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AHA News: Rate of High Blood Pressure Disorders in Pregnancy Doubled in 12 Years

The rate of pregnancy-related high blood pressure disorders doubled in the U.S. between 2007 and 2019, according to new research that finds 1 in 5 births now results in such a disorder, a preterm delivery or a baby with low birth weight.

The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, fills in important details about women's heart health during a crucial p...

Asthma, Allergies Raise Heart Risks, Too

If you have asthma or allergies, you may be more likely to develop heart disease, and some medications may increase or lower that risk, a new review of clinical trials and lab research shows.

"Many people think of asthma as a disease of the lungs, but there's an important link between asthma and cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart diseases, [high blood pressure] and more," sai...

AHA News: At 23 Days Old, He Had Open-Heart Surgery

Six months after Rachel and Levi Strauss married on the coldest Valentine's Day in Detroit history, they learned they were going to have a baby.

At their home in Houston, Levi helped satisfy Rachel's cravings for milkshakes, chips and queso, and mega-stuffed cookies.

At Rachel's 20-week anatomy scan, the couple held hands and smiled as the technician pointed out their son's 10 tiny ...

AHA News: Stroke Hospitalizations Rising Among Younger Adults, But Deaths Falling

Stroke hospitalizations for younger adults -- along with the cardiovascular risk factors associated with them -- have risen since 2007, preliminary new research shows. But the chances of people under age 45 dying from a stroke in the hospital have dropped.

The increase in hospitalizations was higher for women and for white and Hispanic adults, according to the findings presented recently ...

AHA News: Improved Fitness Gave Man Chance to Walk Daughter Down the Aisle After Heart Attack

Justin Ballard of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, stared at the photos in disbelief.

"Do I really look that big?" he thought.

The pictures came from a joyous occasion -- Christmas Day 2019, when Kelsey, the oldest of his three children, had gotten engaged.

The couple set a wedding date in October 2021. Justin vowed to be in much better shape by then.

At 6 feet tall, he often to...

AHA News: Black, Hispanic Adults Less Likely to Receive CPR, Especially in Public

Black or Hispanic adults who experience a witnessed cardiac arrest outside the hospital are substantially less likely than their white peers to receive lifesaving care from a bystander, preliminary new research shows.

CPR was least likely for Black and Hispanic adults in a less personal setting, such as on the street or in a public transportation center, according to findings presented Fr...

AHA News: College Athletes Rarely Develop Heart Problems One Year After Having COVID-19

College athletes who contract COVID-19 and return to playing sports have a low risk of developing life-threatening heart problems, according to new research that suggests stringent cardiac testing isn't necessary.

The research, published Thursday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, followed up on a related 2021 study that searched for heart complications among athletes ...

AHA News: Theater Director Has a Stroke the Day After a Crushing Fall

To celebrate her 50th birthday, Victoria Shepherd was pulling out all the stops.

She was in her 30th year as a freelance director in Toronto, so the party would begin at her latest play. Her friends would take in a closing week performance of "The Glass Menagerie" by her favorite playwright, Tennessee Williams.

Next, the party would move to her home. As guests enjoyed a multi-layer ...

Why High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy Bodes Ill for Future Health

High blood pressure complications during pregnancy can be scary, but a new study warns they also significantly raise a woman's risk for heart disease later in life.

"Women with a history of gestational hypertension or

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 10, 2022
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  • AHA News: What Expectant Moms Need to Know About Mental Health During and After Pregnancy

    Having a baby, especially a first child, is loaded with expectations. But in addition to joyfulness, many women may experience something else they may not want to discuss: anxiety and depression.

    Though up to half of new mothers experience at least minor depressive symptoms, experts say the condition still frequently goes undiagnosed and untreated, increasing the risk for heart and other ...

    Some Health Conditions Greatly Raise Drowning Risks

    With summer comes warm weather and swimming. But for some people, knowing how to swim may not be enough to ensure their safety.

    That's because certain medical conditions bump up the risk for drowning in a big way, according to a new Canadian study.

    About one in three adults and children over age 10 who drowned in Canada between 2007 and 2016 had a chronic health condition, the stud...

    AHA News: She's Been a Nurse for 50 Years; the Last 30, She's Also Been a Heart Patient

    Over five decades in nursing, Marilyn Rantz has done it all. She's gone from working one-on-one with patients and serving as an administrator to spending the last 30 years working as a professor and researcher. She's quite the grant writer, too, having generated more than $100 million for the University of Missouri.

    Much of her work has centered around helping older people to live indepen...

    AHA News: The Healing Power of Music for Stroke Survivors

    Julie Stillman was 55 years old when a blood vessel in her brain suddenly burst. The hemorrhagic stroke left her unable to compose a simple sentence -- a hard blow for a woman who built a career in book publishing.

