A new study finds that a drop in testosterone levels over time is more likely to result from a man’s behavioral and health changes than by aging. The study results will be presented Monday at The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in Houston.
“Declining testosterone levels are not an inevitable part of the aging process, as many people think,” said study co-author Gary Wittert, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia. “Testosterone changes are largely explained by smoking behavior and changes in health status, particularly obesityand depression.” …
- ‘Ageing not linked to drop in testosterone levels’ (news.bioscholar.com)
- Low testosterone not normal part of aging – UPI.com (drugstoresource.wordpress.com)
- Declining testosterone levels in men `not part of normal ageing` (news.bioscholar.com)
- Long-term testosterone treatment for men results in reduced weight and waist size (scienceblog.com)
- Long-term testosterone treatment for men results in reduced weight and waist size (eurekalert.org)
- Testosterone Replacement Causes Big Weight Loss (futurepundit.com)
People who restrict their caloric intake in an effort to live longer have hearts that function more like those in people who are 20 years younger.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that a key measure of the heart’s ability to adapt to physical activity, stress, sleep and other factors that influence the rate at which the heart pumps blood, doesn’t decline nearly as rapidly in people who have significantly restricted their caloric intake for an average of seven years.
The study is available online in the journal Aging Cell.
“This is really striking because in studying changes in heart rate variability, we are looking at a measurement that tells us a lot about the way the autonomic nervous system affects the heart,” says Luigi Fontana, MD, PhD, the study’s senior author. “And that system is involved not only in heart function, but in digestion, breathing rate and many other involuntary actions. We would hypothesize that better heart rate variability may be a sign that all these other functions are working better, too.”…
- You: Calorie-restricted diet keeps heart young (labspaces.net)
Fifty years after its inception, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging will have a more important role than ever as America’s senior population continues to grow, according to the newest issue of the Public Policy and Aging Report (PPAR)…
…The PPAR starts with a piece by Hudson, who chronicles the committee’s history. John W. Rowe, MD, chair of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society, then calls on policymakers to appreciate the positive aspects of life extension and to understand population changes in society-wide, rather than cohort-specific, terms – in order to avoid growing tensions between generations, between the haves and have-nots, and between the more- and the less-educated.
Writing from Germany’s University of Mannheim, Axel Boersch, PhD, Gabriel Heller, and Anette Reil-Held use data from Europe, where population aging is more pronounced than in the U.S., to explore how prevalent intergenerational concerns may be. Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and the Stanford Center on Longevity’s Jane Hickie draw attention to the quality and affordability of community life for tomorrow’s elders. They advocate for containing community-living costs, increasing and integrating housing, health, transportation, and support services, and making special efforst directed toward improving the purchasing capacity of elders with disabilities. A final analysis by the Urban Institute’s Richard Johnson, PhD, focuses on work, retirement, and labor market conditions for older workers. He writes that both employers and public policy can and should be modified to meet the needs and preferences of older workers. …
- A video by one of the article’s contributors, Dr. Laura Carstensen on the potential of an aging society and how elected officials must prepare for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
- A video from the Senate Special Committee on Aging Forum titled “Aging in America: Future Challenges, Promise and Potential on December 14th, 2011
- At Senate Aging Committee’s 50th anniversary, experts ponder future legislative concerns (scienceblog.com)
- At Senate Aging Committee’s 50th anniversary, experts ponder future legislative concerns (eurekalert.org)
- Unmet Challenges for an Aging America (money.usnews.com)
- LGBT Older Adults Spotlighted in New Report (egmnblog.wordpress.com)
- Aging authorities differ on tweaks to Social Security’s benefit structure (eurekalert.org)
- New report highlights LGBT older adults’ needs, identifies policy opportunities (eurekalert.org)
- Aging authorities differ on tweaks to Social Security’s benefit structure (physorg.com)
…….Here are DeSilva’s five tips on how to tell if a senior relative needs immediate medical attention:
The person is unkempt with poor personal hygiene.
The home is very messy, dirty and has a foul odor.
Minimal movement by the person appears to be painful.
Mentally, the person is agitated or confused.
The person has not seen a physician in several months and is visibly unwell.
“Try to contact the primary-care physician first and alert them to the situation,” DeSilva said. But if holiday schedules or lack of information prevent that, bring them to the closest Emergency Department.
