How Hormones Affect Mood for Women

Moody woman leaning against window

Feeling sad or depressed? Maybe it’s not you—maybe it’s your hormones. Here’s how puberty, pregnancy, post-partum, and menopause can affect mental health.

4 Ways Modern Medicine Is Helping Ease the Veteran Suicide Crisis

veteran armed forces suicide prevention support with precision medicine

Hope for easing the suicide crisis among U.S. military veterans has grown in recent years, thanks in part to advances in treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and other mental health conditions veterans bring home from the battlefield. That’s important news, because the number of veterans who die by suicide is sobering. According to […]

Risk Stratification Definition, and How It Affects Patients’ Care

nurse administering medications to elderly woman patient for risk stratification definition

You’re probably familiar with the lab tests and in-office screening procedures clinicians use to assess your current clinical conditions or your risk of developing certain diseases. But that’s just a starting point for the next steps in your care. Risk stratification definition Through a process called risk stratification, clinicians can systematically categorize patients’ health risk […]

How Pharmacogenomics Has Improved Patients’ Lives Through Personalized Prescriptions

lab technician making notes on pharmacogenomics sample

Did you know that your DNA is 99.9% the same as your neighbor’s? So what makes you you? That remaining 0.1% can influence everything from your height, weight, and hair color. It can also affect how your body reacts to and breaks down certain types of medications. The emerging scientific field of pharmacogenomics combines pharmacology […]

How Your Genes Can Help Clinicians and Cardiologists Keep Your Heart Healthy

lab technician putting red droplet under microscope for precision health and genetics for heart medications

If your doctor has prescribed multiple drugs for your heart condition — maybe you recently suffered a heart attack or deal with angina — it’s likely that your prescription regimen is entirely different from that of your neighbor. That’s because you are you, thanks to your genes, and you might reap different rewards from certain […]

4 Hidden Costs of Aging and How You Can Offset Them

4 older women walking on beach to offset the hidden costs of aging

Think about the last time you were at the supermarket. If you felt like you were the youngest person there, it’s possible that you were. The U.S. population is aging rapidly. Currently, there are more than 54 million older adults (age 65 and up), and by 2040 that number is expected to balloon to 80 […]

Medication Adherence: Why It’s Important to Patients

couple organizing their medications for medication adherence

When patients fill a prescription, it doesn’t always mean that they’ll follow through on the important part: taking it. Taking medication as prescribed is called medication adherence – and it’s a practice too often neglected. Turns out, about half of all patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure don’t take their […]

How Food Affects Your Mood

assortment of foods representing how food affects your mood

Today, the rapidly growing field of nutritional psychiatry is finding many connections between the food we eat and the types of bacteria that live in our guts which affect how we feel

How Precision Medicine Could Revolutionize Older Adult Care

precision medicine for older adults healthcare

Part of the reason you’re living longer is your physical and social environment — your home, neighborhood, and community — notes the World Health Organization.1 Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and refraining from smoking all contribute to a longer life span as well. Doctors prescribe medications to their patients to treat illnesses and with […]

How to Make the Most of Your Annual Medication Review

older woman doing virtual annual medication review through medicare

If you’re an older adult, one of the most frustrating aspects of everyday life may be staying on top of all those medications you’ve been prescribed. Making sure they’re in the right slot in your pillbox can be frustrating. In some cases, because you’ve been prescribed so many different drugs, you may wonder if you […]

What Is Pharmacovigilance, and Why Is It So Important to Patients’ Health?

what is pharmacovigilance in patient care

Some of the medications you’ve been prescribed could put you at risk of experiencing an adverse drug event (ADE), or a situation where you might be harmed by a medication.1 As one example, one of your prescriptions could be interacting with another one (drug-drug interaction), or even your DNA could be interacting with one of […]

The Life-Threatening Mental Illness in Older Adults No One Is Talking About

older man and caregiver sitting on couch with tablet

We’ve all experienced times in our lives when we’ve felt blue. But for some, those feelings can be intense and last for several weeks or longer, signaling a medical condition known as clinical depression.1 Although clinical depression affects people of all ages, adults over the age of 65 are at an increased risk, says Patrick […]

11 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Starting or Switching to a New Medication

older woman holding meds on phone consult with doc

If you take one prescription medication, you’ll know that there’s a dose and a frequency with which you’re supposed to take it. Normally, it’s easy to keep track of one prescription, no problem. Now, multiply that by five, 10, or more. Taking multiple drugs at a time can often be unnerving. You might worry about […]

Managing Multiple Comorbidities More Easily

multi-color pills scattered on blue surface for treating multiple comorbidities

Over the past two years, the term “comorbidity” has been used more and more in public health conversations, thanks in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the context of the pandemic, you’ve learned that people with comorbidities — or more than one pre-existing medical condition at the same time (such as diabetes and cancer) […]

How to Avoid Medication Errors: A Guide

older African-American woman consulting clinician about how to avoid medication errors

Thousands of Americans die as a result of medication errors on an annual basis — and in many cases, the situation could have been avoided if the proper precautions had been taken. In fact, a recent report published in Stat Pearls puts the medication error death toll at between 7,000 and 9,000 people per year.1 […]

Avoiding Falls: 8 Helpful Tips for Older Adults and Their Caregivers

senior woman and caregiver holding on walker

If you’re a caregiver or just enjoy spending quality time with your parents or grandparents, these statistics may be cause for concern: Falls are a major problem among older adults (age 65 and up) and can lead to serious injury or death.1 In fact, falls are the top cause of injury and death from injury […]

Benefits of Precision Medicine and How It Can Help Keep You Healthy

adult man staring out window thinking about the benefits of precision medicine

Many long-term care facilities, large private practices, and health care networks have welcomed the concept of precision medicine. But ask the average person what precision medicine is and you might get more than a few blank stares. In fact, according to a survey of Americans by the Personalized Medicine Coalition, 66% of respondents had never […]

Meds Made Easier: 5 Tips for Tackling a Complex Medication Regimen

pill packs and pill box being filled

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 70% of American adults ages 40 to 79 have used at least one prescription medication in the last 30 days.1 That number may not be too surprising. But this one might be: More than 22% of U.S. adults have used five or more prescription medications […]

The Power of Positive Emotions — and the Upside to Negative Ones

young woman looking pensively out a window sitting

Think of your emotions like you would the weather: Somedays, it’s all sunshine and positivity, while others, it’s dark and gloomy. There’s a lot of in-between too. Those positive emotions can feel great, and they’re great for your health too. For example, positive emotions, especially hopefulness, have been linked to lower levels of coronary heart […]

Antipsychotics: What You Need to Know

torso shot of well-dressed person pouring pills into hand

For decades, clinicians have been prescribing patients antipsychotic medications. Unfortunately, use of these medications has long been associated with myths, stigmas, and stereotypes. As the name implies, conventionally, people believe that anyone taking antipsychotics must have psychosis (which refers to a loss of contact with reality; typically involving delusions and/or hallucinations)1 or schizophrenia. Also among […]

What Are ADEs (Adverse Drug Events)?

doctor and patient reviewing pills for what are ADEs

Most people take their prescription medications without too much thought. You assume the medications are going to work and that your care team has prescribed you the right ones to help solve your medical needs. But for many people who take one or more prescription medications at a time, taking them could mean danger is […]

Myths About Mental Health

woman thinking representing myths about mental health

Here’s a staggering fact: Mental illness affects tens of millions of Americans annually, and we’ve seen the number of mental health concerns grow over the past several years. As an example, one study found 8.5% of participants were experiencing symptoms of depression back in 2017-2018. But a couple of years later, thanks in large part […]