Aging

A new article reports that listening to religious music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and increases in life satisfaction, self-esteem, and sense of control over their lives among older Christians. 

The associations are similar for blacks and whites, women and men, and individuals of both low- and high-socioeconomic status.


Nutrionists writing in Ageing Research Reviews have coined a new syndrome called "osteosarcopenic obesity" - they say they have linked the deterioration of bone density and muscle mass with obesity. it explains how many obese individuals experience a triad of problems that place them at a higher risk for falling and breaking bones, they note. 

Nutrition professor Jasminka Ilich-Ernst of Florida State University began looking at the connections between bone, muscle and fat mass a few years ago, believing that most scientists were examining bone issues without taking into consideration muscle mass and strength, let alone fat tissue.


Women going through menopause most likely think of it as the time for an end to monthly periods - and it will be, but not without some false alarms. Researchers at the University of Michigan say it's normal for the majority of women to experience an increase in the amount and duration of bleeding episodes, which may occur at various times throughout the menopausal transition.

The scholars offer the first long-term study of bleeding patterns in women of multiple race/ethnicities who were going through menopause. They say the results could impact patient care and alleviate undue concern about what to expect during this life stage that can last anywhere from 2-to-10 years.


If you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new paper.

Simon Fraser University doctoral student Joe Thompson, associate professor Mark Blair, Thompson's thesis supervisor, and Andrew Henrey, a statistics and actuarial science doctoral student say this in one of the first social science experiments to rest on big data and they tested when we start to experience an age-related decline in our cognitive motor skills and how we compensate for that by analyzing the digital performance records of 3,305 StarCraft 2 players, aged 16 to 44. StarCraft 2 is a competitive intergalactic computer war game that players sometimes play for money. 


Older people without dementia but who are starting to have memory and thinking problems may have a lower risk of dying from cancer, according to a paper in Neurology. People with dementia are less likely to develop cancer also.

The study involved 2,627 people age 65 and older in Spain who did not have dementia at the start of the study. They took tests of memory and thinking skills at the start of the study and again three years later, and were followed for an average of almost 13 years. The participants were divided into three groups: those whose scores on the thinking tests were declining the fastest, those whose scores improved on the tests, and those in the middle.


The British government is putting pressure on commissioners, and in turn general practitioners, to make more diagnoses of dementia and that is leading to concern in a BMJ editorial.


Drinking two or more diet drinks a day may increase the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke in otherwise healthy postmenopausal women, according to findings presented yesterday at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington, D.C.

The population analysis looked at diet drink intake and cardiovascular health in almost 60,000 women participating in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study and found that, compared to women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks, those who consume two or more a day are 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease.

If two curves go up, someone is going to imply causality.

A new paper has found that the chemical citrate – a by-product of natural cell metabolism – is mixed with water to create a viscous fluid that is trapped between the nano-scale crystals that form our bones. This fluid allows enough movement, or 'slip', between these crystals so that bones are flexible, and don't shatter under pressure. It is the inbuilt shock absorber in bone that, until now, was unknown.

If citrate leaks out, the crystals – made of calcium phosphate – fuse together into bigger and bigger clumps that become inflexible, increasingly brittle and more likely to shatter. This could be the root cause of osteoporosis.


Extending national breast cancer screening programs to women over the age of 70 does not decrease cancers detected at advanced stages, according to new research at the European Breast Cancer Conference.

Instead, extending screening programs to older women results in a large proportion of women being over-treated, and at risk from the harmful effects of such treatment, because these women were more likely to die from other causes than from any tumors detected in the early stages of growth.


There has long been a hypothesis that a starvation diet can extend lifespan.

The only way it was really shown was by weaning mice on such a diet - and that isn't really ethical for human babies. And it doesn't work in the wild, because dietary restriction compromises the immune system’s ability to fight off disease and reduces the muscle strength necessary to flee a predator. Most animals don't live long enough to catch 'old age' diseases like cancer and the late-life pathologies that humans do.