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.

Medicare Celebrates a Half Century

Give Medicare and Medicaid an AARP card — they’re turning 50 this year. At a special program on Wednesday commemorating the upcoming 50th anniversary, experts spoke about how the two federal programs have transformed both the country’s health care system and the health of its older citizens. “Medicare has been a health care lifeline for millions of older Americans and must be strengthened for the future,” AARP President Jeannine English said at the conference, sponsored by the LBJ Presidential Library, …

Short Men at Greater Risk for Heart Disease

Here’s one more thing to add to the list of ways to reduce your heart attack risk: Don’t be short. Yeah, we know. As if you could control your height. Still, a new study finds a surprising link between some of the genes responsible for height and the risk of heart disease. And the evidence appears much stronger for men than for women. Scientists have known for more than 60 years that there was a relationship between height and heart …

Night Owls at Higher Risk for Diabetes, Health Problems

If you’re middle-aged and a night owl, you’re at a much higher risk for diabetes and other health problems than your early-riser friends — even if you’re getting the same amount of sleep as they are. A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism examined the health difference between what researchers call “evening and morning chronotypes” — people whose natural sleep-wake cycles make them either night owls or morning people. The aim was to see whether …

Restaurateur B. Smith Urges More Funding for Alzheimer’s Research

Former model and restaurateur B. Smith, who revealed last June that she had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, urged senators on Wednesday to “make a difference” for the millions like her and approve more funding for research into the debilitating brain condition. Smith, 65, testified before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, along with medical and research experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Mayo Clinic and other centers. Fighting back tears, Smith told the committee …

Why Angelina Jolie Chose to Have Her Ovaries Removed

Nearly two years after announcing she had gotten a preventive double mastectomy and encouraging women to get tested for the BRCA1 breast cancer gene, actress and director Angelina Jolie says she has had her ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed to reduce her risk of ovarian cancer, the disease that killed her mother at age 56. As she did in 2013, Jolie wrote an essay for the New York Times explaining that she carries a gene that gives her “an estimated …

A Man’s Memory Fades Faster Than a Woman’s

Wives everywhere are doing the “I told you so” dance over a new study that finds that a man’s memory fades faster with age than a woman’s. According to the research, published March 16 in JAMA Neurology, everyone’s memory and brain volume typically begin to decline after age 30, but memory skills worsen faster in men after age 40 than in women. In addition, the portion of the brain that controls memory gets smaller more quickly in men than women …