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MATURE MARKET HEADLINES POSTED 04/03/98


Titanic Craze Launches Freighter Frenzy

The blockbuster movie, Titanic has launched a revival of interest in shipboard travel. Couple the film's popularity with the growing numbers of America's leisure class, retirees and senior citizens, and you have a hot new travel trend on your hands. One shipboard travel option for those either on a budget or just plain frugal is freighter travel.

These cargo ships provide inexpensive, long sea voyages with extended stop-overs in ports for loading and unloading. New cargo vessels are being built with passenger facilities as an integral part of the ship. It is not unusual for a brand-new containership to offer accommodations for 4 to 12 passengers. And, you're much more likely to dine with the captain. Some freighter lines are capitalizing on this trend by adding a number of new routes for freighter enthusiasts, including around-the-world voyages.

These circumnavigations are often booked up to a year in advance due to their increasing popularity. These time schedules are "just the ticket" for retirees and senior citizens with time on their hands. Assisting this those with freighter travel plans is the Freighter Travel Club of America which publishes the Freighter Travel News.

This monthly, 8-page newsletter serves as a clearinghouse for first-hand reports of freighter voyages, news items, shipping line updates, comments, and articles about this unique means of exploring the world. The newsletter began forty years ago in 1958 as a "kitchen table" publication authored by Reg Clark in a small town in Idaho.

As a child, Clark would travel aboard freighters with his family from their hometown in eastern Maine to port cities along the Eastern seaboard. Wanting to share his experiences with other freighter travel enthusiasts, Clark started the Freighter Travel Club and newsletter. Information about the club and newsletter is available to those who write to the Freighter Travel Club, 3524 Harts Lake Road, Roy, Washington 98580.
AgeVenture News Service, www.demko.com
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Hospice Becoming Household Word

In 1982, a Harris poll found that 50% of those surveyed agreed that it was okay for terminally ill patients to request and receive physician-assisted suicide. Today, that number is 73%, according to the Hospice Foundation of America.

Today's generation of youth-obsessed, health-oriented baby boomers is suddenly finding itself confronted with the dual challenge of caring for aging parents while coping with the impact of terminal illnesses of friends and relatives. As a result,, end-of-life issues that were once considered overly negative, depressing and even taboo in this country have become all-too-relevant for millions of Americans. Most recently, disturbing stories of physician-assisted suicides, nursing home abuse, and negligent hospital care have been generating news coverage.

But what most Americans don't realize is that there are less controversial, more human options for dying patients. Options that are less stressful and more compassionate ways for grieving family and friends to cope with the frightening emotional and financial costs of terminal illness. One increasingly viable alternative is the nation's rapidly growing hospice system, which has more than doubled is size over the past five years.

The hospice philosophy recognizes that there are more comfortable ways to spend the last few months of one's life than in a sterile hospital room undergoing invasive, expensive and often painful treatments. While most people think of hospice as a place, it is actually a service that includes bereavement counseling, medical supervision, and social workers to help patients die with dignity and peace, pain-free within their homes, surrounded by their family and loved ones.

As dying in a hospital becomes prohibitively expensive, hospice care is gaining national recognition as a cost-effective, humane alternative. Each year, nearly half a million Americans choose to live their final days with hospice care to control their pain while achieving a death with dignity. There are 3,000 hospices nationwide. Ninety percent of them are Medicare certified. The Hospice Foundation of America maintains an Internet website as a resource to those in need. The website address is: "www.hospicefoundation.org".
AgeVenture News Service, www.demko.com
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FDA Approves Pfizer's Impotence Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the breakthrough oral therapy Viagra (sildenafil citrate) for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is the consistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual activity. An estimated 30 million men in the United States are affected by ED. And, the prevalence of ED increases with advancing age. Taken about an hour before anticipated sexual activity, Viagra is a tablet that works naturally with sexual stimulation.

