Younger people with HIV may experience more isolation and stress than older people with the disease, according to a recent study.
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University found that people younger than age 50 with HIV feel more disconnected from their support group of family and friends, largely because of stigma they felt because of their disease, researchers found, reports Huffington Post
“Meanwhile, people age 50 and older with HIV had a stronger support group they could rely on.
“The younger, newly diagnosed individual may not know anyone in their peer group with a chronic illness, much less HIV,” study researcher Allison Webel, Ph.D., RN, an assistant professor at the university’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, said in a statement.
“The researchers also found that people with HIV generally experienced higher levels of stress than those without. Specifically, HIV-positive people were 30 to 40 percent more stressed than people without the disease. Women were especially likely to experience stress from HIV.
“The findings, published in the journal AIDS Care, are based on data from 102 people with HIV between ages 18 and 64 who were surveyed on their feelings of stress and isolation. They also had their heart rate variability measured. The average participant in the study was African-American, had been managing HIV for almost 14 years, was of low-income, and was age 48.”
More at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/26/younger-hiv-stress-isolation_n_4339721.html
Here’s some good news for anyone who’s ever woken up fuzzy-headed and bleary-eyed after a night of heavy boozing: New research suggests that hangovers fade with age, reports WebMD:
“A large study of Danish people finds that hangover symptoms are much less likely to strike people aged 60 and older compared to their younger counterparts.
“But don’t start dreaming of post-retirement pub-crawling without pesky consequences the day after. It’s unclear why older people might suffer from fewer hangovers. They might be savvier about how to avoid them, or they might simply be more tolerant of alcohol consumption. A combination of factors could also be at play.
“Whatever the case, the research is important for more than what it says about the effects of drinking over a lifetime, said study co-author Richard Stephens, a senior lecturer in psychology at Keele University, in England. Scientists know that people who get the worst hangovers are more likely to become alcoholics, he said, possibly because drinkers who get them try the “hair-of-the-dog” approach and drink more the day after.
” If people become less likely to develop alcoholism as they age, they should have fewer hangovers too, Stephens said, “and that is what we found.”Although scientists seem to be fascinated by alcohol and its effects on the body, they haven’t spent much time studying hangovers. Never mind that they’re very common, affecting an estimated half of people when their blood alcohol level reaches 0.11 percent, which is too drunk to drive legally in the United States. For reasons that aren’t clear, an estimated 20 percent to 25 percent of people are immune to hangovers. Research suggests that smoking, on the other hand, makes hangovers worse. In the new study, researchers examined the results of surveys of nearly 52,000 people aged 18 to 94 in Denmark. Continue reading “Hangovers lessen with age”
Scientists have good news for all the older adults who occasionally forget why they walked into a room – and panic that they are getting Alzheimer’s disease, reports Reuters.
“Not only is age-related memory loss a syndrome in its own right and completely unrelated to that dread disease, but unlike Alzheimer’s it may be reversible or even preventable, researchers led by a Nobel laureate said in a study published on Wednesday.
“Using human brains that had been donated to science as well as the brains of lab mice, the study for the first time pinpointed the molecular defects that cause cognitive aging.
“In an unusual ray of hope for a field that has had almost nothing to offer older adults whose memory is failing, the study’s authors conclude that drugs, foods or even behaviors might be identified that affect those molecular mechanisms, helping to restore memory.
“Any such interventions would represent a significant advance over the paltry offerings science has come up with so far to prevent memory decline, such as advice to keep cognitively active and healthy – which helps some people, but not all, and has only a flimsy scientific foundation. By identifying the “where did I park the car?” molecule, the discovery could also kick-start the mostly moribund efforts to develop drugs to slow or roll back the memory lapses that accompany normal aging.
