Dieting for Dollars

Can employers put you on a diet? No, but they can make it more expensive to be fat. New ways companies are monitoring employee health habits and rewarding those who shape up.

The Risks of Snoring

Snoring isn't just annoying, it's linked to serious health problems. A look at the risks—and the remedies.

Why Americans Are Going Broke

The new economic stimulus plan encourages consumers to spend money-but isn't that what got so many into trouble in the first place?

2007 AIDS Developments

Though a potential vaccine failed in trials this year, there are other promising options for lowering HIV transmission rates.

2007 AIDS Developments

Though a potential vaccine failed in trials this year, there are other promising options for lowering HIV transmission rates.

Health: Put Out The Flame

For years smokers trying to kick the habit have had three choices: taking an antidepressant like Zyban, switching to nicotine replacements like patches or gum, or going cold turkey. Now the Food and Drug Administration has approved another option. Pfizer's varenicline, marketed as Chantix, targets areas of the brain that are affected by nicotine, easing withdrawal symptoms and blocking the effects of inhaled cigarette smoke (so if a patient falters and lights up a cigarette, any pleasurable effects would be muted). The prescription-only drug could be available as early as the fall; its price has not yet been determined. The FDA recommends a 12-week course for the tablet, taken daily starting one week before the smoker's "quit date" target (potential side effects include nausea, headaches and constipation). In clinical trials, more than one in five smokers using Chantix remained smoke-free for at least one year--"a significant improvement over current medications," says Thomas J....

Hard to the Core

David Burnes was on a walking tour of Madrid last fall when the low-grade discomfort he'd been feeling in his back for weeks morphed into molar-grinding pain. Burnes, 50, realized he needed serious medical attention and cut his trip short. Back in the United States, he was diagnosed with a ruptured disc and, after rejecting surgery, was sent for intensive physical therapy. Burnes, the CEO of a Massachusetts software firm, was unimpressed at first by the stretching, crunches and leg lifts he had to do. "It seemed like the stuff girls do," says Burnes, who biked, skied and worked out with weights before his back problems slowed him down. But after 20 minutes of sweating and grunting, Burnes had a revelation. "These instructors," he admits with a laugh, "were kicking my butt."Actually, they were strengthening his core muscles. And what Burnes and millions of other boomers are discovering is that a strong torso, though hard-earned, is essential for long-term fitness. For decades,...

Cutting Edge

Stuart Forbes celebrated his 60th birthday on April 11. A week later, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. "It was quite a month," says Forbes, who runs a consulting firm outside Boston. When biopsies confirmed he had an aggressive form of the disease, Forbes started looking for a surgeon. The first recommended a traditional radical prostatectomy, which would require a 20- to 25-centimeter incision and at least two days in the hospital. Forbes was also warned that he would likely lose almost all the nerves on the left side of the prostate, which could permanently affect his sexual function. "I thought, 'I need to really look at all my options'," says Forbes. He considered high-intensity focused ultrasound ablation, a relatively new technology that's been used in Europe. But it's expensive and would require transatlantic trips. He looked into various forms of radiation, as well as proton-beam therapy. Then, in June, his girlfriend took him to a symposium on robotic surgery. "I saw...

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