Aging Well

Previous studies on aging have found that how people thought about themselves at age 50 predicted a wide range of future health outcomes up to 40 years later — cardiovascular events, memory, balance, will to live, hospitalizations; even mortality.”Previous research has shown that people who have positive views of aging at 50 live 7.5 years longer, on average, than people who don’t,” said Karen Hooker, co-author of the study and the Jo Anne Leonard Petersen Endowed Chair in Gerontology and Family Studies at OSU.

Oregon State University. “‘Aging well’ greatly affected by hopes and fears for later life.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/01/210121150929.htm (accessed January 23, 2021).

Journal Reference – Shelbie G. Turner, Karen Hooker. Are Thoughts About the Future Associated With Perceptions in the Present?: Optimism, Possible Selves, and Self-Perceptions of Aging. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 2020; 009141502098188 DOI: 10.1177/0091415020981883

Another Sweet Saturday – 09.17.22

Our 1-year RCT indicated that a lifestyle intervention program can be highly successful in older adults with diabetes and chronic comorbidities. In this specific population, lifestyle intervention not only improved glycemic control associated with improved insulin action and secretion but also improved age-relevant outcomes such as body composition, physical function, and quality of life.

Alessandra Celli, Yoann Barnouin, Bryan Jiang, Dean Blevins, Georgia Colleluori, Sanjay Mediwala, Reina Armamento-Villareal, Clifford Qualls, Dennis T. Villareal; Lifestyle Intervention Strategy to Treat Diabetes in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Diabetes Care 1 September 2022; 45 (9): 1943–1952. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc22-0338

From the periods 1988–1994 to 2017 to March 2020, there was an increase in the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes (from 4.6% to 11.7%), but no change in prevalence of persistent undiagnosed diabetes (from 2.23% to 2.53%) or confirmed undiagnosed diabetes (from 1.10% to 1.23%). Consequently, the proportion of all undiagnosed diabetes cases declined from 32.8% to 17.8% (persistent undiagnosed diabetes) and from 19.3% to 9.5% (confirmed undiagnosed diabetes). Undiagnosed diabetes was more prevalent in older and obese adults, racial/ethnic minorities, and those without health care access. Among persons with diabetes, Asian Americans and those without health care access had the highest proportion of undiagnosed cases, with rates ranging from 23% to 61%.

Michael Fang, Dan Wang, Josef Coresh, Elizabeth Selvin; Undiagnosed Diabetes in U.S. Adults: Prevalence and Trends. Diabetes Care 1 September 2022; 45 (9): 1994–2002. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc22-0242

Remember, Stay as Thin as You Can as Long as You Can.

The Biggest Life Event That No One Talks About

Retirement is more than a transition in our relationship with money. It is a major shift in our sense of self. The work that has defined our lives for decades begins to fade from view. Everything about life is different after retirement, down to the minute details of the daily routine. I think it is important to ask yourself, who am I without my job, without my career? And more importantly, how will I spend my time? How will I spend my days, weeks, months, seasons, and years once the routine ends? These are vital questions for anyone contemplating retirement. For many, the allure of endless days on the beach or in the garden loses its luster quite fast. The risk of becoming bored is a real and unexpected risk that many retirees face.

https://blairbellecurve.com/the-biggest-life-event-that-no-one-talks-about/

The endless string of triple digit days has finally ended. I’m so thankful that it’s not Too Hot to Blog and the writing is free and effortless once again. I’m still thinking strategy because having A Plan is Not a Strategy – Update 08.03.22. Yet time and time again the question begs an answer. How will I spend my time in retirement?

As long as I continue working the question doesn’t require an answer.

I guess I’ll keep working.

Loneliness and Mortality

The discomfort of loneliness eases with time. You come to accept solitude like a cracked tile in a corner of the bathroom floor. Eventually, you just stop noticing the defect. For older people, however, one crack could easily, quietly, lead to more. Living in isolation, for people over 50, can spur a 50 percent increased risk of dementia, according to the CDC, and a 32 percent increased risk of stroke. Loneliness is also associated with higher rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide. Prolonged isolation is the equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. (And older members of marginalized communities are at an even higher risk for all of the above when they’re socially secluded.) In the years since my mom lost her husband and her friends in Florida, her health declined and her shine dimmed. The woman who owns more makeup than Dolly Parton — including Stila compacts from the early aughts she audaciously calls “my vintage cosmetics” — stopped putting on her face.

My Mom Has No Friends — https://www.thecut.com/2022/08/helping-my-mom-make-friends.html

A beautifully written article. I hope you choose to read the entire piece.

Protein Blobs!

