‘Jaw-Dropping’ Drop in Hospitalizations, Deaths From Heart Disease

A new study of 34 million Medicare patients has found what one prominent heart researcher calls “jaw-dropping” reductions in hospitalizations and deaths from heart attacks and strokes over the past decade. According to the findings published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, the number of patients age 65-plus who were hospitalized with heart attacks dropped nearly 40 percent from 1999 to 2011, while those hospitalized with strokes caused by blood clots  fell by 34 percent. >> Top 15 Superfoods for …

Should Everyone Cut Salt Intake? Study Says No

A large international study questions the conventional advice that all people should cut their salt intake to the bone. Too much salt is bad, especially for those over 60 or those who already have high blood pressure, but too little salt may be just as bad, the scientists said. The findings are the latest in a decades-long controversy over whether health officials have gone too far in urging everyone to reduce the amount of salt in their diet. The new research suggests …

Should You Take a Daily Aspirin to Prevent Cancer?

Taking a daily low-dose aspirin has been standard advice for many at risk for heart disease, but now a large scientific review of research finds that the same advice could dramatically cut older adults’ risk of developing – and dying from – colon, stomach or esophageal cancer. British researchers found that if adults ages 50 to 65 took a daily low-dose (about 75 milligrams) aspirin for 10 years, it could cut colon cancer cases by 35 percent and deaths from …

Niacin Won’t Help, May Harm, Heart Patients

For 50 years we’ve been told that taking high doses of the B vitamin niacin was one way to lower cholesterol and improve heart health. Now some prominent physicians have had an abrupt change of heart: New research shows that niacin not only doesn’t help but could be very risky for patients. Two large studies, published July 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that taking niacin didn’t reduce deaths from heart disease and it put patients at …

Cereal, Grains Key to Longer Life After Heart Attack

Eating a high-fiber diet can help you avoid heart disease, but what if you’ve already had a heart attack – can adding fiber to your diet help you live longer? A study that researchers say is the first to examine this question has some good news for heart patients: The more fiber heart attack survivors add to their diet – especially in the form of cereal and whole grains – the lower their risk of dying from any cause, said …

To Strengthen Hearts, Medicare Changes Its Policy

After deliberating for a decade, Medicare recently announced that it will now cover cardiac rehab for some patients who suffer from stable but chronic heart failure, a costly, debilitating disease that could be improved with supervised exercise and counseling. Heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s need for oxygen. Patients often suffer shortness of breath and swelling in their feet, ankles, legs and stomach from fluid buildup. Some 650,000 …