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Risk Factors

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NEWS
November 16, 2011 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Most of us know about the factors that raise our risk for heart attack: high blood pressure, bad blood lipids, diabetes, smoking, family history of heart attacks. Either that, or we've been living in a cave.  Though a study of more than 500,000 patients just reported in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. doesn't change any of that, it did find something odd:  Among a large group of people admitted to the hospital for their first heart attack, those who had those traditional risk factors were less likely to die of the heart attack than those who arrived at the hospital without any of them.
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SCIENCE
February 6, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Long before a woman hits middle age, she and her doctor should be thinking about her risk of stroke and taking steps to reduce it, according to the first set of stroke guidelines aimed at women. The overall stroke risk for women is higher than it is for men, in part because women live longer. But the new guidelines from the American Heart Assn. underscore that many other factors may increase their risk as well, and many of them are evident when a woman is in her 20s and 30s. Some, like complications of pregnancy and menopause, are unique to women.
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NEWS
August 11, 2002
HEART DISEASE RISK FACTORS Inflammation is a newly recognized risk factor for coronary heart disease. Among the other risk factors: * Increasing age. * Being male. * Having parents with heart disease. * Smoking. * Total cholesterol over 239. * HDL, the good cholesterol, below 35. * High blood pressure. * Lack of physical activity. * Being overweight. * Diabetes. Source: Associated Press
NEWS
April 24, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Spending adolescence in the “stroke belt” of the southeastern United States could make people more vulnerable to stroke later in life - even if they eventually move elsewhere, a study published Wednesday suggests. What researchers call the “stroke belt” has been associated with higher rates of death from stroke than other parts of the country, but it hadn't been known if living there during any particular stage of life had an effect. Researchers led by Virginia Howard of the University of Alabama looked at 24,544 black and white people ages 45 and older who were part of a national study that considered geographic and racial differences in the incidence of stroke.
NATIONAL
August 20, 2003 | From Reuters
The vast majority of heart attacks strike people who either smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, debunking the perception that heart problems can strike anyone, researchers said Tuesday. Roughly nine out of 10 patients surveyed suffered from one of the four risk factors, often for years, before experiencing a heart problem, according to a pair of reports that analyzed accumulated data from previous studies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 8, 1988 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Uncircumcised men and men with genital warts from venereal disease are at increased risk of infection with the AIDS virus, according to the first published study of risk factors for AIDS virus infection among men in sub-Saharan Africa. The study, published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests that genital ulcers may create an entry point for the virus during heterosexual sex, and an intact foreskin may increase the chance of virus survival and penetration into the body. Dr.
NEWS
October 16, 1990 | SHARI ROAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As experts become convinced that many mental disorders begin in childhood and adolescence, responsibility for recognizing problems is shifting to parents, teachers, pediatricians and youth counselors. But researchers can give adults only vague guidelines to help them assess whether children are at risk for mental disorders or show symptoms of an emerging problem.
NEWS
September 12, 1996 | Associated Press
More than half the adolescents in a national survey had two or more risk factors that can lead to chronic disease, such as eating fatty foods and not getting enough exercise, government researchers say. The survey by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. The study was based on a 1992-'93 survey of 6,321 adolescents ages 12 through 17. There are more than 20 million Americans in that age group.
NEWS
August 25, 1992 | PATRICK MOTT, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Jim Fixx had iron legs and leather lungs and could run a deer to ground, but every step he took brought him closer to an almost instant death at the age of 52. He was stricken by a heart attack because he didn't heed his own advice. In the late 1970s, Fixx was the guru of American running. His jogger's primer, "The Complete Book of Running," has been variously credited with igniting the running revolution and inspiring millions to get out and pound the pavement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 1990 | SALLY SQUIRES, Squires is a medical writer for the Washington Post.
What are a woman's odds of developing breast cancer? Millions of American women would like to know the answer. But the best that doctors have been able to offer are broad-brush estimates that often seem to have little specific relevance to the individual woman. Now a team of researchers at the National Cancer Institute has developed a formula that can calculate a woman's risk of developing breast cancer within the next 10 to 30 years, based on her medical history. The new way of estimating individual risk is drawn from the Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project, a study of more than 5,000 women.
