When nothing helps you to quit smoking

By: Thomas Lee, M.D

Q. I’m an 84-year-old woman who recently had stents placed in two coronary arteries. My doctors have long told me to quit smoking. I have tried, but just can’t.I’ve tried the patch and Chantix, but neither worked. Support groups aren’t for me. I have cut back, but that’s as far as willpower goes.Is there some news about current or future approaches that might... READ MORE

The good bacteria we can’t do without

By: Bruben

Antibiotics can temporarily upset your stomach, but now it turns out that repeatedly taking them can trigger long-lasting changes in all those good germs that live in your gut, raising questions about lingering ill effects.Nobody yet knows if that leads to later health problems. But the finding is the latest in a flurry of research that raises questions about how the customized bacterial... READ MORE

How to fight four primary causes of aging

By: Deborah Kotz

Benjamin Franklin once declared that “we get old too soon and wise too late.” Applying a little wisdom, though, may keep you from aging before your time.“Only about 5 to 20 percent of the aging process has to do with our genes,” said Jonny Bowden, a nutritionist and best-selling author of numerous books, including his recently released The Most Effective Ways to Live ... READ MORE

Older adults need higher-dose flu shots

By: Lauran Neergaard

It’s flu-shot season, and for the first time health authorities are urging nearly everyone to get vaccinated. There is even a new high-dose version for people 65 or older.What a difference a year makes: Crowds lined up for hours for scarce shots during last fall’s swine flu pandemic, when infections peaked well before enough vaccine could be produced. This year, a record vaccine ... READ MORE

Stable weight but growing waist? Beware

By: Carla K. Johnson

If you are feeling a bit big around the waistline, take note: Belly bulge can be deadly for older adults, even those who aren’t overweight or obese by other measures.One of the largest studies to examine the dangers of abdominal fat suggests men and women with the biggest waistlines have twice the risk of dying over a decade compared to those with the smallest tummies.Surprisingly,... READ MORE

Medicare drug plans to change, cost more

By: Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

Big changes to many plansMarketing for next year’s drug plans started Oct. 1, and seniors will see some of the biggest changes since theMedicare prescription benefit became available in 2006. More than 17 million are enrolled in private drug plans offered throughMedicare.“People are just going to have to get on top of this and shop around,” said Dan Mendelson, president of ... READ MORE