Viagra is effective in most men with erectile dysfunction, a medical term for impotence, which is associated with a broad range of physical or pyschological medical conditions. The most common side effects of Viagra established by clinical trials were headache, facial flushing and indigestion. In addition, Viagra should not be used by patients taking nitrates in any form, including the heart medicine nitroglycerin.

The new impotence drug was tested in more than 4,000 men with a median age of 55 and a mean of five years ED experience. Each subject was diagnosed as mild, moderate, or complete ED. They had a broad range of conditions associated with ED including high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes and prostate surgery. Discovered by Pfizer, Viagra is the first in a new class of medications known as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors that improve blood flow to the penis.

"Viagra is a major scientific advance because it effectively treats a medical condition that has a devastating impact on the quality of life of many men and their spouses," said William C. Steere, Jr., chairman and chief executive of Pfizer Inc. Pfizer is a research-based health care company with global operations totaling $12.5 billion.

See AgeVenture archives for related article:
Global Impotence Pegged at 47 Million
AgeVenture News Service, www.demko.com
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Don't Myth Retirement

American Express thinks you need to re-think what you've always thought about retirement. And, in order to help you do just that, AE has released their list of the top retirement myths held by most Americans. Take time to discover the truth about these retirement myths, and your retirement income should last as long as you do.
AgeVenture News Service, www.demko.com
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Publisher Pages Simon & Garfunkel

London-based radio host and newspaper columnist, Victoria Kingston has authored "Simon and Garfunkel: the biography" for Fromm International Publishing. Simon and Garfunkel had an almost unbroken series of best-selling hits that spoke to the heart of their times. With Paul Simon's songs and Art Garfunkel's voice, the duo produced the flawless and awe-inspiring harmonies that thrilled a generation.

This in-depth biography follows the two musicians from their Queens childhood and early days as Tom and Jerry to their role on the evolving folk-rock scene. Fame did not come quickly for the duo, but the surprise success of a remixed version of "The Sound of Silence" changed their lives, catapulting them unprepared from relative obscurity to the top of the charts. Victoria Kingston traces their ascent through the pop world as they produced such classics as "Homeward Bound", "The Boxer", and "Bridge Over Troubled Water".

When the director Mike Nichols approached them to create the songs for his film "The Graduate", they recorded "Mrs. Robinson", which won the first of many Grammy Awards. "Simon & Garfunkel: the biography" follows the duo through their breakup and subsequent solo careers, as well as their legendary 1981 concert in Central Park and 1982 international reunion tour. The book is due in bookstores this May. $25.
AgeVenture News Service, www.demko.com
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Tune in, Turn on, TONE up

TONE (Trial Of Nonpharmacologic interventions in Elderly) is the latest research project to show that lifestyle modifications like losing weight and cutting down on salt can lessen and even eliminate the need for blood pressure-lowering medications in the elderly. "By modifying their own behavior, older Americans can play an important role in the treatment and management of their high blood pressure", according to NIA Director Dr. Richard Hodes.

The study demonstrated that both weight loss and sodium reduction produced the best result as far as reducing the need for blood pressure medicine. Sodium reduction lowered the need for antihypertensive medications by 31 percent, weight loss by 36 percent, and the combination by 53 percent. The goal of the TONE participants was to cut sodium intake to 1,800 mg per day. 38% succeeded. The average American consumes about 4,000 mg of sodium daily.

About 50 million Americans have high blood pressure, which is defined as a systolic pressure above 140 mmHg and a diastolic pressure above 90 mmHg. Hypertension is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and is extremely common in the elderly, especially older minority populations. Nearly three-fourths of Americans with high blood pressure do not have the condition controlled.

The lowest rates of cardiovascular problems were seen in the groups receiving TONE interventions. A free guide, "Controlling High Blood Pressure" is available on request from: NHLBI Information Center, P.O. Box 30105, Bethesda, MD 20824-0105. TONE was co-funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
AgeVenture News Service, www.demko.com
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