Are Older Adults Being Overtreated for Diabetes?

Older patients are not the same as younger patients. You’d think this was obvious, yet doctors often use a one-size-fits-all approach to prescribing treatment that can put their older patients at risk. The latest example of this: another study showing that patients 65 or older with diabetes may be overtreated by doctors who too aggressively try to control blood sugar levels, regardless of their patients’ other health problems. The new study, by Yale researchers, analyzed a decade of data on 1,288 …

Blueberries Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

Need to reduce your blood pressure several notches? Eating a cup of blueberries a day could help. That’s the conclusion of a small Florida State University study of postmenopausal women, ages 45 to 65, who ate the equivalent of a cup of blueberries a day for eight weeks. The women not only saw a modest improvement in their blood pressure readings, their arteries also showed improved flexibility, which also can help lower blood pressure. Previous blueberry studies had found similar …

Can You Pass the One-Leg Test for Brain Health?

Here’s a quick, do-it-yourself test for brain health: See how long you can stay balanced on one leg. If you can’t hold that flamingo position for at least 20 seconds, it could indicate damage to small blood vessels in your brain even if you have no other symptoms, new research finds. That damage could put you at high risk for stroke and cognitive decline. A stroke is caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain that interrupts blood flow. …

Nuts Are Good for Us. So Why Aren’t We Eating More of Them?

Nuts, if you eat them in moderation, are full of healthy nutrients for your heart and may even help you ward off other diseases like cancer. So why do only 4 in 10 of Americans eat them on any given day — and a measly 1 in 10 eat them daily? Back in 2010, new federal nutrition guidelines recommended eating nuts as an additional source of protein and nutrients. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided to take …

Breast Cancer Patients Get Longer Radiation Than Necessary

Women 50 or older who have lumpectomies for small breast tumors are being given follow-up radiation treatment that lasts nearly twice as long as guidelines recommend, new research finds. Even more disturbing, the decision to stick with the longer, more expensive treatment may be because it’s more profitable for radiation-treatment centers, a study coauthor contends. Radiation, which is standard treatment after surgery for early-stage breast cancer tumors, is used to kill any cancer cells remaining after surgery. It usually involves …

So Why Are Waiting Room Magazines So Old?

Ever wonder why the magazines in your doctor’s waiting room are so out of date? One office I was in had a Golf Digest from 2012. Are our docs just trying to bore us to death? Do they put out only old magazines and keep the new ones for themselves? Or is something else going on? New Zealand doctor Bruce Arroll kept getting complaints about the magazines in his general practice office, so he and a colleague decided to find …