ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Antioxidants Pose No Melanoma Threat
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
FITNESS
Run for Your Life
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia

SATURDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Older people often focus their wintertime worries on fears of slipping on the ice, but they ought to be equally concerned about the risks of being too cold, advises the U.S. National Institute on Aging.

The ability to endure lengthy exposure to the cold lessens as people age, putting the elderly at a greater risk for hypothermia -- the condition in which body temperature falls below normal and stays there for a prolonged period of time.

Certain medical conditions, medicines and a sedentary lifestyle can make older people extra vulnerable even to mild cold snaps.

But there are steps older adults can take to prevent hypothermia, including:

* Dress in several layers of loose clothing when going out. Wear a hat, scarf, gloves or mittens, along with a warm coat.
* Wear long underwear under your clothes, along with socks and slippers, when inside. Use a blanket or afghan to keep legs and shoulders warm. Wear a hat or cap indoors if necessary.
* Set the thermostat to at least 68 degrees. Home temperatures from 60 to 65 degrees can trigger hypothermia in older people.
* Check with your doctor to see if any of your medications -- whether prescription or over-the-counter -- might increase your risk for hypothermia.

People with hypothermia tend to act confused, slow or sleepy, have slowed or slurred speech and might shiver or have stiffness in the limbs. If you suspect someone has hypothermia, take the person's temperature, and if it is 96 degrees or lower, call 911.

Cold temperatures resulted in more than 6,000 hospitalizations and 827 deaths in 2006, according to the latest figures the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The group's analysis of 6,182 cold weather-related hospitalizations found that:

* Men accounted for about 40 percent more hospitalizations for exposure to cold than women.
* People 65 and older were hospitalized for cold-related incidents almost 7 times more than people age 18 to 44 and 3 times more than those 45 to 64.
* Hypothermia (which can cause loss of physical and mental abilities and, in extreme cases, death), frostbite, respiratory failure, and pneumonia were the most common reasons for cold weather-related hospitalizations.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about hypothermia.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCES: U.S. National Institute on Aging, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, news releases, January 2009

Last Updated: Jan. 31, 2009

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