“This is a lovely set of studies,” said Molly Wagster of the National Institute on Aging, an expert on normal age-related memory decline who was not involved in the new study. “They provide clues to the underlying mechanism of age-related memory decline and will, hopefully, move us down the road toward targeted therapeutics.” Continue reading “It’s not Alzheimer’s”
Forgetting things seems to be a part of getting older which everyone accepts. But could the confidence of the young be covering up their own memory slips?
The BBC reports that older people were more consistent in memory tests, research from Germany shows – although younger people did achieve overall higher test scores.
“The assessments were carried out in Berlin on 100 older people – aged between 65 and 80 – and 100 people in their 20s. They had to show up at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin for 100 days of tests.
“We were very nice to them and had a good atmosphere at the labs,” says Prof Florian Schmiedek.
“People got to know each other, it was kind of a social activity for them. And we also paid them for those 100 days.”
“The brain remembers things by forming connections between its 100 billion neurons or brain cells.
“Memories are formed when these connections – or synapases – are strengthened.
“Information from the senses is sent to the brain’s cortex, and then on to parts surrounding an area called the hippocampus.
“Younger people assume they have fast reaction times, especially younger men. But they have an over-confidence issue.” Dr Carol HollandResearch Centre for Healthy Ageing These ‘bind’ the memory together, before it is sent to the hippocampus itself, where information about context or location is added.
“Working” memory – crucial for solving problems and making plans – is like a blackboard of the mind, located in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. It is used to remember phone numbers long enough to make a call – but then it is usually forgotten unless it is passed on to the long-term memory for storage. The tasks were designed to test different types of memory. In one, the participants had to remember a list of words. Another had a list of numbers to memorise while simultaneously carrying out simple arithmetic on those numbers – to challenge their “working” memory.
Since the economic downturn, many experts on the academic work force have worried that professors will delay retirement (given that their investment accounts took hits), and that an already-tight job market will get even tighter. InsideHigher Ed reports that:
“A new study takes more of a long-term view, but ends up confirming those fears. Examining trends at a large private university from 1981 to 2009, the study finds faculty members are likely to take much longer to retire. And unlike the more recent studies focused on the impact of the economic downturn, this study covers time periods in which retirement accounts would have been up and down several times. The dates in the study come before and after 1993, the last year in which colleges and universities were permitted to enforce a mandatory retirement age of 70. (An abstract of the study appears here. The paper, by Sharon L. Weinberg and Marc A. Scott of New York University, is in Educational Researcher.)
“While Weinberg and Scott stress that they have studied data only for one university (and urge similar research at other institutions), they also suggest that the logic behind lifting mandatory retirement for higher education was flawed. Most other employers were barred by law in 1986 from using mandatory retirement, but colleges were given an exemption for a while, based on concerns that delays in retirement would make it difficult for colleges to hire people in emerging disciplines, and to diversify their faculties. But Weinberg and Scott note that these arguments became considerably weaker when the National Research Council issued a study in 1991 predicting that those things would not happen.
“At most colleges and universities, few tenured faculty would continue working past age 70 if mandatory retirement is eliminated,” says the NRC report.
“At the university studied, that was decidedly not the case. Among the findings were that while 11 percent of faculty members at this university during the era of mandatory retirement worked after age 70 (with special arrangements), 60 percent of faculty members now work beyond the age of 70, and 15 percent retire at the age of 80 or older.”
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/08/02/new-study-shows-difficulty-encouraging-professors-retire#ixzz2axu56PPC
Inside Higher Ed
These days more middle aged American are dying at their own hands than perish in car crashes, reports the New York Times. Topping the list are men in their 50s and women in their 60s.
“Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.
The city’s latest health crusade — backed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn — would raise the smoking age from 18 to 21, reports todays New York Post
“A bill introduced in the council Monday by Quinn and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley would make New York the first major city in the country to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21.
