Prepare for ‘Worst Allergy Season’ in Years

First we suffer through a long, record-setting winter, and now we find out it’s going to be a long, record-setting allergy season. May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month — as if you couldn’t tell by all the sneezing and wheezing — and Tao Zheng, M.D., chief of the allergy and immunology section at the Yale University School of Medicine, predicts this allergy season “may be one of the worst in years,” she told Yale News. Why? A long, …

Medicare Itemizes Its $103 Billion Drug Bill

The federal government popped the cap off drug spending on April 30, detailing doctor-by-doctor and drug-by-drug how Medicare and its beneficiaries spent $103 billion on pharmaceuticals in 2013. The data show that 14 drugs cost the federal government and Medicare beneficiaries more than $1 billion each, accounting for nearly a quarter of Medicare prescription drug spending in 2013. Most of those drugs are used to treat chronic conditions that plague the elderly, including diabetes, depression, high cholesterol and blood pressure, …

We’re So Lazy. And It’s Getting Worse

How bad are Americans about not getting any physical activity whatsoever? Really bad. Like record-setting bad. The proof: A new survey by the Physical Activity Council (PAC) finds that the number of “totally sedentary” Americans is the highest it’s been since 2007. Roughly 83 million Americans ages 6 and up — about a third of the population — were physically inactive in 2014, nearly 3 million more than in 2013. That means they didn’t participate in any one of 104 …

A Mammogram at Age 50 or 40? The Debate Continues

Six years ago a federal panel of medical experts said women didn’t need to start getting routine mammograms until they were 50 — not 40, as other medical groups had long advised — and then only every two years. The announcement set off a heated debate, and most older women ended up ignoring the advice. This week, the panel released a proposed updated version of those 2009 recommendations, and not much has changed. Including the debate. The panel, the U.S. …

Can’t Hear in a Restaurant? Time to Get Your Hearing Checked

If you’re finding it hard to hear what your companions are saying in a restaurant or at a party, it’s time to get your hearing checked. The inability to hear speech in a noisy environment is one of the first signs of hearing loss, and although it may bother you only in certain situations, it’s not something to ignore. Hearing loss should not be dismissed as a natural sign of aging any more than high blood pressure or cholesterol would …

Can a Healthy Body Equal a Healthy Brain?

AARP is celebrating health living for April. Overall, Americans perceive their health to be excellent or good, and our research shows perceived health declines only 7 percentage points over a 45-year age range (72 percent among those ages 35-39, 67 percent among those ages 55-59, and 65 percent ages 75 to 80). In AARP’s Happiness Study, when asked about serious health conditions (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) 12 percent of those ages 35-39 had two or more …