A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

The Gray Divorcés

(Wall Street Journal) For the new generation of empty-nesters, divorce is increasingly common. Among people ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has doubled over the past two decades, according to new research by sociologists Susan Brown and I-Fen Lin of Bowling Green State University…
The trend defies any simple explanation, but it springs at least in part from boomers' status as the first generation to enter into marriage with goals largely focused on self-fulfillment. As they look around their empty nests and toward decades more of healthy life, they are increasingly deciding that they've done their parental duty and now want out…
Many of those now opting for gray divorces, however, fail to foresee its complications in today's bleak economic landscape. This is especially true of women…
Still, many older divorcés say they're happy…
So would some of these late-in-life divorcés have been better off trying to preserve their troubled marriages? According to John Mordecai Gottman, founder of the Gottman Institute in Seattle and author of "What Predicts Divorce?," the behavioral precursors to late-life or empty nest divorce are no different from those for younger couples—criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling. And, of course, the longer such behavior has persisted, the more deeply ingrained it becomes in a couple's personal dynamic.
In its work with older couples in crisis, Gottman Institute therapists recommend that spouses "turn toward" each other—that is, that they actively respond to bids for reconnection—rather than, say, snapping: "Excuse me, I'm trying to watch 'CSI' here!"
Community: I’m happy to report that today Mr. Many Years Young and I celebrate 35 years of living together. We decided early on that we weren’t going to have kids, so making the union legal didn’t seem so important. I give him most of the credit for the length of our relationship.
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How To Make Love Last

(U.S. News & World Report) [S]ustaining a long-term relationship takes effort. "You start to gain such familiarity that you don't put the effort into paying attention to each other," says Sheryl Kingsberg, clinical psychologist and professor… "The long-term couple that's the most successful is the couple that has figured out you really have to work at maintaining a relationship and maintaining romance."
Sex plays a huge role in that effort. "You need that sense of intimacy that separates this relationship from all others," says Pepper Schwartz, a relationship columnist … and professor of sociology… "We're talking about far more than a set of sensations here," she says, explaining that sex creates comfort, closeness, and connection—literally, through the release of bonding hormones…
So how can couples get and stay on track?
Touch each other…
Talk to each other…
Consider professional help…
Remember that relationships take work and can work.
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Angry with your partner? Here’s the right way to handle it

(Dr. Laura Berman) Good news: It’s OK to be angry with your partner.
A new study from the University of Tennessee has found that expressing anger to your partner actually can be beneficial to your bond.
Researcher and associate professor James McNulty found that the “short-term discomfort of an angry but honest conversation” could lead to less resentment and tension. It also could help set clear boundaries, as once the offending partner knows what they have done wrong, they can easily avoid the behavior in the future and prevent hurt feelings down the road…
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can fly off the handle at your partner and expect to experience positive results. Knowing how to express your anger in a non-destructive way is one of the most crucial relationship skills to master. Here’s how:…
Be clear…, such as by saying, “I am angry with you because when you are late for our date night, it makes me think you don’t care about spending time with me.” It lets them know what you are thinking and it also helps them to understand how their behavior affects you, because to them, being late might be as simple as that … being late!
Be open to hearing negative feedback in return. Expressing anger is a two-way street, so if you want to give negative feedback, you have to be able to take it in return…
Don’t only focus on the negative…  Give your partner three daily “appreciations” in which you build them up and compliment them on everything from their looks to their smarts to their parenting abilities.
Bonus: When you focus on the positive and look for your partner’s great qualities, you will be less likely to get annoyed when minor annoyances emerge. And, the more positive feedback that you generate, the more you will get back in return.
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Recent Research on Relationships

