Health Among Top Issues That Matter Most to African Americans

In January 2011, AARP interviewed Americans 50 and older from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. We asked about their dreams as they think about what is next in their life as well as the challenges they see themselves facing. Staying healthy tops the list for African American/Black respondents in the Voices of the 50+ America: Dreams & Challenges study, with staying mentally sharp, having adequate health insurance coverage, and receiving Medicare benefits very …

A Little More Salt Is Not So Bad for Us

A little more salt may not be such a bad thing for healthy older adults, a new study finds. Adults age 50-plus have been warned for years not to consume more than 1,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium daily — less than a teaspoon of salt — or they risk all kinds of bad heart-health effects, from high blood pressure to heart failure. But researchers found that pushing the limit a bit, to 2,300 mg, or about a teaspoon of salt, …

7 Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

Two new studies suggest that people with high blood pressure may do an even better job than their doctors at lowering it, especially if insurance would pay for a good blood-pressure monitoring kit to use at home. One study, published Aug. 27 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that older patients in England who monitored their own blood pressure at home and adjusted their medication as needed had lower blood pressure levels after a year than those who …

How Stroke Changed One Man’s Life

Among the top five “Stroke Myths” on the website of the National Stroke Association is “Stroke only strikes the elderly.” A man who shattered that myth and lived to recount the experience is Mark McEwen, who turns 60 in September. From 1987 to 2002, McEwen was the face of morning television on CBS, first as a weatherman, then as an entertainment reporter and finally as cohost of The Early Show. Traveling with his wife, Denise, in 2005 – he had …

From Hugs to Music: 7 New Ways to Help Your Heart

Yes, we know that eating more veggies, getting more exercise and controlling blood pressure are the most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, but new research also points to some simple, surprising ways you can protect your ticker. Give more hugs Hugging doesn’t just feel good – it’s good for you. A 10-second hug once or twice a day lowers blood pressure, says a recent Swedish study, published in the journal Comprehensive Psychology, that looked …

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 …