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Your Annual Checkup

What tests should you have at your annual checkup, and why? What other concerns should you address with your doctor? Find out all the answers to questions about your yearly physical here.

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Senior Health Spotlight10

Darvocet No Longer Available in the U.S.

Friday November 19, 2010

Carol Eustice, our Guide to Arthritis, reports:

There has been talk of taking these drugs off the market for years. Since 1978, the FDA has received two requests to remove propoxyphene from the market. But, until this point, the FDA had concluded that the benefits of propoxyphene for pain relief at recommended doses outweighed the risks. Why the change? A study has now shown that, even at recommended doses, propoxyphene can affect the electrical activity of the heart -- increasing the risk for serious abnormal heart rhythms that can lead to serious side effects, including death.

If you have chronic pain conditions that are treated with Darvon, Darvocet, or other forms of propoxyphene, talk to your doctor about switching to different medication.

Age, Testosterone, and... Cancer?

Tuesday October 26, 2010

Testosterone levels often drop as men age, but no one's sure whether that actually causes problems. A new study suggests that cancer may contribute to this decline. However, there are some big concerns about how that study was conducted. Read all about it on the Men's Health Guidesite.

High Blood Pressure May Predict Dementia

Thursday February 18, 2010

A recent study published in the journal Archives of Neurology found that high blood pressure may predict dementia in older adults who have impaired executive function - difficulty organizing thoughts and making decisions - but not for those with memory problems.


The study included 990 dementia-free participants, average age 83, who were followed for five years. During that time, dementia developed in 59.5 percent of those with and in 64.2 percent of those without high blood pressure. Similar rates were seen in participants with memory dysfunction alone and with both memory and executive dysfunction.


However, among those with executive dysfunction alone, the rate of dementia development was 57.7 percent among those with high blood pressure compared to 28 percent for those without high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension.


"We show herein that the presence of hypertension predicts progression to dementia in a subgroup of about one-third of subjects with cognitive impairment, no dementia," wrote the researchers at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. "Control of hypertension in this population could decrease by one-half the projected 50-percent five-year rate of progression to dementia."


The study author noted, the findings may prove important for elderly people with cognitive impairment but no dementia.

Memory Loss May Predict Alzheimer's Disease

Wednesday September 13, 2006
A study being reported in the September 12, 2006, issue of Neurology, finds that adults over the age of 60 who complain of severe memory problems may actually be losing brain tissue. Despite scoring well on standard memory tests, the adults in the study who complained of significant memory loss were found to have loss of grey matter of about 3% on MRI brain scans. Patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (early Alzheimer's ) show about 4% loss of brain tissue in the same areas of the brain - the areas where memory is stored.

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