    It also robbed her of the ability to speak properly. But not the ability to sing.

    Now 69, Stillman is one of several dozen stroke and brain injury survivors who lift thei...

    Black Patients With A-Fib Less Likely to Get Blood Thinners

    Patients with atrial fibrillation usually receive blood thinners to reduce their stroke risk, but these drugs are under-prescribed to Black Americans, a new study reveals.

    When they leave the hospital, Black patients are 25% less likely than whites to be prescribed

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 3, 2022
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  • AHA News: 5 Ways to Support, Relieve and Remember Moms on Mother's Day

    Moms deserve a break.

    It's not news that parenting is stressful, but health experts say the pandemic made things worse.

    "Even in the best of circumstances, it's really hard to be a mother," said Natalie Slopen, an assistant professor in the department of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. Parenting comes with joys as well, but over...

    AHA News: Limited By Stroke at 48, His Wife Helps Him Make the Most of Their 'New Normal'

    While a worker cleaned out the septic system at John Cathey's house in Murray, Kentucky, John was down in the crawl space checking the pipes. When it came time to exit, he pushed his legs to scoot out. His left leg wouldn't move.

    His wife, Paula, was cleaning the bathroom. Through a slightly raised window, she thought she heard someone cry out.

    Several minutes later, the worker knoc...

    AHA News: Opioid Prescriptions After Heart Device Procedures Down Slightly

    Federal guidelines geared toward curbing the overprescription of opioids have modestly reduced their use after medical procedures to implant pacemakers and other heart devices, new research shows.

    But researchers say more needs to be done in the face of the nation's continuing opioid crisis.

    "While we have seen some response, we still need to increase awareness and push harder on th...

    AHA News: She Retired From Playing Football at 41, Had Heart Attack at 43

    Throughout every stage of her life, Tammy Spencer Bey has defined herself as an athlete.

    She played softball from a young age through high school. In college, Tammy was on a flag football team.

    She continued exercising while working full-time, pursuing a master's degree and raising three girls as a single mother.

    When her daughters were older, Tammy could finally do what she'd...

    AHA News: Uncontrolled Blood Pressure, Diabetes May Be Common Among People With Heart Failure

    Many people with heart failure also have diabetes or high blood pressure. But new research suggests those conditions, even when treated, aren't well controlled, placing people at risk for worsening heart problems.

    "We know that controlling hypertension and diabetes is critical for people with heart failure," said Dr. Madeline Sterling, a primary care physician at Weill Cornell Medicine in...

    Another Long-Term Health Issue Tied to Abuse in Childhood: Cholesterol

    The toll of child abuse is wide-ranging and long-lasting. Researchers warn that childhood abuse is tied to high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes in adulthood, raising odds for heart disease and stroke.

    In contrast, those who grew up in nurturing homes are less likely to have heart disease risk factors.

    "Our findings demonstrate how the negative and positive experiences we have in chi...

    AHA News: Hybrid Work Can Be Healthy at Home and the Office

    First, we got advice on staying fit and healthy while working in the office. Then when the pandemic started, we got advice on staying fit and healthy while working from home.

    As the era of hybrid work -- doing the same job in both places -- takes hold, now what?

    There are a lot of health tradeoffs, said Shawn Roll, an occupational therapist and associate professor at the University ...

    AHA News: COVID-19 Led to Heart Problem That Put Teen in a Wheelchair For 3 Months

    Olivia Lopez came home from school one day, walked into her mom's office and announced: "I can't smell."

    It was November 2020, so then-13-year-old Olivia and her mom knew what this likely meant. A test confirmed she had COVID-19.

    In addition to a loss of smell and taste, Olivia dealt with shortness of breath and fatigue.

    Weeks later, the virus was gone but the symptoms remaine...

    AHA News: Despite Hopes, Vitamin K2 Supplements Fail to Slow Calcium Buildup in Heart Valve

    The progressive narrowing of the aortic heart valve in a group of older men could not be slowed during a recent clinical trial using vitamin K2 supplements, dampening hopes of finding a medical treatment for this common but serious condition.

    The research, published Monday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, built upon earlier studies suggesting vitamin K2 supplements c...

    Online Program Helps Stroke Survivors Recover

    A healthier lifestyle is recommended for stroke survivors, but that's often easier said than done. Now, online programs are coming to the rescue, according to a new study.

    "Online platforms are a viable and impactful model to address the health information needs and behavior change challenges of stroke survivors," said study author Ashleigh Guillaumier of the University of Newcastle in Au...

