Health Buzz: Skipping Breakfast Linked to Heart Problems

Menopause: finding relief to its symptoms; Plus, spend more, get more: the currency of health

A plate of pancakes with fresh blueberries and syrup
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A 16-Year Study of 27,000 Men Suggests Eating Breakfast is Good for the Heart

What do you typically eat for breakfast? If the answer is "nada" with a slug of coffee, you may want to rethink your morning routine. A new study shows even more evidence that eating breakfast is key, and skipping it is a big, fat no-no. The study, published Monday in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, analyzed about 27,000 American men between ages 45 and 82 for 16 years. In tracking the roughly 1,500 coronary heart disease cases that occurred in those years, researchers calculated that the men who skipped their morning meals had a 27 percent higher risk of having heart problems than those who ate breakfast.

For people who scramble in the mornings just to get dressed and out the door, understand that the all-important breakfast doesn't have to be a lengthy production. U.S. News blogger Keri Gans suggests several healthy five-minute breakfasts, such as Greek yogurt with fruit, a whole grain waffle smeared with natural peanut butter or a hardboiled egg paired with a banana.

Menopause: Finding Relief to its Symptoms

Many women experience uncomfortable symptoms as they approach menopause. The hallmark symptom is the hot flash (also called the hot flush). This sudden feeling of intense warmth in your face and chest is followed by skin redness (flushing) and heavy sweating. Then it ends with a cold, clammy feeling. Some women may also have fast heartbeats (palpitations), a feeling of pressure in the head, dizziness, faintness or weakness.

A hot flash usually lasts from one to five minutes. Approximately 80 percent of women suffer from hot flashes before, during and after menopause. Hot flashes usually occur for two to five years before they taper off but can last longer. Some women may never have a hot flash, and some may have them for many years.

Until menopause, your ovaries release eggs during every menstrual cycle – this is called ovulation – and you can become pregnant. Your ovaries also make most of your body's estrogen. As you get older – usually as you approach age 45 to 50 – your ovaries gradually stop producing as much estrogen. This usually begins when women are in their mid-to-late 40s. When your estrogen levels fall low enough, menstrual periods stop. Menopause may also occur if you have had your ovaries surgically removed; or if they have been damaged by radiation or chemotherapy; or if you take medicine that lowers your estrogen levels. [Read more: Menopause: Finding Relief to its Symptoms]

Spend More, Get More: The Currency of Health

All responsible adults, and probably most savvy kids, know that saving money is a good idea, writes U.S. News blogger David Katz. We don't all do it, of course – and some of the people some of the time simply have no money to save. But still, the concept is valid. The money you put aside and avoid spending today may well come in very handy tomorrow.

All the more so when today's cache is interest bearing. What isn't spent today results in more to spend tomorrow. That the ebb and flow of stock indices top daily news reports around the world says something about the cultural primacy of saving money.

But money isn't the only currency that matters. We spend, and expend, others throughout our lives that exert as great – and I would argue far greater – influence on the quality of those lives. And those other currencies are subject to rather different rules.

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