Today’s Headlines: Gallstones May Increase Heart Disease Risk, The Link Between Calcium Supplements and Dementia, and an Update on the Zika Virus

Gallstones may put you at risk for heart disease. A new study has found that heart disease risk may be correlated to a medical history of gallstones. “Among women, Qi’s team found, those with a history of gallstones were up to 33 percent more likely to eventually develop heart disease. For men, gallstones were linked to an 11 percent increased risk. The researchers then pooled those results with findings from four previous studies that included nearly 900,000 people. All together, they found that adults with a history of gallstones were 23 percent more likely to develop heart disease​.” While the reason for the connection has not yet been established, researchers advised people who have had gallstones to pay more attention to their heart health. (CBS)

Calcium supplements may raise the risk of dementia. Older women who took calcium supplements for osteoporosis were found to have a high risk. “The study can’t prove cause-and-effect. However, dementia risk was seven times higher in female stroke survivors who took calcium supplements, compared to women with a history of stroke who didn’t use the supplements, the findings showed. The risk of dementia also was three times higher in women with white matter brain lesions who took calcium supplements, compared to women with white matter lesions who didn’t take the supplements.” Since the link has not yet been confirmed and proven, researchers recommend that women with osteoporosis and who have also had a stroke should continue to discuss their risks and follow up with their doctors. (CBS)

The Zika virus has spread to Miami Beach. This is now the second area in Florida where a non-travel related case has been reported in the U.S. “Governor Rick Scott confirmed Friday. He said five people have been infected by Zika locally in Miami Beach, including three tourists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new travel warning, telling pregnant women to avoid the popular tourist area if at all possible. The area includes much of South Beach, the quirky beachfront district popular for its outdoor restaurants and sidewalk promenades.” The CDC advises all pregnant women avoid traveling to Miami-Dade County and experts encourage everyone to stay indoors and take precautions. (NBC)