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RI ARA

Affiliated with the Rhode Island AFL-CIO “Fighting for the future of our members.” “NOW, more than ever!!!” Publication 2018 Issue 06 Published in house by the RI ARA

February 11, 2018 E-Newsletter

RI ARA 2017© All Rights Reserved

Did the federal government borrow from Social Security? Dan Perrin, Social Security & Health Policy Advocate, The Seniors Center. Yes. The Federal Government currently owes the Social Security Trust Fund $2.85 Trillion Dollars. That’s $2,850,000,000,000. While the Federal Government has borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund since it began, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan (a

Republican) and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill (a Democrat) came to an agreement to increase Payroll taxes allowing the Social Security Trust Fund to build a large surplus so they would have the funds to help pay the Social Security obligations to baby boomers when they retired. Sadly, politicians in Washington couldn’t keep their hands off the money in the Social Security Trust Fund. While both parties have been quick to blame the other one for

the raid of the Social Security Trust Fund, both parties have been equally to blame. Every year, the total balance in the Social Security Trust Fund has been transferred to the Federal Treasury and replaced with non negotiable bonds which are stored in a filing cabinet at the Bureau of Public Debt in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The interest on these bonds is “paid” by the issue of even more bonds. The Federal Government will only have money to repay its obligations by raising taxes or

radically cutting spending. In the words of Senator Mike Enzi “If the revenues are not there (and they will not be as long as the government continues to run budget deficits), then the federal government will have to raise taxes or cut other spending to finance promised Social Security benefits. This is gross financial mismanagement. We don’t have enough trust funds with money in them to satisfy the demands put on our government.”

As Deficit Soars Toward $1 Trillion, Congress Shrugs and Keeps Spending Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged Congress on Tuesday to raise the federal government’s statutory borrowing limit and said Washington must soon grapple with the mounting federal debt, just as lawmakers are embarking on a significant spending spree. Annual deficits are creeping up to $1 trillion a year and the national debt has topped $20 trillion. On Monday, Treasury said that the United States will need to borrow $441 billion in privately-held debt this quarter, the largest sum since 2010 when the economy was emerging from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Yet the need to deal with the federal debt seems to have taken a back seat to other priorities, including the $1.5 trillion tax

cut increased defense and domestic spending, and an expected infrastructure request from President Trump. “The president is very much concerned about the rate of increase of the debt and particularly the rate that it grew over the last eight years,” Mr. Mnuchin said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. “Over time we need to figure out where we can have government savings to deal with the deficit.” He dismissed suggestions that the tax cut, which is projected to add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over a decade even with economic growth, would only worsen the problem. Mr. Mnuchin’s request to raise the debt limit stems from the simple fact that federal spending is far outpacing revenue. The Treasury must borrow money from private investors but needs

congressional approval to go above the $20.5 trillion debt limit that caps the United States debt load. Fiscal hawks warn that mounting federal debt will ultimately slow economic growth, but Washington shows no signs of paying heed. Congress is poised to dole out billions of dollars for a host of different priorities and the spending spree is being embraced across party lines. Mr. Trump and Republicans are pushing for a big increase in military spending, warning that the nation’s security is at stake. The president wants $25 billion for border security, including his promised wall on the border with Mexico. Mr. Mnuchin also said on Tuesday that infrastructure would be an administration priority this year. Mr. Trump has suggested that rebuilding roads and bridges is something that could garner

bipartisan support, and White House has signaled that it will seek $200 billion from Congress to jumpstart an infrastructure investment program. On top of that spending, the party is still celebrating its sweeping overhaul of the tax code, casting aside expectations of how it will impact the national debt….Read More Note: Do you remember from the last weeks ENewsletter? Republicans Announce Plans For Drastic Cuts To Social Security, Raise Retirement Age.

