Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

Baby Boomers Are Aging Alone More Than Any Generation In U.S. History, And It’s Creating A Looming Public Health Crisis

KHN Morning Briefing

Researchers have found that loneliness takes a physical toll, and is as closely linked to early mortality as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day or consuming more than six alcoholic drinks a day. Loneliness is even worse for longevity than being obese or physically inactive. In other aging news: exercise, strengthening your brain, and poverty.

Osteoporosis Drug Given By IV May Greatly Lowers Risk Of Fractures For Women In Earlier Stages Of Bone Loss

KHN Morning Briefing

“I think it’s a breakthrough,” Clifford Rosen, an endocrinologist and physician, said of the study. While researchers have known that older women with osteoporosis benefit from drugs called bisphosphonates, this study supports their value for younger women with less brittle bones. Some, however, remain cautious. In other news on aging, two big studies focus on Alzheimer’s prevention.

Late-Life Suicide Controversy Leaves Many Doctors Feeling Unprepared To Help Patients Deal With Complex Issues

KHN Morning Briefing

As suicide rates rise among the elderly, some health care providers think that even though it’s difficult to do so, it’s valid to discuss the topic and help those who think there are fates worse than death. In other news on aging: muscle loss and loss of independence, bereavement time for long-term care workers, malnutrition, dementia, and more.

Dutch Move Away From Medical Approach To Alzheimer’s And More Toward Reducing Stress

KHN Morning Briefing

Experts in the Netherlands place emphasis on reducing stress, bringing together patients with dementia, and accessing childhood memories and emotions, rather than on drug treatment. Meanwhile, researchers in the U.S. are studying a gene mutation that could unlock some of the mysteries surrounding Alzheimer’s.

Barbara Bush Is Receiving Comfort Care — Here’s What That Entails

KHN Morning Briefing

It was announced that former first lady Barbara Bush will not seek further medical treatment beyond comfort care for her failing health. People who opt for comfort care receive treatment only for their symptoms, such as shortness of breath or pain, rather than trying to prolong life.