In the Emergency Department, you can expect the following:….
New demographic analysis reveals that the CO2 emissions of the average American increase until around the age of 65, and then start to decrease. For the United States this means that, although the aging of the population will lead to a slight overall rise in CO2emissions over the next four decades, the long-term trends indicate that increasing life expectancy will result in a reduction in emissions.
Study by McGill geography professor finds that as people age, the differnce in the health-related quality of life between rich and poor remains constant
“We can’t buy our way out of ageing,” says Nancy Ross, a McGill geography professor. “As we get older we start to have vision problems, maybe some hearing loss, maybe lose some mobility – ageing is a kind of a social equalizer.”
Ross is the lead author of a new study about how socio-economic and educational status affects Canadians’ health-related quality of life over the course of a lifetime.
“My research looks at how poverty and social disadvantage affect your health status. Our work was about using social circumstances as a lens to look at how people’s quality of life changes as they age.”
The good news, according to Ross, is that there is no sign of an accelerated ageing process for those who are lower on the social ladder. “The trajectories for declining health as people age look fairly similar across the social spectrum. That surprised me. I thought that there would be a bit more of a difference across social groups.”
But the bad news is that Canadians who are less educated and have a lower income start out less healthy than their wealthier and better-educated compatriots, and remain so over the course of their lives. “What we found, basically, is that people who are more educated and with higher incomes have a better health-related quality of life over their whole lifespan, and that these health “tracks” stay pretty parallel over time.
“The message there is that if you start out with a health-related quality of life deficit through early life experience and a poor educational background, it’s never made up for later on,” says Ross. “Poorer Canadians are in poorer health and they have lower life expectancy than their more affluent counterparts, and by age 20 the pattern for health-related quality of life as people age is already fixed.”
“We might speculate that universal health insurance and other social policies directed to adults and seniors have played a role in preventing accelerated decline in health-related quality of life of the poorer and less educated Canadians. That said, we would need some comparative research in other countries to test this more fully,” she adds. “But this study suggests the need for policies aimed at making sure kids and teens are given the chances early in life to even out socio-economic inequalities that will affect their health as they age.”
From a 11 May 2011 Medical News Today article
People who leave education with fewer academic qualifications may grow old faster, according to a DNA study that compared groups of people who spent different lengths of time in education and found the ones who spent the least time had shorter telomeres or “caps” on the ends of their DNA, a sign of premature aging in cells….
…BHF’s Associate Medical Director, Professor Jeremy Pearson, said the study reinforces the need to tackle social inequalities to combat ill health:
“It’s not acceptable that where you live or how much you earn — or lesser academic attainment — should put you at greater risk of ill health,” he said in a statement.
Andrew Steptoe, BHF Professor of Psychology at UCL, and colleagues, wrote about their findings in a paper published recently in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.
They were concerned that while there is evidence that low socioeconomic status is linked to faster biological aging, attempts to tie it telomere length have yielded inconsistent results.
Telomeres are short repetitive sequences of DNA that “cap” the ends of chromosomes and stop them degrading and fusing with their neighbours: imagine the tips on the ends of shoelaces that stop them fraying. Telomeres get consumed in cell division, and are replenished by an enzyme called telomerase, but there is a limit to how many times this can happen, and they gradually get shorter, limiting the number of times cells can divide, and in turn, lifespan….
…After adjusting for possible confounding factors, such as age, gender, various health indicators such as smoking and cholesterol, and lifestyle indicators such as exercise, they found that lower educational attainment was linked to shorter telomere length, while household income was not, and neither was employment grade.
In fact, the link between “telomere length and education remained significant after adjusting for current socioeconomic circumstances,” they wrote.
They also found that in men, the highest telomerase activity (the enzyme that repairs the telomeres) was in the lowest education group.
The researchers concluded that low socioeconomic status defined in terms of education but not current socioeconomic circumstances is linked to shorter telomeres.
This supports the idea that faster aging is not just a result of current economic circumstances or social status in a person’s life, but of long-term effects that start early in life, such as education.
The researchers also suggest that people with higher levels of education are probably better equipped with life skills like problem-solving that help them deal with the stresses of life, and this reduces the biological stress on their bodies, the so-called “allostatic load.
