Take the hassle out of taking warfarin

People who take warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven, generic) should have periodic blood tests to make sure their blood is clotting correctly. For some, home monitoring or less frequent blood testing could make it easier to take this temperamental drug. Ultimately, you and your doctor should decide on an optimal warfarin-monitoring routine. Consider alterations in venue or frequency only if you have a six-month track record of being in range with few or no dosage adjustments. And remember that less frequent contact with the clinic or monitoring from home reduces the amount of potentially helpful advice you'd receive from health care providers. (Locked) More »

Arm-to-arm variations in blood pressure may warrant attention

Roll up both sleeves the next time you check your blood pressure at home or have it measured by a health care provider. Why? A difference of 15 points or greater between the two arms can signal the presence of peripheral artery disease or an increased risk of having a stroke or dying from cardiovascular disease. More »

Exercise protects the heart when diabetes threatens

People with diabetes are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, or die of cardiovascular disease, than those without diabetes. Exercise can help keep blood sugar under control, and is also good for the heart and the rest of the body.   (Locked) More »

The wake-up-call heart attack

The story of one 49-year-old man's heart attack offers lessons for all about surviving and thriving after this potentially devastating event. (Locked) More »

Heart attack risk soars soon after losing a loved one

A new study showed that a person's risk of having a heart attack skyrockets to 21 times its norm in the first day after the death of a beloved friend or family member. It remains eight times above normal during the first week, but then steadily declines over the course of a month. (Locked) More »

No more routine liver tests for statin users

When cholesterol-lowering statins were first approved, people taking them were urged to have routine blood tests to watch for uncommon but serious liver-related side effects. The FDA now recommends such tests only when a person first starts taking a statin or if symptoms arise. (Locked) More »

Everyday foods are top sources of sodium

Everyday foods like bread, cold cuts, pizza, and poultry were the four leading sources of sodium in the American diet in 2007–2008, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Locked) More »