Archive for April, 2012

How important is it to stop smoking? Isn’t the damage already done?

Friday, April 27th, 2012

No matter your age, quitting smoking immediately cuts some important health risks. According to the American Lung Association, when an older person stops smoking, circulation immediately improves. The lungs begin an immediate repair process, and just one year after quitting the risk off heart disease linked to smoking is cut almost in half, along with a reduced risk of stroke, lung disease, and some cancers. 

Moreover, men who quit smoking at age 65 add up to two years to their life, while women add almost four years! Together with watching your weight and getting enough exercise, quitting smoking could help you live significantly longer! 

What happens if you don’t quit? The American Lung Association reports that men over age of 65 who smoke are twice as likely to die from a stroke, while women smokers are 1.5 times at greater risk. Similarly, for all smokers over age 65, the risk of dying from a heart attack is 60% higher than for non-smokers. Smoking also increases the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, as well as cataracts, a leading cause of blindness and vision loss associated with aging.

If you have questions about quitting smoking, feel free to call Richard at MedSave. Richard is a Certified Smoking Cessation Educator.


Ask the Expert: Cholesterol Medication

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Q. I take care of my aging mother who is in her 80’s, is cholesterol medication still beneficial? 

A. This can be a difficult question for many families especially if a person is taking multiple medications and if the given cholesterol medication is causing side effects.   However cholesterol is still a very important risk factor for heart disease in all people no matter the age.  Statins are a commonly prescribed class of cholesterol medications that are usually prescribed to help lower bad cholesterol.  Experts recommend continuing using these medications in elderly people unless the person is not likely to live a year, and it is important to keep in mind that a person who reaches the age of 80 will live an average of 8 more years.  Statins however are known to cause some side effects, with the most common side effect of muscle pain and weakness.  If this is causing a problem talk to the doctor or pharmacist as they may be able to suggest a different statin medicine that is less likely to cause problems.   In addition some people with muscle pain due to statins have been helped by taking CoQ10 (an OTC supplement), and having their vitamin D level checked.

Erin Folland Pharm-D