Monday, December 26, 2011

Increased Broken Bones Among Boomers Is Precursor Of Future Long-Term Care Needs

A new study suggests that the number of baby boomers visiting hospital emergency rooms for broken arms could rise by nearly a third by 2030. That is when the youngest baby boomers will have just turned 65.

The scientists reported that 370,000 cases of fractures in the humerus bone of the upper arm occur each year in both the United States. While younger individuals between the ages of five and nine accounted for the highest overall number of breaks, they found that arm injuries also spiked among women after age 40 and men after age 60.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, reported that 38.7 million Americans were 65 or older in 2008, but that by the year 2030, that number will be 71.5 million. They project a significant increase in hospital emergency room visits with much of the increase likely to be among older Americans.

The highest number of proximal humerus breaks was seen in both men and women after age 45, and rates kept rising until about age 84. Women were more than twice as likely as men to suffer a proximal humerus break, and saw an uptick in the breaks earlier in life, starting after age 40, which the researchers attributed to lost bone density.

“Conditions like osteoporosis will increases a person’s likelihood of sustaining a bone fracture as a result of even a simple fall,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. “Some can be fixed with a cast but other broken bones especially those that occur at older ages will require long periods of care and at could seriously disable a person for long periods of time.”

Indeed, the researchers found that 88 percent of upper-arm breaks were caused by falls, prompting them to call for more rigorous safety measures to reduce falls and better treatments to prevent osteoporosis.

“Prevention is vital, but so is planning for living a long life,” Slome explains. “If you live into your 80s or beyond, the likelihood you will need long term care is vastly increased but you need to start preparing for this in your 50s and early 60s when the most planning options are still available to you.”

Monday, December 19, 2011

Less Risk Of Alzheimer’s Found Among Fish Eaters

Adults who eat baked or broiled fish as little as once a week may lower their risk for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

According to research findings, eating non-fried fish that includes baked and broiled fish helps to preserve gray matter neurons. The scientists note that this strengthens the areas of the brain deemed critical to cognition and memory.

“Scientists report that people with larger brain volume the risk for Alzheimer’s and mild cognitive impairment went down with eating fish as little as one to four times a week. “We’re talking about just a half serving a day,” notes Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance. ”We would encourage millions of aging Americans to make a very small lifestyle change that can affect their risk of this terrible disease.”

The number of U.S. adults aged 65 years and older is projected to nearly double over the next two decades, Slome, head of the national long term care insurance trade organization explains. “As a result, the incidence of cognitive issues especially Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is also expected to rise as will the need for costly long term care,” he adds. Alzheimer’s disease is the number one reason individuals with long term care insurance file claims.

More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease the age-related disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking. Older adults with mild cognitive impairment have less severe memory loss than those with Alzheimer’s but often go on to develop the disease.

The scientists found that those who ate baked or broiled fish had larger mass in the hippocampus, and orbital frontal cortex regions of their brains. This was regardless of age, gender, physical activity routines, and/or educational achievement, race or weight. No benefit was evident with respect to consumption of fried fish.

Financial experts advise adults in their mid-50s to learn more about long-term care planning and get long-term care insurance costs from a designated expert.

Monday, December 12, 2011

More Exercise Can Help You Sleep Better

Regular physical activity while you are awake can result in better sleep. According to a just reported study, individuals who participated and met national exercise guidelines reported less daytime fatigue and better sleep patterns than those who didn’t exercise.

While researchers note that the research doesn’t confirm that exercise directly leads to improved rest, the findings are mostly consistent with previous research, according to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance which tracks health related issues pertinent to longevity matters.

Inadequate sleep has been linked to depression, cardiovascular disease and other health problems notes Slome. Increased risk of cardiovascular disease puts aging Americans at greater risk of needing benefits from their long-term care insurance Slome explains.

The researchers noted that hoping that a daily walk or jog will clear up sleep problems might be a bit too optimistic. More than one-third of U.S. adults have trouble falling asleep at night or staying alert during the day, according to background information in the study.

The new study by researchers at Oregon State University examined data from a U.S. health survey conducted from 2005 to 2006. The researchers focused on over 2,500 men and women between ages 18 to 85. They measured their activity levels and answered questions about sleep.

All study participants wore accelerometers, devices that measure physical activity for a one-week period.

The researchers adjusted their statistics so they wouldn’t be thrown off by unusually high or low numbers of people of certain ages, weight, health condition, smoking history or other factors. Participants met or exceeded national exercise guidelines by getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise or a combination of both.

Those who met the guidelines were 65 percent less likely to report often feeling sleepy during the day compared to those who got less exercise. They were also 68 percent less likely to report sometimes having leg cramps and 45 percent less likely to report having trouble concentrating while tired.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Heart Healthy Study On Salt Intake Changes Rules

Too much salt is dangerous for adults suffering from conditions including heart disease or diabetes. Now a new study finds that too little salt may be almost as dangerous.

According to researchers reporting in the Journal of the American Medical Association reducing salt is still very important in people consuming more than 6,000 or 7,000 milligrams of sodium per day. It is estimated that the average American consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day.

The lead scientists who conducted studies report that people who already consume moderate or average amounts of salt may not need to reduce their intake further. “Apparently, after years of agreement among medical experts that people should lower their salt intake, there is new debate,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The national trade organization tracks health issues which can impact American’s need for costly long term care.

A recent research study found that while cutting back on salt did lower blood pressure, it may also increase levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and other risk factors for heart disease. Heart disease is a major risk factor facing adults Slome notes.

The latest study looked at levels of sodium and potassium excreted in urine in a group of about 30,000 men and women with heart disease or at high risk for heart disease. Participants were followed for an average of more than four years.

The researchers found that people who excreted higher levels of sodium than those with mid-range values had a greater risk of dying from heart disease, heart attack, stroke and hospitalization for heart failure. When the researchers assessed potassium levels, they found that a higher level of excretion of the nutrient was associated with a lower risk of stroke.

New U.S. dietary guidelines now recommend that people aged 2 years and older limit daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg). People aged 51 and older, blacks and anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should consider going down to 1,500 mg per day, many experts say.

Financial planning experts note that most people wait too long to consider their options because the right time to plan is prior to turning age 65 before medical conditions like cancer, high blood pressure are diagnosed or become problematic.