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 …

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, …

New Cholesterol Drug Is Effective — And $14,600 a Year

The first in a “revolutionary” new class of injected, cholesterol-lowering drugs has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but its price tag is likely to add to the growing debate over escalating medication costs. The drug, called Praluent, will cost about $14,600 a year — much higher than the $7,000 to $12,000 that some health-plan executives and Wall Street analysts had been expecting, according to the New York Times. It joins a number of new specialty drugs, …

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 …

Night Owls at Higher Risk for Diabetes, Health Problems

If you’re middle-aged and a night owl, you’re at a much higher risk for diabetes and other health problems than your early-riser friends — even if you’re getting the same amount of sleep as they are. A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism examined the health difference between what researchers call “evening and morning chronotypes” — people whose natural sleep-wake cycles make them either night owls or morning people. The aim was to see whether …