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Elizabeth Agnvall

Biography:

Betsy Agnvall is a features editor for health at AARP Media. She's fascinated by research that helps us understand how to live our lives to the fullest – keeping mind and body strong and sharp. She previously worked as a freelance writer for The Washington Post, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Safety and Health magazine and other publications.

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Elizabeth Agnvall'sPosts

The Suprising Risks of Antibiotics

Posted on 03/10/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthThe next time you find yourself asking for an antibiotic to treat a nasty cough or sinus infection — or accepting one when your doctor offers it — consider this: Doctors are overprescribing antibiotics and putting patients at risk, sometimes giving patients three times as many antibiotics as are warranted, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. This practice can cause harmful side effects and lead to infections that kill thousands of Americans …

Alzheimer’s Disease Kills 6 Times More Than Reported

Posted on 03/6/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayAlzheimer’s disease may cause up to six times more deaths than previously reported, making it the third leading cause of death in the country, just behind heart disease and cancer. The disease kills as many as half a million people each year, according to a new study published in the journal Neurology. “We know that a lot more people are passing away from this disease than we recognized before,” said lead author Bryan D. James, an epidemiologist with Rush University …

Winter Weary? 6 Ways to Cheer Up

Posted on 02/18/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthSick of winter yet? The harsh winter has left schools and governments closed, thousands without power and even the usually sunny South at an icy standstill. It’s also caused a cabin fever outbreak of record proportions. Not only are we bored and craving sun; being stuck inside alone can be bad for our health. A University of Chicago study found that feelings of loneliness and isolation can lead to increased stress, higher blood pressure and other health problems. >> Sign up …

New Guidelines Aim to Reduce Women’s Stroke Risk

Posted on 02/7/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Personal HealthOlder women have a higher risk of stroke than men and should strive to reduce that risk, say the first guidelines aimed specifically at preventing stroke in women. Women share many of the same risk factors for stroke with men, but their chances of having a stroke can be increased by hormones, pregnancy and childbirth, said Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., who led the team of experts who developed the …

Hard of Hearing? Your Brain May be Shrinking

Posted on 01/29/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayWe’ve known for several years that hearing loss is linked to dementia and decline in memory and thinking skills, but we don’t yet understand why they are connected. A new study from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore may provide an explanation: Older adults with hearing problems appear to have a greater rate of brain shrinkage as they age. Researchers used information from the ongoing Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging to study 126 adults ages 56 to 86 who had yearly MRI brain scans …

A Free, Easy Treatment for Depression

Posted on 01/8/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayWant a free, easy tip for reducing anxiety, depression and pain without medications? Try meditation. New research finds that meditation may be equally as effective as antidepressants in helping to reduce anxiety, depression and pain, according to a review of studies published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers reviewed 47 randomized clinical trials with 3,515 participants and found that mindfulness meditation improved symptoms of depression by 10 to 20 percent and symptoms of anxiety by 5 to 10 percent. “This is …