In the news: statins, aspirin, nuts, condoms and the warning signs of cardiac arrest

SHARE 26 54 1 COMMENTMORE

This week's health news was all heart – or at least mostly heart, thanks to controversy over new cholesterol treatment guidelines and news from the annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association. Here's what you need to know:

More of you will likely end up taking statins. That's despite controversy over new guidelines for prescribing the cholesterol-lowering drugs. Some critics say a formula that calls for giving the medications to anyone with even a 7.5% chance of developing cardiovascular disease within a decade is likely to overestimate risk for many people. But the authors of the guidelines, from the heart association and the American College of Cardiology, are standing by them.

Night time may be the right time to take aspirin. If you take low-dose aspirin for heart health, you might get more benefits by taking it at night, rather than earlier in the day, new research suggests. But no one should take daily aspirin, at any hour, without checking with a health care provider.

Hearts about to stop send warnings. More than half of middle-aged men suffering sudden cardiac arrest experienced warning signs up to a month in advance, a new study shows. Among the signals: chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, faintness and heart palpitations.

Nuts are good for you. This isn't new news, but the biggest study yet to look at nuts and mortality found that nut eaters live longer and are less likely to die of heart disease or cancer than those who eschew cashews (and almonds, peanuts, pecans, etc.). Nutrition experts say an ounce a day – about a fistful – is a good bet.

There are 812 ways to improve condoms. That's how many ideas the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation got when they asked experts to come up with ways to make condom use easier and more attractive. Among the suggestions, according the New York Times: condoms with pull tabs or "shape memory," and condoms made out of materials from cow tendons to fish skin.