Report Shows Americans Getting (a Little) Healthier

A new report shows Americans are getting better at smoking less, exercising more and reducing deaths from heart disease, but the past year has also brought an alarming rise in the rate of drug deaths, obesity and diabetes. The 26th annual America’s Health Rankings by the United Health Foundation found a 4 percent jump in drug-related deaths, both from illegal and prescription drug abuse, and an obesity rate that has more than doubled in the past 15 years. Get discounts …

Slow Walking May Be a Sign of Early Alzheimer’s

Good news for speed walkers. Many studies have shown that walking and other exercise helps protect the brain as we age. Now a new study finds that slow walking speed may be a sign of early Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers in France studied 128 people in their 70s who did not have dementia but were considered high risk because they had concerns about their memories. The participants had scans to measure amyloid plaques in their brains. (The buildup of these plaques …

Soaring Prices Put Drugs out of Reach for Many Americans

Retail prices for more than 100 widely used specialty prescription drugs surged by nearly 11 percent in 2013, according to a new AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) report issued today. The report found that the average annual cost of a specialty medication used to treat chronic diseases and conditions rose to more than $53,000 — greater than the U.S. median income and more than twice the $23,500 median income of people on Medicare. Specialty-prescription-drug prices are 18 times higher than …

Drink Up: Coffee, Chamomile Tea Could Help You Live Longer

This week was great. First, I got to start the morning with a big mug of coffee while reading about a new study linking a big mug of coffee (or three) to a longer life. And then, at night, I sipped a cup of chamomile tea and read about a recent study suggesting that this relaxing herbal brew can help older women live longer. Isn’t research wonderful when it supports what you already like to do? So first, the coffee: …

Study: Health Plan Buyers Will Save Money If They Shop

You better shop around. For holiday gifts? No, for a 2016 health insurance plan on the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov. Millions of consumers who are enrolled this year could pay higher rates if they stay in the same health plan next year, according to a study released Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Read the latest exercise and memory-sharpening tips, health care reform and more! — AARP Health Newsletter » The KFF analysis found that in nearly three-quarters of counties in 36 states served …

Hispanics and Latinos Tend to Notice Memory Loss at an Earlier Age

En español | What are you doing to keep your brain healthy? When it comes to our brain health,” we Latinos are not always so diligent. We can easily discuss diabetes, how to lower our cholesterol or how to relieve the pain of arthritis inherited from our grandmother. We diet to lose weight for our daughter’s upcoming wedding, we walk to find a cure for our friend’s cancer; but even though we know it’s important to keep our minds healthy, …