    AHA News: Confused About COVID-19 Boosters? Experts Answer 6 Common Questions

    When the Food and Drug Administration recently authorized a second COVID-19 booster shot for some people, many of those eligible wondered whether to get one -- and when, given that cases are once again rising in some parts of the country.

    Here's are answers to six common questions to clear up some of the confusion.

    Who is eligible for a second booster?

    Based o...

    AHA News: Air Pollution Exposure May Cause Heart Attack Within an Hour

    Exposure to air pollutants -- even at levels below World Health Organization air quality guidelines -- may trigger a heart attack within the hour, according to a new study from China that found the risks were highest among older people and when the weather was colder.

    The study found exposure to any level of four common air pollutants could quickly trigger the onset of acute coronary synd...

    AHA News: Overworked Single Mom Collapsed at Work and Wound Up With a New Heart

    In her late 40s, Alicia Wilson had a hectic schedule. She had a full-time job administering contracts, was a single mom of a busy high schooler, and had decided to take on the challenge of going back to school for a master's degree.

    So when Alicia, who was overweight, felt out of breath after climbing stairs, she hardly had time to think twice about it.

    Then came the day at work whe...

    Western Wildfires Fueling Air Pollution During Summer Months

    Larger and more intense wildfires in the U.S. Pacific Northwest are causing a spike in air pollution across North America that endangers millions of people, a new study warns.

    Wildfire smoke has been linked to significant

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 21, 2022
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  • AHA News: The Challenges of Studying Marijuana's Effects on the Heart and Brain

    Over the past decade, marijuana use, both recreational and medicinal, has grown as state governments across the U.S. have legalized its use. But while it might be legal for adults to light up, the question of whether it is harmful or helpful in many cases remains unanswered.

    Researchers say the truth is complicated.

    Though it has been studied for decades, much remains unknown about ...

    AHA News: Don't Go Bananas -- But Maybe Eat One

    On the screen, bananas are a menace. Just ask Charlie Chaplin, Bugs Bunny or anyone who's played Mario Kart.

    In your diet, though, bananas can be a boon. Experts have a bunch of reasons to like them and see only a few ways the elongated yellow fruit could cause your health to slip.

    "They're rich in nutrients and fiber," said Colleen Spees, associate professor of medical dietetics at...

    AHA News: For 27 Years, Organ Donation Has Been Boosted by 'The Nicholas Effect'

    Nicholas Green should've turned 35 this year.

    Instead, a random act of violence claimed his life while he was on vacation with his family in Italy more than 27 years ago. The story captivated a worldwide audience. So did what happened next.

    Nicholas' organs and corneas were donated to seven people. His heart went to a 15-year-old boy and one of his corneas to a mother who'd struggle...

    Heart Inflammation Very Rare After COVID Vaccination

    The heart inflammation that followed COVID-19 shots in some teens and young adults is rare and a new study affirms that your risk is extremely low.

    Inflammation of the heart muscle (myoperic...

    AHA News: Decades-Long Heart Study Shows Longer Lives, Lower Cardiovascular Risks

    People taking part in the historic Framingham Heart Study are living longer and with less risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying from coronary heart disease, according to a new analysis that underscores the power of prevention, screening and treatment efforts.

    Scientists have known for decades about the risks posed by plaque buildup in the arteries. Coronary heart disease, for exa...

    AHA News: Future of COVID-19 Vaccines Brings High Hopes, Familiar Obstacles

    Looking back on a year since most people in the United States became eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, medical experts can celebrate a technological triumph while acknowledging unresolved challenges.

    Looking ahead, they see the same: Exciting technological potential, with obstacles that will require work beyond the lab.

    From a scientific standpoint, vaccines are poised to keep winnin...

    1 in 4 Adults Has Liver Disorder That Ups Heart Risks

    Alcohol abuse is a known cause of liver disease. But one in four adults worldwide has a liver condition not connected to drinking that ups the risk of heart disease, according to an American Heart Association scientific statement.

    Nonalcoholic fatty l...

    AHA News: At 38, She Had Two Strokes in One Day

    Even though her neck was throbbing, Saundra Minge invited her 7-year-old nephew and 3-year-old niece over for a Labor Day swim. She chalked up the pain to sleeping funny and thought it would go away.

    For five hours, she played with the kids in the pool. Her neck pain was getting worse. That night she woke up with an excruciating headache, reminiscent of the migraines she gets.

    She t...

    AHA News: Connecting Health, Pollution and Fairness -- That's Environmental Justice

    In the beginning, the idea of environmental justice didn't have a name. It didn't have much support, either.

    A few years after the first Earth Day, a young sociologist named Robert Bullard gathered data for a 1979 lawsuit, filed by his then-wife, about a landfill planned for a middle-class Black neighborhood in Houston. His work showed that although only about a quarter of Houston's resid...

