Posted: October 11, 2019, 8:45 am
Background: Studies show that regular moderate to vigorous physical activity is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and premature death, but few studies have examined associations of light-intensity physical activity (LPA) and mortality, especially among older adults. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the association of LPA with the risks of death from all causes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases among older adults in the Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort (CPS-II NC). Methods: Analyses included 123,232 participants in CPS-II NC, among whom 46,829 died during follow-up (1993–2014). Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for self-reported leisure time LPA associated with mortality. Results: Engaging in little or no LPA (#x3c;3 metabolic equivalent [MET]-h/week) was associated with a 16% higher risk of all-cause mortality (HR 1.16, 95% CI 1.12–1.20) compared to engaging in some LPA (3 to #x3c;9 MET-h/week) after adjusting for moderate to vigorous physical activity. However, there was no evidence of a dose-response relationship. A statistically significant interaction with age suggested that more LPA was associated with a lower risk of respiratory disease mortality only among participants aged ≥70 years (21+ vs. 3 to #x3c;9 MET-h/week, HR 0.78, 95% CI 0.66–0.91; pint = 0.003). Conclusions: In this prospective study of older adults, accumulating little/no leisure time LPA was associated with a higher risk of mortality. It is of substantial public health value to demonstrate the potential benefits of engaging in any activity, even if light in intensity, among older adults given the aging US population.
Posted: October 10, 2019, 8:13 am
Aging results for the immune system in a departure from the optimal homeostatic state seen in young organisms. This divergence regrettably contributes to a higher frequency of compromised responses to infections and inefficient classical vaccination in aged populations. In B cells, the cornerstone of humoral immunity, the development and distribution of the various mature B cell subsets are impacted by aging in both humans and mice. In addition, aged mature B cells demonstrate limited capacity to mount efficient antibody responses. An expected culprit for the decline in effective immunity is the rise of the systemic levels of pro-inflammatory molecules during aging, establishing a chronic low-grade inflammation. Indeed, numerous alterations affecting directly or indirectly B cells in old people and mice are reminiscent of various effects of acute inflammation on this cell type in young adults. The present mini-review will highlight the possible adverse contributions of the persistent low-level inflammation observed in susceptible older organisms to the inadequate B-cell physiology.
Posted: September 25, 2019, 7:41 am
Background: Reduced engagement with habitual activity (HA) is associated with greater risk and progression of cognitive decline and falls in older adults and people with dementia. Understanding external and intrinsic factors that affect HA may provide novel targets for non-pharmacologic interventions. Objective: This study primarily aims to identify factors that influence HA in normal ageing and cognitive impairment, such as cognitive and motor problems and disease subtype. Methods: 108 older adults participated in this study; 36 with cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), 30 with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), 16 with Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), and 26 controls. A tri-axial accelerometer recorded continuous data of volume, variability, and pattern of HA over 7 days. Participants undertook a battery of cognitive and neuropsychological assessments. Results: One-way analysis of variance controlling for age and gender shows that people with DLB and PDD engage less with HA than controls (p ≤ 0.01), but there were no significant differences between AD and controls (p ≥ 0.01). Multivariate analysis demonstrated motor disease and impairments in activities of daily living (ADLs) independently explained 10–26% of volume, variability, and pattern of HA in people with cognitive impairment. Conclusion: People with cognitive impairment have reduced HA engagement compared to controls. Motor disease and impairments in ADLs most strongly contribute to these findings and may be important to consider for disease management. Wearable technology can provide a personalised picture of an individual’s daily behaviours and may be a useful tool for person-centred care.
Posted: September 18, 2019, 1:37 pm
Background: Social isolation in older adults is associated with numerous adverse health outcomes. In today’s digital society, if individuals perceive themselves to be socially isolated, they can take steps to interact with others on social media platforms. Research with younger adults indicates that social media use is positively linked to social isolation. However, less is known about social media use and social isolation in older adults. Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the possible association between social isolation and degree of social media use in older adults. Methods: Using Internet sources, we recruited 213 participants (79.8% female; mean age 62.6 years, SD 8.3) who responded to an online survey focusing on living situation, depression, social isolation, and 2 measures of social media use: estimated daily time on social media and problematic social media use. Next, using binary logistic regression, we assessed associations between social isolation and social media use. Results: Our analyses failed to identify a relationship between perceived social isolation and estimated daily time on social media; however, higher problematic social media use was associated with higher perceived social isolation (OR 1.17). Discussion and Conclusion: Although no causal attribution can be made, our findings demonstrate an association between problematic social media use and perceived social isolation in older adults. Researchers conducting social media interventions in older adults should note this potential and monitor maladaptive use of these platforms. Overall, our results provide an important starting point for future studies on social media use and social isolation in older adults.
