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B. Preventive Behavior in Older Populations

Narrator: This is Science Today. A new study suggests older women who actively take part in one preventive measure, like taking calcium supplements, are more likely to engage in others - like getting regular mammograms. Dr. David Reuben, director of geriatric medicine and gerontology at UCLA, led the study and says previous research suggested old age was one of the factors contributing to poor adherence to mammography.

Reuben: What we're seeing here is a change in the dynamic, whereas older women in this study are going to be more empowered and take more responsibility.

Narrator: Reuben says part of this is because the doctor-patient relationship is no longer so paternalistic.

Reuben: I think what's happening is it's what they call a cohort phenomenon - that people who were very much in this paternalistic mode of receiving health care will all have passed on and that the coming generation of older people are going to be more empowered and more participatory in their health care decision making.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.