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  • Fainting: Frightening, but seldom serious

    Fainting: Frightening, but seldom serious

    Learn why fainting occurs and when you should seek medical attention. One minute you’re feeling a bit woozy; the next thing you know, you’re flat on your back wondering what happened. No matter what you call it — swooning, passing out, or fainting — the experience is surprisingly common. About a third of people say […]

  • Elevated blood pressure may not predict early death in those with weak grip strength

    Elevated blood pressure may not predict early death in those with weak grip strength

    In the journals A study of almost 7,500 men and women ages 65 or older suggests that among those with weak grip strength, elevated blood pressure does not serve as a sign of a high risk of early death. Grip strength is a commonly used measure to assess frailty in older individuals. The research, published […]

  • Statin side effects: Is the power of suggestion at play?

    Statin side effects: Is the power of suggestion at play?

    Research we’re watching People in drug studies sometimes experience positive effects even when they take inactive, fake pills (the so-called placebo effect). But sometimes, they experience negative effects from the fake drug — a phenomenon known as the nocebo effect. A new study suggests that the nocebo effect may explain some of the muscle pain […]

  • Rethinking good cholesterol

    Rethinking good cholesterol

    A high HDL cholesterol level may not be as beneficial as once believed. Image: © JFalcetti/Thinkstock If you’re hoping to avoid heart disease, you probably keep tabs on your blood cholesterol values — especially your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol. Too much LDL in the bloodstream helps to create the plaque that accumulates inside […]

  • Can I use red yeast rice instead of a statin to lower my cholesterol?

    Can I use red yeast rice instead of a statin to lower my cholesterol?

    Ask the doctors Q. My bad cholesterol has been rising, and my doctor suggested that I start taking a statin. I’ve read that red yeast rice has many of the cholesterol-lowering benefits of a statin, and I would rather go the natural route. However, I recently heard on a newscast that red yeast rice can […]

  • No need to shun gluten if you don’t have celiac disease, study suggests

    No need to shun gluten if you don’t have celiac disease, study suggests

    Research we’re watching Gluten, a storage protein in wheat, rye, and barley, triggers inflammation and intestinal damage in people with celiac disease. Due to concern that gluten may also increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease among healthy people, the number of people without celiac disease who have adopted a gluten-free diet grew […]

  • How steak and eggs may increase heart attack risk

    How steak and eggs may increase heart attack risk

    Image: © gbh007/Thinkstock New research may help explain why diets rich in animal-based foods are linked to a higher risk of heart attack. The average American diet contains about 300 milligrams per day of choline, a nutrient found in meat, eggs, and milk. Earlier research found that when gut bacteria feed on choline, they make […]

  • Lightheaded? Top 5 reasons you might feel woozy

    Lightheaded? Top 5 reasons you might feel woozy

    Dehydration, medication side effects, sudden blood pressure drops, low blood sugar, and heart disease or stroke may be to blame. Image: iStock Feeling woozy, lightheaded, or a little faint is a common complaint among older adults. Although it’s not usually caused by anything life-threatening, it could be, so you need to be careful. “Don’t ignore […]

  • Do you know how to respond to a ministroke?

    Do you know how to respond to a ministroke?

    News briefs A ministroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA), occurs when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked temporarily. It often causes one or two symptoms of a full-blown stroke — such as sudden face drooping, arm or leg weakness, confusion, slurred speech, or terrible headache — and typically lasts just a few […]

  • Can your blood pressure be too low?

    Can your blood pressure be too low?

    Recent findings raise concerns about lowering diastolic blood pressure — the second number in your blood pressure reading — too far. Image: © Wavebreakmedia/Thinkstock More of us than ever before are taking medications to lower our blood pressure. Longstanding guidelines suggest that most people should aim for a systolic blood pressure (the first number in […]

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