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Risk Factors

HEALTH
December 28, 2009 | By Jeannine Stein
Poverty appears to trump smoking, obesity and education as a health burden, potentially causing a loss of 8.2 years of perfect health. In a new study, researchers looked at health and life expectancy data from the National Health Interview Surveys and the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys and came up with various behavioral and social risk factors that affect quality of life, then used a formula to estimate the quality-adjusted years of life that...
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OPINION
November 20, 2009
Everyone who knows the prevailing medical wisdom on hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women, please stand up. Feels lonely up there, doesn't it? Hormone therapy after menopause was standard practice after a 1991 study found that it reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease -- until a study 11 years later found the opposite. Since then, the treatment has been linked to other health problems -- and found to have some advantages as well. Some doctors highly recommend hormones; others warn their patients away from them.
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.
NEWS
October 27, 2009 | By Shari Roan
Middle-aged men still have higher rates of heart attacks and heart disease than middle-aged women, but those gender differences appear to be narrowing, according to a study published Monday. The findings follow earlier research, published in a 2007 issue of the journal Neurology, establishing that stroke prevalence among women ages 45 to 54 was double that of men of the same age. Together, the findings suggest "an ominous trend in cardiovascular health among midlife women," said the lead author of both studies, Dr. Amytis Towfighi, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Southern California.
HEALTH
June 9, 2008 | Elena Conis, Special to The Times
What's new: Obesity appears to increase a person's chances of cognitive decline in old age -- but so, paradoxically, does weighing too little for one's height. The finding: People who maintain a healthy weight have a lower risk of dementia compared with those who are underweight or obese, according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Iowa, published in the journal Obesity Reviews last month.
NATIONAL
March 6, 2007 | James Gerstenzang and Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writers
Vice President Dick Cheney is being treated for a blood clot in his left leg, his office announced Monday -- a condition that, if left untreated, can be deadly if the clot breaks loose and reaches the heart, brain or lungs. The vice president, who has had four heart attacks and experienced other cardiovascular problems over the last three decades, is being treated with blood-thinning medication, said his deputy press secretary, Megan McGinn.
NATIONAL
April 20, 2006 | Joel Havemann, Times Staff Writer
Clearly irritating U.S. economic officials, the International Monetary Fund faulted the United States on Wednesday for its budget and trade deficits and its failure to provide universal health insurance, predicting that the dollar would inevitably decline in value against the world's other currencies. In its semiannual report on the world economic outlook, the IMF painted a generally rosy picture, with the global economy growing by 4.9% in 2006.
OPINION
February 26, 2005
Your Feb. 19 editorial, "In the Dark About Drugs," was too tepid. As an internist with many senior patients, I find it troubling that the Food and Drug Administration has agreed to allow the sale of certain Cox-2 inhibitors that have been shown to almost double the likelihood of a heart attack or a stroke in high-risk individuals. Placebo effects are very powerful. I realize that it is part of our retail culture to believe that, if a pill costs $3, it must relieve pain better than an over-the-counter pill that costs 30 cents.
HEALTH
January 31, 2005 | From Reuters
People who have high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes or who smoke in midlife have a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease later on, U.S. researchers have found. And the more factors a person has, the higher the risk. People with all four risk factors have more than double the risk of Alzheimer's, reported a team at Kaiser Permanente's division of research in Oakland. "The message is that the risk factors that are bad for the heart are bad for the brain," said Dr.
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