Entries in Middle Age (4)


Depression May Increase Stroke Risk in Middle-Aged Women

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Many people suffer from depression as a complication after suffering a stroke, however, a new study shows that depression may be a risk factor for future strokes.

Researchers studied women born between 1946 and 1961, surveying the participants every three years between 1988 and 2010. Women were asked to self-report their depression, medication use and diagnosis or treatment. They also self-reported any stroke they may have suffered. Additionally, stroke deaths were identified using a national database.

Over 10,000 women participated in the survey, the results of which were published in the journal Stroke.

The data determined that women who were depressed were more than twice as likely to suffer a stroke than those who were not depressed.

The researchers believe that improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of depression could play a role in limiting stroke risk later in life.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Getting Fit in Middle Age Helps Lower Risk of Heart Failure

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Contrary to popular belief, middle age is not too late to start getting fit, says new medical research.

According to HealthDay News, the research not only shows that fitness is an important factor in terms of limiting risk of heart failure, but also that people who improve their fitness -- even in middle age -- diminish their risk of heart failure in the future.

The results of the study were presented on Wednesday at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Baltimore.

Heart failure is the most common reason that older adults are hospitalized, according to the American Heart Association, and as many as five million Americans currently have heart disease. Dr. Gregg Fonarow, director of the Cardiomyopathy Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, told HealthDay News that nearly 20 percent of American adults will develop heart failure in their lifetime.

Fonarow did say, however, that "heart failure is preventable by maintaining cardiovascular health and control of heart failure risk factors."

The study analyzed the fitness levels of over 9,000 middle-aged adults, who were tested twice each -- 8 years apart. According to HealthDay News, those people who were not physically fit at the beginning of the study had a higher risk of heart failure later in life. However, those who improved their fitness level had a lower risk of heart failure than those whose fitness remained poor.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


‘Happiest Woman’ Succeeds in Finding Work-Life Balance

Courtesy Mary Claire Orenic(NEW YORK) -- Mary Claire Orenic of California may just be “the happiest woman in America,” according to USA Today.

At 50 years old, Orenic is a senior manager at a global company.  She has a husband she adores and a son on his way to college.  She might put in 45 to 60 hours at her job during the week but unwinds at the beach on the weekend.

According to experts, Orenic exemplifies a high level of well-being for women in the 45- to 55-year-old age group -- the largest demographic in the U.S. today.

Gail Sheehy, a journalist and the author of  the 1970s best-seller Passages, told ABC News that this group was in particular crisis.

“This generation of women at midlife has a lower level of well-being than any other generation,” Sheehy told ABC News.  “It’s always been that [when] women got to their 40s and 50s, they were happier than at any other time in their lives.  This generation is the most stressed and distressed.”

USA Today asked Gallup-Healthways to identify what contributed to well-being in the midlife age group.

In addition to a good marriage, a strong support network of friends and a positive attitude is important.  Gallup-Healthways found that having a career and finding a good work-life balance also helped. For the most part, Orenic has all of this.

Pollsters said that many women at this midlife stage still worked full-time. Orenic said she had no plans to slow down.

“I need that fulfillment,” she said. “I’ve always worked.  I’ve usually worked 40 hours. I think I’ll do that when I retire.”

Gallup-Healthways’ data also found that having a flexible work schedule and a short commute was also important for happiness in  the 45-55 age group.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Midlife Obesity Linked to Later Dementia, Researchers Find

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(STOCKHOLM, Sweden) -- A new Swedish study, published in Neurology, reports that being overweight or obese during middle age may increase the risk of certain dementias.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found that people who are overweight at midlife had more than 70 percent greater odds of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, in late life compared with people of normal weight.  Being obese -- or having a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 30 -- increased the risk nearly fourfold. 

These findings are not too surprising however, since obesity has been linked to multiple health conditions, including dementia.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio