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Karen Miller

Stories by Karen

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a healthy daily eating plan

A daily eating plan should include a variety of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low-fat proteins, such as legumes. Nuts and olive oil are good choices of health fats. The amount of food depends on one’s age, gender and physical activity.

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T’ai chi helps improve balance in the elderly

T’ai chi, an ancient Chinese martial art, consists of a series of controlled and deliberate movements called forms. T’ai chi is recommended for people of all ages, particularly older adults, to increase strength, flexibility and stamina. Research has found that it also improves the mood.

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Depression in the elderly: When fun things are no longer fun

Anhedonia, or lack of pleasure, is a common symptom

Although common, depression in the elderly is not a normal part of aging. Many factors, including poor health and poor nutrition, lack of exercise and isolation can worsen the condition. Yearly screening for depression is now offered at no cost for Medicare recipients.

Prevention Guidelines

Since many chronic diseases occur more frequently in older adults, certain screenings and preventive services are recommended well into one’s senior years. It is best to develop with your doctor a screening program that fits your medical condition and family history.

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Q&A on healthy aging with Dr. Jatin Dave

Dr. Jatin Dave, a geriatrician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and medical director of geriatrics at Tufts Health Plan, answers questions about aging.

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Healthy aging: Living longer and living better

Improvements in public health and medical treatment have significantly increased life expectancy in the past 60 years. People more frequently live into their 80s and 90s and even top the century mark.

Typical aging vs. signs of dementia

“Senior moments” begin to increase with age, but that’s to be expected as years pass. Generally, those moments pass and the memory returns. Dementia, on the other hand, affects social abilities and memory severely enough to interfere with daily functioning.

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Healthy eating in older people not always easy

As people age it may become more difficult to consume certain minerals and vitamins, such as calcium and vitamins D and B12. In addition, medical conditions may reduce activity, which can result in obesity, a risk factor for several diseases, including stroke. In such cases the types and amount of food should be modified to prevent weight gain.

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Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths in the elderly

When young people fall, for the most part they get up and walk away. A fall in an elderly person, on the other hand, can result in a permanent disability or even death. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in older people.

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STDs: Not always curable

The best strategy is prevention

Generally, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that are caused by bacteria or parasites are easy to treat. Often one dose or injection of antibiotics can do the trick.

What’s your number?

Results of screening tests are key to managing health

During regular checkups tests can be performed to evaluate the status of one’s health.

Is it an infection … or is it breast cancer?

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

A rare form of breast cancer often escapes detection. It changes the appearance of the breast and rarely has a lump.

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Is it a cold … or is it the flu?

Both the flu and common cold are respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. They also share many of the symptoms, but the symptoms of the flu are more severe and can result in serious complications

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Fight the flu: Wash your hands

There is one way to avoid or reduce the risk of several infectious diseases and it takes only 20 seconds. It doesn’t require a medical degree and anyone — including children — can master it. It’s just plain old hand washing.

No age limit for vaccinations

Protect yourself

You never outgrow the need for vaccinations. Protection from immunizations can wane over time and adults who were not vaccinated as children require catch-up shots.

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Exercise without equipment

You don’t need fancy equipment to get a good workout

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Walking – it’s cheap and it’s easy

Walking is the simplest aerobic exercise to improve health

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Hooked on exercise

Daily exercise is a prescription to reduce stress and anxiety.

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A CLOSER LOOK — visceral fat

Abdominal, or visceral, fat — weight centered at and above the waist — poses a threat to a person’s health.

Understanding nutrition facts labels

Knowing how to read nutrition facts labels can help identify unhealthy foods and beverages.

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Portion size matters

Bigger portions linked to increased waistlines and weight gain

Growing portion sizes are changing what Americans think of as a "normal" portion, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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Proteins and fiber

The power-packed duo

Foods high in protein are not only healthy, they tend to be more filling and keep you full longer.

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Complications of obesity

Obesity is not merely a cosmetic issue. Excess weight increases the risk of many diseases:

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Healthy eating can be a major behavioral change

Eating slowly can help you eat less

Unhealthy eating is linked to emotional problems

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America’s battle against obesity

A complicated condition with serious consequences

Whether classified as a disease or a disorder, obesity is a leading cause of premature deaths in this country.

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How do you measure up?

Body mass index and waist measurements are the tools most used to measure obesity

BMI and waist size are used to calculate disease risk

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Immunizations: Not just for kids

More than just a flu shot

Baby boomers might think that the days of vaccinations are way behind them. Not so fast, according to Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, president and CEO of The Dimock Center. “You have to check the titers,” she explained.

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Former NFL star raises awareness of breast cancer in men

Not just a woman’s disease

Ernie Green, 75, was a force to be reckoned with on the football field. He played seven seasons for the Cleveland Browns, and has two Pro Bowl appearances under his belt.

New hope for ovarian cancer screening

September is Ovarian Cancer Month

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most deadly cancer in women.

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September is Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month

Variety is key

Eating a healthy diet is the best way to get of the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

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Leafy greens - a powerhouse of nutrition

Simple Leafy Green Sauté

The darker the vegetables the higher the nutritional value

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HPV viruses linked to growth in oral cancers

HPV can cause cancer of the throat, back of the tongue and tonsils

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Vaccinations key to reducing HPV’s deadly strands

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in this country

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Walking in Place

a simple exercise with surprising results

It’s easy to come up with excuses not to exercise. Lack of time is one excuse. The cost of gym memberships is another. Yet, there is an exercise that blows all those excuses away.

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Chuck the sodium; add turmeric

Tandoori Chicken with Brown Rice

Sodium, more commonly called salt, has crept into more of the foods we eat.

Strengthening Exercises

not just for jocks

Strengthening exercises at least two times a week can increase muscle strength and improve bone health.


it’s more than just bananas

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables increases the intake of potassium, which can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

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Reducing stroke impact requires quick thinking

and calling 911

Zonius Wiley, a paramedic with the Boston Emergency Medical Services, urges calling 911 at the first sign of a stroke.

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It’s for quitters

Medication combined with counseling are two proven strategies to quit smoking.

Healthier habits reduce stroke risk factors

It is estimated that 80 percent of strokes are preventable largely through lifestyle changes and adherence to medications.

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In a Flash

As Fletcher “Flash” Wiley discovered, symptoms of a stroke can happen quickly

Flash Wiley, a prominent Boston lawyer, attributes his stroke to high blood pressure and heart arrhythmia.

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Strokes still largely misunderstood

despite often debilitating, deadly consequences

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in this country and a leading cause of long-term disability.