Seniors don’t need to do everything the health magazines recommend to stay fit. A new study with older women shows that either snoozing right or maintaining a good social network is enough to reduce levels of an inflammatory compound linked to bad health.
It’s well known that lifestyle characteristics such as sleep and relationships can affect health. For example, seniors who sleep badly or have few close friends and relations generally have more health problems and die younger than their peers. But what’s behind the trend? Previous research indicates than an inflammatory molecule in the body called IL-6 is present at high levels in people who sleep badly. Just as high cholesterol puts one at risk for heart disease, high IL-6 increases the risk of a variety of ailments associated with age, such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis.