One of my patients came to see me today with severe right knee pain. This is not a new problem, and in fact, we have been dealing with flare ups of her osteoarthritis for years. It mainly affects her knees and hands and today her right knee was swollen and felt like the “bone was rubbing together” with each step. She could hardly walk because of the pain.
Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis and it is one of the most common maladies of aging joints, affecting millions of people. The cartilage in joints wears down and inflammation causes the bones to build up spurs and small micro tears. It affects women more than men and the cause is unknown. There are likely genetic factors as it tends to run in families. Arthritis can occur in any joint but the most common are the fingers, wrists, hips, neck and spine and knees. Stiffness (especially in the morning) and pain are the main symptoms that limit mobility.
You can see Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
It’s more than just a few flecks. President Barack Obama, who turned 50 in August, is definitely going gray. He’s said the color change runs in his family and has mentioned a grandfather who turned gray at 29.
But others see it as a sign that the presidency is taking a toll on Obama, as it has other on presidents. Dr. Michael Roizen, of RealAge.com fame, says presidents age twice as fast as normal when they’re in office. The main cause, he says, is “unrequited stress—they don’t have enough friends to mitigate the stress,” which brings to mind the line commonly attributed to Harry Truman: if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.
Accelerated presidential aging? Not so.
The only problem with this notion of accelerated presidential aging is that it just ain’t so, according to S. Jay Olshansky, a professor at theUniversity ofIllinois at Chicago and a longevity expert. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*
The idea that the eyes are a window to the soul traces back through history in many forms, but the idea that the eyes might reveal medical secrets didn’t fall far behind the metaphor.
The clues lie on the retina, which reflects the same microvascular changes that might be seen elsewhere in the body from cardiovascular changes and other diseases. The question now is how to associate retinal changes to specific diseases.
To assess potential associations between retinal microvascular changes with disability in performing activities of daily living, researchers conducted a prospective cohort study of 1,487 community-dwelling, disability-free participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study.
The main outcome measure was Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
Monday’s New York Times tweeted a headline – “Never Too Old for Plastic Surgery” – about this story.
While I’m very happy for the 83-year old woman in the piece for her happiness over her “new” $8,000 breasts, the piece was framed like an expensive billboard for plastic surgeons – only it didn’t cost them anything. The Times gave away the advertising space.
The story states:
“There are as many reasons for getting plastic surgery as there are older patients, experts say”…and…”some are simply sick of slackened jowls, jiggly underarms and saggy eyelids.”
There are a few other perspectives in the middle of the piece:
“Some critics question whether the benefits are worth the risks, which may be underestimated.”
But it is often how you END a piece that determines readers’ takeaway messages – and it is often also a sign of the message the journalist really wanted to convey. And this one concludes with a Harvard prof’s comment: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*