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Heart Attack Blog

Sudden Cardiac Death a Risk for Women Living Near Major Roads: Study

Posted 6 days ago by

MONDAY, Oct. 13, 2014 – Women who live near major roads may be at increased risk for sudden cardiac death, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from more than 107,000 American women, average age 60, who took part in the Nurses' Health Study from 1986 to 2012. Sudden cardiac death occurred in 523 of the women. The risk of sudden cardiac death was 38 percent higher among women who lived within 50 meters (164 feet) of a major road than among those who lived at least 500 meters (0.3 miles) from a major road. Each 100 meters (328 feet) closer to a major road was linked to a 6 percent increase in the risk of sudden cardiac death, according to the study published Oct. 13 in the journal Circulation. Living close to a major road is as important a risk factor for sudden cardiac death as smoking, obesity and poor eating habits, study author Jaime Hart, an instructor in medicine at ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Social Support May Be Key to Heart Attack Recovery

Posted 20 days ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 30, 2014 – Young and middle-aged heart attack survivors are more likely to have poor health and low quality of life if they have fewer family and friends to support them in their recovery, a new study suggests. The study included more than 3,400 survivors, aged 18 to 55, who were assessed immediately after their heart attack and again one month and 12 months later. The first assessment found that patients with low social support were more likely to be single, unemployed, live alone, smoke, abuse alcohol and to have heart risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and depression. One and 12 months after a heart attack, patients with low social support tended to have poorer mental health, more symptoms of depression and lower quality of life, according to the study published Sept. 30 in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The findings are consistent with ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Study: Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors May Prevent 80 Percent of Heart Attacks

Posted 22 Sep 2014 by

MONDAY, Sept. 22, 2014 – Five recommended health behaviors may prevent four out of five heart attacks in men, a new study suggests. Middle-aged and older men were much less likely to have heart attacks over an average of 11 years if they drank moderately, didn't smoke and did everything right on the diet, exercise and weight fronts, the study found. Only about 1 percent of men involved in the study fit into this ultra-healthy-living category. But they were 86 percent less likely to have heart attacks than those who ate poorly, were overweight, exercised too little, smoked and drank too much alcohol, the researchers said. The healthiest men could still eventually die of a heart attack, of course, and the study didn't say if they live longer than others. Still, "there is a lot to gain and money to be saved if people had a healthier lifestyle," said study lead author Agneta Akesson, an ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Heart Attack Patients Face Greater Death Risk if Any Treatment Step Missed: Study

Posted 15 Sep 2014 by

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 – People who've had a heart attack are at greater risk of death if even one of nine critical steps in their treatment is missed, according to a new study. Researchers in the United Kingdom noted patients who missed a part of their treatment early on, such as an electrocardiogram within hours of developing symptoms, were more likely to miss other steps in their care later on. The researchers added, however, that outcomes among heart attack patients can be improved if all nine steps critical to their care are followed. "The tragedy of all this is that these deaths are avoidable," study leader Dr. Chris Gale, of the University of Leeds School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "There is a clear relationship between the ability to provide comprehensive and timely care, and treatment and improved chance of heart attack survival." The researchers ... Read more

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For Heart Attack Survivors, More Exercise Isn't Always Better, Study Says

Posted 12 Aug 2014 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 12, 2014 – Heart attack survivors are encouraged to exercise regularly to improve their cardiac health, but new research suggests there's a point of diminishing returns. "More isn't always better," said study researcher Paul Williams, staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. Williams tracked nearly 2,400 heart attack survivors from his long-term study of runners and walkers for about 10 years. In general, increased exercise reduced their risk of dying from a heart attack by up to 65 percent, he said. But running more than 30 miles a week or walking beyond 46 miles weekly had the opposite effect, more than doubling heart attack risk, the study found. Over the decade-long study, 526 people died, nearly three-quarters because of heart attacks and heart disease. Because the study was limited to heart attack survivors, Williams can't say ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Heart Attack Patients Treated at Night, Weekends May Have Worse Outcomes

