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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...

Heart Inflammation Rare Among Hospitalized COVID Patients

As doctors learn more about the consequences of COVID-19, they are confirming that heart inflammation is rare among hospitalized COVID patients. That's the good news — but those who develop it are much more likely to require intensive care, a new study suggests.

Inflammation of the heart muscle (

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 14, 2022
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  • Heart Disease & Sleepless Nights Often Go Together

    Insomnia is widespread in heart disease patients and significantly boosts the risk of heart attack, stroke or other major heart event, a new study says.

    The findings show the need to check for and treat sleep problems in heart disease patients, according to researchers.

    “Our study indicates that insomnia is common in heart disease patients and is linked with subsequent cardiovascu...

    Heart Disease Is Women's #1 Killer. So Why So Little Female-Focused Research?

    Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in America, accounting for more than one in five deaths. Still, far too few women realize the danger.

    In fact, "Awareness of heart disease as the leading cause of death among women act...

    Too Many Americans Are Getting 'Low-Value' Medical Tests, Procedures

    When your cardiologist orders a test, do you stop to ask why you need it? You probably don't — but perhaps you should, according to a new report from the American Heart Association (AHA).

    Too many Americans receive heart tests and treatments that do little good, and more needs to be done about it, the AHA says.

    The issue of "low-value" medical care is a longstanding one — with ...

    Women Should Take These 3 Things to Heart

    February is American Heart Month — the perfect time to remind women of three things they need to know about heart disease.

    It's the leading cause of death among U.S. women, accounting for one in three deaths, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). While progress to reduce that r...

    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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  • 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...

    Death During Sex Very Rare Among Those Under 50

    It's a familiar trope of TV and movies -- a couple is engaged in passionate sex when the guy's heart suddenly gives out.

    "Usually it's a middle-aged man. Usually he's cheating with somebody else. It's funny, there's this myth in our mind that this can happen," said cardiologist Dr. Martha Gulati, who refers to the concept as the "Hollywood heart attack."

    But ardor simply isn't that ...

    Who's Dying Young in U.S. From Heart Attacks?

    Fewer Americans are dying prematurely from heart attack compared with years ago, but progress has stalled out in the past decade, new research shows.

    For the study, the researchers examined 20 years of data on heart attack deaths among Americans under 65 -- deaths that are considered "premature."

    The bigger picture looked good: Between 1999 and 2019, those deaths declined by 52%.

    Holidays Are Peak Time for Heart Attack: Protect Yourself

    This time of year can be hard on the heart.

    The United States has more heart attack deaths between Christmas and New Year's Day than at any other time of year, so the American Heart Association (AHA) offers some holiday health tips.

    "The holidays are a busy, often stressful, time for most of us," said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, volunteer president of the

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  • December 12, 2021
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  • Your Morning Cup of Coffee Can Affect Your Heart's Rhythms

    Your daily cup of joe might be a quick pick-me-up, but it comes with a mixed bag of good and not-so-good effects on your health, a new study reports.

    Drinking coffee helps people stay more active, but it also significantly robs some of sleep, researchers say.

    And while java doesn't seem to cause irregular rhythms in the upper chamber of the heart, it can cause the lower chamber...

    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, ...

    More Middle-Aged, Older Women Getting 'Broken Heart' Syndrome

    The number of Americans diagnosed with "broken heart" syndrome has steadily risen in the past 15 years -- with the vast majority being women, a new study finds.

    The condition, which doctors call stress cardiomyopathy, appears similar to a heart attack -- with symptoms such as chest pain and breathlessness. But its cause is entirely different: Experts believe it reflects a temporary weakne...

    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....

    Mom-to-Be's 'Leaky' Heart Valves May Pose More Danger Than Thought

    Leaky heart valves can put pregnant women at serious risk, according to a large study that runs counter to established practice.

    The condition used to be considered relatively harmless during pregnancy. But this analysis by Johns Hopkins University researchers of more than 20,000 individual medical records reveals that heart valve disease puts women at risk for bleeding, high blood pressu...

    Recent Pot Use Tied to Rise in Heart Attack Risk for Young Adults

    Marijuana has been linked to a doubling in the risk of a heart attack in younger adults, no matter how they use it, a new study reports.

    Eighteen- to 44-year-olds who used pot were twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with non-users, whether they smoked, vaped or ate their weed, researchers found.

    "We found it wasn't only smoking that had this kind of effect. The effect s...

    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...

    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 ...

    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...

    Vaping Just Once Triggers Dangerous 'Oxidative Stress'

    Young, healthy adults who try vaping for the first time may experience an immediate reaction that can harm cells and lay the groundwork for disease, according to a new study.

    Just 30 minutes of vaping can increase oxidative stress, which occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals (molecules that damage cells) and antioxidants that fight them, researchers said.

    "Just lik...

    Could Women's Health Decline Along With Their Height?

    In a study conducted in Scandinavia, loss of height among middle-aged women was linked to an increased risk of early death from heart attack and stroke, researchers report.

    Some loss of height goes along with aging, and previous studies have suggested it may boost the odds of death from heart disease.

    While women tend to shrink more than men with age, height loss in women has not be...

    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...

    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...

    Many Heart Disease Patients Keep Smoking, Despite Knowing Risks

    Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products increases heart risks, but that doesn't stop some Americans with a history of heart problems, new research finds.

