Our bones are constantly being broken down and rebuilt. This process is called remodeling. As we age, in many people, the rate of bone breakdown eventually exceeds the rate of bone creation. This causes a condition called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition with severely low bone mineral density (BMD). People with osteoporosis are much more likely to have bone fractures, especially after a trauma like a fall. The two most common osteoporosis-related fractures are hip fractures and spinal compression fractures. Spinal compression fractures cause back pain that may last for months and, if multiple spinal fractures occur, may lead to curvature of the spine which causes a stooped posture. Hip fractures may lead to lifelong problems such

It has long been known that psychiatric reactions to life’s stresses are common and can lead to immune system dysfunctions. Recently, the results of a study done in Scandinavia were published. The study looked at whether there was an association between stress-related disorders and autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases, much more common in women as opposed to men, cause the immune system to make antibodies that attack the body’s organs. The reasons for this are not well understood. The

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common and complex disease. It is caused by a genetic mutation. Since the genetic inheritance of this disease was first discovered in 1960, more than 1,400 mutations associated with the disease have been discovered, making it now the most common inherited cardiovascular disease. It is estimated to affect one in every 200 people, or half a percent of the population. It is found in all ethnic groups. Most people who have it are not aware of its presence, but

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a quasi-governmental group that makes recommendations to clinicians regarding screening for certain diseases. I have previously written about their recommendations for screening men for prostate cancer. Recently their recommendations changed somewhat so I thought it would be a good idea to update you. In the U.S., the lifetime risk of a man being diagnosed with prostate cancer is about 13 percent and the lifetime risk of dying from it

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common adult leukemia in the Western world. It accounts for almost 25 percent of all leukemias and 1.3 percent of all cancers in adults. It primarily affects older individuals with more than 70 percent of patients being over 65 years of age. It affects males and whites more than females and those of other races. It is less common in Asian people and more common in Ashkenazi Jews. There is a genetic component, plus it is more common among patients

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related morbidity and mortality among older adults in the United States. A study done in 2014 showed that more than 28 percent of adults over the age of 65, who lived in the community (not institutionalized), reported falling which resulted in 29 million falls (37.5 percent of which needed medical treatment or restricted activity for a day or longer) and an estimated 33,000 deaths in 2015. Effective primary care interventions to prevent falls use various

More people than ever take fish oil dietary supplements – around eight percent in 2012 compared to five percent five years earlier, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Advice from the American Heart Association (AHA), including a 2017 science advisory recommendation, is to consider fish oil supplementation for patients with a recent myocardial infarction, or heart attack. Unfortunately, a recent analysis of 10 large clinical trials came to the disappointing conclusion that

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