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Common Eye Conditions Tied to Higher Risk for Dementia

Diseases that can rob you of vision as you age also appear to be tied to an increased risk for dementia, a new study finds.

Specifically, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetes-related eye disease were linked with a higher likelihood of dementia, researchers in China said. However, one other common eye ailment, glaucoma, was not linked to dementia risk.

The new st...

More Evidence That Stress Gets Blood Pressure Rising

MONDAY, Sept. 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) – If you often feel stressed out, your blood pressure may rise over time alongside higher odds for other heart concerns, a new study indicates.

Researchers found adults with normal blood pressure but high levels of stress hormones were more likely to develop high blood pressure in six to seven years than those with lower stress hormone levels.

...

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...

Breastfeeding May Strengthen a Baby's Heart

Breast milk can give preemies' hearts a big boost, a groundbreaking study suggests.

"This study … adds to the already known benefits of breast milk for infants born prematurely," said study leader Dr. Afif El-Khuffash, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dublin.

He said the findings off...

4-in-1 Blood Pressure Pill Could Improve Outcomes

A four-in-one pill containing "ultra-low doses" of different medications can provide better blood pressure control than standard drug treatment, a new clinical trial from Australia shows.

About 80% of people given the "quadpill" achieved a healthy blood pressure of 140/90 within three months and continuing out to a year, compared to 60% of people who started on a single medication and add...

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...

Why Water Is Key to Your Heart's Health

Everyone knows that drinking plenty of water every day can improve your health in a myriad of ways, but here's a lesser-known benefit: New research suggests that middle-aged adults can lower their long-term risk for heart failure by simply drinking enough water on a daily basis.

The finding follows an analysis that stacked heart health up against blood salt levels -- an indicator for over...

A Little Wine & Certain Foods Could Help Keep Blood Pressure Healthy

An apple and a pear a day may help keep blood pressure under control -- a benefit partly explained by gut bacteria, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that adults who regularly ate certain foods -- apples, pears, berries and red wine -- tended to have lower blood pressure than their peers.

One thing those foods have in common is a high content of antioxidant plant compounds cal...

Dangerous Diabetes Tied to Pregnancy Is on the Rise

Growing numbers of pregnant women are developing gestational diabetes, putting them and their babies at risk for complications later on.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy in women who weren't already diabetic.

Between 2011 and 2019, rates of gestational diabetes in the United States jumped 30%, according to a large nationwide study of first-ti...

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...

Climate Change Worsens Wildfires, Bringing Poorer Health to All

Smoke from wildfires burning along the West Coast is choking the entire United States, reminding everyone of the hazards of climate change.

But that haze isn't just stinging your eyes and choking your breath -- it poses a direct threat to your health, experts say.

Wildfire smoke has been shown to increase risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as lung ailments like asthma, Ameri...

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...

AHA News: Dangers of Life-Threatening Second Heart Attack May Be Highest Soon After the First

A first heart attack is a serious, life-changing event, although most people now survive them. But a new study underscores the importance of doing everything possible to avoid another one.

"It's like taking another hit," said Dr. Umesh Khot, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. "One heart attack is a lot, and having another one is a big hit on the heart."

Khot is lead aut...

High Blood Pressure: Which Drug Works Best for You?

Two long used types of blood pressure drugs are equally effective, but the less popular one seems to have fewer side effects, according to a large "real-world" study.

The two classes of medication are both recommended as "first-line" treatments for high blood pressure: angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

ACE inhibitors have been a...

The Heat Is On: Staying Safe When Temperatures Soar

Midsummer heat and high humidity aren't just uncomfortable -- they're a combo that can cause serious illness and even death.

"Whenever you walk or do outdoor activity, take a friend with you who can help you if you run into trouble," Dr. Eleanor Dunham advised. She's an emergency medicine doctor at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa.

Babies and seniors...

Stronger Hearts, Better Outcomes in Pregnancy: Study

Thinking of starting a family? Start getting your heart in shape. New research suggests that how healthy a woman's heart is before conception affects outcomes in her pregnancy.

Study author Dr. Sadiya Khan said the findings make a case for more comprehensive heart assessments prior to pregnancy rather than focusing on isolated individual risk factors, such as high blood pressure ("hyperte...

