Growth hormone, athletic performance, and aging

Growth hormone (GH) is a small protein that is made by the pituitary gland and secreted into the bloodstream. Some men use GH as an anti-aging treatment, even though it is illegal to market it for this purpose. Despite being banned by the International Olympic Committee, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the World Anti-Doping Agency, GH abuse has tainted many sports, including baseball, cycling, and track and field. Studies of test subjects who took growth hormone found a high incidence of side effects such as joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. More »

Depression: Often overlooked but important for men

Depression prevents pleasure, saps energy, and interferes with daily life; it can also lead to heart disease and other medical problems. Depression can be hard to recognize, especially in men, who often make the mistake of thinking of it as a "woman's problem." American men face a 12% lifetime risk of depression, and they are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. Once depression is diagnosed, it can respond well to treatment. (Locked) More »

Medical memo: Fighting heart disease: Are we still winning?

Coronary artery disease (CAD) causes heart attacks, angina, and many cases of heart failure and sudden death. Doctors learned to identify and treat risk factors that lead to CAD, and they have developed medical and surgical treatments that have greatly improved the outlook for patients with heart disease. As a result of behavioral changes and medical interventions, deaths from heart disease fell by 56% during the second half of the 20th century, and deaths from stroke fell by an even more remarkable 70%. It's heartening progress — but can it be sustained? (Locked) More »

On call: Red yeast rice

My cholesterol is too high. My doctor wants me to take a statin, but I'd rather use a natural remedy. I saw an ad for red yeast rice that says that it's as effective as the statins, and I can get it without a prescription — but should I? (Locked) More »