The crucial, controversial carotid artery Part I: The artery in health and disease

The carotid arteries supply the brain with blood. Carotid artery disease occurs when these arteries are narrowed and blood flow can be interrupted. Brief interruptions of blood flow to the brain cause transient ischemic attacks (TIAs); prolonged or complete blockages are the major cause of cerebrovascular accidents — strokes. TIA or "mini-strokes" are often a warning sign of a major stroke, the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Detecting and treating a narrowed carotid artery is the best way to prevent TIAs and strokes. (Locked) More »

Health tips for the dog days of summer

Summer activities require precautions such as sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellent. Here are a few tips for staying cool, dealing with the sun's ultraviolet rays, (UVA and UVB), managing poison ivy, and warding off the insects (Locked) More »

Medical memo: Semen quality and survival

How healthy are you, and how does your life expectancy stack up against the average? To answer these questions, your doctor will ask about your smoking, drinking, diet, and exercise. He'll measure your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight or waist size. And he may ask if you're happy or stressed and if you sleep well. These facts and numbers do count; men who rate well in midlife stay healthier and live longer than gents who score poorly. Still, scientists are always looking for additional measurements that predict survival. And research from Denmark proposes an unlikely candidate: semen quality. More »

Dietary guidelines and caloric percentages

I really appreciate the dietary guidelines that you publish from time to time, but my wife and I find it hard to do the math in a busy supermarket. Can you give us targets that are easier to use than "percentages of daily calories"? (Locked) More »