Popular brand-name drugs going generic

By: Beacon
Posted on: June 01, 2011

Dear Savvy Senior: I’ve heard that the drug Lipitor and a few other popular brand name medications will soon be available in cheaper generic form. What can you tell me? — Frugal SeniorDear Frugal:It’s true. Generics for Lipitor and a slew of other brand name drugs will soon be coming down the pipeline, and the savings to consumers will be significant. Here’s what... READ MORE

Why we cry: studying a most human trait

By: Beacon
Posted on: June 01, 2011

We expect babies and children to cry, but U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s well-chronicled weepiness is a reminder that adults (including menfolk) shed plenty of tears, too.Grief, personal conflict, and feelings of inadequacy are among the main reasons, but grown-ups also fill buckets at weddings, graduations and reunions because they are so happy.Having a good cry every now and then ... READ MORE

Study shows no risk from mercury in fish

By: Alicia Chang
Posted on: May 15, 2011

In an unusual health study, researchers analyzing toxin levels in tens of thousands of toenail clippings determined that mercury from eating fish does not raise the risk of heart disease or stroke.Health experts have long urged people to eat fish to lower heart risks, but some have worried that the mercury in certain types of fish like shark and swordfish might offset any benefits.Mercury... READ MORE

Breast cancer survivor back in the saddle

By: Carol Sorgen
Posted on: May 15, 2011

In 1999, Patricia Artimovich was diagnosed with breast cancer. The treatment and recovery were, in her words, “grueling,” but once she had begun to recover, Artimovich, now 59, began reflecting on what she wanted to accomplish in her life.“It wasn’t just the big things, but the small things I wanted to do as well,” said Artimovich, an attorney and contracts... READ MORE

Will ‘concierge medicine’ hurt Medicare?

By: Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
Posted on: May 01, 2011

Every year, thousands of people make a deal with their doctor: I’ll pay you a fixed annual fee, whether or not I need your services, and in return you’ll see me the day I call, remember who I am and what ails me, and give me your undivided attention.But this arrangement potentially poses a big threat to Medicare and to the new world of medical care envisioned under President... READ MORE

Studies explore possible cure for diabetes

By: Andy Coghlan
Posted on: May 01, 2011

A pioneering hormone treatment may be the secret to an easy life for diabetics, consigning insulin shots and regular glucose monitoring to the medical history books.Most people associate diabetes with insulin, the pancreatic hormone that dictates how much glucose circulates in blood. Type 1 diabetics have to inject the hormone because they can’t make it themselves.Now, the spotlight... READ MORE

Ignore most health claims on food labels

By: Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDM
Posted on: April 15, 2011

Q: When the label of a food or supplement says that it supports the immune system, does that mean it will help prevent cancer, or does it refer only to fighting off colds and flu? A: Here’s the confusing part for shoppers: It doesn’t necessarily mean the food or supplement will do either one.A food or supplement company might be able to make a “structure/function... READ MORE

Brewing up a healthier image for coffee

By: Laura Janecka
Posted on: April 15, 2011

There’s something inexplicable about our relationship with coffee. It percolates through our day from the moment we wake, enlivening our senses and galvanizing us into action. It’s an affair that’s been going on for over 500 years, since the first cafes set up tables in the Middle East.And it’s now gathering steam as quality-obsessed kiosks add conviviality and... READ MORE

Brain ‘pacemakers’ to treat mental illness

By: Lauran Neergaard
Posted on: April 01, 2011

Call them brain pacemakers — tiny implants that hold promise for fighting tough psychiatric diseases, if scientists can just figure out where to put them in all that gray matter.Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, has proved a powerful way to block the tremors of Parkinson’s disease, working immediately to deliver relief.Blocking mental illness isn’t nearly as easy a task.... READ MORE

Is that test really necessary, doctor?

By: Marilynn Marchionne
Posted on: April 01, 2011

Orthopedic CT scans, MRIs and other pricey imaging tests are often performed more for the doctor’s benefit than the patient’s, new research confirms.Roughly one-fifth of tests that bone and joint specialists order are because a doctor fears being sued, not because the patient needs them, a first-of-its-kind study in Pennsylvania suggests. The study comes on the heels of a push... READ MORE