Drug companies sway doctors with swag

By Lindsey Tanner
Posted on March 14, 2017

As little as one free meal from a drug company can influence which medicines doctors prescribe for Medicare patients, according to a study using Medicare records and recently released data from the Affordable Care Act’s Open Payments program.The study highlights the subtle ways doctors may feel inclined to prescribe a drug after receiving just a small gift, even if the drug is more... READ MORE

Study aims to improve dementia diagnosis

By Barbara Ruben
Posted on March 08, 2017

The earliest physiological indication of dementia is the clumping of amyloid protein fragments in the brain.Usually, the brain breaks down amyloid and it gets eliminated from the body. But when it remains in sticky plaques, it can lead to decreased cognition and memory — hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Other aging and brain disorders may also involve a buildup of such... READ MORE

It’s never too late to get healthy

By Barbara Ruben
Posted on March 06, 2017

A few years ago, Gertie Elam lost her job as a federal contractor, and soon after that had surgery for colon cancer. “It was a very difficult time in my life. I was so stressed, not getting enough sleep, worrying about what would happen,” said Elam, who lives in Suitland, Md. A friend at church suggested Elam join a support group she co-facilitated called Prime Time Sister Circles ... READ MORE

Study seeks fewer heart attacks, strokes

By Carol Sorgen
Posted on February 28, 2017

When cholesterol deposits in our arteries lead to blood clots that rupture or break away, serious and fatal complications can occur — including stroke, heart attack and sudden cardiac death.Inflammation contributes to this condition, known as atherothrombosis, but it is not known whether the prevention or reduction of inflammation itself can reduce the number of cardiovascular events... READ MORE

Three immune-boosting myths busted

By Brierley Wright, R.D.
Posted on February 23, 2017

It’s that time of year when any sniffle, cough or sneeze is noticed — and if it didn’t come from you, chances are you’re subtly putting a little space between you and whoever it came from.There’s no better time than the present to talk about immune-boosting myths — from colds to allergies. Read on so that you’re not duped by these three myths about... READ MORE

These supplements support brain health

By Marsha McCulloch, R.D.
Posted on February 17, 2017

Smart lifestyle practices — including healthy eating, exercise, good sleep, and continual learning — help keep your brain in top form. Certain supplements also may help bolster brain function.Although more research is needed, the following supplements may help. Consult your doctor prior to use.Ginkgo biloba extractThis supplement has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, ... READ MORE

Tips from the pros on how to lose weight

By Marilynn Marchione
Posted on February 16, 2017

A food behavior researcher has tested a bunch of little ways to tip the scale toward success. His advice: Put it on autopilot. Make small changes in the kitchen, at the grocery store, and in restaurants to help you make good choices without thinking.“As much as we all want to believe that we’re master and commander of all our food decisions, that’s just not true for most... READ MORE

Studying a new way to stop arthritis pain

By Barbara Ruben
Posted on February 15, 2017

As many arthritis sufferers know, the loss of cartilage that coats the ends of our bones can cause excruciating joint pain.Many patients turn to pain medication, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Motrin and Celebrex. Unfortunately, NSAIDs can contribute to renal failure and gastrointestinal bleeding.Some try injections that help lubricate the joint, which help ... READ MORE

Drug prices can put sex beyond reach

By Linda A. Johnson
Posted on February 08, 2017

Imagine not being able to afford one of life’s great pleasures — sex.That’s true for many older couples, doctors say. Soaring prices for prescription medicines for impotence and other problems have put the remedies out of reach for some.Without insurance coverage, Viagra and Cialis cost about $50 a pill, triple their 2010 list prices. The new “female Viagra,” a ... READ MORE

Taking a chance on romance

By Barbara Ruben
Posted on February 06, 2017

Hillary Finkel discovered “it was a whole new world out there” when she decided to try online dating four years after her husband passed away — swiping right or left, catphishing, photo editing apps that make people look 10 years younger. Finkel considers herself lucky that she didn’t encounter anyone who had created a fictional persona, the definition of catphishing, and... READ MORE