A recent New York Times article described a 77-year-old retired gardener in England who had not spoken with another human being in more than six weeks. He told the reporter through tears that he felt "very lonely, and bored." Recent budget cuts prevented him from taking the bus to the grocery store. Younger people, including his own son, had left town for better jobs in larger cities. I see this loneliness ...

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My 81-year-old patient came in several weeks ago and disclosed that he had stopped taking his aspirin after watching a news report on television. “They said I didn’t need it anymore,” he told me. I gently informed him that this news didn’t apply to him. He was responding to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, which showed that aspirin failed to prevent ...

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