Health News for Seniors
Women often have Undiagnosed Heart Disease
Important new research from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's
WISE study (for Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation) has shown that women frequently
have the pain that is associated with blocked arteries, but that testing-called
angiography-reveals no blockage. These women are not treated as being at risk
of heart attack.
But the truth for many of these women is that cholesterol is building up in
very small arteries of the heart, causing narrowing, reduced oxygen flow to
the heart and pain that can be similar to that of people with blocked arteries.
But the plaque does not show up when doctors use standard tests.
WISE investigators found that the majority of women with "clear" angiography
who are not diagnosed will continue to have symptoms, a declining quality of
life and repeated hospitalizations and tests. These women need to get treatment
for their condition.
If you have experienced something similar-going to the doctor because of chest
pain only to find out that tests do not reveal a problem, it might be time to
talk about the WISE study results with you doctor.
Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 31 January 2006
Have You had a Bone Density Screening Lately?
New research shows that women who are most likely to suffer from a hip fracture
are least likely to have a bone density test that can show whether they have
osteoporosis. The study showed that the older women are, the less likely they
are to have the test.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes your body to break down bone faster than
you can replace it. Of women aged 65 to 74, 19 percent have osteoporosis. In
the 75 to 84 age group, 32.5 percent have the condition. And about 50 percent
of women 85 and older have it.
If you have not had a bone density test, talk with your doctor. The test is
covered by Medicare. If results show that osteoporosis is present, there are
medications that can slow down its progression.
Journal of the American Geriatric Association, March 2006