(UPI) Men who drink tend to stem their alcohol use once they marry, while women tend to increase their drinking after marriage, U.S. researchers found.
(CTV News) A new study released Tuesday found that specialized couples therapy sessions may be one way to repair relationships devastated by the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
(U.S. News & World Report) Snuggling-for-hire isn’t what you think. And it could be good for your health.
(UPI) Humans, unlike most other mature mammals, play throughout their lives and U.S. researchers say that may have something to do with mating.
(NBC News) The tanking economy may have been bad news for most, but for plus-sized women the tough financial times may come with a perk. When men are stressed, they seem to be attracted to chubbier women, a new study shows.
(Daily Mail) A study has found that our brains actually process images differently depending on which gender we are looking at - regardless of whether we ourselves are male or female. The team behind the research says it could help explain why women are often the subject of sexual objectification.
(CBS News) Watching strong female characters on TV may make men and women less likely to have negative opinions of women. The theory, nicknamed the "Buffy Effect," was developed by Christopher Ferguson, an assistant professor at Texas A&M International University, and his team… "Although sexual and violent content tends to get a lot of attention, I was surprised by how little impact such content had on attitudes toward women. Instead it seems to be portrayals of women themselves, positive or negative that have the most impact, irrespective of objectionable content. In focusing so much on violence and sex, we may have been focusing on the wrong things," Ferguson said.
(UPI) Celebrity deaths can strongly affect their fans, who often use social media to grieve the loss of people they've never met, a U.S. researcher says.
Community: I’ve been very pleased to see strong women portrayed lately in books and movies, and on TV. When I was growing up, most of the women depicted were simpering and helpless, totally dependent on a man, and who even made it more difficult for him to deal with the evil power they faced. I tended to identify with the male heroes, rather than the females. Today’s heroines are sometimes the primary fighter, but at the least an equal with the male character in defeating the bad guys.
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Recipes

RealAge.com:
Firing Up the Grill? Watch Out for These Toxins
Cooking meat, as well as poultry, fish, and even vegetables, over charcoal or any source of high heat produces two toxins: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs) -- both known carcinogens. But you don't have to give up the joys of grilling. You can fire up the barbecue, enjoy great flavors, and eliminate the toxins with these simple techniques:
MyRecipes.com:
Grilled Chicken with Whiskey Barbecue Sauce Recipe
This recipe comes from Kelly Liken of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail, CO. Don't forget to pack a heatproof brush for basting the chicken.
EatingWell:
Teriyaki Marinated Chicken
Soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, garlic and ginger combine in this teriyaki-inspired marinade for grilled chicken. Try it with pork chops if you prefer. Grill fresh pineapple slices and asparagus alongside for simple side dishes.
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6 Superfoods that Should Be in Your Kitchen

(Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, Appetite for Health) Eating the same old, same old everyday? Here are 6 superfoods that are often overlooked but should be on your grocery list. Not only do they taste delicious, they pack a serious nutritional punch!
Bulgur
Bulgar is a whole grain with a nutty flavor. And in just 1 cup it has 8 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein…
Escarole
Escarole is a member of the chicory family — related to radicchio, frisee … and endive.  It is a little on the bitter side, so I recommend sautéing it or using it in soups, stews and sauces…
Lentils
Not only are lentils inexpensive, they are packed with protein, fiber, potassium, iron and B vitamins…
Kale
This low-calorie green provides an excellent source of both vitamins A (as beta-carotene) and C, along with a decent amount of fiber. Kale also delivers vitamin B6, which helps maintain healthy nervous and immune systems, as well as iron and calcium…
Acorn Squash
Easy to prepare, rich flavor, loaded with fiber, magnesium, potassium, as well as B vitamins and vitamin C… what’s not to like about acorn squash!...
Beets
Low in calories and high in folate and antioxidants, beets are a great way to boost nutrition and taste at the same time. Beets have an earthy flavor like no other vegetable plus they are super versatile (and inexpensive).
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3 Things You Need to Know about Eating Protein

