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Older adults more likely to have multiple health ailments than prior generations

"Later-born generations of older adults in the United States are more likely to have a greater number of chronic health conditions than the generations that preceded them, according to a study conducted by Penn State and Texas State University."

Posture assessed in health exam detects cognitive decline

"A mass survey of citizens aged 50 to 89 years examined whether cognitive decline could be detected by sagittal spinal balance measurement based on a radiological approach. Doctors from Shinshu University observed associations of sagittal vertical axis (SVA) anteriorization and higher age with lower cognitive function. The sagittal vertical axis is the length of a horizontal line connecting the posterior superior sacral end plate to a vertical plumbline dropped from the centroid of the C7 vertebral body (Photo 1). The more the head and neck protrude in front of the pelvis when viewed from the side, (the greater the length) the more likely subjects are to show symptoms of mild cognitive decline. In males, the SVA was associated with cognitive decline independently of age. In females, cognitive decline was more likely in cases of SVA that is equal or greater than 70mm regardless of age."

Too much self-confidence can endanger health

"Older people who overestimate their health go to the doctor less often. This can have serious consequences for their health, for example, when illnesses are detected too late. By contrast, people who think they are sicker than they actually are visit the doctor more often. This is what a new study by Sonja Spitzer from the Institute for Demography at the University of Vienna and Mujaheed Shaikh from the Hertie School in Berlin found based on data from over 80,000 Europeans aged 50 and older. The results were published in The Journal of the Economics of Aging."

[OLDER AND BETTER] In the US, happiness increases with age

"Older Americans are not only the happiest adult Americans as a whole, but also consider themselves healthier and more financially secure than those in their 40s and 50s, according to a new study published in AARP Bulletin. The Second Half of Life Study, conducted with National Geographic, was derived from findings of a 15-minute survey of 2,580 US adults ages 18-90. Overall, results indicated that older adults recognize the challenges of growing older but worry about them less as the years pass. "

[TRICK FOR A TREAT] Chopstick technology boosts salty taste of low-sodium food

"Something to look forward to? Researchers in Japan have developed an electrical stimulation waveform and chopstick device that enhances the taste of low-sodium foods. In clinical trials with people who follow a low-sodium diet, the use of the chopstick device enhanced the salty taste perceived when eating low-sodium foods by about 1.5 times. "

[DON'T GULP IT DOWN] FDA launches dietary supplement education effort

"The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently launched an initiative, “Supplement Your Knowledge,” to help educate, inform, and broaden consumer, educator and healthcare professional understanding of dietary supplements. More than half of all Americans take dietary supplements daily or on occasion. The initiative's resources provide reliable information about the potential benefits and risks associated with dietary supplements, such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs, they may consume."

[POSITIVE THINKING = LONG LIFE] Optimism tied to living 90 across racial/ethnic groups

"Higher levels of optimism were associated with longer lifespan and living beyond age 90 among women across racial and ethnic groups in a study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health."

[PAY IT FORWARD?] Some volunteer activities don't yield life satisfaction

"Recent research from Mather Institute explores the extent to which volunteerism impacts life satisfaction. A survey of approximately 400 participants ages 55 and above asked about their volunteer activities, including fundraising, tutoring, helping friends or neighbors, and more. Findings reveal that some activities are associated with greater life satisfaction—and those activities are not the most popular forms of volunteering."

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