Could Your Heartburn Pills Contribute to Kidney Disease?

When proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were first approved in the 1980s, they seemed like a safe way to help people with chronic heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers. Known by brand names such as Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, they weren’t associated with any serious side effects, so doctors began prescribing them to millions of patients. What doctors didn’t anticipate were the long-term effects of these drugs. They’ve recently been linked to increased risk of bone fracture, pneumonia, C. difficile infections, low levels of …

States Simplify Medicaid Sign-Ups

Getting on Medicaid has never been so easy. In the past two years, 31 states and the District of Columbia have expanded eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but even more have simplified sign-ups and renewals, according to a 50-state survey released Jan. 21. For example, 49 states this year take applications for Medicaid by telephone, up from 15 in 2013, reports the Kaiser Family Foundation. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) All but one state …

A Football Star’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Healthy or Not?

No dairy. No caffeine. No sugar. No mushrooms, peppers or eggplant. Tomatoes, only rarely — maybe once a month. And lots and lots of green veggies. If I told you this was the anti-inflammatory diet of some little-known nutrition expert, you might stop reading right now. But no, this is from the anti-inflammatory diet followed by Tom Brady, superstar quarterback of the New England Patriots who, at 38, is one of the oldest QBs in the NFL and still very …

Your 50s May Be Best Age to Take Low-Dose Aspirin

Taking a daily low-dose aspirin to fend off a first heart attack or stroke may work better in people in their 50s — and maybe 60s — than in people who are older or younger, say new recommendations from top preventive medicine experts. In addition, taking a low-dose aspirin may help reduce the risk of colon cancer, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said in its new proposed recommendations aimed at those at increased risk of heart disease. How would …

8 Myths About Washing Your Produce

En español | Should you wash all fresh fruits and veggies before eating them? Even the organic ones? And what about that bag of “prewashed” lettuce from the supermarket — should you wash that, too? Modern Farmer magazine chronicles many of these farm-to-table issues for consumers, and one of the website’s most popular stories in 2015 concerned whether you need to wash the fresh produce you get from the supermarket or farmers market — even from your own garden. How …

What the Spending Bill Means for Older Americans

The $1.1 trillion spending bill will do more than keep the federal government open well into next year. Nearly half of the appropriations will go toward non-defense programs, and in some cases, the bill directs more money to programs that benefit the lives of Americans age 50 and up. “This bill not only avoids the deep cuts to scores of critical programs, it provides noteworthy increases for many services critical to older Americans, including health, nutrition and caregiver services, as …