SCIENCE
November 6, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Black men and women are twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease as white men and women, according to a study led by University of Alabama doctors. Death rates from heart attacks and coronary heart disease have fallen since the 1970s, but that statement rings far truer for whites than for blacks. Studies have shown a widening gap between whites and blacks in heart disease deaths and in heart-attack hospitalizations, and new research pins down just how deadly that difference is. A paper published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Assn.
NEWS
November 6, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Visibly aging but young at heart?  Don't count on it, suggested researchers Tuesday.  In a study following more than 10,000 people over 35 years, the presence of visible signs of aging signaled an increased risk of heart attack and heart disease. The research was presented at the American Heart Assn.'s Scientific Sessions in Los Angeles and was conducted in Denmark by University of Copenhagen biochemist Dr. Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen and colleagues. The team analyzed data collected from participants in a large study of heart disease, noting whether subjects developed heart disease and also whether they had any of six signs of aging: baldness at the crown of the head, receding hairline at the temples, gray hair, wrinkles, earlobe crease and fatty deposits around the eyelids.
NEWS
September 14, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
A new study suggests you are where you live - at least in terms of weight. A rural address could be a risk factor for being overweight, according to the research published in the fall issue of the Journal of Rural Health. The study, led by researchers at the University of Kansas, analyzed data from the National Center for Health Statistics. They said it is the first in more than 30 years to use actual measurements of height and weight, rather than self-reported data, which can be unreliable.
HEALTH
May 1, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
After several years of upheaval over the best way to conduct breast cancer screening, researchers are working to find clarity over when women should begin getting mammograms, how often and at what cost. A pair of new studies clears up some of the uncertainty by finding that women who have a mother or sister diagnosed with breast cancer, or those who have unusually dense breast tissue, should have their first test at age 40 and repeat the exam at least once every other year. For these women, who face at least twice the average risk of developing breast cancer in their 40s, the benefits of routine screening between the ages of 40 and 49 outweigh the risk of false alarms and unnecessary work-ups that might otherwise put them at greater risk than doing nothing, researchers report in Tuesday's edition of Annals of Internal Medicine.
NEWS
February 14, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Flowers and Lakers tickets are nice Valentine's Day gifts. But a guide to taking care of your flesh-and-blood heart is a great idea too. Take a look at " Heart 411 : The Only Guide to Heart Health You'll Ever Need. " This new book is authored by two of the top guns in cardiology: Dr. Marc Gillinov and Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic. The two doctors are on the cutting edge of heart health and have been outspoken about protecting consumers from harmful or unnecessary therapies.
NEWS
January 25, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
They're called “risk factors” for a reason - people with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and/or a smoking habit are much more likely to have heart attacks, strokes and other manifestations of cardiovascular disease, including death. A new study coming out in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed health data on more than 250,000 adults to confirm that those who had any of these risk factors were in greater peril than those who didn't.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2010 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
David Axene was flat on his back in a hospital bed with a swollen left leg. His kidneys had shut down. His blood pressure had plunged. Doctors pumped him with potent antibiotics to stave off a deadly infection. Yet there he was sifting through spreadsheets on his laptop, cradling his cellphone to his ear, waving off doctors to finish another conference call. California's top insurance watchdogs had hired Axene to scour Anthem Blue Cross' files for any flaw in the voluminous paperwork that accompanied its rate hikes of up to 39%. Anthem's plan to impose higher premiums March 1 had outraged consumers and politicians alike.
NEWS
November 29, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Stand-up comic Patrice O'Neal's death Tuesday at age 41 from complications of a stroke he suffered in October highlights just how relatively common strokes are -- and how dangerous. "Strokes are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the second-leading cause of death in the world -- so it happens to a lot of people," said Dr. John M. Kennedy, director of Preventive Cardiology and Wellness at Marina Del Rey Hospital. The vast majority of strokes -- about 85% -- are ischemic strokes, which means they're caused by something -- often a clot that formed in the heart or a piece of plaque that formed in the carotid artery in the neck -- traveling up and disrupting blood flow to part of the brain.
NEWS
November 16, 2011 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Most of us know about the factors that raise our risk for heart attack: high blood pressure, bad blood lipids, diabetes, smoking, family history of heart attacks. Either that, or we've been living in a cave.  Though a study of more than 500,000 patients just reported in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. doesn't change any of that, it did find something odd:  Among a large group of people admitted to the hospital for their first heart attack, those who had those traditional risk factors were less likely to die of the heart attack than those who arrived at the hospital without any of them.
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