Personal Health and Well-being

Candy Sagon writes about health topics for AARP. She previously was a reporter with the Washington Post and has written numerous articles on food, health and nutrition for national magazines.

Planning a Trip? 6 Tips to Avoid Health Problems

You’re having a great trip and then, boom, you fall off your bicycle and break your leg. Just ask Secretary of State John Kerry, who did just that in France recently and had to cancel the rest of his European diplomatic trip. On the advice of his physicians, Kerry, 71, was flown back to Boston for medical treatment. But what happens if you have an accident or fall ill while abroad and you’re not an important government official? How can …

FDA to Food Industry: Get Rid of Those Trans Fats

Artificial trans fats have helped the food industry since the 1950s enhance all kinds of not-so-healthy processed food; the artery-clogging fats have also contributed for decades to the country’s No. 1 cause of death — heart disease. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration finally put a plan in place to ban trans fats from food — an anticlimactic move considering most food companies have reduced or eliminated trans fats thanks to a decade or more of pressure from health …

Two New Cholesterol Drugs Get Advisory OK, Despite Doubts

A federal advisory panel has recommended that two powerful new cholesterol-lowering drugs be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, despite concerns that the drugs’ long-term effects are still being studied. The medications belong to a new class of biotech drugs that lower cholesterol in a different, more powerful way than statins, which have been the standard treatment to protect against heart disease for the past 20-plus years. Called PCSK9 inhibitors, they’re taken by injection every two to four weeks …

Some Heartburn Drugs Could Up Heart Attack Risk

Could some heartburn drugs be risky for your heart? A new Stanford University study, which used data mining to look at health information from nearly 3 million patients, found that the hugely popular proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) — including Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid — were associated with a 16 to 21 percent increase in heart attack risk. This higher heart attack frequency could be seen in otherwise healthy PPI users of all ages, including under age 45, researchers reported. Get …

Your Birth Month Could Affect Your Disease Risk

Did you celebrate a birthday last month? Congratulations. You were born in the month with the lowest lifetime risk of disease. That’s one of the findings of an intriguing new Columbia University study that found an association between birth month and risk of disease. Although a link between when birth month and some conditions, such as asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), has been found in past, smaller studies, the Columbia researchers designed a computer algorithm to take a …

‘Women’s Viagra’ Gets OK From FDA Committee

The first drug designed to boost a woman’s sex drive was given the green light Thursday by a government advisory panel, which recommended that the pill be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but only with certain safety restrictions. The committee voted 18-6 in favor of approving the pill flibanserin for women on the condition that drugmaker Sprout Pharmaceuticals take measures to reduce the risk of its side effects. The FDA is expected to announce a final decision by …