6 things that make you more attractive to mosquitoes

The pesky mosquito – is there anything more annoying at a BBQ? For many of us, the answer is “no”, but for others, mozzies don’t seem to be an issue at all – but why? Why do mozzies favour come people over others? It may be because of these six things about you which they simply can’t get enough of.

1. You exhale a lot of carbon dioxide

Larger people (and pregnant women) produce more carbon dioxide. Incredibly, this makes them more attractive to mozzies and thus more likely to be bitten. If that’s not incentive to lose some weight, we don’t know what is!

2. You’re hot

No, really, you are! A 2015 study found that having a high body temperature increases the likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes. Again, this only makes it harder for overweight people, who as a rule have a higher body temperature. Our advice? Stay cool!

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Why cherries could be the secret to relieving gout

Over60 NZ native article for Abeeco

While the festive season is a time of joy and excitement for many, for gout sufferers, it can signal one of the most painful times of year. From indulgent roasts and Christmas puddings to rich wines and summer cocktails, many gout sufferers find themselves prone to more regular attacks. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case.

With around 110,000 thousand Kiwis suffering from gout (a number expected to double each decade), New Zealand has earned the unfortunate title of the “gout capital of the world,” according to Associate Professor Dr Nicola Dalbeth of the University of Auckland.

In fact, gout is so prevalent in our country that it’s become the second most-common form of arthritis. Caused by sodium urate crystals forming in and around joints (particularly the big toe), gout produces symptoms like sudden, severe pain in the joint, swelling and redness. Men are three times more likely than women to suffer from gout and up to 15 per cent of Maori and Pasifika men have gout compared with fewer than five per cent of Pakeha men.

So, you may be wondering, where do cherries come in? Well, one of the best ways to manage gout attacks is to reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood and remove it from the body, and cherries were found to do just that by a 2014 study from Northumbria University.

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The silent condition over 1 million Australians live with

Have you ever been so cold your hands and feet hurt? Or even go numb? Do you dread winter more than anyone you know and rejoice when it comes to an end? You’re not alone – you may be experiencing Raynaud’s phenomenon, a condition affecting more than one million Australians.

Raynaud’s phenomenon (or Raynaud syndrome) occurs when the blood flow to the extremities (fingers and toes) becomes restricted, causing discomfort, numbness or tingling. In addition, the affected area will change colour, turning white or blue during an attack, then red when blood flow returns, then finally back to its usual colour.

Raynaud 's

It’s most often triggered by cold weather, sudden changes in temperature or emotionally stressful situations.

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Accessing the wealth locked in your home

Over60 native article for Homesafe

Life doesn’t always go to plan. Medical emergencies, legal difficulties and other unexpected costs can throw off your grand retirement plans and leave you struggling to pay the bills, let alone maintaining your lifestyle as you age. And when this happens, what can you do? Downsizing isn’t always a solution and going back to work may not be an option.

Thankfully, there’s a way to access the wealth locked in your home when you need it most – with a home equity release solution. There are two types of equity release products – reverse mortgages, which involve borrowing money using the equity in your home, and home reversion schemes, which involve selling a portion of the equity in your home. It may sound like a daunting prospect, but a home equity release product shouldn’t be seen as the last resort. Here are four reasons why.

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Easy cancer checks you can do at home

As life expectancy around the world continues to grow, so does the likelihood of developing cancer. However, despite more people than ever being diagnosed with cancer, we’re also more likely to survive it than ever. This is due not only to greater awareness and improved treatment, but also thanks to more and more people knowing what to look for. Here are just a few easy cancer checks you can do right now, right at home. You never know, you could save your own life.

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Do I have enough super if I live beyond 90?

Over60 native article for AustralianSuper

“If I retired now, would I have enough money to last if I live into my 90s?”

It’s a question many people approaching retirement ask themselves as they edge towards the exciting stage of their lives. The good news is that it’s not something that all Australians – even those already retired – should be too concerned about as there are lots of ways you can turn your situation around. Here’s what you need to know.

As life expectancy continues to grow (currently standing at 80.9 years for men and 84.8 for women), it’s never been more important to secure your finances in the event that you reach – or perhaps even exceed – this age.

To help you answer this question,  has a number of free, easy-to-use online calculators to ensure you’re on top of your finances well in advance of retirement. Here’s how you can make these resources work for you.

