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 …

Report Shows Americans Getting (a Little) Healthier

A new report shows Americans are getting better at smoking less, exercising more and reducing deaths from heart disease, but the past year has also brought an alarming rise in the rate of drug deaths, obesity and diabetes. The 26th annual America’s Health Rankings by the United Health Foundation found a 4 percent jump in drug-related deaths, both from illegal and prescription drug abuse, and an obesity rate that has more than doubled in the past 15 years. Get discounts …

New Lower Blood Pressure Goal: Is It for You?

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 included the startling …

New Painkiller Warning: What Does It Mean For You?

Ten years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the widely used nonaspirin painkillers ibuprofen and naproxen — including over-the-counter brands such as Advil, Motrin and Aleve — may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. But new evidence has convinced the agency that the warning on these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) needs to be tougher. The FDA is now strengthening the wording to say that NSAIDs increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke, even …

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 …