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Health News Results - 97

About 4 in 10 Stroke Survivors Who Smoke Don't Quit the Habit

About 4 in 10 stroke survivors who were smokers still puff away after their stroke, which puts them at increased risk for another stroke or heart disease, a new study shows.

"If you told a stroke neurologist that 40% of their patients don't have their blood pressure controlled or weren't taking their aspirin or their cholesterol-lowering medication, I think they would be very disappointed...

Less Salt, More Potassium for a Healthier Heart: Study

You might want to put the salt shaker down and pick up a banana.

Having less sodium and more potassium in your diet is linked to lower risk of heart disease, according to a new study involving more than 10,000 adults.

Prior observational studies had led to confusion about whether reducing current levels of salt in the diet might backfire, raising cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk,...

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...

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...

Another Study Suggests Too Much Fish Oil Could Trigger A-Fib

A new study confirms that fish oil supplements may raise the risk of a common heart-rhythm disorder -- particularly when doses top 1 gram per day.

At issue are medications and supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, which are naturally found in fish oil.

Fish is considered a generally heart-healthy food, but some studies have linked omega-3 in capsule form to an increased risk o...

Many Older Americans Who Should Be Checking Blood Pressure at Home Aren't: Poll

If you are over 50 and you have high blood pressure or a health condition for which blood pressure control is essential, at-home blood pressure checks can avert medical emergencies.

The trouble is that too few of these people actually perform them, a new survey reveals.

"This poll shows that we have more work to do to encourage older adults with certain chronic health conditions to ...

AHA News: Her Husband Died of a Heart Attack, But This Former Nurse Didn't Recognize Her Own

Last October, Katherine Romano was cleaning her house when her neck started to hurt. She kept going, trying to complete her chores, until the pain shifted to her upper back.

"It was so terrible, it took my breath away," she said.

Resting didn't help. The pain moved to her left arm. She began to feel nauseated. The day before, her stomach hurt. She thought it might be diverticulitis....

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 w...

Vaping Raises Blood Clotting Risks, Harms Small Arteries: Study

Nicotine-laden e-cigarettes raise a user's risk of blood clots, damage small blood vessels and can also raise heart rate and blood pressure, a new study finds.

The effects are similar to those caused by traditional cigarettes, and raise the concern that long-term vaping could help cause heart attacks or strokes, the Swedish research team warned.

"Our results suggest that using e-cig...

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...

Greener Neighborhoods Bring Healthier Hearts, Study Shows

The greener your neighborhood, the lower your risk of heart disease.

That's the takeaway from a new study, which reported that adding to a neighborhood's green space can have a big payoff for public health.

"For the cost of one emergency room visit for a heart attack, trees could be planted in a neighborhood with 100 residents and potentially prevent ten heart diseases," said study ...

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...

More Evidence Ties Gum Disease With Heart Disease

New research offers further evidence of a link between gum disease and heart disease.

The ongoing Swedish study previously found that gum disease ("periodontitis") was much more common in first-time heart attack patients than in a group of healthy people.

In this follow-up study, the researchers examined whether gum disease was associated with an increased risk of new heart problems...

Smart Phones, Watches Can Mess With Implanted Pacemakers

Do you have an implanted defibrillator or pacemaker? Try keeping your smart watch or smart phone a few inches away from them.

New research from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finds that your phone or watch could interfere with implanted heart devices.

Based on the new findings, heart patients and health care providers should be aware of potential risks, the research team...

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...

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...

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 were ...

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 ische...

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 the...

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...