executive function in the brain, which helps with reasoning and problem solving. Higher cardiorespiratory fitness levels have also been found to increase brain volume in key brain regions.

Sex does not increase heart attack risk

Sex is rarely the cause of a heart attack, and most heart disease patients are safe to resume sexual activity after a heart attack, according to a research letter published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Anti-aging tricks from dietary supplement seen in mice

In human cells, shortened telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, are both a sign of aging and contribute to it. Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have found that the dietary supplement alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can stimulate telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres, with positive effects in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. The discovery highlights …

Exercise can improve brain function in older adults

New research conducted at the University of Kansas Medical Center indicates that older adults can improve brain function by raising their fitness level. Jeffrey Burns, M.D., professor of neurology and co-director of the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center, led a six-month trial conducted with healthy adults ages 65 and older who showed no signs of cognitive decline. The results of the …

Elder abuse is common around the world

A new global review reveals that elder abuse–which includes psychological, physical, and sexual abuse; neglect; and financial exploitation–is common among community-dwelling older adults

Working up a sweat — it could save your life

Physical activity that makes you puff and sweat is key to avoiding an early death, a large Australian study of middle-aged and older adults has found.
The researchers followed 204,542 people for more than six years, and compared those who engaged in only moderate activity (such as gentle swimming, social tennis, or household chores) with those who included at least some vigorous activity (such as jogging, aerobics or competitive tennis).

Trust increases with age; benefits well-being

Trust tends to increase as people age, a development that can be beneficial for well-being, according to two new large-scale studies by researchers at Northwestern University and the University at Buffalo.