Health Buzz: Risk of Heart Attack Growing in Women and Other Health News

Managing your pain without addiction; making sure your kid is getting enough vitamin D


Risk of Heart Attack Growing in Women

A new study finds that middle-aged women are increasingly at risk of heart attack, HealthDay reports. Researchers looked at data on more than 4,000 middle-aged men and women from surveys conducted between 1988 and 1994 and then again between 1999 and 2004. Women's risk of heart attack rose from 0.7 percent between 1988 and 1994 to 1 percent in the recent period while men's risk of heart attack decreased (from 2.5 percent to 2.2 percent), according to HealthDay. The number of heart attacks was still higher in men during both survey periods, the study found. The results appear in Archives of Internal Medicine. However, another study appearing in the same journal says that women are more likely to survive a heart attack, according to HealthDay.

[Read: Are You at Low Risk of Heart Disease? Probably Not.] [Slide Show: 6 Reasons Most Americans Are at Risk for Heart Disease.]

Managing Your Pain: How to Use Prescription Drugs Without Becoming Addicted

Michael Jackson's death has brought renewed attention to prescription drug abuse, which has long been a problem for everyday Americans as well as pill-popping celebrities, U.S. News's January Payne writes.

About 48 million people, or 20 percent of Americans over age 12, have taken prescription medications—often, the painkillers called opioids—for nonmedical reasons, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Those prescription opioids cause more drug overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Meantime, painkiller-related admissions to state-licensed treatment centers are on the rise, according to a March report. So how should you approach using a pain medication without getting hooked?

First, experts say it's best to stick with one doctor to coordinate your care; that way, she will keep tabs on all the pain medications you're taking. She may also look for signs of abuse. Pain specialists can monitor pill use and do urine drug testing to ward off addiction in their patients. Read more.

[Read: Prescription Pain Pill Addiction: 6 Tips From a Mother Whose Son Overdosed and What You Need to Know About Pain Medications.]

How to Make Sure Your Kid Isn't Short on Vitamin D

Is your child getting enough vitamin D to stay healthy this winter? The 400 IU recommended daily value for children may not be enough, according to new research from Children's Hospital Boston.

About one third of the children in the new study, which looked at blood levels of vitamin D in about 5,000 children, were taking multivitamins. Most of those multis contained 400 IU of vitamin D. But of the children taking multivitamins, 62 percent had blood levels of vitamin D below 75 nmol/L, a level increasingly thought to be a better reflection of the amount of the nutrient needed to prevent disease than the 50 nmol/L recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricians.

"The conclusion there is that 400 [IU] may not be enough," says Jonathan Mansbach, a pediatrician and coauthor of the study. U.S. News contributor Nancy Shute asked Mansbach what parents should do to make sure their kid isn't short on vitamin D. The doctor's next sentence was not what a mother wants to hear, Shute writes. "What is the correct amount is kind of hard to say," he says. Read more.

[Read: Vitamin D and Kids: How Much Sun Should They Get to Stay Healthy? and 3 Ways to Make Sure Kids Get Their Vitamin D.]

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