Brain-Healthy Lifestyle Works to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease; U.S. Dementia Rates Drop

After just two years, older people who exercised, socialized and ate a healthy diet improved their memory, focus and other signs of brain health, according to a breakthrough study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week. In another piece of good news, researchers announced at the conference that dementia rates are dropping in the United States – quite possibly because people are getting the message that healthy living can protect brain health. “These findings show that prevention …

Study Questions the Need to Fast for Cholesterol Test

For years we’ve been told we need to fast for eight to 12 hours before getting a blood test to measure our cholesterol. But for the second time in two years, a large study finds there’s no evidence that fasting is necessary. “The evidence on which the fasting recommendation is based is weak at best,” said senior author and cardiologist Sripal Bangalore of New York University Langone Medical Center. “Our study and data from other studies now really question this …

To Lower Cholesterol, Eat These 4 Foods, Study Says

Lowering your cholesterol and reducing your heart disease risk may be as easy as adding a daily serving of beans or other legumes to your diet, according to a new analysis of Canadian and American studies. Canadian researchers reported that a ¾-cup daily serving of beans, chickpeas, lentils or peas resulted in a 5 percent drop in “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – and, by association, a potential 5 percent drop in heart disease risk. It also didn’t matter which of …

Huh? 87 Percent of Men Age 60-Plus Should Take a Statin?

If statin guidelines released last fall were followed to the letter, nearly all men between ages 60 and 75 would be taking a cholesterol-lowering drug even if they didn’t have heart disease, according to a new study that analyzed the impact of the controversial recommendations. The Duke University-led study projected that following the guidelines would result in nearly 13 million more Americans taking statins, most of them 60-plus. Among adults 60 to 75 without heart disease and not on statins, …

CDC: 4 Things Could Prevent 200,000 Deaths Yearly

At least 200,000 Americans under age 75 die needlessly each year from heart disease and stroke that could have been prevented by doing four important things: quitting smoking, reducing cholesterol, controlling blood pressure and taking a daily low-dose aspirin if a doctor approves. The findings are from a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that also points out that more than half of these avoidable deaths are occurring among those under 65. “These findings are really …

Is How You Eat as Important as What You Eat?

In predicting future cardiovascular disease in preschoolers, is how children eat as important as what they eat? The surprising answer is yes. A Canadian study led by Dr. Nav Persaud, a family physician, found “a significant association between poor eating habits in kids ages three to five and their levels of non-HDL-or ‘bad’-cholesterol, putting them at risk for cardiovascular disease later in life.” The eating habits that place children at risk for heart disease in adulthood are – eating while …