The African turquoise killifish lives in transitory ponds in East Africa that form during the rainy season. As the fish nears the end of its 4- to 6-month life, it develops a range of age-related diseases, including cataracts and brain-related changes that resemble neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s in humans. Its brief life span — much shorter than that of a lab mouse, for example — and rapid natural aging make it an ideal model for studying aging in vertebrates. The Stanford team conducted an extensive analysis of the proteins in killifish at various stages of youth and maturity. In the aging killifish, they discovered protein aggregates in all the tissues that they looked at: not only the brain but also the heart, gut, liver, muscle, skin and testis. More than half of the aggregating proteins seemed to show an intrinsic tendency to aggregate in further experiments.

Protein Blobs Linked to Alzheimer’s Affect Aging in All Cells — https://www.quantamagazine.org/protein-blobs-linked-to-alzheimers-affect-aging-in-all-cells-20220628
Photo Credit: MDI Biological Laboratory; Itamar Harel

Fascinating article. And regarding the video clip, sorry I couldn’t resist.

The Labor Force Refuses to Grow – Age Discrimination?


Ageism?

Ageism is a real problem. And it could also be responsible for the low labor force getting stuck at this level. Boomers are now between around 56 and 76. This is a huge generation. And in tech, when the hiring manager is 32, and you’re 56, it’s tough getting that job. And when you’re 62, it’s even tougher just to get anyone’s attention. Some succeed. But many don’t.

Many of these people, often with a superb job history, may never get a job in their field again. Many of them made enough money to where they don’t have to work. They’d like to work, but it’s tough getting ignored or rejected time after time because of age.

And they give up “actively” looking for a job, and thereby they’re removed from the labor force. They were dropped from the labor force due to ageism, not because they wanted to retire. And they might tell everyone, after they give up looking, that they’re “retired,” when in fact, they’d love to work in their field but are locked out.

I Want to Add a Word about Ageism in this Bizarre Labor Market and How it Hits Labor Force & Unemployment Numbers — https://wolfstreet.com/2022/07/08/i-want-to-add-a-word-about-ageism-in-this-bizarre-labor-market-and-how-it-hits-labor-force-unemployment-numbers/

The entire post from Mr. Wolf is worth reading. Obviously there is no data to support ageism as one of the causes for the lack of labor force growth. But it certainly is an interesting hunch.

At last count there were 240 comments on this article.

Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here. https://www.nasa.gov/feature/50-years-ago-houston-we-ve-had-a-problem

Thinking About Retirement (or just another fine Saturday Morning)

Andel’s suggestion to anyone contemplating retirement: “Find a new routine that’s meaningful.” He points to people living in the Blue Zones, regions of the world that have been identified to be home to a greater number of residents who’ve reached the age of 100 and beyond. One of the common characteristics among Blue Zone inhabitants is, says Andel, “these people all have purpose.”

Think Retirement Is Smooth Sailing? A Look at Its Potential Effects on the Brain — https://getpocket.com/read/2840794990

The funny thing about life at “retirement age” and still working is you think about retirement a lot.

Since I still work a full time job I have a lot of trouble envisioning what my retirement will look like.

After reading this article and listening to Andel’s short talk I am now scared of retirement.

I need to figure out how to avoid brain rot. But my journal tells me I already have.

My Purpose is to educate others on diet and disease, weight loss and weight management by sharing my personal journey through writing and other teaching activities.

Cluttered Memories From a Lifetime of Knowledge

As we age, many of us have difficulty retrieving memories. Researchers propose an explanation for why this might be happening: the brains of older adults allocate more space to accumulated knowledge and have more material to navigate when attempting to access memories.

Cell Press. “Lifetime of knowledge can clutter memories of older adults.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/02/220211111852.htm (accessed February 11, 2022).

But this still doesn’t explain why I can’t remember where I put my coffee cup.

Fatigue and Higher Mortality

Glynn and her colleagues administered the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale to 2,906 participants aged 60 or older in the Long Life Family Study, an international study that follows family members across two generations. Participants ranked from 0 to 5 how tired they thought or imagined that certain activities — such as a leisurely 30-minute walk, light housework or heavy gardening — would make them. Follow-up for this work concluded at the end of 2019, to avoid any increased mortality impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, which gave the team an average of 2.7 years of data on each participant. After accounting for a variety of factors that influence mortality, such as depression, pre-existing or underlying terminal illness, age and gender, the team found that participants who scored 25 points or higher on the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale were 2.3 times more likely to die in the 2.7 years after completing the scale, compared to their counterparts who scored below 25.

University of Pittsburgh. “Feelings of fatigue predict early death in older adults.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/01/220124084616.htm (accessed January 27, 2022).