Eating Meat Raises Risk of Heart Disease: Study

Eating beef, lamb, pork and processed meats spells trouble for your heart, and the more you eat, the worse it gets, new research warns.

The meta-analysis -- an overview of data from a large number of studies -- included more than 1.4 million people who were followed for 30 years. It found that for each 1.75 ounces of beef, lamb and pork consumed, the risk of heart disease rose 9%, CNN...

Breastfed Babies Have Healthier Blood Pressure as Kids

Here's another reason for new moms to give breastfeeding a try: Toddlers who were breastfed for even a few days have lower blood pressure than those who always got a bottle, research finds.

And lower blood pressure at an early age may lead to a healthier heart and blood vessels in adulthood, researchers said.

The new study is believed to be the first to investigate breastfeeding in...

5-Minute Daily Breathing Exercise May Equal Meds in Lowering Blood Pressure

A quick daily "workout" for the breathing muscles may help people lower their blood pressure to a similar degree as exercise or even medication, a small study suggests.

The technique is called inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST), and it involves using a device that provides resistance as the user inhales -- essentially working out the diaphragm and other breathing muscles.

R...

Wealth & Health: How Big Financial Changes Affect Your Heart

The state of your finances may affect more than your pocketbook.

So claims new research that suggests a loss of wealth is associated with an increased risk of heart problems, while a boost in finances is associated with a lower risk.

"Low wealth is a risk factor that can dynamically change over a person's life and can influence a person's cardiovascular health status," said stu...

Sleep Apnea in Childhood a Bad Sign for Teenage Heart Health

Teens who've had sleep apnea since childhood have a much higher risk of high blood pressure than those who never had sleep apnea, new research shows.

"Our study showed that pediatric sleep apnea can act as a gateway to future hypertension," said study author Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, an associate professor in Penn State's Sleep Research and Treatment Center.

The U.S. National Heart, ...

Can Your Blood Pressure Medicine Protect Your Memory?

Older adults who use certain blood pressure drugs may retain more of their memory skills as they age, a new study suggests.

Researchers found the benefit among older people taking medications that are allowed past the "blood-brain barrier," which is a border of specialized cells that prevents toxic substances from crossing into the brain.

Those drugs include certain ACE inhibitors a...

Mom's Blood Pressure in Pregnancy Could Affect Child's Stroke Risk Decades Later

Expectant mothers' high blood pressure heightens kids' risk of stroke later in life, a Swedish study finds.

"Our findings indicate that hypertensive disorders during pregnancy are associated with increased risks of stroke and potentially heart disease in offspring up to the age of 41 years," said study author Fen Yang, a doctoral student at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

The stu...

Losing Weight Can Beat Diabetes and Also Help the Heart

An aggressive weight-loss program not only achieves remission of type 2 diabetes, but may also end the need for blood pressure medications, new research shows.

"Our study shows that, in addition to possible remission from type 2 diabetes, there are other very important health benefits, as weight loss is a very effective treatment for hypertension [high blood pressure] and its associated s...

Low-Salt 'DASH' Diet Good for Total Heart Health

It's consistently rated high among diets for all-around health, and a new report finds the DASH diet is all-around good for your heart, too.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) regimen is designed to lower high blood pressure, but this new research shows that it also reduces inflammation, heart injury and strain.

The study provides "some of the strongest evidence that...

Fat Around Your Heart Could Be Especially Deadly

Too much fat around your heart could increase your risk of heart failure, especially if you're a woman, researchers warn.

They looked at nearly 7,000 45- to 84-year-olds across the United States who had no evidence of heart disease on initial CT scans. Over more than 17 years of followup, nearly 400 developed heart failure.

High amounts of fat around the heart -- pericardial fat -- ...

Elections Can Be Tough on Americans' Hearts

A U.S. presidential election can be hard on your heart.

That's the takeaway from two new studies that look back on the 2016 race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

For one, researchers investigated heart rhythm disorders in more than 2,400 adults in North Carolina (average age: 70.8 years) who had implanted defibrillators or pacemakers that could be monit...

