‘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 …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Parents are serving “smash cakes” for youngsters to destroy at their birthday parties. (Learn more at Today) 2. About 1 in 5 Americans – some 57 million in all – live in multigenerational family households. (Learn more at AARP) 3. A Chinese woman takes her 88-year-old grandma with her to work every day, sometimes on her back. (Learn more at Daily Mail) >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter  4. Beetles killed a …

Put Down the Diet Soda, Ladies. It’s Bad for Your Heart

Healthy, postmenopausal women who drink two or more diet sodas a day are at a higher risk for heart attack, stroke and even death, according to a large new national study. The research looked at diet-soda intake and heart health in nearly 60,000 women participating in the national Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, which investigates health risk factors for women ages 50 to 79. The average age of the women in this study was nearly 63, and none had a …

Having a Stroke? Most Women Can’t Tell

With stroke, getting treatment as soon as possible is crucial to recovery – and yet most U.S. women don’t know most of stroke’s warning signs, new research shows. The study, published Wednesday in the journal Stroke, found that 1 in 5 women didn’t know a single symptom of having a stroke. Hispanic women were even less likely to know the warning signs – 1 in 4 couldn’t name any of them. Although 84 percent of women knew to call 911 …

Huh? 87 Percent of Men Age 60-Plus Should Take a Statin?

If statin guidelines released last fall were followed to the letter, nearly all men between ages 60 and 75 would be taking a cholesterol-lowering drug even if they didn’t have heart disease, according to a new study that analyzed the impact of the controversial recommendations. The Duke University-led study projected that following the guidelines would result in nearly 13 million more Americans taking statins, most of them 60-plus. Among adults 60 to 75 without heart disease and not on statins, …

New Guidelines Aim to Reduce Women’s Stroke Risk

Older women have a higher risk of stroke than men and should strive to reduce that risk, say the first guidelines aimed specifically at preventing stroke in women. Women share many of the same risk factors for stroke with men, but their chances of having a stroke can be increased by hormones, pregnancy and childbirth, said Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., who led the team of experts who developed the …