Posted 29 Jul 2014 by

TUESDAY, July 29, 2014 – The time at which heart attack patients arrive at the hospital may affect their chances for survival, new research suggests. Showing up at the emergency room at night, on weekends or during holidays is associated with a 13 percent higher risk for death than arriving during regular business hours, researchers report. Every year, more than 250,000 people suffer a ST-elevation myocardial infarction – the most severe type of heart attack, which is caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart. Restoring blood flow as quickly as possible by giving clot-busting medication or performing an angioplasty to open the blocked vessel is critical for survival, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). In conducting the study, the researchers analyzed the treatment and survival of more than 27,000 patients who experienced this type of severe heart attack ... Read more

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Inflammatory Muscle Disorder May Raise Risk for Heart Attack, Stroke

Posted 28 Jul 2014 by

MONDAY, July 28, 2014 – A common inflammatory muscle disorder that causes pain and stiffness in older people may increase the risk for heart attack and stroke, new research suggests. A British study found that patients with polymyalgia rheumatica are more likely to develop vascular disease – conditions that affect the blood vessels. Doctors should carefully manage the vascular risk factors of patients with polymyalgia rheumatica to reduce their risk for complications, the study authors concluded. Unlike other inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus, the link between polymyalgia rheumatica and an increased risk for vascular disease has not been well-established. "Polymyalgia rheumatica is one of the most common inflammatory rheumatologic conditions in older adults," the study authors wrote. To date, evidence regarding the risk of vascular disease in ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Polymyalgia Rheumatica

High-Salt Diets Could Double Risk of Heart Woes for Diabetics

Posted 22 Jul 2014 by

TUESDAY, July 22, 2014 – A diet loaded with salt is associated with double the risk of heart attack or stroke in people with type 2 diabetes. The risk skyrockets even higher among those whose diabetes isn't well-managed, a new Japanese study reports. The study found that people with diabetes who consumed an average of 5.9 grams of sodium daily had double the risk of developing heart disease than those who consumed, on average, 2.8 grams of sodium daily. In addition, heart disease risk jumped nearly 10-fold for people with poorly managed type 2 diabetes and a diet with excess salt. However, it's important to note that this study only found an association between salt intake and increased heart disease; the study wasn't designed to prove that the increased salt intake actually caused heart disease. Still, experts believe it's important to limit salt in the diet. "The findings are very ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

No Change in Heart Attack Rates for Younger U.S. Adults

Posted 21 Jul 2014 by

MONDAY, July 21, 2014 – Despite recent advances in preventing heart attacks among U.S. seniors, those gains don't seem to have occurred among middle-aged adults – especially women, a new study reports. Heart attack hospitalization rates among young and middle-aged adults have remained stable during the previous decade, even as seniors of Medicare age experienced a better than 20 percent decline in heart attacks, the Yale University researchers found. "We know overall the rates of heart attack for the whole U.S. population have been declining due to prevention efforts and treatment efforts. But there is this emerging data that the benefits have not been experienced by all groups of patients," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, co-director of the UCLA Preventative Cardiology program and a spokesman for the American Heart Association. Women, in particular, often don't fare well after a heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Latest Study Finds No Link Between Testosterone Supplements, Heart Attack

Posted 2 Jul 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, July 2, 2014 – Although recent research has linked testosterone therapy with a higher risk for heart attack and stroke, a new study involving more than 25,000 older men suggests otherwise. The study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, may help ease some fears about testosterone therapy for patients and their families, the study authors said. "Our investigation was motivated by a growing concern, in the U.S. and internationally, that testosterone therapy increases men's risk for cardiovascular disease, specifically heart attack and stroke," lead researcher Jacques Baillargeon, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, said in a university news release. "This concern has increased in the last few years based on the results of a clinical trial and two observational studies," he said. "It is important to note, ... Read more

