Panel Adds Colon Cancer Protection to Benefits of Low-Dose Aspirin

Many Americans take a daily low-dose aspirin to protect against heart disease and stroke, but for the first time a federal advisory panel says taking it can also protect adults in their 50s and 60s against colon cancer. The new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force — first proposed last September — find that the benefits of taking a low-dose aspirin (81 mg) to prevent a first heart attack are strongest for those ages 50 to 59 who …

5 Dramatic Ways Women’s and Men’s Heart Attacks Differ

A woman’s heart attack is different from a man’s in just about every possible way: risk factors, symptoms, causes, treatment, outcome, rate of complications, even use of cardiac rehab. That’s the basic conclusion of the American Heart Association’s first scientific statement on gender differences in heart attack patients, published in its journal Circulation. “Despite stunning improvements in cardiovascular deaths over the last decade, women still fare worse than men and heart disease in women remains  under-diagnosed, and under-treated, especially among African-American …

Your 50s May Be Best Age to Take Low-Dose Aspirin

Taking a daily low-dose aspirin to fend off a first heart attack or stroke may work better in people in their 50s — and maybe 60s — than in people who are older or younger, say new recommendations from top preventive medicine experts. In addition, taking a low-dose aspirin may help reduce the risk of colon cancer, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said in its new proposed recommendations aimed at those at increased risk of heart disease. How would …

A Life-Giving Reminder: Enroll Now for 2016 Health Care Coverage

One of the main reasons that the mortality rate for African Americans remains disparately high for heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes is because we too often delay going to the doctor for symptoms or regular checkups. By the time we go, the health condition is sometimes worse. Dr. Louis Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services and founder of the Morehouse School of Medicine, knows the negative health habits of many African Americans. He says sometimes we don’t go …

New Lower Blood Pressure Goal: Is It for You?

En español | For older adults with high blood pressure, experts have been arguing for more than a year about how low the optimal BP reading should go. Should patients age 50-plus aim for a systolic level (the higher number in the reading) of 140 to 150, as a panel of experts recommended in 2013? Or should they use extra medication to aggressively lower it to 120, as a major federal study of adults urged in September? That September announcement …

A Sharp U-Turn in Blood Pressure Rules for Those 50+

Health officials have changed their minds — again — about blood pressure guidelines. For decades, medical experts agreed that the goal should be to keep blood pressure readings below 140/90. Then, two years ago, a prestigious panel upended that and said a slightly higher reading of 150/90 or below was OK for older adults in order to avoid potentially dangerous side effects — such as dizziness and falls — from too much blood pressure medication. Now, in a dramatic U-turn, …