Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Your real age?

In our book we strongly suggest that you to to the Real Age website to compare your actual age with your 'real age' based on your lifestyle. I was presently surprised when I did it. I was reminded of this when seeing a Daily Mail article recently which offered a similar self assessment. You are asked to assess your brain, skin, muscles, eye, ears, lungs, teeth, heart and liver and then you get a reading. Not sure of the science behind this but it was educational to do it. The Real Age one is still the best test around.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Older drivers safest in icy weather

Another plus of being 50+!

Insurance claims by over 50s drivers are actually DOWN 17% this December, compared with the same time last year, Saga Motor Insurance can reveal.
It seems that older motorists are heeding the warnings to stay off the roads in bad weather.  As AA statistics show that motorists in general are making twice as many claims as normal due to the bad weather, this must be younger drivers, because Saga's experience shows that older motorists are having fewer accidents this year.
Saga Director-General Ros Altmann commented: "It is really encouraging that older motorists are using their experience and planning around the bad weather to ensure they are not out on the roads in the ice and snow."

Monday, 13 December 2010

Quarter of over 50s 'cheat on their partner'

In addition a sixth of them never use contraception when embarking on a new relationship, the highest of any age group, found the poll.
One in three 51 to 55-year-olds said they had "slept around" and had an unprotected one-night stand, while one in four admitted to having more than one ongoing sexual relationship.
The poll of 3,000 people, commissioned by The Co-operative Pharmacy, found that today's young people are less promiscuous than their elders were at the same age.
A fifth of teenagers over 16 delayed having their first sexual encounter until the legal age of consent, the survey found, compared to only one in 20 of those now aged 20 or older.
Lisa McCreesh, a pharmacist for The Co-operative Pharmacy, said: "Our research challenges the belief that teenagers are more promiscuous than older generations.
"They unfairly get a bad name, while those in their fifties, who grew up in the sixties and seventies, are living up to the era’s care free image as they take greater risks with their sexual health."
Natika Halil, director of information at FPA, the sexual health charity, said: "The message is the same for teenagers as well as people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s – don’t take a risk with your sexual health over the festive period. There is only one protection against most STIs – wearing a condom."

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Another reason for living to be a 100

Advances in medical science have extended not only human life spans, but virility during the course of those longer lives.
That fact has been accompanied by a growing body of research into the sexuality of people who have passed what is to be considered retirement age. Now, a new Australian study shows that both sexual activity and a desire for sex remain a consideration for men who are approaching the century mark.
"Although many people, including some doctors, believe that sexuality isn't important to older people, our study shows that this is not the case. Even in the tenth decade of life, 1 in 5 men still considered sex important," said study researcher Zoe Hyde, a doctoral researcher with the Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing at the University of Western Australia. "However, some common medical problems are barriers to older people remaining sexually active," Hyde said.
The Australian study comes after studies in the United States and Sweden have shown that many or most people in their 70s lead active sex lives, and have found high levels of sexual satisfaction among this group, sometimes even exceeding that of their younger years.

The new study looked at nearly 2,800 men between the ages of 75 and 95. While sexual activity and the desire for sex was lower than in studies of younger adults, it remained significant. Nearly a third of the men surveyed had had sex in the past year, and just under half considered sex to be "at least somewhat important."
Of those who were still sexually active, more than forty percent wished to have more, but were blocked, often by their own health problems or their partners' problems, including conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, prostate cancer or other physical limitations.
Men who wish to be sexually active late in life can take some preventative steps in their younger years, Hyde said.
"Chronic disease, such as diabetes, appears to be the main reason that older men cease being sexually active," she told MyHealthNewsDaily. "If men want to remain sexually active as they age, the best thing they can do is get sufficient physical activity, eat a healthy and nutritious diet and stop smoking."
Hyde said the study has also highlighted other things that may help people who are older stay sexually active if they wish.
"It was interesting that testosterone levels were still associated with sexual activity, after we controlled for medical problems and social factors," she said. "This suggests that testosterone deficiency could possibly cause problems for some men, so this is an area that clinical trials of testosterone therapy should look at."
Testosterone therapy has been advocated to stop age-related decline in men, but it remains controversial because of a lack of data on its risks and benefits.
"It would be premature to suggest testosterone therapy to improve sexual interest and activity at this stage," Hyde said. "We need further studies to properly explore the risks of therapy as well as the possible benefits."
The study did hold some caveats. The authors noted that the men in the study lived in the community, and may not represent the population of men in that age range as a whole, some of whom live in assisted-living facilities.
But researchers also noted that some men might have been reluctant to be more honest in their responses because "sexuality can be a sensitive topic."
Judith Kuriansky, a clinical psychologist and adjunct faculty member of Columbia University Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry, said the new study is not surprising in light of research from other countries.
"Men who are over 75 are not over the hill anymore," Kuriansky said.
Because there are more women than men who live to that age, "They, I'm sure, have lots of partners to choose from," she said, adding that "with all these medications that are available, they can still perform longer."

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Watch out for those croissants and toast...

Josephine Forbes of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute conducted a study on how many common foods – toast and croissants included-can produce chemicals now suspected of fast-tracking ageing and chronic disease.
Named Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs), these chemicals turn up in foods ranging from hash browns to cola drinks and coffee.
Forbes and researchers overseas have suggested that too many AGEs building up in the body can contribute to heart disease and diabetes – and the wrinkling and pigmentation that goes with ageing skin.
The foods producing the most AGEs tend to be processed foods high in sugar or fat, especially animal fat, that are then grilled, baked or fried at high temperatures, often until they’re crispy and golden, said Forbes.
“The more a food has sugar added to it and the more it’s processed, the more AGEs it usually produces. Baked, crunchy breakfast cereals and toasted mueslis also produce AGEs, but raw oats and porridge are fine,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted her as saying.
It seems that once you start mucking around with food the more AGEs it produces – there aren’t many foods in their natural state that produce AGEs,” she added.
We can accumulate too many AGEs in two ways. One is from some foods; the other is when blood sugar levels are too high, as with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Although research into AGEs’ effects is still in the early stages, studies have suggested they can harm the immune system and contribute to hardened arteries and problems with kidney function.
They can age skin by attacking collagen and promote arthritis by damaging the joints.

And 'yes' I did have croissants for breakfast this morning!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Is this the end of ageing? How we can hold back the years?

This is the title of a wide ranging article in the Mail online by Alice Smellie who discusses the ongoing research by the Institute of Ageing at Newcastle University and recent studies by the Universities of Durham and Oxford. Read it!