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Health News Results - 81

AHA News: Bob Odenkirk's 'Small' Heart Attack? Doctors Say They're a Big Deal

When actor Bob Odenkirk collapsed on the set of "Better Call Saul" last week in New Mexico, fans held their breath – and obsessively checked for updates on social media – until word came that he was expected to be OK.

"I had a small heart attack," he tweeted on Friday, thanking the doctors who "knew how to fix the blockage without surgery."

Few other details about his health wer...

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...

Statin's Health Benefits Far Outweigh  Any Potential Harms: Study

The heart benefits of cholesterol-lowering statins in people without heart disease far exceed the risks of any side effects, a new review finds.

Statins are widely prescribed to people with heart disease, and recent guidelines recommend greater preventive use of the drugs even before heart issues are diagnosed. But it hasn't been clear whether the benefits outweigh the risks in people wit...

Low-Dose Aspirin Cuts Heart Risks in Patients Battling Pneumonia

Aspirin has long been taken by heart patients to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack, but a new study suggests that it can also guard against cardiovascular trouble in pneumonia patients.

Such complications are common in pneumonia patients and strongly associated with a long-term risk of death.

The study assessed whether aspirin could reduce the risk of heart attack and isch...

Weekly Injected Drug Could Boost Outcomes for Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes face heightened risks for heart attack and stroke, as well as progressive kidney disease. But a new once-a-week injected drug called efpeglenatide could greatly reduce their odds for those outcomes, new research shows.

The clinical trial was conducted in over 28 nations and involved more than 4,000 patients with type 2 diabetes.

Over two years, patients ...

Too Many Older Americans Are Taking Daily Aspirin

Many older adults are still taking a daily baby aspirin to ward off first-time heart problems -- despite guidelines that now discourage it, a new study finds.

Researchers found that one-half to 62% of U.S. adults aged 70 and up were using low-dose aspirin to cut their risk of heart disease or stroke. And aspirin use was common even among those with no history of cardiovascular disease -- ...

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 -- ...

Stair Climbing a Big Step Up for Heart Patients' Health

If you are a heart patient, could climbing the stairs be a good workout alternative to the gym, particularly during a pandemic?

It looks that way, two new studies show.

Researchers noted that less than a quarter of heart patients stick to exercise regimens and that common reasons for not doing so include lack of time, equipment and access to gyms.

"Brief, vigorous stair climbi...

Low- or High-Dose, Aspirin Brings Similar Protection Against Heart Disease: Study

When it comes to taking a daily aspirin to cut heart patients' risk of heart attack and stroke, a new study finds dosing doesn't matter.

Researchers looked at more than 15,000 heart disease patients at 40 health centers across the United States who took either 81 milligrams (mg) or 325 mg of daily aspirin for a median of 26.2 months.

Though there were no significant differences betw...

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...

Two Is Not Better Than One When It Comes to Blood Thinners

It may not be a good idea to take a daily low-dose aspirin if you're also taking a widely used class of blood thinners called direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), researchers caution.

DOACs include drugs such as Eliquis (apixaban), Pradaxa (dabigatran), Lixiana (edoxaban) and Xarelto (rivaroxaban). They're used to help prevent strokes from atrial fibrillation or for the treatment of what's...

Does COVID Harm the Heart? New Study Says Maybe Not

Does COVID-19 help create heart problems, or are people with preexisting heart issues simply more prone to getting the illness?

The issue remains unclear, with a new British study finding that people with heart problems appear to have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.

"In this research, we've discovered that poorer heart structure and function is linked to a higher risk of...

More Young U.S. Women Are Dying From Heart Disease

The toll of America's obesity epidemic is showing up in younger women, as a new study shows that deaths from heart disease in this unlikely group have increased in the past decade.

The likely culprits along with obesity? Type 2 diabetes, along with diseases of pregnancy, such as preeclampsia and preterm delivery, researchers said.

"Cardiovascular disease mortality is going up in you...

Heart Disease Remains No. 1 Killer, But COVID Will Have Big Impact

Heart disease is likely to remain the world's leading cause of death for years to come, partially due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, an American Heart Association report predicts.

Heart disease deaths worldwide rose 17.1% over the past decade, with nearly 18.6 million people dying of heart disease in 2019. There were more than 523.2 million cases of heart disease in 2019 -- up 26.6%...