    AHA News: Couple Had to Wait Until After Daughter's Birth to Learn Exactly What Was Wrong With Her Heart

    At their babies' 20-week ultrasound, Bridget and Jerrid Conway were eager to catch another glimpse of their twin girls. In the exam room, the technician moved the wand over Bridget's stomach. When she lingered over Twin A, or Sadie as they later named her, the Conways suspected something might be wrong.

    Their doctor said the right side of her heart looked larger than the left.

    He ru...

    AHA News: How to Keep Your Dog's Heart Healthy

    Anyone who has been on the receiving end of a dog's love and devotion knows these furry friends are nothing if not good for our hearts.

    There's plenty of research to show that's more than a warm, fuzzy feeling. Studies show dog ownership benefits heart health by reducing social isolation, helping people stay physically active and reducing blood pressure -- major risk factors for heart dis...

    AHA News: 12-Year-Old's Stroke Revealed an Undiagnosed Congenital Condition

    Ten days before his 13th birthday, Trenden Johnston spent the afternoon doing yardwork and bouncing on a trampoline. So when his mom left to pick up dinner, he went to his room to rest.

    Suddenly, he felt sick. He vomited. The left side of his body seemed to go limp.

    Scared, he called his mom, Amanda Blough. His words came out so garbled that she could hardly understand what he was s...

    Few People Get Infected Heart Devices Removed, Despite Benefit

    When implanted heart devices get infected, doctors recommend surgery to remove them, but many patients ignore that advice, a new study reveals.

    More than eight in 10 patients with an infected implant (such as a defibrillator or pacemaker) choose antibiotic treatment instead, t...

    AHA News: Traditional Dances Mix Music, Movement, Heritage and Health

    Anybody who's twisted, hustled, boot-scooted or learned how to do the Dougie knows dancing can be more than just a fun way to spend a Saturday night. But when music and motion link someone to their heritage, it might provide a special kick, boosting pride, social connections and even health.

    Studies have found health perks from culturally relevant dance programs that used styles as varied...

    Post-COVID Risk for Blood Clot Lasts at Least 6 Months

    COVID-19 increases people's risk of dangerous blood clots and bleeding for months after infection, researchers say.

    The new findings suggest that COVID-19 is an independent risk factor for deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and bleeding.

    "Our findings arguably support [treatment] to avoid thrombotic events, especially for high-risk patients, and strengthen the importance of va...

    Got A-Fib? Shed Pounds Before Treatment to Stop Its Return

    If you're one of the millions of people with a common heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation (a-fib), losing weight before treatment may increase the odds that your a-fib doesn’t come back.

    In a new study, patients with a-fib who were overweight or obese when they underwent ablation to correct their abnormal heart rhythm were more likely to experience a return of a-fib than fo...

    AHA News: Walking Your Way to Better Health? Remember the Acronym FIT

    So you put on extra pounds during the pandemic. Your cholesterol's too high. Maybe you need to do a better job managing blood pressure. It can feel like a lot to tackle.

    But taking that first step toward better health can be as easy as … taking a first step. Literally. Just putting one foot in front of the other -- as often as you can.

    There's a wealth of evidence showing walking ...

    Does Cutting Back on Salt Help Folks Battling Heart Failure?

    If you have heart failure, there's good news and bad news on how much it would help you to cut back on salt.

    New research finds that while it doesn't prevent death or hospitalization among patients, it does appear to improve their quality of life.

    Patients wit...

    AHA News: She Wasn't Having a Heart Attack -- It Was 'Broken Heart Syndrome'

    Life has not slowed for Patricia Harden of Oakland, California, since she sold her public relations company in 2020 or since retiring from her remaining consulting work the following year. Now 73, she's serving on the board of nonprofits, taking part in a writing group and doing Pilates.

    "At first, I was sort of overwhelmed with all the choices," she said. "But it's been exciting."


    AHA News: The Pandemic's Ripple Effects on Health Have Begun. What Can We Do Now?

    For more than two years, COVID-19's direct harm has been visible in overflowing intensive care wards and grim statistics. Now, some of its indirect effects are coming into focus.

    Studies are linking the pandemic to higher rates of fatal heart disease and stroke, deaths from addiction-related problems and more. The exact causes of these connections are still being determined, experts say, ...

    AHA News: Stroke, Heart Failure Death Rates Accelerating in Some Hispanic Adults

    Scientists debate whether Hispanic adults, who have higher rates of certain risk factors for cardiovascular disease, are nonetheless less likely to die from it than their non-Hispanic white peers. It's something researchers call the "Hispanic paradox." But a new study analyzing heart and stroke deaths over two decades suggests it isn't always the case.

    The research, published Friday in th...

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