Facts for baby boomers.
If you’ve fractured or broken a bone recently, ask your doctor to check for osteoporosis. A new study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery shows that women older than 50 who had wrist fractures were less likely to have bone mineral testing and treatment for osteoporosis than women who had a break in their hip or their spine. So no matter the severity of your bone injury, make sure you get evaluated for osteoporosis.
Raise your good cholesterol with food
Australian scientists found that munching on walnuts raises your level of good cholesterol. A group of people with diabetes ate a handful of walnuts, and they had higher good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol levels after one year.
Nearly 4 million elderly people — or 10 percent — were below the poverty level in 2008, according to the Administration on Aging. Another 2.4 million were classified as near poor. One out of every 14 elderly whites — 8 percent — was poor in 2008, and 20 percent of elderly blacks, 11 percent of Asians and 19 percent of Hispanics were poor.
The annual median income of veterans in 2008 inflation-adjusted dollars is $36,779, according to a U.S. Census Bureau survey.
There’s a high incidence of hypertension in people older than 65, according to a 2009 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sixty-four percent of men age 65 to 74 had hypertension, and 71 percent of women in that age group have it. Sixty-five percent of men and 80 percent of women older than 75 have hypertension. Lifestyle changes can help keep blood pressure low; contact your doctor for details.
Numbers to know
30: Greek scientists found that people who watched comedy for 30 minutes temporarily improved the flexibility of their coronary arteries. That’s because laughing reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which is responsible for the stiffening of arteries and hampering of blood flow.
82/85: There are 38 million people older than 65 in the United States, and they have a very good chance of living a whole lot longer. The average life expectancy for men who are currently 65 is 82, and the life expectancy of women currently 65 is 85, according to a 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
$239,400: The median net worth for families whose head of household was between 65 and 74 years old in 2007 was $239,400, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median net worth for all families regardless of age was only $120,300.
17: Seventeen percent of older people who were living alone in 2008 were poor, compared with only 3 percent of older people who were poor and living with families. The highest poverty rates were among Hispanic women living alone. Forty-three percent were living in poverty, followed by 35 percent of black women who were living alone in poverty, according to the Administration on Aging.