We’re Living Longer — and Healthier

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July 30th, 2013

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There’s no doubt that we’re living longer than previous generations. Now there’s encouraging news that those added years may be healthy ones as well. According to the latest tallies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010 the average life expectancy rose from 78.6 years in 2009 to 78.7 in 2010. But the data has not been as definitive about whether that means people are stronger and healthier and therefore adding years to their lives, or whether medical innovations are extending lives, but leaving people sicker for longer.

Researchers from Harvard University report that there is some reason to be optimistic about our longevity. “Effectively, the period of time in which we’re in poor health is being compressed until just before the end of life. So where we used to see people who are very, very sick for the final six or seven years of their life, that’s now far less common. People are living to older ages and we are adding healthy years, not debilitated ones,” said David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University and author of the latest study, in a statement.

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My Name is John and I Am a Sex Addict. (Or Maybe Not)

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July 24th, 2013

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Is it or isn’t it? A new study undermines the theory that sex addiction is a brain-based disorder similar to other addictions.

For most of the public, the concept of addiction is pretty straightforward— it involves taking something, or doing something, that brings you pleasure and that you can’t control. But scientifically, addiction means something much more specific, if not precisely quantifiable.

For much of the 20th century, psychiatrists and lay people defined addictions as use of substances or behaviors that required ever-increasing doses to maintain a satisfying “high.” These addictions also conspired to form some type of physiologic dependence, which led to physical symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea when the addictive substance or activity was stopped.

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Are you ‘normal’ in bed?

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July 24th, 2013

By Ian Kerner

How does your sex life measure up? That’s the central premise of “The Normal Bar,” a new book by Chrisanna Northrup and sociologists Pepper Schwartz and James Witte.

Based on the responses of an Internet survey of some 70,000 people, “The Normal Bar” endeavors to ease people’s concerns about their sexual relationships by providing readers with an idea of what’s “normal” for most couples — from how often they have sex, to how sexually adventurous they are, to how they romance each other outside the bedroom.

“It isn’t about a 98.6 kind of normal — just the normal of exceptionally happy couples (gay and straight) and what we can learn from them,” Schwartz says.

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Why you should talk about sex before marriage

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July 23rd, 2013

By Ian Kerner, Special to CNN

Most couples tying the knot don’t want to wait until the honeymoon to know if things are going to work in the bedroom, and would agree that having sex before marriage is an important way to establish if there’s a basic level of sexual compatibility.

But — without getting into the moral pros and cons of premarital sex — that may not always be the case.

“Just because you have good sex, and a lot of it, before marriage doesn’t mean it will be that way for your entire life,” says social psychologist Justin Lehmiller.

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Hormone-Replacement Therapy: Could Estrogen Have Saved 50,000 Lives?

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July 22nd, 2013

By @acsifferlin

For more than a decade, doctors have cautioned women about the risks associated with hormone-replacement therapy. But those warnings may have put one group of women at increased risk of dying early, according to the latest study.

Researchers at Yale University say nearly 50,000 women may have died prematurely after they stopped taking hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) to treat menopause symptoms, following a much publicized 2002 study that revealed the treatment increased risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

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