“Educational attainment but not measures of current socioeconomic circumstances are associated with leukocyte telomere length in healthy older men and women.”
Andrew Steptoe, Mark Hamer, Lee Butcher, Jue Lin, Lena Brydon, Mika Kivimäki, Michael Marmot, Elizabeth Blackburn, Jorge D. Erusalimsky.
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, In Press, Uncorrected Proof, Available online 23 April 2011.
- Telomere Nobelist: Selling a ‘biological age’ test (newscientist.com)
- Risk of accelerated aging seen in PTSD patients with childhood trauma (eurekalert.org)
- Study finds link between chronic depression and accelerated immune cell aging (eurekalert.org)
Lapses in memory occur more frequently with age, yet the reasons for this increasing forgetfulness have not always been clear. According to new research from Concordia University, older individuals have reduced learning and memory because their minds tend to be cluttered with irrelevant information when performing tasks. Published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, these findings offer new insights into why aging is associated with a decline in memory and may lead to practical solutions. …
…For those who are having trouble remembering, Blair suggests that focusing and reducing mental clutter may help. “Reduce clutter, if you don’t, you may not get anything done.”
Keeping a mind clutter-free can be more difficult as people age, especially during periods of stress when people focus on stressors, yet Blair says relaxation exercises can help de-clutter the brain. What’s more, the brain continues to function optimally into old age when it is mentally stimulated by learning a new language, playing an instrument, completing crossword puzzles, keeping an active social life and exercising. …
- Spring-cleaning the mind? Study shows a cluttered brain doesn’t remember (physorg.com)
- Don’t Blame Memory for Trouble Switching Tasks : Study points instead to slowdown in brain’s processing speed that comes with aging (April 2011)
- Psychologists Ask How Well-or Badly-We Remember Together (April 2011)” Several years ago, Suparna Rajaram noticed a strange sort of contagion in a couple she was close to. One partner acquired dementia-and the other lost the nourishing pleasures of joint reminiscence. “When the other person cannot validate shared memories,” said Rajaram, “they are both robbed of the past.” From this observation came a keen and enduring interest in the social nature of memory, an area of scholarship occupied mostly by philosophers, sociologists, and historians-and notably unattended to until recently by cognitive psychologists… “
ScienceDaily (Mar. 29, 2011) — Members of California’s aging lesbian, gay and bisexual population are more likely to suffer from certain chronic conditions, even as they wrestle with the challenges of living alone in far higher numbers than the heterosexual population, according to new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
Half of all gay and bisexual adult men in California between the ages of 50 and 70 are living alone, compared with 13.4 percent of heterosexual men in the same age group. And although older California lesbians and bisexual women are more likely to live with a partner or a family member than their male counterparts, more than one in four live alone, compared with one in five heterosexual women.
A lack of immediate family support may impact aging LGB adults’ ability to confront statistically higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, poor mental health, physical disability and self-assessed fair or poor health, compared with demographically similar aging heterosexual adults.
The study, which draws upon three cycles of data from the biennial California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), underscores the importance of considering these unique needs and chronic health conditions in providing health care and social services to the estimated 170,000 self-identified aging LGB adults in California — a population that will double in size over the next 20 years.
“Many aging LGB Californians do not have biological children or strong family support,” said Steven P. Wallace, the lead researcher on the project. “Organizations that serve these communities need to take this into account and consider outreach and support mechanisms that enable these individuals to maintain their independence and ability to age safely and in good health.”
The policy brief, “The Health of Aging Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Adults in California,” includes the first data published on aging LGB adults based on a large statewide population. And among a population whose health needs are too often associated only with HIV and AIDS, the study offers the first insights about broader health conditions and trends….
- Groundbreaking report released: ‘Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations’ (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Lesbians, gays, bisexuals at higher risk for severe mental health problems (news.bioscholar.com)
- San Francisco Human Rights Commission Approves Groundbreaking Report: Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Day 27- Sexuality in the US (feministactivism.wordpress.com)
- Bullying, Harassment of Gay/Lesbian Teens: Expert Q&A (webmd.com)
- Strong link found between victimization, substance abuse (eurekalert.org)
- Physiological Impacts Of Homophobia (mccswu.wordpress.com)
- Americans Have Higher Rates of Most Chronic Diseases Than Same-Age Counterparts in England (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Doctors lack data on LGBT community: report