A Little More Salt Is Not So Bad for Us

A little more salt may not be such a bad thing for healthy older adults, a new study finds. Adults age 50-plus have been warned for years not to consume more than 1,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium daily — less than a teaspoon of salt — or they risk all kinds of bad heart-health effects, from high blood pressure to heart failure. But researchers found that pushing the limit a bit, to 2,300 mg, or about a teaspoon of salt, …

Obama Proposes Middle-Class Tax Breaks

In his penultimate State of the Union address, President Barack Obama on Tuesday night announced wide-ranging proposals he said would improve the economic prospects of the middle class, including helping families pay for college and child care, while giving more workers access to retirement plans. To help pay for these expanded benefits, the president also wants to increase the taxes paid on inherited assets of higher-income households. Many agree that it’s a long shot the president will get his wish list — …

Are Older Adults Being Overtreated for Diabetes?

Older patients are not the same as younger patients. You’d think this was obvious, yet doctors often use a one-size-fits-all approach to prescribing treatment that can put their older patients at risk. The latest example of this: another study showing that patients 65 or older with diabetes may be overtreated by doctors who too aggressively try to control blood sugar levels, regardless of their patients’ other health problems. The new study, by Yale researchers, analyzed a decade of data on 1,288 …

Blueberries Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

Need to reduce your blood pressure several notches? Eating a cup of blueberries a day could help. That’s the conclusion of a small Florida State University study of postmenopausal women, ages 45 to 65, who ate the equivalent of a cup of blueberries a day for eight weeks. The women not only saw a modest improvement in their blood pressure readings, their arteries also showed improved flexibility, which also can help lower blood pressure. Previous blueberry studies had found similar …

Weight-Loss Scams That Lighten Your Wallet (Not Your Scale)

The new calendar heralds a return to the most popular New Year’s resolution — to lose weight. Yet despite the $2.5 billion a year spent on weight-loss products and services, the only result for many is a lighter wallet. Through most of the past decade until 2011, when the Federal Trade Commission classified complaints by “product category,” more people were defrauded buying supposed “miracle” supplements and toning creams, “easy” exercise gizmos and “breakthrough” diets than any other type of products. To spot the …

Where Health Insurance Prices Are Highest and Lowest

In health insurance prices, as in the weather, Alaska and the Sun Belt are extremes. This year Alaska is the most expensive health insurance market for people who do not get coverage through their employers, while Phoenix, Albuquerque, N.M., and Tucson, Ariz., are among the very cheapest. In this second year of the insurance marketplaces created by the federal health law, the most expensive premiums are in rural spots around the nation: Wyoming, rural Nevada, patches of inland California and …