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The issue no one talks about that affects up to 50% of post-menopausal women

Over60 NZ native article for Dr Anju Basu

As we age, it’s only natural for our mind and body to go through changes – some welcome, some not so welcome. While we can all appreciate the wisdom and lust for life that comes with growing older, there’s one thing in particular that all women would agree we could all do without.

Vaginal atrophy is a condition that affects up to 50 per cent of all post-menopausal women, but sadly, it’s an issue that is constantly brushed under the rug. Even worse? Only 25 per cent seek treatment.

So, what exactly is it and how can it be treated? According to Wellington-based gynaecologist, Dr Anju Basu, vaginal atrophy is “a very common problem of menopause that results in symptoms of vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, vaginal burning, itching, abnormal discharge and urinary symptoms such as incontinence. Society tends to forget older women and doesn’t give thought to their quality of life, assuming women over 50 don’t want to have sex! That’s not true, and I’m hoping to change that.”

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The children’s book challenging ageist stereotypes

In January, we introduced you to Andrea Gallagher, the Australian author challenging old stereotypes with her children’s picture book, Superstar Grandmas: An A-Z of Seriously Cool Seniors. Now, two months later, Gallagher has just released her follow-up book, Mega-rad Grandads.

Aside from the many “dynamic and vibrant grandads” she knew, Andrea tells Over60 her main inspiration was her very own father – and now grandad to her two children. “He’s the most amazing grandad,” she gushes. “He’s really something very special.”

Sick of the “grumpy old grandad” stereotype she had so often seen, Andrea decided to shed some light on what grandfathers truly are – fun-loving, making up for lost time, and essential to every child’s development.

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How I rediscovered a love of learning in retirement

Over60 native article for AustralianSuper

As the life expectancy of Australians continues to grow, many find themselves working longer than they expected – or even hoped. As such, a growing number of over-60s are choosing to give themselves a competitive edge by taking community classes, completing online courses and even going to university. Over60 community member, 72-year-old Geraldine Luker, is one of them.

“Many years ago, I was married to a man that wouldn’t let me develop my interests,” she tells Over60. “Having said that, he allowed me to undergo my EN training [enrolled nurse]. I was privileged to be one of the first groups of ENs trained at Flinders Medical Centre 1975 to 76.

“After many years of working as an EN in acute care, with a change of marriage status and with my daughter’s encouragement, I commenced my degree  (it means you are trained on the job (explained above) but don’t have a degree) at Flinders University in 2006. The experience was so exciting, I felt I was where I always wanted to be. At the age of 62, yes indeed I was the oldest student in nursing at Flinders.

[…]

“I finally completed my degree in 2009. It was an epic journey and I loved every minute of it. It just goes to show, when you fail at school it’s not the end of the road. I have had many people in their 50s say, ‘I would like to study but I’m too old.’ I will always encourage people to further their learning.”

Of course, the prospect of returning to education can be a daunting one, especially if it’s been a while since you were last at school or completed a course. That’s why we’ve put together this easy guide so no matter your situation, budget or schedule, you can dive back into the world of learning.

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Is it possible to detect Parkinson’s sooner?

Over60 native article for the Garvan Institute

Parkinson’s disease has long been a source of confusion, misinformation and misunderstanding, with many believing it to simply be “the shakes”. But there is so much more to this cruel and complex disease.

According to Parkinson’s Australia, there are currently around 70,000 people affected by the disease in this country alone. The average age of diagnosis is 65 years, but for some, the dreaded news can come much earlier.

“My mother had Parkinson’s,” Over60 community member Pauline Marrone explains. “She was first diagnosed at 43 years old and passed away at 73. The last 10 years of her life, once she became bedridden, were terrible to watch, particularly the involuntary jumping of her legs after she had taken her medication. My dad was her carer. He passed away in his sleep, in bed next to her, and she was unable to do anything but lay there next to him until help arrived. It was very traumatic.”

Not only is its cause currently almost impossible to pinpoint, it’s also notoriously difficult to diagnose, as there are currently no laboratory tests available – diagnosis is all down to examinations conducted by neurologists.

To understand a bit more about the disease, and learn about an exciting breakthrough that may lead to the development of an effective treatment, we spoke to Associate Professor Antony Cooper. As head of the neuroscience division at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, his work focuses on a number of neurodegenerative diseases – primarily, Parkinson’s disease.

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