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.

Missteps in U.S. Ebola Protection Plan Continue

Let’s see: A nurse who cared for a dying Ebola patient is allowed to fly on a commercial flight days later despite having a low-grade fever. Another worker who handled the patient’s lab specimens takes a cruise and has to be quarantined aboard the ship. Officials with the hospital where the man died admit nurses were never given Ebola training. Is this how the U.S. thinks it will protect citizens against this disease? The head of the U.S. Centers for …

If You’re 65, You Have 18 to 20 More Years to Live

Older Americans are living longer than ever, with a life expectancy at age 65 of about 20 more years for women and 18 more years for men, according to a new government report. Americans’ life expectancy from birth also reached a record high in 2012 — 78.8 years, said researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We can thank a healthier lifestyle — as well as fewer deaths from major diseases including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, stroke …

Ebola’s Here. Should You Be Worried?

The country’s first Ebola patient—Thomas Eric Duncan, who was visiting Dallas from West Africa—has died. But the fact that he was mistakenly sent home when he first showed up at a Texas hospital complaining of symptoms, does not exactly inspire confidence in our healthcare system. Especially considering that CDC director Thomas Frieden said in a Tuesday news conference that “we’re stopping [Ebola] in its tracks in this country.” I mean, you gotta wonder: Can we be sure? After all, Duncan told a hospital nurse that …

Here’s How to Prevent 4 out of 5 Heart Attacks

We all know the advice for preventing heart attacks: Eat right, stop smoking, get some exercise. But, really, just how effective is doing all those things? Can anyone put an exact number on it? Evidently, they can — and the numbers are dramatic: Following a healthy lifestyle could prevent four out of five heart attacks in men ages 45 through 79, a new Swedish study found. “It is not surprising that healthy lifestyle choices would lead to a reduction in …

Painkiller Death Rate Highest Among Older Adults

The rate of overdose deaths from powerful painkillers has nearly quadrupled since 1999, but new government figures show that since 2006, the rate of increase has finally slowed — except among older adults. According to a newly released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, the rate of fatal overdoses from prescription painkillers is still highest among those ages 45 to 54, with the fastest increase in deaths over the past decade among those 55 to 64. In 2011, …

For Older Couples, Happy Wife Means Happy Life

As country singer Tracy Byrd put it, “When mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” And a new study backs him up. Researchers at the University of Michigan and Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., found that for older married couples, when the wife is happy with the marriage, the husband is more likely to say he’s happy with his life — even if he’s not quite as satisfied with the union as she is. “I think it comes down to …