weekly blog--one for the ages
Replacing red meat with other protein sources may help you live longer. A new study finds that an increase in red meat consumption of at least half a serving per day was linked with a 10% higher risk of early death.
Americans are hypochondriacs, yet we skip our checkups. We demand drugs we don’t need, and fail to take the ones we do. No wonder the U.S. leads the world in health spending. Most experts agree that American patients are frequently overtreated, especially with regard to expensive tests that aren’t strictly needed. American patients similarly don’t like to be told that unexplained symptoms aren’t ominous enough to merit tests.
In most of the world, what the doctor says still goes. In the US, patients don’t trust their doctors as far as they can throw them. According to one report, they spend an average of eight hours a week finding and sharing information online about their medical conditions and health-care experiences. Finally, the U.S. stands out as a place where death, even for the very aged, tends to be fought tooth and nail, and not cheaply.
About those robocalls. The schemes are constantly being refined. In Massachusetts, the most popular kind last year involved imposters, according to AARP. Typically, callers sought to hoodwink grandparents by posing as their grandchildren, and saying they were in trouble and needed money. Topping the state’s list of scams in 2017 were bogus debt collection bids, with fraudsters pretending to be government or business agents, badgering potential victims — online or over the phone — about unpaid bills, and warning of dire consequences.
“Scammers know that the most effective way to defraud someone is to hijack their amygdala, the emotional part of the brain,” said the director of AARP Massachusetts. “They don’t want you thinking, they want you reacting. When you’re dealing with the grandchildren, when you’re dealing with the IRS, people are going to have an emotional reaction.”