Medicare late enrollment opportunities

By: Bill Salganik

Medicare’s best-known annual enrollment period — for prescription coverage and for Medicare Advantage (HMOs and other full health insurance plans) — ended Dec. 7, 2011. There are, however, other enrollment periods you need to know about. Here are some that you can use now:Basic Medicare The annual general enrollment period for Medicare Parts A and B is Jan.1 to March 31.... READ MORE

New drug cuts deaths after a heart attack

By: Marilynn Marchione

People recovering from a heart attack or severe chest pain are much less likely to suffer another heart-related problem or to die from one if they take a new blood-thinning drug along with standard anti-clotting medicines, a large study finds.But this benefit had a cost: a greater risk of serious bleeding, usually in the digestive tract.Still, some doctors said the drug, Xarelto, could... READ MORE

‘Super broccoli’ said to lower cholesterol

By: Maria Cheng

Popeye might want to consider switching to broccoli. British scientists unveiled a new breed of the vegetable that experts say packs a big nutritional punch.The new broccoli was specially grown to contain two to three times the normal amount of glucoraphanin — a nutrient believed to help ward off heart disease.Glucoraphanin works by breaking down fat in the... READ MORE

‘Inoperable’ heart patients get a solution

By: Matthew Perrone

Federal health officials have approved a first-of-a-kind artificial heart valve that can be implanted without major surgery, offering a new treatment option for patients whose age or condition prevents them from undergoing the chest-cracking procedure that has been used to replace heart valves for decades. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it approved Edwards... READ MORE

Machines measure blood pressure better

By: Beacon

Doctors are notoriously bad at measuring their patients’ blood pressure. Nurses are better, but many still don’t use the correct method.Even clinicians who do follow the proper procedure often get a reading that’s higher than the person’s usual blood pressure. This is called white-coat hypertension — blood pressure that’s high when a doctor or other... READ MORE

Stay healthy with three immune boosters

By: Emily Sohn

You already know you need to eat well to stay healthy, but scientists are now zeroing in on specific diet strategies that can help bolster immunity. With cold and flu season right around the corner, here are three to add to your arsenal:1. Fill your Vitamin D tank: You may have fewer health problems — ranging from colds to cancer — if you get enough vitamin D. Your body... READ MORE