Being a 'Night Owl' Raises Odds for Diabetes If You're Obese

Though obesity by itself can drive up heart disease risk, new research suggests diabetes and heart disease risk is especially high when combined with a tendency to stay up late at night.

The finding stems from a comparison of sleep patterns and disease in 172 middle-aged people as part of an ongoing obesity prevention study in Italy.

"The sleep-wake cycle is one of the most importan...

Road to Healthy Middle-Aged Brain May Begin in Childhood

Could having heart disease risk factors in childhood sow the seeds of thinking declines in middle-age?

It looks like it might, new research claims.

"I think it was not so big of a surprise for us, but maybe for the scientific community who have been focusing mainly on the midlife risk factors and old-age cognition," said study co-author Suvi Rovio. She is senior researcher of cardio...

Are You Taking a Med That's Raising Your Blood Pressure?

Nearly one in five Americans with high blood pressure use medications that can cause blood pressure to spike, a preliminary study shows.

The researchers said the findings are concerning, given how many people have difficulty controlling their high blood pressure.

"A large number of Americans are not meeting their blood pressure goals," said lead researcher Dr. John Vitarello, an int...

Air Pollution Can Harm Kids' Hearts for a Lifetime

Air pollution isn't hard on the hearts of adults only, suggests a new analysis that found it can raise blood pressure in kids as young as 5.

Children experienced increases in blood pressure if they had short-term exposure to air polluted with coarser particles or long-term exposure to finer airborne particles, and that also happened with long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide, an air poll...

Heart Risk Factors Show Up Earlier in U.S. Black Women

Young Black American women have high rates of lifestyle-related risk factors for heart disease, a new study indicates.

The findings show the need to help them adopt healthy eating and physical activity habits, as well as make it easier for them to access health care, the researchers said.

"Young people should be the healthiest members of our population, with normal body weight and n...

Heart Disease Often Comes in Pairs, Spouse Study Shows

Couples share a lot together, but heart disease wouldn't be on any couples' list. However, new research out of China shows that if your spouse has heart disease you're likely at high risk for it, too.

Living together can often mean unhealthy habits are shared, explained the study's lead author.

"We found that an individual's cardiovascular disease risk is associated with the health...

Your Blood Type Might Raise Odds for Certain Health Conditions

Certain blood types may increase a person's risk of different health problems, a new study suggests.

The research confirms some previous findings and reveals new links between blood types and diseases, according to the authors of the study published April 27 in the journal eLife.

"There is still very little information available about whether people with RhD-positive or RhD...

New Advice for Blood Pressure That's a Bit Too High

If making healthy lifestyle changes doesn't lower a patient's slightly high blood pressure within six months, doctors should then consider prescribing medication, a new American Heart Association scientific statement advises.

The recommendation is for people with untreated stage 1 high blood pressure (130-139/80-89 mm Hg) who have a low risk of a heart attack or stroke within 10 years. Lo...

Migraine Before Menopause Could Be Linked to High Blood Pressure Later

If you suffered migraine headaches before menopause, you're at higher risk for high blood pressure once your periods stop, a new study warns.

Migraines occur more often in women than men, and are most common in the years before menopause, according to study author Gianluca Severi of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris.

"Doctors may want to consider ...

'Disrupted' Sleep Could Be Seriously Affecting Your Health

Waking up briefly throughout the night may do more than leave you feeling grumpy and tired in the morning.

Disrupted sleep may actually increase your odds of dying early from heart disease or any other cause, and women seem to be harder hit by these effects than men.

"The data underscores all the more reasons why we need to be screening people about whether or not they feel refreshe...

How 'Bleeding' Stroke Affects Brain May Depend on Your Race

Black and Hispanic survivors of a bleeding stroke are more likely than white survivors to have changes in small blood vessels in the brain that increase the risk of another bleeding stroke, researchers say.

'Bleeding' strokes, also called hemorrhagic stroke, comprise about 13% of all strokes. They occur when an artery in the brain leaks or ruptures.

"While Black and Hispanic bleedin...

Unexplained Drop in Resting Heart Rate in Youth 'Not a Good Thing'

Children who have a sudden lowering of their resting heart rate as they move into young adulthood may be at increased risk for heart disease later in life, researchers report.

