News reports of the death of aspirin are exaggerated.

Late last year a number of news reports seemed to say the aspirin doesn’t work to improve health or prevent adverse health events.  Like the one linked above, these stories presented the truth about aspirin based on several studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  But the headline that too many people heard or […]

Respect your elders’ risk factors.

Respecting one’s elders is age-old good advice.  When it comes to avoiding stroke, younger people also need to respect the traditional risk factors that cause stroke in the elderly.  Turns out, the traditional modifiable risk factors also account for most strokes in young people. What are the traditional risk factors?  They include hypertension (high blood […]

Dementia rate goes… Down! (Part 2)

In a recent post, I reviewed an article about declining rates of dementia between 2000 and 2012, in which most of the difference was accounted for by increasing levels of education.  In an even longer term study based on data from the Framingham Heart Study, there was a similar finding. The article, called Incidence of Dementia […]

Dementia rate goes…..Down!

In an article called  A Comparison of the Prevalence of Dementia in the United States in 2000 and 2012, authors report on data from a long-term study on dementia rates in Americans 65 years-old or older.  The main finding of this study was that in the year 2000, 11.6% of this age group had dementia […]

Cardiovascular health may prevent cognitive decline.

The term “synergy” may be overused in the business world but in medicine, we’re still ok with it. I always like to point out ways to affect more than one area with a single effort.  One of my favorite examples is that many migraine preventives also help with sleep or with anxiety.  But that’s another […]

Take THAT JNC 8 – lower BP better for stroke prevention.

There are many organizations that meet regularly to pour over data and make broad recommendations to doctors about how to treat patients.  These include the American Heart Association, the American College of Chest Physicians, and other specialty organizations such as the American Academy of Neurology.  One of these organizations, the Joint National Committee (JNC) surprised […]

Menopause means fewer migraines? Not so fast..

Migraine headaches, which are more common in women than men, are often hormonally influenced.  Menstrual migraine – migraines that occur regularly during menstruation – is a common phenomenon.  It’s probably the rapid fall in estrogen levels that triggers the migraine. It’s commonly thought, and often observed, that migraine frequency reduces after menopause -when estrogen levels […]

Some health benefits for coffee.

Java lovers take heart.  In a study called Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in 3 Large Prospective Cohorts, researchers found lower mortality rates in moderate coffee drinkers.  The current study was based on data from the Nurse’s Health Study, Nurses Health Study II, and the Health Professionals Followup Study, in all over 200,000 […]

Facts and questions from a blood pressure study.

The question of what is the best blood pressure target is quite old and not very close to being settled.  If you have hypertension (high blood pressure) you may be aware that the guidelines that doctors follow have been a bit confusing lately. In 2014 the JNC-8 guideline indicated a BP target of below 150 […]

Resolution time: Diet and exercise to prevent stroke (Part 2)

Here’s part two in the resolutions series:  Exercise.  What’s the data for stroke prevention? In an article called Physical activity in primary stroke prevention: just do it!, authors review the data behind a recommendation to exercise to prevent stroke.  The way we usually talk about this issue is to say that a sedentary lifestyle is a […]