Health Buzz: Cardiac Arrests and Other Health News

Prostate cancer, men's health and swimming the English Channel

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Cardiovascular Disease in the Spotlight

The unexpected death of veteran NBC political journalist Tim Russert has thrust sudden cardiac arrest into the spotlight. According to Newsweek, it accounts for 310,000 deaths in America every year, or 850 a day. That's more than those caused by breast cancer, lung cancer, stroke, and AIDS combined. Russert's death, says the Wall Street Journal's health blog, is a potent reminder of our vulnerabilities to cardiovascular disease even in the face of major medical advances in causes and prevention.

Will Russert's story, a Los Angeles Times blog queries, inspire you to get a complete checkup, eat right, lose weight, stop smoking, lower stress, watch your cholesterol, and get off the couch? If so, the U.S. News Living Well section has some advice on how to get started.

Is Finasteride a Good Option for Prostate Cancer Prevention?

Gina Kolata of the New York Times explores the nuances of emerging research that suggests men taking finasteride, a generic drug that shrinks the prostate, may have a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer. As U.S. News's On Men column explained three weeks ago, previous research has shown the drug effective at preventing more than a quarter of prostate cancer cases, but concerns that it might also encourage the growth of some particularly dangerous tumors has severely hampered its acceptance. Though the new research puts much of that concern to rest, as Kolata reports, controversy remains about whether it should be deployed for prostate cancer prevention on a wide scale.

Looking for more info about prostate cancer? U.S. News offers an archive of recent stories.

A Roundup of Father's Day Health News

Father's Day prompted some men's health-related news articles and advice. HealthDay took the occasion to encourage men to consider getting a genetic test for prostate cancer, the second-most-common type of cancer that affects men. Meanwhile, CNN told men not to overlook five key health symptoms: chest pain, a big belly, an unenthusiastic penis, more frequent urination, and prescription drug addiction. The Boston Globe highlighted the importance of early screens and preventive care. U.S. News offered seven reasons men's lives are cut short in comparison to women, and seven strategies they can take to lengthen their lifespans. Presidential candidate Barack Obama, too, had some advice for fathers, telling members of a largely African-American audience to live up to their responsibilities to their children, according to the Washington Post.

See the On Men column and the U.S. News men's health section for more men's health news.

Training for the English Channel

U.S. News fitness columnist Katherine Hobson recently spoke with Stanley Paris, a 71-year-old planning to swim across the 20-plusmile English Channel. Paris, a physical therapist and founder of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in St. Augustine, Fla., is busy training and gearing up for his trip to Dover, England, where he'll start his crossing, Hobson reports. Her On Fitness column has more fitness news.

-Adam Voiland