By Fred Cicetti
IT TURNS OUT that old men—and
women—have bigger ears than
they had as young adults. In short,
your ears grow larger as you age.
I know this sounds like a myth,
but it’s been proven by scienti;c
; Researchers at the Veterans Administration
Medical Center/Texas Tech University found
that ear circumference increases
an average of 0.51 millimeters
“This study,” says Rui Tan,
the lead researcher, “supports
the view that as people age, their
ears get larger, particularly the ear
circumference. This enlargement is
likely associated with aging changes
of collagen (collagen is the ;brous
protein part of bone, cartilage, tendon,
and other connective tissue). The
knowledge from this study allows us to
calculate the age of an individual based
on ear size: Subject’s age = 1.96 x ear
circumference in millimeters − 88.1.”
; Research in the UK found similar results.
“A chance observation—that older people have
bigger ears—was at ;rst controversial, but has been
shown to be true,” Dr. James A. Heathcote at the Royal
College of General Practitioners in England reported.
Why ears get bigger when the rest of the body stops
h c STEVEN LAIT
growing is not answered by this research, he says.
Costco member Fred Cicetti, aka The Healthy Geezer ( www.healthygeezer.com), is a freelance writer
who specializes in health.
RECOVERY MONTH, which has
been observed for 23 years, originally focused on recognition for
professionals who treat patients
for substance abuse. In 1998 it
shifted to celebrating the suc-cesses of individuals who had
overcome addiction, and in 2011
it expanded to encompass all
forms of behavioral health.
The core message of this
initiative is multifold: Prevention
works; treatment is effective;
people can and do recover to live
healthy and rewarding lives;
behavioral health is essential to
behavioral health is essential to
Arthritis can trigger anxiety or depression
RESEARCHERS FROM THE Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) found that one-third of U.S. adults with arthritis, age 45 years or
older, report having anxiety or depression.
According to findings that recently appeared in
Arthritis Care & Research, a journal published on
behalf of the American College of Rheumatology,
anxiety is nearly twice as common as depression
among people with arthritis.
The CDC estimates that all forms of arthritis
affect 50 million Americans, making it the leading
cause of disability nationwide. Previous studies
have reported depression is common among
those with chronic illnesses. However, experts
suggest that anxiety is often underrecognized and
undertreated, and until recently was overlooked
as a potential risk factor for depression.
Anxiety disorders are based on physical symp-
toms, such as chest pains or tightness, heart palpi-
tations or nausea, that give rise to disturbing
thoughts. Those thoughts, over time, can and often
do morph into depression, which is characterized
more by fatigue, decreased energy and apathy.
U.S. substance abuse
; 17. 6 million people—about
one in every 12 adults—abuse
alcohol or are alcohol dependent.
; Alcohol is the leading risk
factor in deaths of males age 15
; Alcohol dependence and
abuse cost $220 billion a year.
; More than 40 people per
day die from drunk driving,
approximately 16,000 people
; More than 10 million
people abuse prescription
; More than 3 million
people use cocaine.
; Nearly half of all drug-related emergency room visits
are due to cocaine abuse.
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