For their new study, they assessed data from 759 Black and white participants in the Augusta Heart Study, which was designed to evaluate the development of risk factors for heart disease. It followed young participa...

Hormone Treatments May Raise Blood Pressure in Transgender People

Monitoring blood pressure is important for transgender people, according to new research, which found changes in systolic blood pressure after the start of gender-affirming hormone therapy.

Transgender men and transgender women have a higher burden of heart attack, stroke and related conditions, the study noted.

Gender-affirming hormone therapy isn't new. Doctors have prescribed the...

AHA News: The Link Between Structural Racism, High Blood Pressure and Black People's Health

High blood pressure. Structural racism.

What do they have in common?

Researchers say they are two of the biggest factors responsible for the gap in poor heart and brain health between Black and white adults in the United States. And they are inextricably linked.

Studies show high blood pressure, also called hypertension, affects Black adults - particularly women - earlier and ...

Physically Active at Work? It's Not as Healthy as Leisure Exercise

Going for a brisk walk after a long day at work may be better for your heart than getting all of your exercise on the job.

New research suggests that while current health guidelines indicate that leisure-time activity and physical activity at work are created equally when it comes to heart health benefits, this may not be the case after all.

Leisure-time exercise -- whether it be ta...

Could Widely Used Blood Pressure Meds Raise Skin Cancer Risk?

Most people are familiar with common sun-protection advice, from wearing and reapplying sunscreen to putting on a hat.

But a new Canadian study finds that for people who take certain blood pressure medications, that advice becomes even more critical because those drugs can increase their sensitivity to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

The researchers reviewed data for nearly...

Some Blood Pressure Meds Raise Heart Risks in People With HIV

Beta-blocker blood pressure medications may increase the risk of heart problems in people with HIV, new research suggests.

For the study, the researchers reviewed the medical records of more than 8,000 U.S. veterans with HIV who developed high blood pressure between 2000 and 2018. Of those, around 6,500 had never been diagnosed with heart or blood vessel problems.

At the start ...

Diet High in Processed Meats Could Shorten Your Life

That piece of sausage you're about to enjoy? You may want to put it down for something healthier.

New research found an association between eating even small amounts of processed meats, 150 grams (a little over 5 ounces) per week, and a higher risk of major heart disease and death.

But not all meat is bad: The study, which includes data from 21 countries, also found that eating up t...

Healthy Living in Middle Age Really Pays Off in Senior Years

Live well, live longer.

New research offers more evidence that the mantra rings true: People who got regular exercise and ate a healthy diet in middle age had a reduced risk of serious health problems as seniors.

"Health care professionals could use these findings to further promote and emphasize to their patients the benefits of a healthy diet and a regular exercise schedule t...

Black Adults Face 4 Times the Odds for Stroke as Whites

Once Black Americans reach age 40, their blood pressure often begins a rapid climb, putting them at significantly higher risk of stroke than their white counterparts, a new study warns.

Middle-aged Black people have roughly four times the stroke risk faced by white Americans, according to the analysis of data from nearly 5,100 patients.

"High blood pressure is the single most import...

Study Ties Gum Disease to High Blood Pressure

Want to ward off high blood pressure? Don't forget to brush and floss.

A new study finds that severe gum disease may make an otherwise healthy person significantly more likely to develop high blood pressure.

"[Our] evidence indicates that periodontal bacteria cause damage to the gums and also triggers inflammatory responses that can impact the development of systemic diseases includ...

Unhealthy in Your 20s? Your Mind May Pay the Price Decades Later

If you're a 20-something who wants to stay sharp, listen up: A new study suggests poor health habits now may increase your risk of mental decline later in life.

Its authors say young adulthood may be the most critical time for adopting a healthy lifestyle in order to keep your brain sharp when you're older.

That's the upshot of an analysis of data from about 15,000 adults who were p...

Beta Blockers Won't Cause Depression, But Might Impair Sleep: Study

Millions of people take a beta blocker regularly, and a new study brings good news: The medications will not raise the risk of depression.

Beta blockers are used to treat conditions such as heart failure, chest pains, high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythm. But it's long been suspected that the drugs may be linked with depression, anxiety, drowsiness, insomnia, hallucinations and n...