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Could Student Loan Debt Threaten Your Health?

As the Biden Administration weighs the possibility of broad student loan forgiveness, a new study finds that people mired in student debt face a heightened risk of heart disease by middle age.

The findings are not the first to suggest that student debt can take a mental and physical toll.

Young...

Calcium Supplements Could Spell Trouble for Older Heart Patients

Seniors are often advised to take calcium supplements, but new research says the pills might significantly increase an aging person's risk of heart valve problems that contribute to heart failure.

People taking either calcium supplements alone or calcium with vitamin D had a higher risk of heart-related death or death from any cause compared with people not taking supplements, the researc...

Heart Risk Factors Can Be Recipe for Dementia

The faster you pile up heart disease risk factors, the greater your odds of developing dementia, a new study suggests.

Previous research has linked heart health threats such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity with mental decline and dementia.

Amassing those risk factors at a faster pace boosts your risk for

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 25, 2022
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  • Former College Football Players Suffer More Brain Disorders as They Age

    College football players live longer than those who didn't play, but they suffer more brain-related issues as they age, a new study finds.

    Among former Notre Dame football players, being physically fit was tied to lower deaths from heart disease and diabetes. But the former players were five times more likely to have impaired thinking and memory ("cognition") and 2.5 times more likely to ...

    Mental Illness Linked to Higher Risk of Deadly Heart Issues

    People with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other severe mental illnesses are at increased risk of death from heart problems, a large research review finds.

    "Our systematic review and meta-analysis of over 100 studies has confirmed a strong association between severe mental illness and cardiovascular disease which became stronger in the 1990s and 2000s," said study author Amanda Lambe...

    Men With Heart Disease Can Safely Mix Their Nitrates with ED Drugs

    Doctors have long thought it dangerous to prescribe erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra alongside chest pain pills containing nitrates.

    "It's always been a big red line," said Dr. John Osborne, director of State of the Heart Cardiology in Grapevine, Texas. "You do not mix. Don't go there."

    But sex remains important among men with heart problems -- so much so that co-prescription ...

    'Stroke-Heart' Syndrome Can Signal Danger for Patients

    Major heart complications soon after a stroke can put survivors at higher risk for a heart attack, death or another stroke within five years, new research shows.

    Heart problems after a stroke are common and are referred to as stroke-heart syndrome. These heart problems were known to increase stro...

    Drink Up!  Daily Coffee Tied to Longer, Healthier Life

    In yet another finding that highlights the health perks coffee can brew, new studies show that having two to three cups a day not only wakes you up, it's also good for your heart and may help you live longer.

    In this largest ever analysis of nearly 383,000 men and women who were part of the UK Biobank, researchers discovered that, over 10 years, drinking two to three cups of coffee a day ...

    Firefighters Face Higher Odds for Heart Trouble

    The more blazes firefighters battle, the higher their risk for a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation (a-fib), a new study shows.

    "Clinicians who care for firefighters need to be aware of the increased cardiovascular risk, especially the increased ris...

    Man Who Received First Pig Heart Transplant Has Died

    The first person to receive a pig heart transplant in a groundbreaking procedure performed at the University of Maryland Medical Center in January has died, hospital officials said Wednesday.

    David Bennett, a 57-year-old Marylander, suffered from severe heart disease and had agreed to receive the experimental pig’s heart after he was rejected from several waiting lists to receive a huma...

    What's More Accurate, Blood Pressure Readings at Home or Doctor's Office?

    Regular blood pressure readings at home are more accurate for diagnosing high blood pressure than those taken at a doctor's office, according to a new study.

    "Blood pressure varies a lot over the day … and one or two measurements in clinic may not reflect your average blood pressure," said study author Dr. Beverly Green, a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Resea...

    When You Get a Blood Pressure Reading, Cuff Size Matters

    Can the size of a blood pressure cuff throw off your reading?

    Yes, claims a new study that found an ill-fitting blood pressure cuff could make the difference between being accurately diagnosed with ...

    Study Finds No Heart Benefit From Veggies. Nutritionists Disagree.

    Eating vegetables may not help protect you against heart disease, according to a new study that's triggered strong reactions from critics.

    The analysis of the diets of nearly 400,000 British adults found that raw vegetables could benefit the heart, but not cooked vegetables. However, the resea...

    Loneliness Can Be Unhealthy Heartbreaker for Older Women

    It's a fate many older women fear: loneliness and isolation as they age. Now, new research suggests those feelings may also predispose them to heart disease.

