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Risk Factors

SCIENCE
November 18, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
CT scans of Egyptian mummies, some as much as 3,500 years old, show evidence of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which is normally thought of as a disease caused by modern lifestyles, researchers said Tuesday. The study, presented at the American Heart Assn. meeting in Orlando, Fla., was conceived by Dr. Gregory Thomas, a cardiologist at UC Irvine, after he read about Pharoah Merenptah at the Egyptian National Museum of Antiquities in Cairo. When he died at age 60 in 1203 BC, Merenptah was plagued by atherosclerosis, arthritis and dental decay.
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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.
HEALTH
October 7, 2002 | DIANNE PARTIE LANGE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The easiest way to assess your heart disease risk may be to measure your waist. A study of more than 9,000 white men and women found that the thickness of a person's midsection is more closely associated with other risk factors, such as cholesterol and glucose levels and blood pressure, than body mass index, or BMI. BMI, which is based on height and weight, has been used since the 1980s to estimate the risk of obesity-related diseases.
NEWS
February 3, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
Heart disease, heart health, cardiovascular risk factors ... the terms will appear in infinite variety this month, as will the color red. If you don't know why (Valentine's Day is only part of the reason), you haven't been paying attention: February is American Heart Month and the American Heart Assn. has ramped up its Go Red for Women campaign. If you have been paying attention, good -- we can move on to more specific information. The point of the dual observances, of course, is to underscore the fact that cardiovascular disease claims about 2,200 lives a day in the United States.
NEWS
September 13, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Living in a poorer neighborhood might put people at greater risk for having a sudden cardiac arrest, a study finds. Researchers analyzed data on sudden cardiac arrests over one year among 9,235 people in four U.S. cities and three in Canada. They also looked at median household incomes from census tracts to determine the relationship between the arrests and socioeconomic status. In six of the seven cities, the frequency of sudden cardiac arrests was substantially greater in the lowest socioeconomic areas compared with the highest.
NEWS
January 19, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
Statin drugs are used by millions of Americans to lower cholesterol, but should they be so widespread? A new study suggests maybe not. British researchers say there's little evidence that statin drugs prevent heart disease in people who are at low risk for the disease. The study involved a review of data on 34,272 patients at low risk for heart attack and stroke between 1994 and 2006. It was conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that reviews medical research.
HEALTH
August 9, 2010 | By Jessie Schiewe, Los Angeles Times
Signs of heart disease -- generally thought to be a disease of middle age -- can be seen even in children, cardiologists now know. But risk factors in children and young adults run the risk of being undetected and untreated, largely because of confusion as to who among the young should get screened, and when. One of the most efficient ways to screen for heart-disease risk is via tests for levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol. And yet often that screen doesn't get done.
NEWS
July 11, 2011 | By Melissa Healy/For the Booster Shots blog
Autism seems to have a powerful genetic component, but a family history of the disorder isn't the whole story. The circumstances of a baby's birth may also predispose a child to developing autism, says a new study. Babies who come into the world after a difficult delivery, who have to be coaxed or sometimes pulled out of the birth canal, who have gotten tangled in the umbilical cord or whose first days are characterized by feeding problems, anemia or jaundice, these children face higher odds of developing autism than those whose births were more uneventful, says the study , published Monday in Pediatrics.
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