    Many continue to smoke after having a heart attack, heart failure or stroke even though they are aware of the risk.

    Nearly 30% of adults with a history of these heart problems smoked when a five-year study began in 2013....

    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...

    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...

    1 in 4 Heart Attacks Arrive With 'Atypical' Symptoms

    A quarter of heart attack patients have atypical symptoms and are less likely to receive emergency care, Danish research reveals.

    These patients are also more likely to die within 30 days than those with chest pain.

    Atypical heart attack symptoms include breathing problems, extreme exhaustion and abdominal pain.

    "Atypical symptoms were most common among older people, especiall...

    A Stressed Brain Might Play Role in 'Broken Heart' Syndrome

    The brain may play a role in so-called broken heart syndrome, a new study suggests.

    Formally known as Takotsubo syndrome (TTS), it's a temporary -- but potentially deadly -- heart condition brought on by stressful situations and emotions.

    In this study, published March 25 in the European Heart Journal, researchers wanted to find out if increased stress-associated metabolic ...

    Nitrogen Dioxide, a Car Exhaust Pollutant, Is Raising Death Rates: Study

    Even small increases of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air pollution may cause an uptick in heart- and lung-related deaths, underscoring the need to tighten limits on this type of air pollution, Chinese researchers say.

    NO2 is produced by burning fuel for vehicles, power and industrial production. World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines recommend NO2 levels not exceed an annual ave...

    Another Study Finds COVID Patients Face Higher Risk for Stroke

    A new study adds to mounting evidence that COVID patients have an added risk of stroke.

    Researchers analyzed data on more than 20,000 U.S. adults hospitalized with COVID-19 between January and November 2020. The analysis found that their risk of stroke was higher than for patients with other types of infections, including flu.

    "These findings suggest that COVID-19 may increase the r...

    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...

    'Race Gap' in U.S. Heart Health Has Changed Little in 20 Years: Report

    Black Americans who live in rural areas are two to three times more likely to die from diabetes and high blood pressure compared with white rural folks, and this gap hasn't changed much over the last 20 years, new research shows.

    The study spanned from 1999 through 2018, and will be published as a research letter in the March 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiolo...

    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...

    High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy Could Affect Women's Hearts Long Term

    Pregnancy-related high blood pressure can lead to long-term heart risks, new research shows.

    Compared to those with normal blood pressure during pregnancy, women who developed blood pressure disorders such as preeclampsia and gestational hypertension had significant differences in heart structure and function a decade after giving birth.

    These differences mainly affect the heart's l...

    Panic Attack or Heart Attack? Here's How to Tell the Difference

    A heart attack and a panic attack share many similar symptoms, so it's crucial to determine which one it is, experts say.

    Chest pain, racing heart, shortness of breath and sweating can occur with both, but only a heart attack can be fatal, according to a team at Penn State Health.

    A heart attack occurs when a blockage in an artery restricts blood flow to the heart muscle. Symptoms c...

    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...

    Diabetes While Pregnant Ups Odds for Heart Disease Later

    Developing diabetes during pregnancy may increase a woman's risk for heart disease later in life, according to a new study.

    It included about 1,100 women without type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Those who developed diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) were twice as likely by mid-life (average age: 48) to have calcium in their arteries, a strong predictor of heart disease.

    This...

    Pandemic Cut U.S. Heart Surgeries in Half as Patients Avoided Hospitals

    There has been a sharp decline in heart surgeries and an increase in heart surgery patient deaths in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers say.

    An analysis of national data revealed a 53% decrease in all adult heart surgeries, including a 40% decline in non-elective heart surgeries and a 65% drop in elective heart surgeries during the pandemic, compared to 2019.

    <...

    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 ...

    Diabetes Boosts Odds for Heart Trouble 10-fold in Younger Women

    THURSDAY, Jan. 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) - - With rising obesity rates, more young women American women are developing type 2 diabetes, putting them at hugely increased risk for heart disease, new research shows.

    In fact, the study found that women under 55 with type 2 diabetes had a tenfold greater risk of having heart disease over the next two decades compared to their non-diabetic peer...

    Stressed Out By the News? Here's Tips to Help Cope

    Be kind to your heart and health and turn off the news, doctors say.

    Northwestern University experts suggest checking in on current events a couple of times a day and no more. Constant updates can fuel anxiety and depression, they warn.

    "As a practicing preventive cardiologist, one of the most common risk factors for heart disease that I am seeing this year is stress," said Dr. Sadi...

    Get Rid of Red Meat to Help Your Heart: Study

    Another study has confirmed what scientists have long known -- eating a lot of red meat may be bad for your heart.

    On the other hand, opting for plant-based proteins instead of ordering a steak may boost your cardiovascular health.

    In a new study, researchers followed more than 40,000 men in the United States over a 30-year period. The investigators looked at how red meat consumpti...

    Heart Anatomy May Put Blacks at Higher Stroke Risk

    Black Americans face a heightened risk of stroke, and a new study suggests that abnormalities in the heart's upper chambers play a role.

    Experts said the findings, published Nov. 25 in the journal Neurology, point to an under-recognized factor in Black Americans' stroke risk.

    It has long been known that in the United States, Black adults are particularly hard-hit by ischemi...

    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...

    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...