OK, technically data day was December 3rd — the day when the Census Bureau released their latest American Community Survey data — but it takes a while to digest this stuff. Also, you’re probably not surprised that you’re getting older. Nevertheless, the median age from 2005-2009 was 36.5 years old, and from 2010-2014 was 37.4 years old. U.S. News & World Report has a neat tool where you can get data at the county level, but for true data fanatics, you can dive right in at the Census Bureau.
Five times! That’s how much hospitalizations for opioid misuse have increased in the elderly since 1993, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. U.S. News & World Report came out with an excellent article today: Silent Epidemic: Seniors and Addiction. Of course, it goes into more detail on the problem, but, more importantly, it addresses some of the things that are being done in terms of doctor education, and covers some non-addictive pain medications.
I’m always skeptical of research studies based on shockingly small sample groups. This particular study from the American Academy of Neurology is only based on a sample size of 128 people. Nevertheless, the results are at least interesting enough to watch for future research and see if it gets corroborated in large tests. The results of the test seem to indicate that slow walking speed in the elderly may point to future Alzheimer’s problems. Of course, there are lots of other reasons for the elderly to walk slowly, so don’t get alarmed just yet if you’re not trotting about quite as quickly as you did in your youth.