ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
CANCER
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
Chemical in Plastics May Cause Fertility Problems
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
FITNESS
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
When Clocks Change, Body May Need Time to Adjust
Tune Up Your Health With Music
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Countdown to Hair Loss
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
SENIORS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Soy May Not Lead to Denser Breasts
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Add your Article

For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little

(HealthDay News) -- The secret to a healthier retirement may be surprising: work.

Retirees who continue to work in some capacity, even part-time, are less likely to experience physical decline and disease, new U.S. research suggests.

Using data from the national Health and Retirement Study, researchers analyzed six years of information on the health, finances and employment status of over 12,000 men and women between the ages of 51 and 61 in 1992.

Compared to those who quit working altogether, those who described themselves as officially retired but who continued to work part-time or in temp jobs were less likely to be diagnosed with eight diseases: high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke, psychiatric problems and arthritis.

Those who worked at least part-time also were less likely to show signs of functional decline, or inability to perform the activities of daily living, including walking across a room, getting in and out of bed, dressing, eating and bathing.

The findings held true even after controlling for age, sex, financial status, education level and physical and mental health before retirement, according to the study in the October issue of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

"There are tons of reasons why working is good for you," said study co-author Mo Wang, an associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of Maryland. "When you work, you have a daily structure. You may do more physical activity. Working provides financial resources, social context, opportunities to interact and to learn new skills. Working can also be good for self-esteem and nurturing a sense of identity."

But having to learn too much too quickly might not be so good for your mental state. Older workers whose "bridge employment" was in their chosen field had better mental health status than those whose post-retirement work was outside their prior field.

The study found that retirees who were struggling financially were more likely to work in a different field after retirement.

"When you're working in a similar field, you don't need to adjust to it. You're familiar with the rules and the social network," Wang said. "When you're working in a field you have not worked in before, you have to adjust to a new identify, a new social environment and a new work context. You may face challenges you never faced before."

All signs point to the trend of older workers staying on the job continuing. According to a 2008 survey from the AARP, 70 percent of 1,500 workers ages 45 to 74 said they planned to continue working into what they considered their retirement years.

Finances are a primary motivator, said Colin Milner, chief executive officer of the International Council on Active Aging in Vancouver, British Columbia. Baby Boomers -- the generation born in the post-World War II years -- have taken some financial hits recently, from the rising cost of health care to the housing bust to job losses.

But many also stay on the job because they want to, Milner added. Working provides a sense of purpose, which research has shown is key to maintaining mental and physical health in older age.

The study isn't the first to show that structured activity improves the lives of retired people. In May, research presented at a meeting of the American Geriatrics Society found that retirees over 65 who worked as volunteers had half the death risk of those who did not.

"What the [new] study does is reinforce a few things we already know," Milner said. "If you are involved in society and have purpose in life, whether that's through a job or as a volunteer, your health and your mental outlook is much better than if you're not."

SOURCES: Mo Wang, Ph.D., associate professor, applied psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD; Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging, Vancouver, British Columbia; Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, October 2009