    The findings may be especially relevant now because of social distancing required by the pandemic.

    "We are social beings. In this time of COVID-19, many people are experiencing

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  • February 7, 2022
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  • Gruesome Warning Images on Soda Labels Could Cut Consumption

    Images of fat-laden, diseased hearts and blackened, rotting feet might be the last thing you expect to see on the label of a can of soda that your child desperately wants, but would such drastic health warnings about the long-term dangers of sugar stop you from buying it?

    Yes, suggests new research that finds parents were 17 percentage points less likely to buy sugary beverages if confron...

    Hospital Defends Decision to Deny Heart Transplant to Unvaccinated Man

    In response to claims that a man was denied a heart transplant because he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston said Wednesday that its transplant policies mirror those used across the United States.

    In a crowdfunding appeal for 31-year-old D.J. Ferguson, a father of two, his family said the hospital told him he was ineligible to receive a new ...

    Don't Snow Shovel Your Way to a Heart Attack

    Shoveling snow may trigger a heart attack if you're not careful, especially if you already have risk factors, an expert warns.

    The combination of shoveling and cold weather can cause your arteries to spasm and constrict, explained Dr. Sam Kazziha, chief of cardiovascular...

    In Breakthrough Transplant, Man Receives Genetically Modified Pig Heart

    In a medical first, doctors from the University of Maryland have implanted the heart of a genetically modified pig in a 57-year-old man facing the final stages of heart disease.

    The surgical feat, known as

  • Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 11, 2022
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  • COVID Helps Drive Nearly Two-Year Decline in U.S. Life Expectancy

    WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) - - COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death for Americans and has shortened life expectancy by nearly two years, a drop not seen since World War II, a new government report shows.

    Life expectancy dropped from 78.8 in 2010 to 77 in 2020 as the age-adjusted death rate increased 17%, going from 715 deaths per 100,000 people in 2019 to 835 d...

    Many Overweight Kids Already Have Hardened Arteries, Diabetes

    If your children struggle with their weight, new research suggests they may also suffer from diseases once seen only in adults.

    Stiffening of the arteries, which can lead to early heart attacks and strokes, and type 2 diabetes were found in many of the more than 600 obese children, adolescents and young adults studied. And the problem is only getting worse: According to the U.S. Centers f...

    Are Opioid Painkillers Needed Weeks After Heart Surgery? Maybe Not

    Recovery from heart surgery can bring some pain. But a new study suggests patients don't need potentially addictive prescription opioids to control that post-op discomfort.

    "This study shows that discharge without opioid pain medicine after cardiac surgery is extremely well tolerated...

    Breathlessness With 'Long COVID' May Point to Heart Damage

    Shortness of breath in people with "long COVID" might not just be about the lungs -- it may indicate heart damage from the disease, new research suggests.

    "The findings could help to explain why some patients with long COVID still experience breathlessness one year later, and indicate that it might be linked to a decrease in heart performance," explained study author Dr. Maria-Luiza ...

    Gene Found in Amish Helps Protect Their Hearts

    A rare gene variant discovered among Amish people may help lower "bad" cholesterol and protect against heart disease, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that among nearly 7,000 Amish people, the gene variant was tied to reductions in both LDL cholesterol and fibrinogen -- a protein that is a marker of inflammation and linked to heart disease risk.

    There was also evidence of pro...

    Years of Blood Thinners After Stenting Might Not Be Necessary

    Folks who've had a clogged artery reopened probably can stop taking blood thinners sooner than previously thought, a new study argues.

    Patients are regularly prescribed blood thinners for a year or more after angioplasty. This is to make sure that blood doesn't clot inside the metal stent that now holds their artery open. That could cause a heart attack or stroke.

    But heart doctors ...

    Advances in Care, Impact of COVID Highlights of Latest Cardiologists' Meeting

    The COVID-19 pandemic, heart-healthy eating, and better ways to treat and prevent heart disease were among the hot topics that emerged during the American Heart Association's annual meeting this week.

    "I was at the sessions yesterday, I was actually in clinic this morning, and there were things I learned at the sessions that are affecting how I care for my patients," Dr. Manesh Patel, cha...

    Could Coffee or Tea Lower Your Odds for Dementia and Stroke?

    A few cups of your favorite brew -- coffee or tea -- each day might help keep stroke and dementia at bay, a large new study suggests.

    For close to 14 years, scientists stacked up coffee and tea consumption against the risk of stroke and dementia among nearly 366,000 healthy Brits between 50 and 74 years of age.