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Quitting Smokeless Tobacco May Boost Survival After Heart Attack

Posted 23 Jun 2014 by

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 – A new study suggests that heart attack patients who stop using snus – a specific type of moist chewing tobacco that is popular in Sweden – could greatly reduce their risk of dying within a couple years. The findings don't directly prove that stopping the use of this type of smokeless tobacco actually affects cardiac health, and ethical constraints may prevent researchers from ever understanding the full value of quitting. There are other caveats, and it's not clear that quitting the main kinds of smokeless tobacco used in the United States would have the same potential effect. Still, the study "indicates that quitting snus use after a heart attack might be as equally beneficial as quitting smoking after a heart attack," said study author Dr. Gabriel Arefalk, a cardiologist at Uppsala University Hospital in Uppsala, Sweden. The health risks of smokeless tobacco ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Smoking Cessation, Myocardial Infarction

Depression Doubles Odds of Heart Attack for Younger Women: Study

Posted 18 Jun 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 – Young and middle-aged women with depression are more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or die from heart disease as their mentally healthy peers, new research suggests. The study also found that women younger than 55 are more likely than men or older women to become depressed. Exactly what accounts for this relationship between mood disorder and heart disease in younger women isn't clear, said study lead author Dr. Amit Shah, an assistant professor of epidemiology with the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta. "These kinds of relationships are very complicated, and we're still investigating to better understand the reason," he said. Still, the results fit into the "bigger picture," Shah added. "We have known for some time that heart disease is actually the number one killer in women, and that heart disease does start at ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

1 in 10 Heart Attack Patients May Have Undiagnosed Diabetes

Posted 3 Jun 2014 by

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 – As many as one in 10 Americans who has a heart attack may also have undiagnosed diabetes, a new study finds. "Diagnosing diabetes in patients who have had a heart attack is important because of the role diabetes plays in heart disease," lead author Dr. Suzanne Arnold, assistant professor at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute and the University of Missouri at Kansas City, said in an American Heart Association (AHA) news release. "By recognizing and treating diabetes early, we may be able to prevent additional cardiovascular complications through diet, weight loss and lifestyle changes, in addition to taking medications. Another important reason to diagnose diabetes at the time of heart attack is that it can guide the treatments for the patient's coronary artery disease," she explained. For the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 2,800 heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Heart Attack in Middle Age May Be Tougher on Women

Posted 3 Jun 2014 by

MONDAY, June 2, 2014 – Women who survive a heart attack before age 55 tend to face more complications over the coming months than men do, new research suggests. One year after their heart attack, women had worse physical functioning, poorer mental functioning and a lower quality of life than men who survived their heart attack, the study found. The researchers can only speculate on the reasons for these results, "but we're definitely finding that women are generally already in worse health than men when their heart attack takes place," said study lead researcher Rachel Dreyer. "We're talking about relatively young patients, so the finding is really disturbing and worrying," said Dreyer, a post-doctoral research associate in cardiovascular medicine at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. The researchers looked to see how roughly 3,500 American and Spanish adults, 55 and younger, ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Many Delay Blood Thinners After Stent Placement, Risking Death

Posted 28 May 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, May 28, 2014 – Many patients undergoing coronary stent placement don't fill their prescription for vital blood-thinning medication within the recommended time frame, a lapse leaving them much more likely to die within a month, new research suggests. Researchers found that 30 percent of stent patients neglect to start taking Plavix (clopidogrel) as directed within three days of hospital discharge. This can triple their risk of heart attack and quintuple their risk of death over the following 30 days, the study authors said. "What was surprising was the fact that almost a third of patients experienced some sort of delay and that any delay, even by a day, appeared to be associated with some increased risk," said study author Dr. Nicholas Cruden, a consultant cardiologist at Edinburgh Heart Center of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in Scotland. "This highlights the difficulties ... Read more

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