August 2, 2012 There's ample evidence cholesterol-lowering pills called statins can reduce the risk of a repeat heart attack. But there's fresh debate about the widespread use of statins to prevent heart attacks in people who've never had one. Are the benefits worth the risks?
July 10, 2012 There's been an explosion in apps designed to help people stay healthy and manage chronic diseases. The Food and Drug Administration has announced plans to regulate some of these apps to make sure they're not putting patients at risk. But that's triggered a debate over whether government regulation may end up doing more harm than good.
May 28, 2012 Through their Facebook pages, chat rooms and message boards, patients are recruiting each other to participate in medical research in a kind of virtual word-of-mouth. Patient-initiated research is especially appealing to people with rare diseases whom researchers can't easily find.
May 25, 2012 KPLUYour chances of surviving a sudden heart attack may depend on where you live, in part because of the 911 dispatcher. If a dispatcher gives CPR instructions over the phone, the rate of survival goes up. There's now a push to make it universal, but some cities are slow to implement the necessary training.
May 21, 2012 The proportion of 12- to 19-year-olds who report having diabetes or "prediabetes" increased from 9 percent in 1999 to 23 percent in 2008, according to a paper published in the journal Pediatrics. "This report really sounds the alarm," says one researcher.
April 24, 2012 Federal data show that only 13.4 percent of adults in the U.S. have high cholesterol, compared with 18.3 percent a decade earlier. Drugs rather than better lifestyle appear to account for the improvement.
April 17, 2012 Falling into the "doughnut hole" of Medicare drug coverage led people to stop taking medicines for heart conditions more often than to search for cheaper alternatives, an analysis finds. The discontinuations didn't appear to affect health, but the researchers cautioned their study was relatively short.
March 27, 2012 The biggest comparison yet of surgery and stents for stable heart disease gives the nod to bypass operations. Fewer patients who had surgery died four years afterward.
March 26, 2012 The former vice president is recovering from a heart transplant he received over the weekend. Experts say it's unusual for a 71-year-old to get a transplant, but more and more older people are getting them as the procedures improve and the population ages.
March 21, 2012 A review of hundreds of studies found that people who take aspirin daily lowered their risk of several cancers, but the jury's still out. And daily aspirin use also has major drawbacks — including the risk of serious internal bleeding — that may outweigh the benefits.
March 8, 2012 Women who drink just a bit have a lower risk of stroke than women who don't drink at all, according to a new study. That helps untangle confusion on whether drinking puts people at risk of stroke.
March 8, 2012 The U.S. Surgeon General is sounding the alarm about kids and tobacco, saying a lot more has to be done to keep minors from lighting up. Most smokers in high school will smoke as adults, and half of them will die prematurely as a result.
February 28, 2012 Statins may also increase the risk slightly for high blood sugar and for developing Type 2 diabetes. People have also complained about memory loss and fuzzy thinking while taking the cholesterol-fighting drugs. Now the Food and Drug Administration wants that information added to the drugs' instructions.