11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. The world’s shortest man and tallest man both have struggled with being unique. (Learn more at Guinness World Records) 2. Iowa City, Iowa, is the most age-friendly small town in the United States. (Learn more at AARP) 3. Your physically accurate digital avatar can be used to get custom-tailored clothes.  (Learn more at Wired) >> 10 Foods to Avoid Before Boarding a Plane 4. Japan’s new bullet train travels up to 311 mph, about …

Daily Aspirin May Not Prevent a First Heart Attack

Is a daily low-dose aspirin losing some of its luster as a cheap, easy way to prevent a heart attack? While there’s solid evidence that aspirin can help heart attack survivors avoid a second attack, recent research has raised questions about whether routine use of low-dose aspirin by older adults can prevent a first heart attack. Now a large Japanese study of more than 14,600 adults ages 60 to 85 — none of whom had had heart problems but who …

Here’s How to Prevent 4 out of 5 Heart Attacks

We all know the advice for preventing heart attacks: Eat right, stop smoking, get some exercise. But, really, just how effective is doing all those things? Can anyone put an exact number on it? Evidently, they can — and the numbers are dramatic: Following a healthy lifestyle could prevent four out of five heart attacks in men ages 45 through 79, a new Swedish study found. “It is not surprising that healthy lifestyle choices would lead to a reduction in …

‘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 …