    The researchers -- led by Yuan Zhang of Tianjin Medical University in Ti...

    There May Be a 'Best Bedtime' for Your Heart

    Is there an ideal time to go to bed every night if you want to dodge heart disease?

    Apparently there is, claims a new study that found hitting the sack between 10 and 11 p.m. may be the ideal time to cut the risk for cardiovascular trouble.

    The finding may be worth heeding, since the researchers also found that going to sleep before 10 p.m. or at midnight or later might raise the ri...

    Table Set for One May Be Tough on Women's Hearts

    Eating alone may be a recipe for heart trouble if you're an older woman, Korean researchers suggest.

    Those who eat by themselves are likely to eat faster and less healthily, which can lead to weight gain, higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increasing the risk for heart disease, the new study found.

    "Women who live alone, who aren't cooking for a family or their husband, t...

    Study Compares Bypass, Stenting for Patients With Severe Heart Disease

    Bypass surgery is slightly better overall than stenting to open blocked arteries in people with severe coronary artery disease, new research shows.

    But decisions may still need to be made on a case-by-case basis: Stenting appeared more beneficial in some patients, particularly if they didn't have complex disease.

    The findings should help guide decisions about which treatment is best...

    Tingling, Burning in Your Feet? Common Condition May Be the Cause

    The number of people experiencing numbness, pins and needles, and burning pain in their feet and toes seems to be on the rise, new research suggests, and some of these folks may be at increased risk for heart trouble.

    Exactly why there has been an uptick in "small fiber neuropathy" is not fully understood yet, but it could be due to the ongoing diabetes and obesity epidemic as both condit...

    Cataracts Tied to Higher Odds of Death From Heart Disease

    Cataracts, a common eye disorder that often comes with age, may also be linked to a heightened risk of death from heart disease, new research shows.

    Experts stressed that the finding doesn't mean that cataracts somehow cause heart trouble, and the study wasn't designed to prove cause and effect.

    "A variety of medical conditions like [high blood pressure], diabetes or smoking have be...

    Lengthening Menstrual Cycles Near Menopause Could Predict Heart Health

    The length of a woman's menstrual cycle as she nears menopause could reflect her future risk of heart disease, researchers report.

    Some women's menstrual cycles become longer as they approach menopause, while others' cycles remain stable. This new study found that the women whose cycle increased in length two years before menopause had better measures of vascular health than those who had...

    Brush & Floss: Better Oral Health Keeps Severe COVID at Bay

    Good dental hygiene may well be a weapon against severe COVID-19: A new study shows that taking care of your teeth and gums may lower your risk of serious infection, especially if you have heart disease.

    Previous research has found an association between poor oral hygiene and increased inflammation and heart disease, and COVID-19 severity has also been linked to an inflammatory response, ...

    Two Meds Better Than One for Many With High Blood Pressure: Study

    Nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure and only 24% have it under control, but what's the best way to treat it -- one high-dose pill or two at a lower dose?

    A large new study suggests that two medications may be better than one for many older patients. Lowering elevated blood pressure to a sustainable level is important because it reduces a patient's risk of heart attack, strok...

    Obese? Lose Lots of Weight, Watch Your Heart Risks Drop

    It's no secret that excess weight is bad for the heart. But a new study suggests that obese people who lose a substantial amount of weight may reverse the related cardiovascular risks.

    Researchers found the odds for high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol were similar in formerly obese Americans who were now at a healthy weight and people who had always had a healthy weight.

    Di...

    What Blood Sugar Levels Best Protect Against Heart Trouble in Those With Diabetes?

    For people with diabetes who have a stroke, there may be an ideal blood sugar target to prevent another one or a heart attack, a South Korean study finds.

    To determine average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months, the study team used the hemoglobin A1C test.

    "We know that having diabetes may be associated with an increased risk of having a first stroke," said study a...

    Smartphone Apps May Aid in Heart Attack Recovery

    After a heart attack, a smartwatch app may help keep patients from being hospitalized again, researchers say.

    The app helps patients keep track of medications and make lifestyle changes. It may also reduce rehospitalization in the month after discharge by half, according to a new report.

    The American Heart Association says one in six heart attack patients returns to the hospital wit...

    Dairy Foods May Be Good for You After All

    You remember the ad. It asked if you've "got milk?" and said that "milk does a body good."

    So, does it? New research suggests it might.

    In the study, people who consumed more dairy fat actually had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who drank or ate less dairy, CNN reported.

