Why Older Americans Are Dying Despite Vaccines
The unfortunate headline in The Washington Post last month was alarming: “COVID deaths no longer overwhelmingly among unvaccinated.” The paper went on to report that “Nearly two-thirds of people who died during the omicron surge were [age] 75 and older.” Since then, our primary care doctors in Delray Beach have fielded a number of phone calls from concerned patients wondering if the vaccines are useless. What the numbers mean First of all, the figures the paper used came from its examination conducted in January and February of this year, when the original omicron variant was at its peak. Second, the unvaccinated are still dying in far
Age Affects Chances of Getting Skin Cancer
Anyone can get skin cancer, but the National Cancer Institute (NCI), an agency of the National Institutes for Health (NIH), reports that advancing age is the most important risk factor for cancer overall and for many individual cancer types. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that most cases of skin cancer are found in people older than 65 years of age. Our primary care doctors in Delray Beach want to bring this to your attention this month because May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. While skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S.,
Should You Still Wear a Mask?
Now that a federal judge here in Florida has ended the mask mandate on public transportation, our primary care doctors in Delray Beach are getting questions from our patients wondering whether they should still mask up in public places. (The Justice Department is appealing the ruling.) And just because the federal mandate is on hold doesn’t mean there aren’t still some places where you’re required to wear masks. As the Miami Herald noted recently, the Broadway production of “Jesus Christ, Superstar,” for example, will require masks for its May and June performances at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in
Do You Have a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Our primary care doctors in Delray Beach have cautioned you before about the possible downsides of taking supplements—including vitamins—in an effort to improve your health. Because vitamin supplements are unregulated, they could end up causing more harm than good. But, especially if you’re older, you might be deficient in a crucial vitamin that could have serious implications for your wellbeing. And supplementation with this vitamin (after checking with us first, of course) may be your only option to avoid the serious issues that can result from a vitamin B12 shortfall. The supplement exception We counsel getting the proper amount of nutrients from food
Do You Need a Second COVID-19 Booster?
Last month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a second booster dose for some Americans. Ever since then our primary care doctors in Delray Beach have been getting calls from our patients wondering whether they should get one. It seems strange to be discussing a second booster dose when only about 47 percent of the U.S. population had received a first booster dose as of mid-March. Last month we discussed the value of a booster dose (“Latest Recommendations on COVID-19 Boosters”), but the recommendations on whether to receive a second booster are mixed. Confusing guidance The FDA authorization okayed a second booster
What Is Aphasia?
When superstar Bruce Willis announced last month that he was stepping away from acting due to aphasia, many people no doubt rushed to the dictionary to find out what it was. Even if they knew that aphasia is the inability to communicate, they may have thought it is caused only by a stroke. But that’s not the only cause of this devastating condition. So our primary care doctors at Cohen Medical Associates in Delray Beach want to provide you with information about this common but little-known condition. What is aphasia? Aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to the part of the
More Lingering Effects from COVID-19 Emerging
Our primary care doctors in Delray Beach are beginning to hear from some of our patients that they are still experiencing distressing symptoms after recovery from COVID-19. Some people are skeptical that there is such a thing as “long-haul COVID,” but we aren’t. Although there are no specific tests for the syndrome (officially known as Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, or PASC), we have seen enough circumstantial evidence to convince us that it’s a real condition. There’s still a great deal we’re learning about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus: how it works to infect the body, who is most susceptible, and especially, the
Preventing Age-Related Muscle Loss
Loss of muscle mass is common as we get older, and begins as early as age 30. Besides not being able to do things as easily as when you were younger, this common condition, known as sarcopenia, can lead to other problems. But there are steps you can take to help reduce the decline in muscle mass, so our primary care doctors in Delray Beach want to share them with you. What muscle loss means Loss of muscle mass is one of the primary reasons for falls in older adults, which are the top cause of accidental death in those 65 and older.
Latest Recommendations on COVID-19 Boosters
Although COVID-19 vaccines remain effective in preventing severe disease, recent data suggest their effectiveness at preventing mild infection and possibly severe disease wanes over time, especially in people ages 65 years and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because our primary care doctors in Delray Beach have received a number of questions about booster doses, we thought we’d bring you up to date on what we know now. Vaccine effectiveness First, we want to remind people that the vaccines don’t act like a shield to totally prevent infection with the coronavirus. SARS-CoV-2 is primarily an airborne pathogen that
5 Reasons Why You Wake In the Middle Of the Night
If you talk to friends and family, you might think that everyone—not just you—wakes in the middle of the night, often at 3 a.m. Our primary care doctors in Delray Beach hear this complaint so often from our patients that it sometimes seems that way to us, too. It’s not true, but if you’re one of the millions who experience this frustrating problem, we’d like to suggest some of the reasons it might be happening and offer some possible remedies. It’s important because lack of quality sleep has been implicated in triggering or worsening numerous health issues, from diabetes and obesity to