(MyHealthNewsDaily) Adults should eat a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight daily — that's about 58 grams for a 160-pound adult, according to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine…
At any meal, consuming 2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry or fish, or half of a cup of cooked beans, is what's suggested. Portion sizes in the U.S. are often bigger than that, [dietitian Julie] Metos said…
Here are three more things you should know about protein.
A high-protein diet may help with weight loss — but only for a little while.
Although there is some evidence to suggest that high-protein, low-carb diets help people lose weight more quickly than low-fat, high-carb diets, it remains unclear if high-protein diets can work for the long term…
Adding more protein to your diet doesn't promote muscle growth
[W]hile athletes — especially those involved with sports that require a lot of endurance and muscle power, such as long-distance runners or football players — may benefit from increased protein intake, most athletes in the study get enough protein from their regular diets.
Even body builders need only a little bit of extra protein to support muscle growth, which they can get by eating more food, reports the National Institutes of Health…
Eating too much protein can be bad for your health.
The health risks of eating too much protein greatly depend on what kind of protein you eat, but some high-protein foods are also rich in saturated fat, which can raise the risk of heart disease.
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Indoor herb gardening can yield home remedies

(USA Today) What if you could soothe a sore throat or a headache with the snip of a scissors? Plant some herbs indoors now, before fall sets in, and you could have a winter's worth of folksy remedies.
Many medicinal plants, especially herbs, grow well indoors, says Amy Jeanroy, who runs a greenhouse business near her Ravenna, Nebraska, home, and writes and teaches about medicinal herbs. She recommends starting with these five: thyme, chamomile, mint, lemon balm and sage.
Each works well as a tea: Grow, cut and dry them for use throughout the year, or use fresh herbs. To brew a tea, add 1 teaspoon of dried — or 3 teaspoons of fresh — herbs to 1 cup of boiled water; steep several minutes, then remove the herbs.
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Vitamin D supplements may not improve heart health

(Reuters Health) Despite many studies linking higher blood levels of vitamin D to fewer heart attacks and deaths, a new trial found giving older women daily D supplements didn't cut their heart-related risks.
The women's cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar was no lower after a year of taking one of two doses of vitamin D, compared to those who took vitamin-free placebo pills.
So-called observational studies - which measure vitamin D in people's blood and then follow them over time - have tended to find a link between vitamin levels and heart health.
Community: There are still plenty of other reasons to get enough vitamin D.
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FDA approves new treatment for a type of late stage prostate cancer

(U.S. Food and Drug Administration) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration [has] approved Xtandi (enzalutamide) to treat men with late-stage (metastatic) castration-resistant prostate cancer that has spread or recurred, even with medical or surgical therapy to minimize testosterone…
“The need for additional treatment options for advanced prostate cancer continues to be important for patients,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Xtandi is the latest treatment for this disease to demonstrate its ability to extend a patient’s life.”
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Breast cancer survivors may face second threat

(Vitals, NBC News) Women who have survived breast cancer may have to fight another killer down the road -- heart failure, researchers report.
They found a much higher rate of heart failure among breast cancer survivors than has previously been reported, and said their findings likely reflect the real-world risks that women have. The 12,000 women studied for the report had a 20 percent risk of developing heart failure over just five years if they got a common chemotherapy regimen, compared to just 3.5 percent of breast cancer patients who did not get chemo.
"I think these drugs are critical to improving breast cancer survival," said Erin Aiello Bowles of the Seattle-based Group Health Research Institute, who led the study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. "But these drugs are toxic. They are meant to target disease but they can often damage other parts of the body."
Community: With today’s treatments, they have to almost kill you to cure you.
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Survivor: German firm's apology for birth defects drug 'not enough'

(CNN) An apology five decades on by the German manufacturer of a drug that caused thousands of babies to be born with disabilities was dismissed by the head of a survivors' group Saturday as inadequate.
Pharmaceutical firm Gruenenthal apologized Friday for the first time over its drug, thalidomide, which caused babies to be born with shorter arms and legs after their mothers took it during pregnancy in the 1950s and 1960s…
Freddie Astbury, the president of campaign group Thalidomide UK, who was born in 1959 without arms or legs, said it was too little, too late… "It's no good apologizing if they won't open discussions on compensation. They've got to seriously consider financial compensation for these people."
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Tax Breaks For Organ Donors Aren't Boosting Transplant Supply