    "Increasing evidence suggests that the health impact of dairy foods ma...

    Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer May Have Long-Term Risk for the Heart

    Younger women who undergo radiation for cancer in the left breast have a heightened risk of heart disease years later, a new study finds.

    Among women who received radiation therapy for left-sided breast cancer, 10.5% developed coronary artery disease over the next 27 years, researchers found. That was close to double the rate among women who had radiation for tumors in the right breast.

    4 Out of 10 Adults With No Known Heart Disease Have Fatty Hearts: Study

    Many middle-aged adults with apparently healthy hearts have a "silent" buildup of fatty deposits in their arteries, a large, new study shows.

    Researchers found that of more than 25,000 50- to 64-year-olds, about 42% had signs of atherosclerosis -- a buildup of "plaques" in the arteries that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

    That was despite the fact that none had any history of ...

    AHA News: A Year of Committed Exercise in Middle Age Reversed Worrisome Heart Stiffness

    A year of exercise training helped to preserve or increase the youthful elasticity of the heart muscle among people showing early signs of heart failure, a small study shows.

    The new research, published Sept. 20 in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, bolsters the idea that "exercise is medicine," an important shift in approach, the researchers wrote.

    The stu...

    Heading to the Mountains? Heart Patients Should Check With Their Doctor First

    If the Alps or the Rockies are on your bucket list, check with your doctor first if you're at risk for cardiovascular disease.

    New advice from the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests certain people take precautions before going to high altitude places.

    These recommendations apply to folks with high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart rhythm abnormalities (arrhy...

    Mind & Body: Marriage, City Living May Help When Heart Disease Strikes

    Feelings of despair and hopelessness can raise the odds of death in people battling heart disease, and new research suggests that where you live, as well as your marital status, can also play a role.

    The study found that heart disease patients who lived in rural areas and were unmarried were more likely to feel hopeless.

    "Because we know hopelessness is predictive of death in p...

    Change in the Kitchen Could Help Men in the Bedroom

    The Mediterranean diet can bring many benefits for the human body, including a healthier heart and a sharper brain.

    But there's another benefit that might be of particular interest to men.

    Following a Mediterranean diet can lower a man's future risk of erectile dysfunction, according to research presented online on Friday at the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting.

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    Getting Healthy After Heart Attack Could Add Over 7 Years to Life

    Heart attack survivors could gain more than seven healthy years of life if they take the right medications and improve their lifestyle, new research estimates.

    Unfortunately, studies have found, heart attack survivors rarely get optimal control over their risk factors.

    The new research echoes that evidence: Of more than 3,200 patients, only 2% had their blood pressure, cholesterol a...

    Just Starting Exercise in Your 60s? It'll Still Do a World of Good

    If you're a 60-something with heart disease, it's not too late to give your ticker the benefits of a regular workout.

    Swiss researchers found that survival rates among heart patients who became active later in life were nearly the same as those who'd been exercising for years.

    "Continuing an active lifestyle over the years is associated with the greatest longevity," said study autho...

    Heavy Drinking in Youth Could Harm Arteries

    The arteries of young people who drink stiffen sooner in their lives, which could increase their risk for heart disease and stroke later on, a British study reports.

    People's arteries naturally become less elastic with age, but certain factors -- including alcohol and tobacco use -- can speed up the process. This study included more than 1,600 people in the United Kingdom. Their alcohol u...

    Wildfires Ravage Firefighters' Long-Term Physical, Mental Health

    Roaring, fast-moving blazes. Choking smoke. Fiery tornados. Thunderstorms and lightning.

    The Dixie Fire -- now the single largest wildfire in California history -- continues to spread, having burned through more than 750 square miles of forest land north of Sacramento.

    The astonishing spread of smoke from the fire, causing discomfort and illness to people hundreds or thousands of mi...

    Eating Less Meat Means a Healthier Heart

    For people at any age, eating a healthy, plant-based diet is tied to a lower risk of heart attack and heart disease, two new studies show.

    Both studies were published Aug. 4 in the Journal of the American Heart Association,and support the heart association's dietary guidelines.

    "A nutritionally rich, plant-centered diet is beneficial for cardiovascular health. A plant-cente...

    Sleep Apnea Doubles Odds for Sudden Death

    With apologies to William Shakespeare, this is the stuff bad dreams are made of: Sleep apnea may double your risk for sudden death.

    The condition -- in which a person's airway is repeatedly blocked during sleep, causing pauses in breathing -- may also increase the risk for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, new research shows.

    "This [study] ad...