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Sleep Apnea Doubles Odds for Sudden Death

TUESDAY, Aug. 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- 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 conge...

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...

After Nearly 9 Million Pfizer Shots for U.S. Teens, Serious Side Effects Rare: CDC

MONDAY, Aug. 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials have some reassuring news about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine in young people: Among millions of U.S. teens who've received Pfizer's shots, serious side effects have been rare.

As of July 16, close to 9 million teens, aged 12 to 17, had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — the only one okayed for th...

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...

Just 250 Fewer Calories Per Day Brings Big Health Rewards for Obese Seniors

Seniors, it may be easier than you think to undo the damage of decades of bad eating and precious little exercise.

New research shows that cutting just 250 calories a day and exercising moderately could lead to not only weight loss but improved vascular health in older obese adults.

These lifestyle changes may help offset age-related increases in aortic stiffness, which is a measure...

Deaths From Alzheimer's Far More Common in Rural America

FRIDAY, July 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Death rates from Alzheimer's disease are particularly high in the rural United States, a preliminary study finds, highlighting a need for health care resources in traditionally under-served areas.

Researchers discovered that over the past two decades, rural areas in the Southeast have seen the highest death rates from Alzheimer'...

Teens' Heart Risk From COVID Far Exceeds That of Vaccination: Study

Teens have a far greater risk of heart inflammation from COVID-19 than from the vaccines that protect against it, new research shows.

"Comparative risk can complicate decisions for parents in such highly charged health debates," said lead author Mendel Singer, vice chair for education at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.

"But our study shows that for ...

AHA News: Dementia Can Complicate Heart Recovery and Treatment

Dementia is a thief. It steals a person's memory, their ability to reason, to live independently.

As people age and face more medical challenges, it also robs them of something even more basic to survival – the ability to participate in their own recovery, especially from major events such as heart attacks. And that can limit the treatments they receive.

"It interferes with adheri...

Most Athletes With Genetic Heart Ailment Can Return to Play

Having a genetic heart condition often means the end of sports for young athletes, but new research could be a game changer.

A 20-year study by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., suggests that for kids with most genetic heart conditions, the risks of playing sports can be managed through a shared decision-making process.

The study is a continuation of research on return to play ...

AHA News: Deaths Related to Irregular Heart Rhythm May Be Rising, Especially Among Younger People

Deaths related to atrial fibrillation appear to be on the rise, especially among younger adults, a new study suggests.

Atrial fibrillation – often called AFib – is an irregular heartbeat that sometimes leads to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other cardiovascular complications. The condition is increasingly common, with an estimated 12.1 million people in the U.S. expected to h...

AHA News: She Had a Baby. Then Emergency Heart Surgery. And a Stroke. Then, a New Heart.

In her third trimester, Kristy Novillo struggled to give tours of the Redmond, Washington, child care center where she worked as a director. Walking and talking at the same time left her out of breath.

Two months after delivering her son, Dominic, Kristy was still gasping for air. Her primary care doctor suspected allergy-induced asthma and sent her home with a few inhalers.

A month...

Why Strokes Can Affect Women, Men Differently

It is often said that stroke affects men and women differently. Now, scientists say the location of the stroke's damage in the brain may help explain why.

Women have more strokes, and are more likely to have symptoms such as fatigue and mental confusion rather than classic indications such as paralysis. Women also tend to have more severe strokes, according to the authors of a new study.<...

'Moderate' Drinking May Be Heart-Healthy

WEDNESDAY, July 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Here's a reason to not feel guilty about drinking a glass of wine every evening: A new study suggests that people who drink moderately may have lower risks for both heart attack and stroke than teetotalers — even when they have a history of heart issues.

The researchers found that among over 48,000 people with previous card...

AHA News: Find Your Way Back to the Gym – Safely

If the pandemic put your workout routine on ice, you're in good company.

Gym attendance plummeted last year, and as people slowly return, their bodies may be telling them, "Hey! It's been a while!" Even the likes of action hero Will Smith acknowledged, "I'm in the worst shape of my life" before posting a video poking fun at how much he had forgotten about working out.

If you, like S...

AHA News: Determined to Ignore the Warning Signs, He's Put That Same Determination Into Heart Attack Recovery

Last summer, Don Teigen noticed he lacked his usual energy.

His ankles swelled so much they felt like cement blocks. Then there was his labored breathing. On walks with his wife, Julie, she usually struggled to keep up with him. Now, it was the other way around.

While on a beach vacation in their home state of Washington, Don felt a sharp chest pain while pushing an electric bike th...

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...

AHA News: Severe Sleep Apnea Could Damage Key Blood Vessels

Severe sleep apnea is associated with major changes in key arteries and could speed up vascular aging, according to new research.

The study published Monday in the Journal of the American Heart Association sought to shed new light on the link between obstructive sleep apnea and "accelerated vascular aging," a thickening or stiffening in some blood vessels that causes changes in their func...

AHA News: Olympians Push the Physical Limits of Humankind, But What Limits Humans?