(Shots, NPR) Seventeen states offer tax incentives to people who donate a kidney, a portion of their liver or bone marrow for transplantation. But a study finds these sweeteners aren't working.
Researchers looked at what happened in the years before and after these tax incentives were passed and found no increase in organ donation rates.
It's the latest contribution to a debate about how to increase the supply of organs for transplantation at a time when more than 100,000 people are on waiting lists and donations have been flat for several years.
A recent NPR-Thomson Reuters Health Poll found that 60 percent of Americans support some kind of financial incentive to organ donors that could be applied to health care needs.
But the new report raises a caution about how much to expect from financial incentives.
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Allergen-Free House Plants

(Science Daily) New research … shows how targeting two bacterial genes into an ornamental plant (Pelargonium), can produce long-lived and pollen-free plants…
The generation of long-life plants is good news for the gardener who wants a display of flowers for as long as possible and the lack of pollen not only is great for hay fever sufferers but also prevents accidental release of the transgenes into the environment.
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Turning on the Zap: New York City Readies World's Largest UV Drinking-Water Disinfection Plant

(Scientific American) New York City is two months away from opening the world's largest ultraviolet (UV) drinking-water disinfection plant. When the lights go on, the facility's 56 massive UV units will neutralize waterborne pathogens in all the drinking water coming from the city's major sources—the Delaware County and Catskill watersheds. The facility will process up to nine billion liters daily, adding a second layer of sanitation to the chlorine treatment that has been applied for years.
The Delaware–Catskill watersheds, located 160 kilometers north of the metropolis, have historically not required filtration or multiple methods of disinfection. More stringent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations in recent years and increased development around these bodies of water over the past decade, however, have prompted the city to add more protection against potentially disease-causing microorganisms…
As water flows through each of its 151-million-liter disinfection units, the UV light will alter the DNA of cryptosporidium, giardia and other waterborne pathogens, rendering them unable to replicate. Blooms of these microorganisms can cause nausea, cramps, diarrhea and even more serious maladies.
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Facts Take A Beating In Acceptance Speeches

(New York Times) Representative Paul D. Ryan used his convention speech on Wednesday to fault President Obama for failing to act on a deficit-reduction plan that he himself had helped kill. He chided Democrats for seeking $716 billion in Medicare cuts that he too had sought. And he lamented the nation’s credit rating — which was downgraded after a debt-ceiling standoff that he and other House Republicans helped instigate.
And Mitt Romney, in his acceptance speech on Thursday night, asserted that President Obama’s policies had “not helped create jobs” and that Mr. Obama had gone on an “apology tour” for America. He also warned that the president’s Medicare cuts would “hurt today’s seniors,” claims that have already been labeled false or misleading.
The two speeches — peppered with statements that were incorrect or incomplete — seemed to signal the arrival of a new kind of presidential campaign, one in which concerns about fact-checking have been largely set aside.
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29-year-olds may pay $331,200 for Medicare

(UPI) Today's 29-year-olds may have to pay $331,200 for healthcare when they retire if the Romney-Ryan Medicare plan is approved, a U.S. critic of the plan says.
David Cutler, an economist at Harvard University and the Center for American Progress, … analyzed the impact of the Romney-Ryan plan on current and future seniors using data from the Congressional Budget Office and other government agencies.
Romney and Ryan said no one age 55 or older would be affected by their plan to replace Medicare with vouchers, but the study found repealing the Affordable Care Act would raise healthcare costs for those currently under Medicare at age 65 by $11,000 for the average person, Cutler said.
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Democrats Return Fire Quickly on Medicare

(Wall Street Journal) The Obama campaign is planning a counterattack against GOP proposals to overhaul Medicare at next week's Democratic convention, banking that there's still political juice in that strategy.
Democratic campaign officials said that several speakers would address the topic at the gathering in the context of President Barack Obama's pledge to build up the middle class, though the party did not plan to make it a plank of the convention. Medicare and retirement security are one of several "pillars" of economic security that will be spotlighted, they said.
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Non-Smokers Benefit Most from Smoking Ban

