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Tuesday, January 4, 2005; Page HE02

BEST SHOE FORWARD Older folks' risk of falling is eight to 11 times greater when they are barefoot or in stocking feet, compared with when they are wearing sneakers. A study of 327 seniors who fell during a two-year period and 327 matched seniors who didn't fall found that wearing athletic shoes was consistently associated with lowest risk of falling, whereas going shoeless was associated with highest risk. Other shoe types (sandals, higher-heeled styles, etc.) were associated with modestly elevated risk levels.

The findings appear in a federally funded study recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. One in three Americans over the age of 65 falls each year, and 20 to 30 percent of those who fall suffer serious injury such as hip fractures or head traumas.

_____The Heart_____
It's All in the Cards (The Washington Post, Jan 4, 2005)
Safety Issue May Change Pill Culture (The Washington Post, Dec 22, 2004)
Asking Your ASC (The Washington Post, Dec 21, 2004)
QUICK STUDY : A weekly digest of new research on major health topics (The Washington Post, Dec 21, 2004)
Aleve Ingredient Joins Painkillers Linked to Risks (The Washington Post, Dec 21, 2004)
More Heart News

BETTER NOW THAN LATER Smokers who suffer a heart attack or severe angina rapidly benefit from quitting nicotine, German investigators report. Smoking cessation clearly improves the long-term prognosis for those with coronary heart disease, the authors write in the European Heart Journal, but few studies have examined the short-term impact of quitting.

In a study of nearly 1,000 patients, self-reported smoking during the three weeks after a coronary event was strongly associated with repeat occurrence over the following year. Quitting smoking was associated with a 40 percent reduced risk of second occurrences.

In other findings, the researchers report that 4 percent of participants admitted still smoking after the coronary event, but blood tests showed that 12 percent were still puffing.

-- News services and staff reports


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