“That will literally save lives,” Quinn said. “The more difficult it is for [young people] to gain access to tobacco products, the less likely they are to start smoking. The more likely they are to live longer.”The bill is a sign that Quinn, a leading mayoral contender, would carry on Mayor Bloomberg’s trademark public health agenda if elected. Though Quinn opposed the mayor’s move to ban big soda, she made it clear Monday that she admires his health initiatives, which critics deride as creating a nanny state. Continue reading “Raising smoking to 21”
Some time back, researchers writing in The New England Journal of Medicine decided to ask older Americans about their sex life and discovered something interesting: very often, they have one.
When Robin G. Sawyer, an associate professor in the University of Maryland School of Public Health, shares this information with his students, some seem horrified, reports today’s New York Times
“Maybe they are troubled by the thought of “wrinklies,” as a character in the Christopher Buckley novel “Boomsday” calls them, being intimate. But maybe what gets them is just how often many baby boomers boom — at least two or three times a month, the study found. “That’s better than some of my undergraduates,” Dr. Sawyer said. Continue reading “Those naughty boomers”
“The early-morning calls from debt collectors continued even after her massive stroke, waking Bella Logan to daily reminders that she owed $75,000 in student loans. Logan is 94.” This is from today’s Columbus Dispatch, and the story is a grim recessionary tale:
“The federal government garnisheed $200 a month from Robert Austin’s Social Security checks for years for student-loan debt, leaving Austin without money he needed for medications. He is 83. After Ray Stockman’s wife died, he wanted to move but was turned down three times Continue reading “Seniors in debt over kids’ school loans”
“As we get older, there may come a time when we find ourselves drawn not to food with good taste or food that tastes good but simply to food that has any flavor at all.” This depressing statement came from today’s New york Times.”
“Blame your aging taste buds, if you want. You’ll probably be wrong, but there are a lot more of them (about 9,000) to point the finger at than the likely real culprit, your nose. “When people talk about their taste, they’re really talking about the smell rather than the taste,” said Dr. Scott P. Stringer, chairman of the otolaryngology department at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
“As it happens, taste buds do diminish as people get older, usually starting at 40 to 50 in women and 50 to 60 in men (why later for them is unknown). And those that remain do not, so to speak, step up to the plate to make Continue reading “Sense of taste fades with age”
Around the globe advances in population control have had an unintended consequence, as the numbers of aging baby boomers now far exceed their offspring. This raises the question: Who will care for the elderly, especially in the world’s poorer nations?
“China’s new leadership will soon be confronted by an enormous demographic challenge.” Reports Al Jazeera in a story entitled “Defusing China’s Demographic Timebomb.” According to the story, “The country’s ‘one-child policy’ means not enough babies are being born to support its elderly population. Around 12 years ago, there were six workers for every retiree, but by the year 2030 it is estimated that there will be just two. By 2050, one-third of China’s population is expected to be aged over 60.
Al Jazeera’s Laura Kyle, reporting from Beijing, says: “For generations, elderly Chinese have been looked after at home by their children. The ‘one-child policy’ is breaking that tradition – with the burden of care too great for many young adults to handle on their own. Now increasing numbers of elderly parents are being sent to [hospices].”
According to Kyle, “the United Nations urged countries to address the needs of ageing populations after releasing a report entitled Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing.
“Some of the key findings of the report are:
- The ageing phenomenon is happening faster in poorer countries
- By 2050, four out of five elderly people will be in developing nations
- Only Japan currently has more than 30 per cent of its population aged over 60
- By 2050, there will be more than 60 countries with the same demographic
- Forty-seven per cent of the world’s older men and 24 per cent of older women are still in the labour force
- Only a third of countries have comprehensive social protection scheme
The plan is the only global agreement for improving older people’s lives and it recommends that:
- Governments should fight any kind of discrimination against older people
- The elderly should be able to work for as long as they want
- They should have the same access to preventive and curative care, as well as rehabilitation as other age groups
- Older people should also have access to decent housing, receive support if they are care-givers and be free from neglect, abuse and violence
For more, see Al Jazeera, “Defusing China’s Demographic Timebomb.”