"Faster, higher, stronger" is the Olympic motto – and what every athlete at the Tokyo Games will be striving for.

But just how much a human can accomplish is determined by many factors, from genetic to psychological to environmental. Some experts even think we've gone about as far as we can go.

An athlete's abilities are partly a result of the body they're born with, said Amanda P...

AHA News: 7-Day-Old's Skin Felt Cold, She Wouldn't Eat and Cried in Agony. It Was Her Heart.

Throughout Laney Lyon's 1-week birthday, small signs indicated something was wrong. She wasn't eating as much as usual. Her color seemed off. Her mom suspected jaundice and held Laney in the sun when she could.

By evening, Laney was unable to latch on to breastfeed. Her breathing sounded strange. Then there was her crying.

"It was like no cry I'd ever heard before," said Laney's mom...

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...

Want to Avoid Sleep Apnea? Get Off the Sofa

Here's yet another reason to limit screen time and get moving: Boosting your activity levels could reduce your risk of sleep apnea, according to a new study.

Compared to the most active people in the study, those who spent more than four hours a day sitting watching TV had a 78% higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and those with sedentary jobs had a 49% higher risk.

And th...

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...

AHA News: Diabetes and Dementia Risk: Another Good Reason to Keep Blood Sugar in Check

There are many reasons to avoid getting diabetes, or to keep it controlled if you already have it: Higher risks for heart disease, stroke and for having a foot or leg amputation. But here's another one: It's a major risk factor for dementia.

While researchers are still investigating what causes that increased risk, one thing they do know is it's linked to highs – and lows – in the bod...

Exercise Boosts Survival for People With Implanted Defibrillators

Just small amounts of exercise can benefit people with implanted heart defibrillators, new research shows.

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a battery-powered device placed under the skin to detect abnormal heart rhythms and deliver an electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat.

The new study found that even slight increases in physical activity reduced the risk o...

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...

AHA News: Retired Entertainer Thought She Slept Awkwardly. It Was a Stroke.

Sharon Murff began her 58th birthday before dawn with a clicking sound in her head.

She didn't feel any pain. Yet when she looked in the mirror, the left side of her face seemed distorted.

"I didn't recognize myself," she said. "I thought maybe I just slept funny and could shower it off."

When the shower didn't help, Murff – a retired entertainer from Chicago – put on a wi...

One-Dose Blood Thinner Could Slash Blood Clot Risk After Knee Replacement

Anyone who's ever undergone knee replacement understands the real and troubling risk of post-op blood clots. Many patients are told take a daily blood thinner pill long after their procedure.

But a new study finds that a one-time injection of an experimental blood thinner called abelacimab may greatly reduce the odds for these clots in recovering knee replacement patients.

The rese...

AHA News: Lifelong Tennis Player Has Heart Attack on the Court

One balmy Wednesday evening, Kumar Seetharam devoured a slice of cheese pizza at his in-laws' house, then headed to a tennis court to hit balls with his 15-year-old daughter, Faith.

For Kumar, an avid tennis player, the exercise was a welcome break. The Florida resident was on a business trip in Ithaca, New York, and brought his family along.

But soon, he started feeling pressure an...

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...

AHA News: How Healthy Is Your Neighborhood? Where You Live Can Greatly Affect Heart, Brain Health

Liz Harris won't let anything stop her from walking. Three mornings a week, she descends three flights of stairs and heads to Anacostia Park. It's a 10-minute walk just to get there. If none of her friends are available, she walks alone. But they worry about her when she does.

"The community is known for crime, and you don't feel comfortable walking alone," said Harris, 72, who lives in s...

AHA News: Genetic Problem Led to a Heart Transplant at 24. Her New Heart Has a Genetic Problem, Too.

At 13, Leilani Graham was running on the treadmill in her garage when she suddenly collapsed. Her mother, who was supposed to be gone, heard a bizarre moaning sound coming from the garage and rushed to find her daughter unconscious. She immediately called 911.

At the emergency room, an electrocardiogram showed an abnormality in her heart. Further tests showed Graham had an enlarged left v...

AHA News: The Challenge of Diabetes in the Black Community Needs Comprehensive Solutions

One thing is clear about the serious problem of diabetes among Black people in the United States: It's not just one thing causing the problem.

"It's really at all levels," said Dr. Joshua J. Joseph, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. It's not just the choices people make ...

Athletes Face Twice the Odds for A-Fib

Athletes have a much higher risk of the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation than non-athletes, and younger athletes have a higher risk than older athletes, according to a new report from Britain.

Atrial fibrillation (a-fib) is an irregular, often rapid heart rate that can impede blood flow. A-fib can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related problems.

AHA News: How Technology Is Improving Health Information Access for the Deaf Community

Early in Dr. Michael McKee's career, one of his patients, who was deaf, died from a heart attack. It led him to study how to prevent it from happening to others.

That tragic event might not have happened, he said, if there had been "accessible community health education programs to allow for deaf individuals to learn ways to improve their health and to recognize common danger signs of ser...