If not, read the article here

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 riarajap@hotmail.com • http://www.facebook.com/groups/354516807278/


The CBO just confirmed that Trump’s tax cuts are already blowing up the deficit Remember the days when Republicans were spending and deficit hawks, you know, the way they act whenever they’re not in total control of the White House and Capitol Hill? This was before they decided to give their ultra-wealthy donors a humongous tax cut and add $1.5 trillion to the U.S. budget deficit. Now, the Congressional Budget Office is warning that the Treasury Department will probably run out of cash by the middle of March due to the sudden decrease in tax revenue that the new tax law has initiated and that the Congressionallymandated debt ceiling must be

raised before then, according to a report today on The Hill. “Because the tax legislation reduced individual income taxes for most taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service released new income tax withholding tables for employers to use beginning no later than the middle of February 2018,” CBO said in a statement today. “As a result of those changes, CBO now estimates that, starting in February, withheld amounts of individual income taxes will be roughly $10 billion to $15 billion per month less than anticipated before the new law

was enacted.” Before everyone rushes out to spend all their new-found pocket money from their lowered tax withholding, it might be prudent to remember that what Congress has done is the equivalent of running up the nation’s credit cards at a time when they’re approaching their credit limits and then asking for the banks to raise that limit while at the same time letting them know that you’re earning a lot less than you used to at your job. The only difference is that the people spending the money are the same people approving the

increase in the credit limit, and they know that they probably won’t still be in their jobs when the day of reckoning arrives. Of course, Congress could refuse to raise the debt ceiling, but that would result in several unpalatable options. In one scenario, the Treasury could delay payments of its obligations, leaving individuals and companies in potentially desperate circumstances as they wait for the money they are owed until the government finally gets enough money in tax revenue to pay them. Not a great option….Read More

ROBERT REICH: TRUMP’S COMING AFTER MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY NEXT BY ROBERT REICH ON 1/31/18 Fresh off passing massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, Trump and congressional Republicans want to use the deficit they’ve created to justify huge cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. As House Speaker Paul Ryan says “We’re going to have to get… at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit.” Don’t let them get away with it. Social Security and Medicare are critical safety-nets for working and middle-class families. Before they existed, Americans faced grim prospects. In 1935, the year Social Security was enacted, roughly half of America’s seniors lived in poverty. By the 1960s poverty among seniors had dropped significantly, but medical costs were still a major financial

burden and only half of Americans aged 65 and over had health insurance. Medicare fixed that, guaranteeing health care for older Americans. Today less than 10 percent of seniors live in poverty and almost all have access to health care. According to an analysis of census data, Social Security payments keep an estimated 22 million Americans from slipping into poverty. Medicaid is also a vital lifeline for America’s elderly and the poor. Yet the Trump administration has already started whittling it away by encouraging states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. Republicans like to call these programs “entitlements,” as if they’re some kind of giveaway. But Americans pay into Social Security and Medicare throughout their entire working lives. It’s Americans’ own money they’re getting back through these programs. These vital safety nets should be strengthened, not weakened.

How?  Lift the ceiling on income subject to the Social Security tax  Currently, top earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $120,000 of their yearly income. So the rich end up, in effect, paying a lower Social Security tax rate than everyone else. Lifting the ceiling on what wealthy Americans contribute would help pay for the Baby Boomers retirements and leave Social Security in good shape for Millennials.  Allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for lower prescription drug prices  As the nation’s largest insurer, Medicare has tremendous bargaining power. Why should Americans pay far more for drugs than people in any other country?  Finally, reduce overall health costs and create a stronger workforce by making Medicare available to all

There’s no excuse for the richest nation in the world to have 28 million Americans still uninsured. We need to not just secure, but revitalize Social Security and these other programs for our children, and for our children’s children. Millennials just overtook Baby Boomers as our nation’s largest demographic. For them — for all of us — we need to say loud and clear to all of our members of congress: Hands off Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Expand and improve these programs: don’t cut them. Note: The previous article is how Paul Ryan & Mitch McConnell will achieve their long standing goal of cutting, and or, privatizing Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid.

