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HEALTH
November 21, 2011 | By Karen Ravn, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The traditional diet in Greece is different from the traditional diet in France is different from the traditional diet in Spain. And while all of these diets are considered Mediterranean, it stands to reason that they don't all provide equal health benefits. So which Mediterranean diet is best? Dr. Artemis Simopoulos, president of the nonprofit Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington, D.C., thinks it's the one followed in Greece before 1960. Laying out her case in a 2001 paper, she pointed to the Seven Countries Study, which found that Greece — and specifically the island of Crete — had the lowest heart disease and cancer rates of all seven countries in the study, including Italy.
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NEWS
November 13, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Two or more sugar-sweetened drinks a day have been associated with a larger waist and a higher risk of heart disease in adult women, according to research released Sunday. Women ages 45 to 84 who drank at least two sugar-sweetened drinks a day -- such as soda or flavored waters with added sugar -- were nearly four times as likely to develop high triglycerides as women who drank one or fewer of those beverages. Two or more sugar-sweetened drinks a day also were linked to bigger waist size and a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes.
NEWS
October 13, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Heart disease prevalence in the U.S. has declined over the last five years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. The agency mined results from a large national telephone survey called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to figure out how many people 18 years or older said they had coronary heart disease. The CDC researchers analyzed the data by age, sex, education, state and race/ethnicity and published their results in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
NEWS
October 12, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Next time you're considering skipping the salad bar, think again: Eating more raw fruits and vegetables could alter the effects of a gene that's a marker for heart disease. FOR THE RECORD: A headline on an earlier version of this post incorrectly said eating more fruits and vegetables alters genes. Researchers genotyped 27,243 people from two separate studies to see if they had a certain gene variant. The 9p21 gene has been shown in previous studies to be linked with a higher risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease, including a 2010 meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
NEWS
September 15, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Healthy women who go through menopause naturally may lower their risk of heart disease if they take hormone therapy in the early years of menopause, according to a new study.   The research is the latest contribution to the longstanding controversy on the merits of hormone therapy after menopause. Previous studies show that hormone therapy in women who are 10 or more years past menopause raises the risk of cardiovascular problems. However, the question of whether hormone therapy may prevent or slow the development of heart disease in younger menopausal women has been a subject of continued debate.
NEWS
September 7, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
After menopause, women are expected to experience a sharply increased risk of heart disease. The traditional thinking has been that hormones protect women from heart disease until menopause. But a new study turns that theory on its head. A study published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal suggests instead that heart disease death rates in women progress in an orderly rate as women age and are unlikely to be greatly influenced by hormones. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine looked at death statistics from people in England, Wales and the United States born from 1916 to 1945.
HEALTH
August 21, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Before newborns leave the hospital, they should receive a simple, pain-free test to check for signs of congenital heart disease, one of the most common types of birth defects, according to a recommendation by a federal advisory panel. In a report published online Sunday in the journal Pediatrics, the doctors propose nationwide screening for critical congenital heart disease using pulse oximetry, a probe placed on a hand and a foot that uses a light source and sensor to measure oxygen in the blood.
NEWS
August 1, 2011
Exercise advice for couch potatoes usually goes like this: doing something is better than doing nothing. Turns out that might be true--people who do even a little regular exercise may have lower risk of heart disease than people who never leave the sofa. Researchers did a meta-analysis of 33 studies looking at the effects of exercise on coronary heart disease among people who were active or sedentary to see if they could quantify how much exercise was needed to show any benefits. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommend a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise for health benefits, were used as a measure.
SPORTS
July 27, 2011 | By Diane Pucin
Erik Compton spends hours and hours hitting drivers and nine-irons. Sometimes he argues with his putter. He is a golfer, after all, 31 years old and a proud performer on the Nationwide Tour, sort of the triple-A minor leagues for the PGA Tour. This week Compton is playing a PGA Tour event, the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia, and next year he'll most likely be playing full time on the PGA Tour, and if this doesn't seem like a big deal, consider this: Compton is working with his third heart.
NEWS
July 19, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Baby boomers - time for a health reality check. A new poll finds the generation worries most about cancer and memory loss. But heart disease, often tied to obesity, is actually the age group's major killer.  A new AP-LifeGoesStrong.com survey that included 1,078 baby boomers found that 44% worry most about cancer, 20% about memory loss, 13% about heart disease, and 5% about blood diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure. But here are the actual top killers in the U.S., according to the National Center for Health Statistics : -Heart disease (616,067 deaths)
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