Computerized tomography, known as CT scans, can check the heart for calcium deposits and blockages, making it a potentially useful tool for risk-assessment and predicting heart disease, according to a new study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The study found that 7 percent of people scanned needed to lower their LDL cholesterol levels because they were actually at a higher risk of atherosclerosis than previously diagnosed.
Perils of passive smoke
Does your spouse need more incentive to quit smoking? A new study from China finds that non-smoking women whose husbands smoked for at least five years had lower HDL cholesterol, higher LDL cholesterol and other blood changes that put them at higher risk for heart disease than nonsmoking women with nonsmoking partners. This study echoed previous research from Harvard Medical School, which found that children at risk for high cholesterol tend to have lower HDL levels if they grow up in homes where parents smoke. In fact, a review of multiple studies by the University of California estimated that secondhand smoke increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 30 percent ? almost as much as active smoking.