New Cholesterol Drug Is Effective — And $14,600 a Year

The first in a “revolutionary” new class of injected, cholesterol-lowering drugs has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but its price tag is likely to add to the growing debate over escalating medication costs. The drug, called Praluent, will cost about $14,600 a year — much higher than the $7,000 to $12,000 that some health-plan executives and Wall Street analysts had been expecting, according to the New York Times. It joins a number of new specialty drugs, …

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 …

Night Owls at Higher Risk for Diabetes, Health Problems

If you’re middle-aged and a night owl, you’re at a much higher risk for diabetes and other health problems than your early-riser friends — even if you’re getting the same amount of sleep as they are. A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism examined the health difference between what researchers call “evening and morning chronotypes” — people whose natural sleep-wake cycles make them either night owls or morning people. The aim was to see whether …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Penguins, which swallow their food whole, don’t have much sense of taste. (Learn more at Discovery) 2. Bronzed baby shoes are making a comeback. (Learn more at CBS Sacramento)   3. Snail teeth are made of the strongest natural substance yet discovered, which could be copied to make race cars, boat hulls and airplanes. (Learn more at Quartz) >> Get travel discounts with your AARP Member Advantages. 4. In July, Random House will bring out a never-published book by Theodore …

New Guidelines May Say Yes to Eggs but No to Bacon

The government’s new dietary guidelines, due to be released in the coming months, may contain an about-face on decades of advice not to eat cholesterol-rich food. As the Washington Post put it, the move by the nation’s top nutrition advisory panel “could undo almost 40 years of government warnings” about eating foods high in cholesterol, like eggs and shellfish. A preliminary report by the panel, released in December, stated for the first time that “cholesterol is not considered a nutrient …