Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, remains one of our biggest killers. And elevated cholesterol is one of CVD’s most influential biomarkers. Twenty-five percent of Americans over 40 take one of these medications, costing $20 billion annually. Are we getting any worthwhile bang for the buck?
There's nothing quite like the moment when your doctor says: "you have heart disease" (or diabetes). Sinners then repent with thoughts such as: "From this point on only healthy nutritious foods, daily exercise, and perhaps a bit of mindfulness." But do the sinners really repent or is that just something they tell themselves until the shock wears off, allowing their old ways to return?
For a health issue, who doesn’t love a good screening test? Some love them, either assuring or sending them to find the underlying problem. Physicians have more of a love-hate relationship. But the quiet truth is that few screening tests for general populations, in terms of reducing mortality, are productive.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that men and women have significant differences in their physiology, and subsequent manifestation of disease phenotypes. At the same time, scientists increasingly view physiology as it changes, rather than as static points in time. Those trends come together in a new paper in JAMA Cardiology, which looks at the most ubiquitous of cardiovascular diseases: high blood pressure.
According to the CDC, approximately 26 million Americans smoke tobacco daily. In comparison, 14.6 million smoke marijuana every day. In the headlong green rush for dollars -- it's, after all, a $7 billion market in the U.S. -- no one has been able to answer the question of whether all that pot smoking has any ill effects.
Air pollution remains a contentious issue. While everyone is in favor of cleaner air, there is less unanimity over which pollutants, in what concentrations, can harm our health. The linkage between air pollution and disease is beset with problems of accurately identifying a dose-response (a biologic gradient), a clear temporal connection, and, most importantly, biologic plausibility – how does a pollutant cause a disease.
A recent study shows that dramatic changes in income can increase (or decrease) the incidence of cardiovascular disease. And no, it's not about gaining or losing health insurance. Could there be something other than $$$ at play? Let's find out.
When medicine is practiced as a team, who gets to be the quarterback? For diabetes and heart disease cardiologists believe they are the logical choice. Primary care physicians, oddly enough, disagree.
Binge watching as an African American is detrimental to your health. (But the same can be said for every racial group.) Is there something unique about their physiology that puts them at greater risk? Or is this just a chance to publish what we already know, cloaked in a legitimate concern about disparities in research and outcomes?
A study of the health effects of alcohol separates the population by a genetic difference: the ability to metabolize alcohol. Researchers found no benefit to drinking, moderate or not. Is it true? Maybe if you're Chinese.
Is there a magical prescription for how much exercise and activity eliminates the increased risk of premature death, which comes from sedentary behavior? A new paper takes a swing at an elusive target. Spoiler alert: This is an area that continues to defy precision.