ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
CANCER
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Antioxidants Pose No Melanoma Threat
CAREGIVING
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Marinades Help Keep Grilled Meat Safe
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthriti
Caffeine May Offer Some Skin Cancer Protection
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
EYE CARE, VISION
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Run for Your Life
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
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Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement

It's said that one of the joys of old age is taking pleasure in your grandchildren, but an English research team begs to differ.

An active social life, being married and having a partner who is also retired all make a huge difference in seniors' enjoyment of life, but having children or grandchildren matters little, the University of Greenwich team found in its study of 279 British retirees.

Grandchildren are a source of pride, but there are trade-offs to having them, said lead researcher Oliver Robinson, of the university's department of psychology and counseling.

"There are both benefits and drawbacks to the presence of children and grandchildren in retirement, which balance each other out," Robinson said. "The positives are that having children and grandchildren imparts a sense of purpose and meaning, while the drawback is the frequent commitment for child care that can potentially interfere with the sense of freedom and autonomy that is at the heart of a positive retirement."

Robinson and his team were to report their findings Thursday at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Study participants, who were recruited from a retirement Web site and online newsletter, answered questions about family, friends and their life in retirement. They also completed a scale designed to measure their satisfaction with their lives.

The researchers found no difference in life satisfaction between retirees who have children and grandchildren and those who don't.

But a strong social network tended to have a major positive effect on retirees' enjoyment of life. Seniors with high levels of life satisfaction strongly agreed with the statement, "I have active social groups I enjoy spending time with." Conversely, seniors who aren't enjoying life much strongly agreed with the statement, "I miss the socializing of working life."

"Social groups in retirement, particularly those that revolve around shared interests, can provide a retiree with a number of basic psychological needs -- a sense of connectedness, of purpose, and of mastery if there is a skill involved," Robinson said. "The great retirement trap is loneliness, and active social groups negate the possibility of that."

American retirees have expressed similar sentiments regarding what makes their life most enjoyable, said Rosemary Blieszner, associate dean of the graduate school at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and director of the Center for Gerontology.

"Older adults are very interested in their grandchildren and want them to succeed, but really, I think that most of your happiness and psychological well-being is going to come from your peers," Blieszner said. "For many stages of life, not just old age, people feel like their age peers understand what they're going through and give them that social support that comes from friendship and understanding."

Having a spouse or a longtime partner also matters significantly when it comes to enjoyment of retired life, the British team found. Seniors who are widowed, never married, divorced or separated reported lower levels of life satisfaction than people in long-term relationships.

It also makes a difference whether your partner is retired along with you. The study found that retirees whose spouse or partner is still working enjoyed their life less than those who have been joined in retirement by their partner.

"Those retirement individuals whose partner is not retired miss their work lives more, perhaps because they are unable to fully engage with retirement," Robinson said.

"They are in a kind of limbo state, unable to make plans for long holidays or a substantial change of life until the retirement of their partner happens," he added. "When a couple retire together, they can plan aspirationally together, and help each other adapt to the new life phase."

SOURCES: Oliver Robinson, M.A., M.Sc., Ph.D., University of Greenwich, Department of Psychology and Counseling, London; Rosemary Blieszner, Ph.D., Alumni Distinguished Professor, associate dean, Graduate School, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and associate director, Center for Gerontology, Department of Human Development, Blacksburg, Va.; April, 15, 2010, presentation, British Psychological Society annual conference, Stratford-upon-Avon, England Published on: April 15, 2010