(Science Daily) Many European countries have passed anti-smoking legislation which bans smoking from restaurants, bars and public buildings. After implementation of such a smoking ban on 1 January 2008 in the metropolitan area of Bremen in northwest Germany (800,000 inhabitants) a 16% decline in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) was observed. STEMI is the severest form of myocardial infarction…
In non-smokers there was a 26% decrease in STEMIs.
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EU considering cigarette logo ban to deter smoking

(Reuters) The European Union is considering banning logos on cigarette packs as part of an upcoming review of its law to deter smoking, a spokesman said … after Australia's highest court upheld a similar ban...
The EU will publish a draft revision to its 2001 Tobacco Products Directive in the fall, and may introduce more stringent rules on packaging as well as extend legislation to newer tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes.
"Many things are being discussed, including the possibility of plain packaging," Antonio Gravili, a spokesperson for the European Commission, told a news briefing.
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Smokers More Than Double Their Risk of Burst Aneurysm

(Science Daily) Smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day doubles the risk of a potentially fatal brain bleed as a result of a burst aneurysm, finds research…
If a smoker quits, the risk diminishes over time, but it still persists suggests the study.
An aneurysm is a bulge in a weakened artery, which, if it bursts causes blood to leak into the brain. The chances of surviving a ruptured aneurysm are only about 50% and those who do survive often live with disability for the rest of their life.
Community: RealAge.com has a ten-step program for quitting smoking.
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New gene therapy for smoking kills the pleasure of nicotine

(Booster Shots, Los Angeles Times) Can’t kick cigarettes? A vaccine may one day help by preventing nicotine from reaching its target in the brain, according to research …
[S]cientists at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City put a gene that produces a nicotine antibody into mice. The gene was taken into the mice’s livers, and the liver started producing the antibody. Once produced, the antibody connected with nicotine, trapping it and preventing it from making its way to the brain, where it would otherwise have caused the pleasurable, addictive effects it is so known for.
Because of this trick, the researchers say that the new vaccine should only have to be injected once, and it will work for life, continuing to produce new antibodies in the liver.
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More Research on Smoking

(Science Daily) WA new study … reveals that water pipe smoking, such as hookah or bong smoking, affects lung function and respiratory symptoms as much as cigarette smoking.
(Science Daily) [R]esearchers found that smoking one tobacco cigarette led to significant acute myocardial dysfunction but electronic cigarettes had no acute adverse effects on cardiac function. 
(Science Daily) Researchers: "We have shown that 1 hour exposure to passive smoking increases platelet activation, which could be the mechanism by which it contributes to increased risk of thrombotic events in healthy people. It is likely that prolonged exposure to passive smoking could have even greater effects. Healthy people should avoid exposure to passive smoking so that they do not increase their risk of thrombotic events."
(UPI) The risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was lower among alcohol drinkers than among abstainers, and higher in smokers, U.S. and European researchers say.
(National Institute on Drug Abuse) Genetics can help determine whether a person is likely to quit smoking on his or her own or need medication to improve the chances of success, according to research published in today's American Journal of Psychiatry. Researchers say the study moves health care providers a step closer to one day providing more individualized treatment plans to help patients quit smoking.
(Reuters Health) Tailoring online advice to a smoker's particular patterns and beliefs about smoking was no more effective than standardized feedback in a new study comparing how many smokers successfully quit with each approach.
(ABC News) Hotlines to help people quit smoking could also flag problem drinking, a new study found. Yale researchers used surveys to probe alcohol use among 88,479 callers to the New York State Smoker’s Quitline and found nearly one-quarter of callers reported hazardous drinking as well.
(Reuters Health) Nicotine replacement therapy appears to be safe for people discharged from the hospital after suffering a heart attack or chest pains, according to a small new study.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
One of the most popular Cooking Light chicken recipes, these sweet and spicy grilled chicken thighs are flavored with chili powder, cumin, garlic and cider vinegar.
EatingWell:
Spanish-Inspired Tomato Salad
This simple salad, topped with crunchy garlicky breadcrumbs, is the perfect vehicle to showcase a unique, colorful mix of tomatoes—any size, shape or color will be delicious. While sherry vinegar adds a special touch, red-wine vinegar works too.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Eggplant Dip
Eggplant Dip has a great texture with a tangy, vinegary, seasoned taste that is mellowed with the pita. You also can smear the dip inside warm crepes for a different kind of presentation.
Food as Medicine
Rich color in vegetables usually indicates abundant heart-healthy antioxidants, and deep-purple eggplant is no exception. Eggplant is a particularly good source of an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid, which is among the most potent plant-based free-radical scavengers ever discovered.
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Mercury, oils from fish at odds in heart health