High Blood Pressure Often Mistaken for Menopausal Symptoms in Women


High blood pressure is often dismissed as part of menopausal symptoms in older women, experts say. And that could raise a woman's risk for heart trouble, European experts warn.

That warning, along with recommendations on how doctors can help middle-aged women avoid future heart problems, is included in a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) consensus document published Jan. 27 in...

Men, Make Health Your Goal This Year

The new year is the ideal time to focus on your health and one expert has some tips, especially for men, for doing that.

According to Dr. Kevin McVary, director of Loyola Medicine Men's Health Center, in Maywood, Ill., "Men don't always focus on their health and, in fact, men are less likely to see a doctor or utilize health resources, and wait longer than women to seek care. Often, it's ...

Time to Angioplasty Is Crucial for Better Heart Attack Outcomes

When a heart attack begins, the time it takes until the blockage in a coronary artery is cleared is critical in preventing further damage to the heart, a new study warns.

The amount of damage is directly related to how long it takes from the start of a heart attack to when patients receive an artery-clearing procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention, or angioplasty. The biggest ...

Heart Disease Is World's No. 1 Killer

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide -- accounting for one-third of deaths in 2019 -- and the death toll continues to rise, a new paper says.

China had the highest number of heart disease deaths last year, followed by India, Russia, the United States and Indonesia. Heart disease death rates were lowest in France, Peru and Japan, where rates were six times lower than in 19...

Black Americans Suffer More From Heart Disease: The AHA Wants to Change That

The Black Lives Matter movement put racism in the United States under the glare of the public spotlight in 2020. And at its recently concluded annual meeting, the American Heart Association pledged to fight racial disparities in heart health and boost the life expectancy of all Americans.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that systemic racism plays a large role in the kind of health an Amer...

Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer May Raise Heart Risks

Hormone therapy can be a lifesaver for men with prostate cancer, but it also appears to put some at increased risk of heart problems, a new study reports.

Long-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) increased the risk of heart-related death nearly fourfold in a group of prostate cancer patients, and also caused their heart fitness to decrease, researchers found.

There is one import...

Black Patients Get Worse Care After Cardiac Arrest

Minority patients who suffer life-threatening cardiac arrest may get fewer treatments in the hospital -- and face a grimmer outlook -- than white patients, a new, preliminary study suggests.

The findings add to a large body of research finding racial disparities in U.S. health care, including heart disease treatment.

What's different is that the study looked at a "particularly drama...

Living Healthy Good for Your Heart, Even if You're on Meds

No matter how many medications you take, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and getting plenty of exercise will help keep you alive, a new study finds.

"We've long known about the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle. The results from our study underscore the importance of each person's ability to improve their health through lifestyle changes even if they are dealing with multiple hea...

After Heart Attack, Pot Smoking Raises Post-Op Dangers

Election Day 2020 saw marijuana legalization continue its march across the United States, but a pair of new studies warn that smoking pot could increase risk for heart patients.

Marijuana smokers are more likely to suffer complications like excess bleeding or stroke if they undergo angioplasty to reopen clogged arteries, a University of Michigan-led study found.

Pot smokers who've h...

Flu Vaccine Rates Low in Young Adults With Heart Disease

Among young adults with heart disease, less than 25% get a flu shot, a new study finds.

"Individuals with cardiovascular disease are more likely to have flu than among those without any chronic health conditions," said researcher Dr. Tarang Parekh, a Ph.D. candidate and assistant researcher at George Mason University College of Health and Human Services in Fairfax, Va.

Getting the ...

Hot Discovery: Chili Peppers Might Extend Your Life

The spice that adds punch to your favorite Kung Pao chicken, Tex-Mex chili or Indian curry may also help save your life.

Preliminary research shows that eating chili pepper may reduce your risk of death from heart disease, cancer and other causes, building on past studies that have found chili pepper to have health benefits.

"I think a lot of people are going to find this informatio...

For Some Black Women, DNA Could Magnify Racism's Toll on Health

Many aspects of daily living can trigger stress. But for Black women, everyday stressors plus racial discrimination and a specific genetic mutation may increase the risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease, researchers say.

The EBF1 mutation is found in roughly 2% of Black women and 7% of white people. And according to study co-author Abanish Singh, it has previously been lin...

'Weekend Effect' Affects Survival Odds for Rural Stroke Patients

Stroke patients have a higher risk of death if they're admitted to a rural hospital on the weekend, a new study finds.

