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Today's Top Medical Stories for Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A new study shows a link between diabetes and stroke in women. And federal health experts come out against the use of certain vitamins to prevent heart disease and cancer.

Do not use beta-carotene or vitamin E supplements as the primary way to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer. That's according to new recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force. The group says beta-carotene may actually increase the risk for lung cancer among those who are at risk for the disease. The task force also found that vitamin E is not effective in preventing heart disease or cancer.

A new study shows a link between diabetes and stroke in women but not in men. Researchers in Louisiana found diabetic women have an increased risk of stroke, especially if they are 55 years and older.  Doctors say part of the reason may be that women with diabetes have significantly higher blood pressure and levels of lipids than men. Another reason may be that men with diabetes or cardiovascular disease are more likely to receive treatment than women.

And a new study finds firefighters who died of heart attacks and strokes while on the job were most often doing vigorous physical activity right before the attack. Researchers looked at nearly 200 firefighters who died of cardiovascular problems at work. 148 happened after vigorous activity. In that group, 94 had high cholesterol and 93 had high blood pressure.  Those are some of the day's top health stories.

(Alexis Christoforous, CBS News)

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