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 riarajap@hotmail.com • http://www.facebook.com/groups/354516807278/


As States Target High Drug Prices, Pharma Targets State Lawmakers It was expected to be a perfunctory statehouse meeting — three lobbyists and a legislator discussing a proposal to educate Louisiana doctors about the price of drugs they prescribe. The bill seemed like a nobrainer in a country where even decades-old medicines can cost thousands and consumers are urged to make smart choices in buying health care. The legislation simply required pharmaceutical sales reps promoting medicines at doctors’ offices to also reveal a price. No one expected the industry scrum that materialized. About 10 pharma lobbyists flooded the room in Baton Rouge’s art deco state Capitol,

some of them hired guns — lobbyists who’d never represented drug companies before, remembers Jeff Drozda, an insurance lobbyist at the 2016 meeting. “The message was: We’re going to bring everything at you against these bills,” he said. They did. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the powerful trade group known as PhRMA, donated directly to more lawmakers in Louisiana than in any other state in 2016, a new IRS filing shows. When discussion of the measure reached its peak last year, the industry hired a lobbyist for every two legislators. PhRMA spent thousands entertaining lawmakers at Baton

Rouge venues such as Mike Anderson’s Seafood, specializing in shrimp-and-crab gumbo, and the Mestizo Restaurant, home of the Daredevil Margarita, lobbying records show. “I’ve been in the legislature 10 years. I’ve never in my life seen that kind of effort,” said Kirk Talbot, a Republican who sponsored the bill in the Louisiana House. With federal officials seemingly unwilling or unable to come up with legislation to control skyrocketing drug prices, that task is increasingly moving to the states. But so is pharma muscle and money opposing the measures, regulatory disclosures and corporate filings from the last two years show….Read More

In a related article: Drug firms shipped 20.8M pain pills to WV town with 2,900 people Over the past decade, out-ofstate drug companies shipped 20.8 million prescription painkillers to two pharmacies four blocks apart in a Southern West Virginia town with 2,900 people, according to a congressional committee investigating the opioid crisis. The House Energy and Commerce Committee cited the massive shipments of hydrocodone and oxycodone — two powerful painkillers — to the town of Williamson, in Mingo County, amid the panel’s inquiry into the role of drug distributors in the opioid epidemic. ...Read More

Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Introduce the Transition to Independence Act FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 5, 2017 CONTACT: Anita Baffoni (Langevin) 401732-9400 Mary Werden (Foster) 202-2253515 Caroline Boothe (Sessions) 202225-2231 Aaron Fritschner (Beyer) 202225-4376 Bill will help integrate people with disabilities into competitive employment WASHINGTON D.C. — Congressmen Jim Langevin (DRI), Gregg Harper (R-MS), Bill Foster (D-IL), Pete Sessions (RTX) and Donald S. Beyer Jr. (DVA) today introduced the Transition to Independence Act, a bill that encourages states to expand opportunities for individuals with disabilities to find competitive, integrated employment in the community. “Too many people with disabilities still face significant

barriers to meaningful employment at a competitive wage,” said Congressman Langevin, co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus in Congress. “This legislation creates a pathway for individuals with disabilities to access more rewarding and productive job opportunities that foster independence and lead to a higher quality of life.” “Every person deserves the chance to work. Unfortunately, individuals with disabilities still face discrimination and work environments that separate them from opportunities that could help them advance their skills,” said Congressman Foster. “This legislation will help to empower individuals with disabilities reach their full potential to lead happy and fulfilling lives. I am proud to cosponsor this bill and thank Congressman Langevin and Congressman Harper for their leadership on this important issue.”

“Earlier this year my son who is a Down syndrome young man was hired at Home Depot,” said Congressman Sessions. “Each and every day Alex goes to work with a smile on his face and a great attitude. Home Depot saw more than just a disability, they saw the light and love that anyone who knows Alex sees. I am proud to cosponsor this bill to ensure that Medicaid Buy-In States are incentivized to provide opportunities like integrated employment for young men and women like Alex to grow and flourish in the workplace.” “This bill is an important step towards ensuring that individuals with disabilities can reach their full potential and achieve meaningful work,” said Congressman Beyer. “I thank Congressman Langevin for being a forceful advocate for equal opportunity and independence for the disability community.” The Transition to Independence Act would enable

15 states with a Medicaid BuyIn option to establish demonstration programs that Congressman help people Langevin with disabilities move out of segregated work environments and into community-based employment settings. By providing access to accurate information and increasing coordination of key support services, this legislation will promote self-determination, independence, productivity, and greater inclusion within the community. A copy of the bill can be found here.

