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Even healthy people should halve salt intake, study counsels

Shake that salt from your life _ even if you're healthy.

That, according to a National Institutes of Health study released Wednesday, is the latest line on salt, which has been the subject of back-and-forth studies on whether it really does raise blood pressure.

By cutting their salt intake in half, "all Americans, and especially those at high risk for hypertension, can decrease their chance of developing high blood pressure as they age," said Dr. Eva Obarzanek, a nutritionist with NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

The study was conducted at five leading medical institutions around the country and presented during the American Society of Hypertension annual meeting in New York.

DIOXINS, FAT AND CANCER: A draft report from the Environmental Protection Agency suggests the cancer risk from dioxins may be greater than previously thought, but only among people who eat lots of fat.

That may sound scary but even if it's true, these long-controversial chemicals still would play a very small role in anyone's individual risk, say cancer experts.

Clot dissolvers and the elderly

DALLAS _ Clot-dissolving drugs routinely given to heart attack victims don't help patients over age 75 and may even raise their risk of dying from bleeding, strokes or a ruptured heart, according to a study.

The findings are surprising because of a widespread belief that clot-busting drugs known as thrombolytics benefit older patients as well as younger patients, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The researchers found that patients over 75 who were given the clot-busters were nearly 40 percent more likely to die within 30 days of treatment than patients who did not get the drugs.

The study was published in the latest issue of Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.