(Reuters Health) Mercury and omega-3 fatty acids - both found in fish - appear to have opposite links to heart health, scientists have found.
In an analysis of more than 1,600 men from Sweden and Finland, researchers found that men with high levels of mercury in the body had an increased risk of heart attacks, while those with a high concentration of omega-3s had a lower risk.
Fish are considered part of a healthy diet, but the balance between potential risks and benefits from the two compounds is not clear.
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Hormone therapy use among women continues to drop

(Reuters Health) Years after a large study on hormone replacement therapy revealed health risks among older women using it to prevent chronic disease, the number of women who take hormones continues to decline, according to a new study.
The researchers found that in 2009 and 2010, less than five percent of women over age 40, who had already gone through menopause, use either estrogen alone or estrogen and progestin. That compared to about 22 percent in 1999 and 2000.
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Growing Strong Muscles Without Working Out?

(Science Daily) Scientists have moved closer toward helping people grow big, strong muscles without needing to hit the weight room. Australian researchers have found that by blocking the function of a protein called Grb10 while mice were in the womb, they were considerably stronger and more muscular than their normal counterparts…
Outside of aesthetics, this study has important implications for a wide range of conditions that are worsened by, or cause muscle wasting, such as injury, muscular dystrophy, Type 2 diabetes, and problems produced by muscle inflammation.
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U.S. cases of West Nile virus set record, deaths rise: CDC

(Reuters) A total of 1,590 cases of West Nile virus, including 66 deaths, were reported through late August this year in the United States, the highest human toll by that point in the calendar since the mosquito-borne disease was first detected in the country in 1999, health officials said on Wednesday.
The toll is increasing quickly. "We think the numbers will continue to rise," said Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases.
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Yosemite closes part of popular campground over hantavirus outbreak

(Reuters) Yosemite National Park has closed part of a popular campground over a deadly rodent-borne lung disease that has already killed two visitors to the California park, and officials said on Wednesday more cases could emerge…
"This is serious. This is something we haven't seen before and we're all working together to control this disease," said Dr. David Wong, medical epidemiologist with the National Park Service.
Community: For more information, “Hantavirus FAQ”.
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New 'Heartland' Virus Discovered in Sick Missouri Farmers

(MyHealthNewsDaily) Two men in Missouri who became severely ill after sustaining tick bites were found to be infected with a new type of virus, according to a study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)…
[R]esearchers dubbed [it] the Heartland virus. It belongs to a group called phleboviruses, which are carried by flies, mosquitoes or ticks, and can cause disease in humans.
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Human and Soil Bacteria Swap Antibiotic-Resistance Genes

(Science Daily) Soil bacteria and bacteria that cause human diseases have recently swapped at least seven antibiotic-resistance genes, researchers … report…
According to the scientists, more studies are needed to determine how widespread this sharing is and to what extent it makes disease-causing pathogens harder to control.
"It is commonplace for antibiotics to make their way into the environment," says first author Kevin Forsberg, a graduate student. "Our results suggest that this may enhance drug resistance in soil bacteria in ways that could one day be shared with bacteria that cause human disease."
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What are the symptoms of cataract?

