Health Buzz: Drug Overdose Fatalities Continue to Rise

The truth about women’s heart health; how to serve dinner for breakfast

By + More

Prescription Drugs Involved in More than Half the Overdose Deaths

For the 11th consecutive year, the number of deaths from drug overdose has increased, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In 2010, there were 38,329 drug overdoses, reports the Associated Press, up nearly 4 percent from 2009. While "drug overdose" may conjure images of rockstars dying young from heroin and cocaine addictions, the new report shows that prescription drugs were more often the culprit. Of the overdose fatalities in 2010, nearly 60 percent involved prescription drugs—up 6 percent from 2009. Opioid drugs, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, contributed to 3 of the 4 medication overdose fatalities, reports the AP. Anti-anxiety drugs like Valium were another common cause of medication-related deaths, among which 17 percent were suicides. Thomas Frieden, head of the CDC, told the AP: "The big picture is that this is a big problem that has gotten much worse quickly."

The Truth About Women's Heart Health

You know all about the pink ribbon and its derivatives. Each October, for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the effort to raise awareness, funds, and hope around a once-taboo topic has worked, with pink-cleated NFL players and a pink-lit White House all joining the cause. And for good reason: About 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and 1 in 36 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

You may, however, be less familiar with the red dress, and its arresting message: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. In fact, more women die from heart disease than from all cancers combined, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the American Heart Association.

And yet, this threat often goes unrecognized. Hence, the red dress icon, created in 2002 by the NHLBI as the emblem of its public education campaign, "The Heart Truth." "When women hear the term 'heart disease,' they may still think it's a 'man's disease,'" says Nakela Cook, a cardiologist and chief of staff to the NHLBI director. [Read more: The Truth About Women's Heart Health]

How to Serve Dinner for Breakfast

I love breakfast, writes U.S. News blogger Keri Gans. It calms my early-morning hunger and includes foods I adore, like oatmeal and eggs. But not everyone feels this way about breakfast foods. Over the years, many of my patients have complained that they simply don't like cereal, hate yogurt and cottage cheese, and have no love for eggs. My response to them has always been the same: OK, but that shouldn't stop you from eating breakfast!

Breakfast is defined as the day's first meal. In other words, you simply need to start the day with food, which certainly doesn't need to be typical breakfast foods if you don't like them. The key is to find foods that provide the important nutrients we should begin our days with—especially fiber and protein. You can find these nutrients in many foods, including those served at dinner.

Let's start with leftovers. These are a great choice for breakfast, as long as they were part of a healthy meal the night before. (You don't want to repeat a diet disaster.) For example, broiled chicken with brown rice and broccoli—why not? Grilled salmon, quinoa, and roasted brussel sprouts? Sure, that meal deserves an encore. If you had to cook this meal from scratch it might not be the best choice, since quick and easy are usually the key parameters for a breakfast meal, but go for it it's pre-made. [Read more: How to Serve Dinner for Breakfast]

Follow U.S. News Health on Twitter and find us on Facebook.