Questions Raised About Some Health Screenings

By Jenny Gold, Correspondent, Kaiser Health News This KHN story was produced in collaboration with National Public Radio. Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield, Va., is unusually busy for a Thursday morning. It’s not a typical time for worship, but parishioner Stacy Riggs and her husband have come for something a little different: a medical screening. “I’m getting ready to turn 50 sooner than I’d like to say, and just thought it was a good time to get an overall …

Rx for Heart Disease: Take 2 Walks and Call Me in the Morning

A major new study finds that exercise is as good – or in some cases better – than prescription drugs in protecting against future heart attacks, stroke and diabetes. The study, conducted by researchers from Harvard and Stanford universities, is among a very few trials that have directly compared an exercise regimen with medication. Researchers compared their effectiveness for patients with heart disease, heart failure and pre-type 2 diabetes, and

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 …

George W. Bush Gets Heart Stent for Blockage

Former president George W. Bush is a physically fit guy, an avid bicyclist, and — unlike his post-presidential pal Bill Clinton — has never had a weight problem. So why would he need a heart stent? Because, say cardiologists, “even very active people” can develop heart disease if they have other risk factors, according to Samin Sharma, M.D., a cardiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York who was not involved in the former president’s care, but who specializes …

Fish Oils May Raise Men’s Risk of Prostate Cancer

Omega-3 fish oils, found in supplements as well as fatty fish like salmon and sardines, have been touted for their health benefits, including protecting against heart disease. But a new study seems to turn that advice on its head for men: Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have found that men with high blood levels of fish oils have an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Men with the highest levels had a 71 percent increased risk …

When the Death Certificate Fudges the Facts

When I was a police reporter in a small town in Texas, writing about a man’s shooting death, I asked to see his death certificate. The cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest. “He was shot. How could it be cardiac arrest?” I asked the local law-enforcement official. “Apparently, his heart stopped when the bullet entered it,” was the sardonic reply. That was decades ago, but evidently an accurate cause of death on a death certificate is still a …