Associated Press

Dementia patients whose caregivers are mentally stressed may die sooner than those who are cared for by people in good mental health, according to a new study.

"These findings highlight the importance of caring for caregivers as well as patients when attempting to improve patients' lives," the authors write.

Big picture: An estimated 17.7 million Americans are providing unpaid care for an aging adult. As baby boomers age and neurodegenerative diseases become more prevalent, the U.S. faces a caregiving crisis.

Researchers tracked 176 patients and their caregivers for five years. Caregivers initially scored their own social functioning, depression, anxiety and other indicators of mental health. Patients were then tracked as their disease progressed and researchers found those whose caregivers were in poor mental health died 14 months sooner than patients with caregivers who weren't stressed. (The researchers adjusted for the patient's age, the severity of their disease, mental health and gender.)

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Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.

Federal judge blocks DOJ from defending Trump in Carroll rape defamation case

E. Jean Carroll in Warwick, New York. Photo: Eva Deitch for The Washington Post via Getty Images

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Catch up quick: The agency argued that Trump was "acting within the scope of his office" as president when he said in 2019 that Carroll was "lying" about her claim.