University of Georgia researchers analyzed 2016 data on stroke deaths at U.S. hospitals to learn whether the so-called "weekend effect" influenced stroke outcomes.

"The weekend effect is the phenomenon where the risk of bad or adverse outcomes, such as morta...

A-Fib Treatment Reduces Patients' Dementia Risk

A procedure to restore normal heart rhythm is more effective than medications in reducing dementia risk in people with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (AF), researchers report.

Previous studies have shown that AF is associated with an increased risk of dementia. This one assessed whether catheter ablation and medications for AF reduced that risk.

In catheter ab...

Smartwatch EKGs Quickly Deliver Crucial Heart Data

Could a smartwatch app save a heart attack patient's life? Quite possibly, according to Italian researchers.

They found that electrocardiograph (EKG) readings from a smartwatch were nearly as accurate as standard EKGs among patients with suspected heart attacks.

"A [standard] electrocardiograph is not always readily available," said study author Dr. Ciro Indolfi. "[So] the a...

Remote Monitoring May Help Control High Blood Pressure

Telemedicine might help people with stubbornly high blood pressure get their numbers down -- and possibly lower their risk of heart disease and stroke in the long run, a new study suggests.

Doctors already recommend that people with high blood pressure use a home monitor to track their numbers. But research suggests that home readings, alone, only make a small difference in getting th...

75 or Older? Statins Can Still Benefit Your Heart

Older adults with healthy hearts probably would benefit from taking a cholesterol-lowering statin, a new study contends.

People 75 and older who were free of heart disease and prescribed a statin wound up with a 25% lower risk of death from any cause and a 20% lower risk of heart-related death, researchers reported July 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association...

Researchers Latch Onto the Leech's Genome

A mainstay of 18th-century medicine -- the lowly leech -- has made something of a comeback in the 21st century. That's largely due to powerful blood thinners the parasitic worm secretes naturally.

Now, genetic research could give a major boost to the medical use of leeches, scientists say.

An international team sequenced the genome of a European leech called Hirudo medici...

Cancer Patients Less Likely to Be Prescribed Heart Meds: Study

Heart disease is on the rise among cancer patients and survivors, but they're less likely than people without cancer to be prescribed medicines to protect their heart, a new study finds.

Heart disease has become a leading cause of long-term preventable death in cancer survivors, according to the study published June 16 as a research letter in the journal JACC: CardioOncology.<...

Stroke Treatment Gap Narrows Between Men and Women

Women who have a stroke are far more likely to be treated with clot-busting drugs than they used to be, new research shows.

In the early 2000s, women suffering a stroke were 30% less likely than men to get clot-busting treatment, also known as thrombolysis. Recently, the gap has narrowed to 13%.

The researchers reached that conclusion by pooling data from 24 studies...

Blood Pressure Meds Help the Frail Elderly Live Longer

Blood pressure drugs help even the most frail elderly live longer, and older people who are healthier get the biggest benefit, Italian researchers say.

"We knew that high blood pressure medication was protective in general among older people, however, we focused on whether it is also protective in frail patients with many other medical conditions who are usually excluded from randomi...

Exercise Habits Key to Gauging Seniors' Longevity

Knowing how much older adults exercise can predict their odds of developing heart disease or dying early, a new study suggests.

Asking patients during atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) screening about their levels of exercise can help start treatment sooner, researchers say.

"With people now living longer, there is a growing need to determine how we can best detect latent...

After Heart Attack, Home Care Can Prevent a Return to Hospital

Receiving home health care reduces heart attack survivors' risk of hospital readmission after discharge, a new study finds.

In the United States, only a small percentage of heart attack survivors receive home care such as nursing and physical therapy, according to study authors.

The findings were presented recently at a virtual American Heart Association meeting. Research p...

Healthier Heart, Better Brain in Old Age

Preventing heart disease may protect you from dementia, researchers say.

The new study looked at nearly 1,600 people, at an average age of 79.5, who were followed for 21 years. Their heart disease risk was assessed at the outset, and participants had annual memory and thinking tests.

The takeaway: People with a higher risk of heart disease also had greater mental (cognitive)...

Poor Americans Likely to Miss Preventive Heart Screenings: Study

Low-income Americans are much less likely to be screened for heart disease or to receive counseling about controlling risk factors, a new study finds.

