Illness Rises Among American Adults

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Almost half of middle aged Americans suffer from one or more chronic illnesses.

Living longer with chronic illness is possible with better medical care and pharmaceuticals, however, disease prevention is the real goal.

The increases were due mainly to rises in three conditions: hypertension, diabetes and cancer, according to the report. These increases may be due to more new cases, or due to people living longer with the conditions because of advances in medical treatments.

The report also said that middle-aged adults with at least two chronic conditions had increasing difficulty, between 2000 and 2010, in getting the care and prescription drugs they needed because of cost. In 2010, 23 percent reported not receiving or delaying the medical care they needed, and 22 percent said they didn’t get the prescriptions they needed. In 2000, these rates were 17 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

CDC Suggests Hepatitis C Testing For Baby Boomers

Baby boomers should be tested for hepatitis C because of the inherent risk factors of the disease.

Hepatitis C can damage the liver, often without being symptomatic.

The virus is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants and potentially 800,000 people do not know that they have it.

And a recent analysis by the CDC found that more people in the U.S. die from hepatitis C than HIV/AIDS.

The current guidelines call for testing when someone has known risk factors.

Such as? Blood transfusions or organ transplants before 1992 (when effective screening for hepatitis C virus became common), or recreational injection of drugs — even once — could have led to a liver infection that has gone undetected all these years.

just being a baby boomer is risk factor enough, the CDC has concluded. “Baby boomers are five times more likely than other American adults to be infected with the disease,” the CDC says. “In fact, more than 75 percent of American adults with hepatitis C are baby boomers.” Infection rates were highest in the ’70s and ’80s.

Hepatitis C is highly treatable so being tested is important.

Baby Boomers Need to Know These 8 Things About Medicare

There are 8 important things that Baby Boomers need to know about health care.

As those aged 65 transition into the medicare system there may be overlap with employee benefits.

Make sure you know what’s available, what you need to pay for, and what works best for you.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that 52 percent more folks are working beyond their sixty-fifth birthday than there were ten years ago. Recognizing this trend, more corporations are trying to integrate Medicare into their coverage options. Each company seems to have their own way of dealing with the trend and how it impacts company-provided health insurance coverage.

To that end, each employee needs to discover the coverage their employer offers at age 65. With some government and civil service jobs, free health care insurance continues from the date of retirement until death. Many companies also contribute to or pay their retirees’ health care premiums in full. Kaiser Family Foundation says that percentage dropped to 28 percent in 2010 from 40 percent in 1995. In some instances, the employee is covered mostly by Medicare. Other folks are covered primarily by their employer. Further complicating the issue are family members.

Aging Boomers Redesign Homes of the Future

Baby boomers housing issues is a growing topic as the population ages and needs change.

“Unassisted Living: Ageless Homes for Later Life” (the Monacelli Press; $45) written by Wid Chapman and Jeffrey P. Rosenfeld not only offers ideas but designs as well.

Read the whole interview here.

The 72 million American baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are turning 65 at the rate of roughly 10,000 a day, and many are considering not just how to age (with or without annuities? soy sauce? crow’s feet?), but also where. Wid Chapman, an architect, and Jeffrey P. Rosenfeld, a gerontologist who specializes in the relationship between aging and the built environment, collected 33 examples of residences that have been recently designed to bridge the distance between one’s vital and declining years.

The Mental State of America

1 in 5 American adults is on some kind of mood altering drug.

Antidepressants are the psychiatric medications used to treat mood disorders that are defined by having depressive symptoms.

The most widely used antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of drugs that includes medications such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline) and Lexapro (escitalopram). Less used, but a popular alternative to SSRIs are serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs); some of the commonly used medications in this drug class include Effexor (venlafaxine) and Cymbalta (duloxetine).

Women 45 and older are the most frequent users of anti-depressants.

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