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Tag: chronic illness

Older Adults & Substance Abuse

A recent review in Current Opinion in Psychiatry addressed the unique problems posed by substance abuse among older adults. In addition to describing the prevalence of substance abuse, this review covered challenges in diagnosing and treating substance abuse in older adults, the consequences of substance abuse for older populations, and changing trends in substance abuse as the baby...

A Closer Examination of the Increased Risk for Coronary Heart Disease & Stroke among the Overweight & Obese

Being obese or overweight has been associated with greater risk of coronary heart disease and stroke compared to individuals of normal weight. It has not always been clear to what degree this greater risk is a result of medical conditions associated with obesity such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, compared to the impact of being overweight or obese when the...

Diabetes & Cognitive Decline

Around one-fourth of older adults in the US has diabetes mellitus (DM). It has been hypothesized that DM may contribute to cognitive decline and dementia, possibly through poor glucose control. A recent study published in the Archives of Neurology tests the hypotheses that DM increases the risk of cognitive decline, and that this increased risk is related to glucose control. The...

Predicting Hearing Loss

Large-scale studies on the development of age-related hearing loss (ARHL) have identified several conditions that often co-occur with ARHL, such as falls and cognitive decline. Yet the relationship between such risk factors and the onset of ARHL is unclear. A forthcoming article in the Journals of Gerontology suggests that impaired cognitive function and hypertension may predict...

Aging Well Despite Chronic Illness

Physical health is an important aspect of successful aging. However, given the fact that almost three-fourths of older adults in the United States have two or more chronic conditions, it is inevitable that many need to find ways to live well in the face of chronic illness. What can research reveal about maintaining one’s well-being while suffering from chronic illness? Do mental...

Social Activity Associated with Decreased Risk for Disability in Later Life

Social activity has been associated with lower rates of disability among older adults, but there has been a dearth of longitudinal or other data to support the hypothesis that social activity pushes back or minimizes the onset of disability. A team of researchers used data from the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a longitudinal cohort study of chronic health conditions in the Chicago...

Social Support, Self-Care and Depression

Older adults face increasing risk of being unable to perform basic self-care tasks, also called activities of daily living (ADLs). ADL limitations affect older adults’ ability to live independently and can result in loss of social roles and depression. A study by Alex Bierman and Denise Statland examines how social support influences the relationship between limitations in ADLs and...

Mental Health Care & Older Adults: Unmet Needs & Attitudes Toward Care

Mental health services are underutilized by older adults, particularly in relation to the prevalence of depressive and anxious symptoms among this population (see our earlier post on depression and older adults).  A study found that among older adults in their survey sample, around two-thirds of those meeting diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD) and almost...

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