A major change for daily aspirin therapy

In March 2019, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recommended against the routine use of low-dose (81-mg) aspirin in people older than 70 who do not have existing heart disease and haven’t had a stroke, or in people of any age who have an increased risk for bleeding (from a peptic ulcer, for example, with sores on the stomach lining that can bleed). The recommendations were based on three large studies. (Locked) More »

Were the old aspirin studies wrong?

Over the past 50 years, changes in lifestyle and new treatments have been lowering rates of heart disease. That’s led to new evidence and advice about aspirin therapy. The new advice suggests that people between ages 40 and 70 with no known heart disease may not need aspirin. Those who have a high risk for heart disease who don’t have special risks for bleeding should talk to their doctor about taking aspirin. People who do have heart disease should take low-dose aspirin unless their doctor recommends against it. (Locked) More »

Are you at risk for a secondary cataract?

Sometimes a side effect of cataract surgery triggers the return of cataract symptoms. The side effect is called posterior capsule opacification, also known as a secondary cataract. It occurs when cells from the old cataract remain in the eye and continue to grow, blocking the light to the retina. An eye doctor can treat this problem with YAG laser capsulotomy, a simple, quick, and painless laser procedure that clears a pathway for light to travel to the retina. More »

Fitness trend: Nordic walking

Nordic walking is catching on in the United States as an exercise regimen, especially among older adults. The activity adds Nordic poles to a walking routine, and walkers then mimic the motions of cross-country skiers. Propelling oneself while walking combines cardiovascular exercise with a vigorous muscle workout for the shoulders, arms, core, and legs. Nordic walking is also associated with reductions in fat mass, “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and waist circumference, and increases in “good” HDL cholesterol, endurance, muscle strength and flexibility, walking distance, cardiovascular fitness, and quality of life. More »

The kidney stone diet: Not as restrictive as you may think

Harvard doctors say long lists of foods to avoid in order to ward off a second kidney stone are often too restrictive. While it’s important to limit foods high in oxalate, it’s unnecessary to avoid all foods with oxalate. Instead, doctors suggest avoiding foods with more than 75 mg of oxalate per 100-gram serving. Such foods include many nuts, spinach, and rhubarb. Other approaches to avoiding another kidney stone include getting enough dietary calcium, limiting animal protein, and drinking 2 to 3 liters of fluid per day. (Locked) More »

Are you drinking too much alcohol?

AUD is the umbrella term for problem drinking, whether from alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. While both are marked by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use, they’re not the same. Alcohol abuse causes significant problems in one’s life at home or at work, but it doesn’t involve physical addiction. Alcohol dependence is different. It’s a physical addiction to alcohol that causes withdrawal symptoms when a person stops drinking. AUD is classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the number of symptoms a person exhibits. (Locked) More »