Homeless Americans have a life expectancy of only around 50, and often use the ER for primary care at a huge cost. The lack of follow-up care for their illnesses and the mental health or substance abuse disorders common in this population add up to an enormous health burden. Experts discuss how doctors on the street can improve health for the homeless and lower cost for society.
Dr. Jim Withers, Medical Director and Founder, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System Operation Safety Net and the Street Medicine Institute
Dr. Jim O’Connell, President, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program and author, Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor
If dementia is recognized early, medication and coping strategies are very beneficial. However, dementia is often undiagnosed and untreated until it is far along. A newly developed online test can help assess if someone has mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to dementia.
Dr. Douglas Scharre, Director, Division of Cognitive Neurology, Ohio State University
Are you worried about developing dementia? Well, lowering your blood pressure can cut the risk of memory decline. A SPRINT MIND study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference shows aggressively lowering blood pressure significantly reduces the risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia among hypertension patients. Results also show significant cardiovascular benefits in people whose systolic blood pleasure was lowered aggressively to below 120. Experts suggest seeing your doctor and knowing your numbers.
Osteoporosis is responsible for as many as half of all fractures in women and one in four in men over the age of 50…but a new test could give people decades of warning. A study in the journal PLOS ONE describes a new genetic screening test that may predict a person’s future risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture. That would allow people to take vitamin D, calcium and participate in weight-bearing exercise to stave off later ill effects.
And finally…friendship might be priceless…but is it timeless? A new study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships shows it takes more than 200 hours of togetherness before someone can be considered a close friend. But experts say it’s worth it. They say time and activity shared are strategic investments toward sustaining our belongingness needs.