Think You Got Game?
: The Hartford Courant reports on the Celadrin Tigerettes, an all-women’s basketball team based in Baton Rouge, La., that will be competing Saturday in the Connecticut Senior Games.

Korky Vann writes:

With a record of 157-3, along with five Senior Olympics gold medals, the six women, all over 60 and all grandmothers, have picked up more broken fingers, black eyes and bruises than they can count during their six-year winning streak.

They’ve also picked up bragging rights as one of the only senior women’s basketball teams with a corporate sponsor. Celadrin, makers of dietary supplements and creams designed to keep joints flexible and relieve pain, was so impressed with the team’s accomplishments, the company approached the women with the idea of a corporate alliance.

“We’re no pushovers; we play to win,” says Mavis Albin, the team’s captain and, at 71, the oldest player. “We throw our own share of elbows, and we sink three-pointers. We scrimmage with men’s teams. We’ve even played the Harlem Globetrotters. They had another game that night, so we let them win, but we don’t let that happen too often.”

According to the Courant, the number of elite senior athletes is increasing as the population ages: “In 1987, 2,500 older athletes showed up to compete in the country’s
first Senior Games. Last year, 12,000 participated. At last year’s Connecticut Senior Games, 800 individuals competed in a variety of sports. This year, more than 1,000 individuals, ages 50 to 90-plus, are expected to participate in track and field, cycling, archery, racquetball, basketball, softball and other sports.”

Do You Need to be as Physically Well-Tested as the President?: A “presidential physical” is not only expensive — to the tune of $1,400 — but the extra tests may not be a good idea. Katherine Hobson writes at U.S. News & World Report:

“The first starting place is to say, ‘Is it helpful?'” says Ateev
Mehrotra, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School
of Medicine and a health policy researcher at Rand Corp. After all,
there are potential harms from getting tests that you don’t need. False
positives can lead not only to needless worry but also to more invasive
tests and procedures.

For example, the chest X-ray that’s part of the
$1,400 physical might well spot a lung tumor, but it could also lead to
unnecessary biopsies and even surgery. Other tests involved in the physical, such as abdominal ultrasounds and even a urinalysis, are similarly double-edged.

Domestic Abuse and Older Women: “Arthritis and high blood pressure aren’t the only problems that affect older women — domestic abuse is sadly and all too frequently a physical, emotional and spiritual health challenge that many women face each day,” reports the Gloucester Daily Times in this Health Beat column on community health concerns and available services.

It is not unusual for women to seek help for the first time in their 60s and beyond, because “there was a different norm when they grew up,” said Katie Galenius, director of the Older Battered Women’s program at Greater Lynn Senior Services. “It was your marriage and you stayed in it no matter what. People said. ‘you made your bed, now you have to lie in it.'”

Plus: Erin Marcus, associate medical director of the Institute for Women’s Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, writes in The New York Times about the need for better methods to screen patients for domestic abuse.

“Those who support routine questioning say domestic violence is as or more common in women than many diseases for which doctors regularly check, including breast and colon cancer, and its health risks are well documented,” notes Marcus. “Despite these recommendations, screening for domestic abuse in seemingly healthy women is nowhere near as widespread among doctors as testing for breast cancer or high cholesterol.”

Vitamin D and Breast Cancer: The L.A. Times takes a closer look at a recent study  by researchers at University of California, San Diego that found breast cancer rates are lower in countries where people are exposed to high levels of ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from the sun.

“The researchers also found that breast cancer rates increase as blood
levels of vitamin D decrease. Further, breast cancer rates are higher,
they found, in places where people get more of their calories from meat
and dairy, as opposed to vegetables and grains,” writes Elana Conis.

The story looks at why the study matters and what we still don’t know about the role of vitamin D.

Two Versions of End-of-Life Care: “There are two starkly different paths toward death in New York City’s hospitals, one for patients at elite private institutions, another for those at public hospitals, according to new data compiled as part of a consumer rating system,” reports The New York Times. Anemona Hartocollis and Ford Fessenden write:

Most elderly patients in their last two years of life have more intensive treatment, more tests, more days of hospitalization — and more out-of-pocket costs — at private teaching hospitals like N.Y.U. and Lenox Hill than their counterparts at Bellevue and the city’s other municipal hospitals, which have historically served the neediest New Yorkers. […]

The rankings, compiled by Consumer Reports from a 15-year research project based at Dartmouth College, have huge implications for administrators, doctors and patients as they consider which model of care is best for those suffering from chronic, fatal illnesses like cancer, congestive heart failure, lung disease and dementia.

The study does not address the question of whether longer stays and more intervention prolong patients’ lives, and the Dartmouth researchers argue, in general, that less-aggressive treatment does not change the outcome, but spares patients the agony of unnecessary tests and reduces the risk of hospital-borne infections.

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  • marilyn crawford January 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    wanted to contact a player or coach with the tigerettes. would love to start a team in our town

    Reply