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 riarajap@hotmail.com • http://www.facebook.com/groups/354516807278/


An obscure court decision against a Rhode Island town's police officers and firefighters could be a warning sign for Social Security The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit gave us an interesting glimpse of the future last week when it ruled on an obscure case involving government pension obligations. Ever since the mid-1990s, police officers and fire fighters in the town of Cranston, Rhode Island had been promised state

pension benefits upon retirement. But, facing critical budget shortfalls over the last several years that the Rhode Island government called “fiscal peril,” the state legislature voted to unilaterally reduce public employees’ pension benefits. Even more, these cuts were retroactive, i.e. they didn’t just apply to new employees. The changes were applied across the board; workers who

had spent their entire careers being promised certain retirement benefits ended up having their pensions cut as well. Even the court acknowledged that these changes “substantially reduced the value of public employee pensions provided by the Rhode Island system.” So, naturally, a number of municipal employee unions sued. And the case of Cranston’s

police and fire fighter unions made it all the way to federal court. The unions’ argument was that the government of Rhode Island was contractually bound to pay benefits– these benefits had been enshrined in long-standing state legislation, and they should be enforced just like any other contract. The state government disagreed.

Most Americans Oppose Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid Some in Congress may be considering cuts to programs that help older adults and people with disabilities meet basic needs—including Medicare and Medicaid—in an effort to fill the expected $1.5 trillion budget shortfall created by recent tax legislation. According to a new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, this goes against the will of most Americans. In fact, the poll finds that just 7% want cuts to Medicare and 12% want cuts

to Medicaid. In addition, the poll highlights how much word choice affects public opinion. Using “entitlement” or “welfare” instead of the name of the program had a substantial effect on people’s responses. When “Medicare” was changed to “entitlement programs,” the percentage of Americans in favor of cuts increased to 27%. Similarly, when “Medicaid” was changed to “welfare programs,”

32% reported being in favor of cuts. These findings have major implications for advocates in 2018 and beyond. While we are pleased to see that Medicare and Medicaid remain popular, we are reminded of the need to stay vigilant in order to protect these programs from cuts and coded language. Don’t be fooled: A promise to “reduce spending on entitlement and welfare programs” is a

promise to cut health care and other services on which struggling families rely. Medicare Rights will continue to urge lawmakers to use clear language, to prioritize the health and well-being of all Americans, and to pursue a legislative agenda that protects and strengthens Medicare.

Medicaid Work Requirements Create Uncertainty for Older Adults, People with Disabilities, and their Caregivers The Trump

Administration recently announced that it will allow states to require Medicaid recipients to work, take job training, or do community service to stay eligible for the program. To date, ten states have asked to make this change, and the administration has given the greenlight to the first—Kentucky. What will the requirement mean for older adults, younger people with disabilities, or their family caregivers? In

general, older Medicaid recipients (starting between the ages of 50 and 65, depending on the state) would be exempt from the work requirement. Thus, an 85-year-old widow with dementia will not have to get a job in order to keep her nursing home benefits. But after that, it gets murky. The new guidelines, issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), give states broad flexibility in how they would impose these new requirements, giving them latitude, for example, to define “disability” for purposes of coverage and the work requirements.

And when it comes to caregivers, it gets even more complicated. Imagine an adult daughter who spends so much time caring for her aging parents that she loses her job. That’s not unusual: One-quarter of family caregivers say they spend 40 hours a week helping relatives. As a result, the daughter becomes a Medicaid beneficiary. If her state imposes work requirements, she may lose her Medicaid benefits—and thus access to health care– unless she gets a paying job or meets other standards. The bottom line? Medicaid’s new work requirement won’t encourage large numbers of

non-disabled adults to get a job. Most who can work, already do. But it will generate a lot of uncertainty for people with disabilities and their family caregivers—who already have enough to worry about. Often called the “duals,” there are 11 million individuals who have both Medicare and Medicaid coverage. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ howardgleckman/2018/01/19/w hat-medicaids-workrequirement-means-for-seniorspeople-with-disabilities-andtheir-caregivers/

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 riarajap@hotmail.com • http://www.facebook.com/groups/354516807278/