AHA News: Born With a Severe Heart Defect, 9-Year-Old Boy Defies All Odds

Twenty weeks into her pregnancy, Hannah Lewis eagerly went to a doctor's visit expecting to learn the gender of her first child. Only 19, Lewis was excited and nervous about becoming a mother, and thrilled when she learned she was having a boy.

But that day, her doctor returned to the examination room with a worried look on her face.

The baby's organs, she said, looked healthy – e...

AHA News: How to Eat Right and Save Money at the Same Time

You want to eat healthy. You need to save cash. Can you have it both ways?

Yes, experts say.

"People think that healthy eating is an elite thing, that it's something you can only do if you have lots of money, and lots of spare time, and all kinds of fancy equipment," said Christine Hradek, a nutrition specialist at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Ames. "And really, t...

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...

AHA News: Fit and 41, She Thought Nothing of Her Family History – Until Her Heart Attack

Nicole Lazowski was no stranger to hospitals.

Her father battled heart disease for as long as she could remember. She was 7 when he had his first of five heart attacks.

"I grew up in and out of hospitals, going there with my parents," Nicole said. "My father was a big smoker and I remember saying to myself, 'I will exercise. I will never smoke. I'm never going to do that to my body....

Plant-Based Diet Best for Your Heart

Want to be good to your ticker?

Load up on veggies — especially beans, Italian researchers recommend.

They've published a comprehensive review of research on eating habits and heart disease that provides consistent evidence that eating less salt and animal proteins and more plant-based foods is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

Those good-for-you foods include ...

AHA News: Smoking Harms the Brain, Raises Dementia Risk – But Not If You Quit

Everyone knows smoking is bad for the heart and lungs. But the damage it does to the brain often gets less attention than it should – from smokers and health care providers alike.

Researchers say that comes at a steep cost.

"We know that smoking harms every organ of the human body," said Adrienne Johnson, an assistant scientist at the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Res...

AHA News: Watermelon Is a Summertime Staple. But What's Hidden Behind the Sweetness?

Whether they're serving as snacks at a family reunion or props in a late-night comedy act, watermelons and fun just seem to go together. But how does watermelon hold up health-wise?

Smashingly, you might say.

"I'm definitely impressed by its health benefits," said Tim Allerton, a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton R...

AHA News: Diagnosed With Preeclampsia Late in Pregnancy, She Had a Stroke 5 Days After Giving Birth

Always game for a new challenge, Andrea Engfer began running with a friend in her small town of Orting, Washington. She liked it so much, she signed up for a 5K. Then another – and so on.

"I try to improve every time, even if it's by 10 seconds," she said. "That gets me going."

That competitive spirit served her well for the toughest challenge of her life: Recovering from a severe...

Sleep, Exercise & Your Odds for a Long, Healthy Life

THURSDAY, July 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Poor quality sleep can shave years off your life, and these effects may be magnified if you don't get enough physical activity.

That's the bad news. The good news is that getting more exercise may help counter some of the health risks known to accompany poor quality sleep, new research shows.

Folks who scored low in both ...

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...

AHA News: Women With Heart Failure From Breast Cancer Treatment May Fare Better Than Previously Thought

Women who develop heart failure following certain breast cancer treatments are generally healthier and have a better prognosis than those with heart failure from other causes, a new study finds.

Two widely used treatments for breast cancer are known to harm the heart. A class of chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines interferes with cancer cells' DNA and ability to multiply. The monoclo...

AHA News: Farming Takes Root in Seattle-Area Food Desert

Nine thousand miles separate Veronica Karanja from her mother's farm in Kenya and where she now farms in Kent, Washington.

Karanja's expertise – and her vegetables that are culturally significant in Kenya – are helping transform a food desert just south of Seattle by supplying freshly picked produce at the seasonal East Hill Farmers Market.

"This makes me feel so good," she said...

Delicious & Deadly: Southern U.S. Diet Tied to Higher Odds for Sudden Death

WEDNESDAY, June 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Planning to celebrate the Fourth of July with a traditional Southern-style spread of fried chicken, pork rinds, buttermilk biscuits and sweet tea?

Don't make it an everyday habit.

These staples of a regional diet heavy in fried foods, fats and sugary drinks may boost your odds for sudden cardiac death, a new study warn...

AHA News: Embraceable, Healthy News: Hugging Is Back

After a year of being COVID-cautious, Linda Matisoff counted the days until she could hug her 5-year-old granddaughter, Laila, again.

In March, two weeks after getting her second dose of the vaccine, it was finally time.

"We were coming down the street, getting closer and closer," said Matisoff, who lives in Plano, Texas. "We had gotten together over FaceTime, and we saw each other ...

Unhappy Marriages Could Mean Shorter Lives for Men

Men, take note: An unhappy marriage might end in divorce, but staying unhappily hitched could also raise your risk of stroke or early death, a new Israeli study suggests.

The increased risk was as much as that seen with smoking or a 'couch potato' lifestyle, said lead researcher Shahar Lev-Ari, chair of health promotion at Tel Aviv University School of Public Health.

Israeli men who...

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 ...

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