(NIH Senior Health, via email) A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Cataracts are common in older adults. Learn about the symptoms of cataract and how it is diagnosed.
Learn more about cataract from these short videos.
The information on Cataract was provided by NIHSeniorHealth and developed by the National Eye Institute (NEI).
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Dry eye risk similar after laser vision surgeries

(Reuters Health) Two laser surgeries used to correct blurry vision have a similar chance of causing dry eyes, at least temporarily, a new study finds.
Doctors have long known that eye dryness can be a side effect of the surgeries -the well-known LASIK procedure and another laser technique called photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).
But the "conventional wisdom" has been that people who already have dry eyes might be better off with PRK, because it's thought to have a lower risk than LASIK.
In the new study, though, researchers found that was not the case. Patients gave similar ratings to their post-op eye dryness regardless of the procedure. And in either case, the symptoms went away within a year.
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Moving Toward Regeneration

(Science Daily) The skin, the blood, and the lining of the gut -- adult stem cells replenish them daily. But stem cells really show off their healing powers in planarians, humble flatworms fabled for their ability to rebuild any missing body part. Just how adult stem cells build the right tissues at the right times and places has remained largely unanswered.
Now, [scientists] describe a novel system that allowed them to track stem cells in the flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. The team found that the worms' stem cells, known as neoblasts, march out, multiply, and start rebuilding tissues lost to amputation…
Stem cells hold the potential to provide an unlimited source of specialized cells for regenerative therapy of a wide variety of diseases but delivering human stem cell therapies to the right location in the body remains a major challenge.
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GOP Outlines Post-Election Healthcare Plans

(MedPage Today) Mitt Romney will completely repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and start a bit-by-bit approach at his own reforms if he's elected president, his top health policy advisor said here this week.
While some conservative policymakers agree there are reforms in the ACA worth keeping, a piecemeal approach is a better solution both legislatively and in implementation, Matt Hoffman, senior policy adviser for the Romney campaign, said at a healthcare town hall held at the Republican National Convention…
Even if Republicans win only a slim majority in the Senate this November, conservative lawmakers could repeal the ACA with Romney in the White House.
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Medicare's political importance goes beyond seniors

(Reuters) The Medicare debate promises to be front and center in this fall's presidential campaign, as not just seniors but aging baby boomers focus on retiree healthcare…
"Baby boomers are particularly concerned about the stability of their retirement," said U.S. Representative Steve Israel of New York, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
"If you're a baby boomer in the middle class, since 2000 you've seen the value of your paycheck decline, the value of your home decline and you've seen your 401(k) diminish and you're worried about your retirement," Israel said. "What's the Romney-Ryan solution? End Medicare."
Republicans, who spent the better part of two years emphasizing "reform" of Medicare, now portray themselves as the program's protectors.
"Medicare is a promise and we will honor it," [GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul] Ryan said on Wednesday. "A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare for my mom's generation, for my generation and for my kids and yours."
Medicare, which is expected to become financially insolvent in 2024, covers almost 50 million elderly and disabled people. Soaring U.S. healthcare costs have made it a target in efforts to reduce the federal deficit.
Seniors oppose the Ryan plan by 2 to 1, according to recent polls that also show widespread opposition among all registered voters.
After weeks of campaign warfare, however, the Medicare battle has not translated into an electoral advantage for Obama among seniors, according to some polls.
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Will starving yourself help you live longer? Maybe not

(Reuters) The longevity diet's premise is seductively simple: cutting your calorie intake well below your usual diet will add years to your life.
New research published on Wednesday, however, shows the extreme, emaciating diet doesn't increase lifespan in rhesus monkeys, the closest human relatives to try it in a rigorous, long-running study. While caveats remain, outside experts regarded the findings as definitive, particularly when combined with those from a similar study…
The new study, from the National Institute on Aging, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, suggests a surprising disconnect between health and lifespan. It found that most of the 57 calorie-restricted monkeys had healthier hearts and immune systems and lower rates of diabetes, cancer or other ills than the 64 control monkeys. But there was no longevity pay-off.
"You can argue that the calorie-restricted animals are healthier," said Austad. "They have better cholesterol profiles, less muscle loss, less disease. But it didn't translate into greater longevity. What we learn from this is you can un-link health and longevity."
Community: Dr. Weil says we can get some of the benefits of calorie restriction from periodic fasting.
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