Personal Health and Well-being

Candy Sagon writes about health topics for AARP. She previously was a reporter with the Washington Post and has written numerous articles on food, health and nutrition for national magazines.

A Sad Lesson About COPD From Leonard Nimoy

Actor Leonard Nimoy — Mr. Spock to his legions of Star Trek fans — has died at age 83 from a destructive lung disease called COPD, telling his fans in a poignant tweet last month: “Don’t smoke. I did. Wish I never had.” His wife confirmed his death to the New York Times, saying the cause was end-stage COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week. COPD is one of the most common lung diseases …

Why Women Should Check a Man’s Finger Size

OK, we know you’re smirking. This is not about how a man’s finger size is related to the size of his junk. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that — in fact, one study says it’s true.) No, there’s another reason women might want to check the length of a man’s ring finger: It may be an indication of how nice he’ll be toward the opposite sex. >> Enter our $25,000 Rewards for Good Sweepstakes! See official rules. A new …

Hot Flashes Can Linger for How Many Years??

Up to 80 percent of menopausal women suffer hot flashes, but doctors have typically reassured women that these embarrassing, uncomfortable bursts of heat and sweat won’t last long. You know, maybe six months. Two years, tops. Ha-ha. Try up to 14 years. A new study — one of the first to look at a large, multiracial group of women — found that hot flashes typically last for seven years or more and that some women have reported suffering with them …

New Guidelines May Say Yes to Eggs but No to Bacon

The government’s new dietary guidelines, due to be released in the coming months, may contain an about-face on decades of advice not to eat cholesterol-rich food. As the Washington Post put it, the move by the nation’s top nutrition advisory panel “could undo almost 40 years of government warnings” about eating foods high in cholesterol, like eggs and shellfish. A preliminary report by the panel, released in December, stated for the first time that “cholesterol is not considered a nutrient …

The Jolie Effect: A Jump in Breast Cancer Gene Testing

Just how big of an effect did movie star Angelina Jolie have on women getting tested for the BRCA breast cancer gene? A hefty 40 percent jump, according to the first study to look at the impact of Jolie’s announcement that she had undergone testing. The study by the AARP Public Policy Institute analyzed more than 6.5 million health insurance claims for women 35 and older during 2013. Researchers found that testing rates increased from about 350 a week prior …

‘Light’ Jogging Better Than Running? Well, Maybe

For a moment last week, research offered all of us slow, plodding exercisers a moment of revenge. According to a new Danish study, those hard-charging runners who blow by us on the jogging trail — or pound away for a sweaty hour on the treadmill several times a week — are ruining their health as much as sluggish, non-exercising couch potatoes. In fact, the researchers said, it was really the twice-a-week, sedate joggers who were going to live the longest. …