RI ARA HealthLink Wellness News

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What is the relation between baby boomers and hepatitis C? Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C is transferred through the blood, with most cases of infection resulting from drug use and sharing needles. Baby boomers — those born between 1945 and 1965 — make up 80 percent of all chronic hepatitis C cases in the United States, according to research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Hepatitis C can be a shortterm condition for some people, but for 70–85 percent, it becomes a chronic, long-term infection. Hepatitis C can go undiagnosed for a long time and can lead to serious health consequences. In this article, we take a look at the link between baby

boomers and hepatitis C. We also examine what the risks are, and when people should be tested for the condition. Fast facts on hepatitis C:  In the 1980s, around 6 percent of people who had hepatitis C were cured. Today, however, the cure rate is around 80–90 percent.  Unlike hepatitis A and B, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C.  Hepatitis C is likely to be so common among baby boomers due to the standard of medical practices in the past rather than lifestyle choices. Why should baby boomers get tested for hepatitis C? Despite the high number of baby boomers with hepatitis C in the U.S., most people with the infection are not aware that they have it. Undiagnosed hepatitis C is a significant issue, as the disease can lead to cirrhosis, liver

cancer, and death. For these reasons, in 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended a one-time hepatitis C screening for all adults within the baby boomer age bracket. Reason for high rates of hepatitis C among baby boomers The high rate of hepatitis C among baby boomers is probably the result of some medical practices of the past. A 2016 study published in The Lancet found that most of the spread of hepatitis C occurred roughly between 1940 and 1965. The researchers concluded that this spread likely occurred in hospitals, rather than as a result of lifestyle choices as many people thought. Another article from the same edition of The Lancet notes that during the highest infection period from 1945 to 1965, glass and metal syringes were

commonly reused, which would provide plenty of opportunity for infection. The authors wrote: "The medical community can now take its share of the responsibility for hepatitis C virus infection." These findings show a completely different pattern to what is seen today, where most new hepatitis C infections are linked to drug use. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ar ound one-third of injectable drug users aged 18–30 have hepatitis C. This number rises to 70–90 percent in older and former users. These different causes of infection between past and present explain why many baby boomers might feel stigmatized by the condition. Some may not even consider themselves to be at risk in the first place...Read More

Alzheimer's-related brain changes could start at 40 Scientists may have advanced our understanding of the brain mechanisms behind Alzheimer's disease, after uncovering a process that precedes the buildup of toxic proteins that is a hallmark of the condition. illustration of the human brain and brain connections Researchers reveal how the destruction of pericytes — the cells that surround small blood vessels — lead to white matter damage in the brain. In a mouse study, scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles reveal how damage to cells called pericytes can trigger white matter disease, which is associated with dementia. Also, the study findings suggest that these brain changes

may occur as early as the age of 40. White matter disease is characterized by the degeneration of white matter. This is the brain tissue that contains nerve fibers, the threadlike structures that carry signals from the nerve cells, or neurons, to other areas of the body. In white matter disease, these nerve fibers become damaged, and this causes problems with memory, thinking, and balance. According to senior study author Berislav Zlokovic, of the Keck School of Medicine at USC, white matter disease is common in older adults, and research has linked the condition to cerebral small vessel disease, which they say "contributes to almost 50 percent

of dementia cases worldwide, including Alzheimer's disease." However, the precise mechanisms by which white matter disease may lead to dementia has been unclear. But the new study from Zlokovic and colleagues sheds some light. The researchers recently reported their findings in the journal Nature Medicine. Pericytes and white matter health The study focused on the role of pericytes, which are the cells that line the walls of the capillaries, or the body's smallest blood vessels. First, the team conducted a postmortem analysis of the brains of people who had Alzheimer's disease, and they compared them with the brains

of healthy adults. The researchers found that the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease had 50 percent fewer pericytes than healthy brains, and levels of a protein called fibrinogen — a blood-circulating protein that aids wound healing — were increased by threefold in white matter regions. By using MRI to study mouse models that were deficient in pericytes, it was found that these cells play a key role in white matter health….Read More

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 riarajap@hotmail.com • http://www.facebook.com/groups/354516807278/


