Among Older African Americans, Depression Continues to Be Under-Detected and Undertreated

The good news is that appropriate treatment can help most older adults with depression. What’s more, Medicare has recently improved its coverage for people with mental disorders. It now covers a free annual depression screening, and beneficiaries no longer have to pay more for outpatient treatment of mental illnesses than they do for physical illnesses. In addition, Medicare’s prescription drug benefit covers essentially all antidepressants used to treat people with depression. Older African Americans’ Depression Is More Likely to Go …

Hearing Loss Solutions Need More Technology, Federal Support

With only a fraction of the estimated 30 million older Americans with age-related hearing loss using hearing devices, “the time is ripe for a technology solution that could be helped along by federal action,” said geriatrician Christine Cassel, M.D., last week in a report on hearing issues before a government advisory council. Cassel, a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), reported her committee’s findings on how technology could help those with mild to moderate age-related …

Cancer Still Top Killer, But Death Rate Is Dropping

En español I The good news about the cancer death rate over the past 20 years is that it’s dropped 20 percent, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society. The report, published in the American Cancer Society’s journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, says the decline translates to roughly 1.3 million people who avoided dying from the disease between 1991, when the death rate hit its peak, and 2010. Much of that progress, notes the report, …

Questions Raised About Some Health Screenings

By Jenny Gold, Correspondent, Kaiser Health News This KHN story was produced in collaboration with National Public Radio. Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield, Va., is unusually busy for a Thursday morning. It’s not a typical time for worship, but parishioner Stacy Riggs and her husband have come for something a little different: a medical screening. “I’m getting ready to turn 50 sooner than I’d like to say, and just thought it was a good time to get an overall …

Headed to the Airport? The TSA May Have a Gift for You

“You’ve won the lottery today!” a TSA staffer exclaimed to a couple about to board their plane in Portland, Ore., last weekend, as he ushered them to a special, less-invasive screening line. For those who dread fumbling with their jackets, belts and shoes or can’t seem to remember where, exactly, that bag with the 3 oz. liquids is packed, any sensible relaxation of security procedures is certainly an early gift. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter Elsewhere, the chance …

Mammogram Advice: Older Women Aren’t Convinced

More than three years after a federally appointed panel of experts said most women don’t need annual mammograms, a new study of mammogram rates shows that older women have pretty much ignored the advice. According to an analysis of data from nearly 28,000 women, women over 40 continue to get the yearly screening, apparently unconvinced they should do it less often. In fact, mammogram rates slightly increased overall, from 51.9 percent in 2008 to 53.6 percent in 2011, even though …