Heart health screenings -- such as regular blood pressure and cholesterol checks -- and counseling to improve diet, increase exercise or quit smoking play important roles in reducing heart disease risk.

Income has long been as...

Cardiac Rehab Boosts Quality of Life After Heart Attack: Study

Cardiac rehabilitation programs improve heart attack survivors' quality of life, especially if they get lots of exercise, a new British study finds.

A heart attack can reduce quality of life due to struggles with mobility and self-care, as well as daily leisure and work activities.

Many heart attack survivors take part in cardiac rehab, which emphasizes exercise, quitting sm...

Heart Patients Should Ask About Home-Based Cardiac Rehab

For those with heart problems, home-based rehab can take the place of hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation during the current coronavirus pandemic, heart experts say.

"Home-based cardiac rehab is a solution to help provide cardiac rehabilitation to patients with heart disease in a home setting, and to help them survive and thrive during this challenging period of time," said Dr. Ran...

More Evidence That Ditching Red Meat Is Good for Your Heart

If you want a longer, healthier life, try replacing that steak with beans, vegetables or whole grains -- but preferably not a fast-food veggie burger.

That's according to two preliminary studies by Harvard researchers. They found that people who eat plenty of "high-quality" plant foods instead of red or processed meat have a lower risk of heart attack and tend to live longer.

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After Heart Attack, Following Doctor's Orders Greatly Boosts Survival

Heart attack survivors receive a laundry list of tasks from their doctors as they leave the hospital, all aimed at improving their heart health.

It would be understandable to look at the list with a raised eyebrow and ask just how important all of it is.

Vitally important, it turns out.

Heart patients who follow all of their doctor's recommendations have a much low...

Weight-Loss Surgery Works, No Matter How Long Patient Was Obese

Weight-loss surgery is as effective for people who became obese before age 20 as for older patients, new research shows.

For the study, researchers from the University of Gothenburg, in Sweden, analyzed data from just over 4,000 obese adults. Half had undergone weight-loss surgery, half did not. They were divided into three groups based on their body mass index (BMI) at age 20: normal...

Wearable 'Brain Stimulator' May Boost Stroke Recovery

A noninvasive magnetic brain stimulation device worn less than an hour a day can increase activity near stroke-injured areas of the brain, a small, preliminary study suggests.

Those improvements in brain activity might then lead to increased motor function in people who have had a stroke, the researchers said.

"We were excited to see a strong hint of improved motor functio...

Small Babies Have High Risk for Heart-Lung Weakness as Adults: Study

Being small at birth after a full-term pregnancy could leave you gasping for breath later on in life.

Swedish researchers report that babies with low birth weights are more likely to have poor heart-lung (cardiorespiratory) fitness when they reach adulthood.

Cardiorespiratory fitness -- the ability to supply oxygen to muscles during prolonged physical activity -- is key for ...

Don't Want a 2nd Heart Attack? Lose the Belly Fat

For heart attack survivors, a fat belly could mean another one is likely, a new study suggests.

Earlier studies have shown that abdominal obesity puts people at risk for their first heart attack. This new study shows it also ups the odds for a second one, researchers say.

"Abdominal obesity not only increases your risk for a first heart attack or stroke, but also the risk ...

New Heart Attack Treatment Shows Promise in Pig Study

A new compound might help stem the damage of a heart attack, research in animals suggests.

Giving recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor-AB (rhPDGF-AB) to pigs lessened the effect of heart scarring, helped form new blood vessels and reduced the rates of heart arrhythmias, heart failure and sudden cardiac death, researchers found.

"This is an entirely new approach,...

Do You Know the 5 Symptoms of a Heart Attack? Many Don't

Time is of the essence when you're having a heart attack.

But one in five Americans can't name the three most common symptoms of a heart attack, making it more likely they won't promptly respond to the life-threatening health crisis, a new study reports.

"More than 20% were unaware of the common symptoms of a heart attack," said senior researcher Dr. Khurram Nasir, a pre...

Artificial Intelligence Uses ECGs to Predict A-Fib Risk

In two studies, artificial intelligence was used with electrocardiogram (ECG) results to identify patients who are at increased risk for a potentially dangerous irregular heartbeat, and those more likely to die within a year, researchers say.

Using more than 2 million ECG results gathered over three decades, the team created "deep neural networks" that predict future events from an EC...