Could this protein hold the key to memory? Researchers have identified a protein that plays a crucial role in whether we keep or discard memories. In the future, we might be able to use this knowledge to develop better drugs for memory loss, they say. The issue of memory loss motivates researchers to try and better understand the workings of the brain, how memories are consolidated, and how and why we lose them. As being able to keep our

memories enables us to maintain a sense of selfhood and orientation in the world, understanding how to prevent chronic loss of memory is a top priority in neuroscience. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Toronto Mississauga in Ontario, Canada — in collaboration with colleagues from the United States and the United Kingdom — investigated the role of a particular protein in the formation of memories. Senior researcher Iva Zovkic and her team conducted their

study on mice, focusing specifically on a protein named H2A.Z. This type of protein is called a histone, and it binds to DNA, helping it to keep its structure within cells. H2A.Z and memory formation Zovkic and team worked with both young and aged mice to understand how the H2A.Z protein was involved with memory formation and suppression. As a part of their experiment, the researchers placed the mice in a new box, so as to force them

to get familiarized with a strange environment. Then, to be able to test how the protein functioned in the context of memory formation, the animals were exposed to a negative stimulus while in the box. This way, the mice formed an association between the new environment and the bad experience that they had been exposed to. The second time the scientists placed them in the box, the now cautious mice refused to move around and explore, as they normally would have….Read More

How to get rid of jowls In humans, jowls are excess or saggy skin on the neck, just below the jawline and chin. Almost everyone develops at least minor jowls as they age and their skin becomes less elastic. Several factors, including heredity, stress, repetitive facial habits, and lifestyle choices, can cause more pronounced jowls at almost any age. In this article, learn about exercises and treatments to get rid of jowls, as well as how to help prevent them. Causes Though several factors are

known to increase the likelihood and severity of jowls, their ultimate cause is aging. As the skin ages, it starts to lose some of the compounds that help keep its shape, specifically fat and the connective tissue proteins elastin and collagen. The skin also tends to become drier and thinner, making it more difficult to maintain its form. As the skin becomes less resilient and full, it becomes more vulnerable to gravity and slowly begins to sag. Sagging skin around the cheeks and mouth falls to the area around the chin and

jawline, creating jowls. Risk factors for jowls include:  history of sunburn  excessive or chronic alcohol use  smoking  chronic or severe dehydration  chronic or severe stress  diets low in antioxidants, healthful fats, and other essential nutrients  habits or expressions that overuse the cheek, mouth, and jaw muscles, such as frowning, chewing gum, and talking on the cell phone for a long time

 skin allergens,

ranging from air pollution to cosmetics  poor skin hygiene  lack of exercise  cleansing the skin too aggressively  physical trauma or injury to the facial and jaw muscles and skin  a family history of jowls  extreme or rapid weight loss  severe or chronic illness ...Read More

Cancer risk may increase as immune system declines The findings of a new study could be a game-changer for cancer prevention research. The The thymus gland immune (shown here) may system may play a role in play a much cancer risk. more important role in age-related cancer risk than previously thought. Each year, more than 8 million people die of cancer globally. Although

treatments are steadily improving, there are still many questions unanswered. Essentially, cancer is caused by a succession of gene mutations that accumulate over time. We know that some factors can increase the rate at which these genetic mutations occur, and thus increase the risk of cancer. These factors include smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, and obesity. However, not all risk factors are avoidable; one major risk factor is getting old. As our age

increases, so does our cancer risk. Why does aging increase cancer risk so significantly? A multidiscipline research group recently provided an unexpected new answer to this question. Aging and cancer risk It stands to reason that, as time marches on, the likelihood of mutations increases. Until now, that has been the standard explanation: the older you get, the more mutations you have, and your cancer risk is greater. A recent study — conducted at the University of Dundee in the United Kingdom, and with

help from the Curie Insitute in Paris, France, as well as HeriotWatt University and the University of Edinburgh, both in the U.K. — questions whether this is the whole story. The hypothesis the team set out to prove was that cancer risk increases with age due to an aging immune system. It is wellknown that the immune system becomes less effective as we get older, making us more susceptible to illness….Read More

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 riarajap@hotmail.com • http://www.facebook.com/groups/354516807278/

Feb11  

RI ARA February 11, 2018 E-Newsletter

Feb11  

RI ARA February 11, 2018 E-Newsletter

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