Posted: September 13, 2019, 9:07 am
Metformin is sometimes proposed to be an “anti-aging” drug, based on preclinical experiments with lower-order organisms and numerous retrospective data on beneficial health outcomes for type 2 diabetics. Large prospective, placebo-controlled trials are planned, in pilot stage or running, to find a new use (or indication) for an aging population. As one of the metformin trials has “frailty” as its endpoint, similar to a trial with a plant-derived senolytic, the latter class of novel anti-aging drugs is briefly discussed. Concerns exist not only for vitamin B12 and B6 deficiencies, but also about whether there are adverse effects of metformin on individuals who try to remain healthy by maintaining cardiovascular fitness via exercise.
Posted: September 13, 2019, 8:59 am
Background: Elder abuse is a serious public health issue worldwide, but large-scale epidemiologic studies remain sparse. Although social factors in human relations such as social support and social isolation have been proposed as the factors related to elder abuse, cognitive social capital has not been examined. Objective: This study aims to clarify the prevalence of and the factors associated with elder abuse among independent older adults in Japan. Methods: The study design is a retrospective observational study. The data were derived from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES). These self-report data were collected from 26,229 people aged 65 years or older living in 28 municipalities in 2013. The types of elder abuse and factors associated with them were examined using logistic regression analysis. Results: The prevalence of elder abuse among the sample was 12.3% (11.1% in males and 13.3 in females). In the entire sample, physical, psychological, and financial abuses were reported to be 1.26, 11.12, and 1.45%, respectively. Factors associated with increased odds of experiencing abuse were being a woman, living with family members, having poor self-rated health, and having mild or severe depression. By contrast, age ≥85 years, being widowed, or unmarried, and having a positive view of community trust were associated with a lower risk of experiencing abuse. Conclusion: While particular demographic factors and health are associated with a greater risk of elder abuse, our findings that trust within the community lessens the risk indicates the importance of social capital. This should be taken into consideration when developing population-based strategies to prevent elder abuse.
Posted: September 12, 2019, 12:47 pm
Optimising happiness is a desirable societal aim in itself, but there are four more specific reasons why research on happiness is an important emerging theme in gerontology. First, happiness is not merely the mirror of depression, anxiety or distress, but has distinct relationships with a range of outcomes, so benefits from study in itself. Second, happiness appears to be a protective factor for morbidity and mortality; although studies are complex and take a long time to complete, there is accumulating evidence that greater happiness predicts survival among older people independently of covariates including health status and depression. Third, happiness has broad ramifications at older ages, being related to personal and social relationships, economic prosperity, biological risk factors, health behaviours, and time use as well as health. Fourth, happiness is malleable, and can potentially be modified in ways that will enhance the health and well-being of older people.
Posted: September 10, 2019, 1:50 pm
It is projected that by 2020 there will be 8.7 million veterans over the age of 65 years, more than half (64%) of whom served during the Vietnam War. The effects of military service on mental health and well-being may be more pronounced later in life among those who served in Vietnam than prior cohorts of veterans. Many veterans confront and rework their wartime memories later in life in an attempt to find meaning and coherence, engaging in a process referred to as Later-Adulthood Trauma Reengagement (LATR). LATR often occurs in the context of other stressors that are a normative part of aging, such as role transitions (e.g., retirement), declines in physical health, and the death of close others (e.g., spouses), perhaps because these events trigger reminiscence. Importantly, LATR may result in either positive (e.g., acceptance) or negative (e.g., distress) psychological outcomes. It has been suggested that the presence of social/environmental resources, including socioemotional support, may aid veterans in successfully navigating LATR. We, therefore, review relevant areas of research to delineate the role that various layers of social context may play in helping – or hindering – aging Vietnam veterans as they navigate LATR in the context of normative late-life stressors. We conclude by offering fruitful directions for future research and applied implications for intervention efforts.
Posted: September 10, 2019, 12:34 pm
Posted: September 10, 2019, 11:33 am
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