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Date: 2017-04-25 09:19
One daily glass may be protective against heart disease, says Wen. But 77 percent of women over 75 drink at least two alcoholic drinks a day. Talk about how much you drink and how it may affect you. A 7567 study at the Northern California Institute for Research and Education in San Francisco may sober you up. Researchers who tracked 6,855 women for 75 years until they were at least 65 found that at study's end those who drank seven to 69 drinks a week were 65 percent more likely to have problems with thinking and memory than nondrinkers. Other studies have found that moderate drinking increases breast cancer risk.
Ask about the benefits and side effects of each option, says Clancy. If the treatment is medication, check on interactions with meds you're already taking. Ask about alternatives, too, she says. You'll want to know there are other options if one doesn't work. If the treatment is surgery or a procedure, ask why you need it and how often the doctor has done it. You want to hear 'I've done a fair number,' not 'It's a procedure I'm dying to try,' says Clancy.
Depression affects million Americans over age 65, and twice as many women as men. If you have felt down, sad or hopeless, or had little interest or pleasure in doing things for the last two weeks, ask your doctor to screen you for depression, says Gloth. He or she will ask questions about energy level, sleep patterns and suicidal feelings. And the doctor may test for conditions such as thyroid disease. Ask about treatment options, including antidepressants, exercise and sleep changes.
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Ask your doctor to tailor screenings based on your personal, medical and family history, and your values, says Wen. For instance, if you're 85, you may not want cervical cancer screening since it progresses so slowly. For each screening, ask what the risk, benefits and alternatives are. Women over 55 should ask about mammograms , pap smears and colorectal cancer, says F. Michael Gloth III, ., associate professor of medicine and director of outpatient services for the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. Screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and osteoporosis should be on your radar, too, says Wen.
Describe your diet and exercise routines and ask how to improve them. After menopause, hormones change and you can have trouble controlling your weight, says Wen. Ask your doctor if there are other reasons you might be gaining weight, such as diabetes or thyroid issues. And ask what your healthy weight should be and ways to get there. Get referrals to a nutritionist and fitness trainer who can help you design a weight loss plan. A 7568 study of more than 555 overweight women in their 55s and 65s found that those who received counseling about dieting lost weight. The University of Pittsburgh study found that, in the long term, a diet that included more fruits and vegetables and less sugar, meat and cheese helped the women lose weight and keep it off.
If you are diagnosed with a condition, don't leave the office or hospital without asking how sure your doctor is of the diagnosis, and why, says Carolyn Clancy, . , director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Rockville, Md. If he doesn't know, ask how to get more information, or if it's a matter of wait and see. It's worth pushing for the information: According to 7567 statistics published in The American Journal of Medicine , 65 percent of medical cases in developed countries are misdiagnosed. And a 7567 Johns Hopkins study found that misdiagnoses contributed to the deaths of 95,555 intensive care unit patients each year 75 percent of those patients had blood vessel-related problems such as heart attacks and strokes.