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Heart Disease Blog

Related terms: Congenital Heart Disease

Migraine's Link to Higher Heart Disease Risk May Not Be Genetic

Posted 2 days 20 hours ago by

THURSDAY, July 2, 2015 – People who have migraines have a greater risk for heart disease, but their genes may not be to blame for the connection, new research suggests. Scientists looked at two large studies that pinpointed genetic variations that can increase the risk for migraine and heart disease. The first study included almost 20,000 people with migraine and more than 55,000 people who didn't have these severe headaches. The second study involved more than 21,000 people with heart disease and just over 63,000 people who didn't. Led by Dr. Aarno Palotie, of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Boston, the researchers tried to find shared genetic variants in people with migraines and heart disease. But they found no common gene variations between migraine with aura and heart disease – even though evidence suggests these patients have a greater risk for heart disease than those ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Migraine, Smoking, Heart Disease, Smoking Cessation, Imitrex, Maxalt, Sumatriptan, Relpax, Cafergot, Zomig, Treximet, Midrin, Ergotamine, Frova, Maxalt-MLT, Migranal, Migergot, Amerge, Rizatriptan

Menopausal Women at Lower Heart Risk Than Men of Similar Age

Posted 4 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 – Menopause is commonly considered a risk factor for heart disease, as the protective effect of estrogen declines. However, in a new study, researchers found that postmenopausal women had a lower risk of dying from heart attack than did men of similar ages. "Women have lower cardiovascular disease risk than men, even after menopause," said the study's lead researcher, Dr. Catherine Kim, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. "But the advantage is seen primarily in white women compared to white men; black women have less of an advantage compared to black men." Although some research has suggested that natural menopause does not boost heart disease risk but surgically induced (after hysterectomy and ovary removal) menopause does, Kim did not find much difference in risk between menopause types. Her long-term study found: ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Menopausal Disorders, Myocardial Infarction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis

Parents' Genetic Similarities Could Affect Kids' Height, Intellect

Posted 4 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 – The less alike two parents are genetically, the taller and mentally sharper their kids tend to be, according to a new study of populations around the world. Researchers said the findings, published in the journal Nature, suggest that humans evolved to favor height and quick thinking. That may not sound surprising, experts said. But the work is "fascinating" in that it culled genetic information on more than 350,000 people from across the globe – and found consistent patterns, said Dr. Martin Bialer, a medical geneticist who was not involved in the research. That is, parents' genetic diversity was reliably linked to four traits in their kids: height; cognitive skills (such as the ability to learn, remember and problem-solve); educational attainment, and lung function. In each case, the more diverse two parents were, the better. On the other hand, parents' ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Fireworks Can Spark Bump in Air Pollution, Study Finds

Posted 4 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 – Most Americans know that fireworks can injure the eyes and hands, but these Fourth of July favorites can also take a toll on the lungs, a new study finds. Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found fireworks produce air pollutants, including tiny particles found in the air known as particulate matter. These microscopic particles of dust, dirt, soot, smoke and liquids can get inside the lungs and cause coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. They can also lead to long-term health issues, such as asthma attacks, heart attack, stroke and even death in those with heart or lung disease. Using observations from 315 U.S. air quality-monitoring sites recorded from 1999 to 2013, the NOAA researchers quantified the surge in particulate matter that occurred on the nation's birthday. Specifically, they looked for particles that ... Read more

Related support groups: Asthma, Heart Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma - Maintenance, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Maintenance, Asthma - Acute, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Acute, Allergic Asthma, Ischemic Heart Disease, Reversible Airways Disease - Maintenance, Reversible Airways Disease

Make CPR, Defibrillator Training Mandatory for High School Graduation: Experts

Posted 5 days ago by

TUESDAY, June 30, 2015 – Far too few Americans are surviving cardiac arrest, and a new report issued Tuesday by a federally appointed panel of experts sets out ways to boost survival rates. One recommendation: Make a working knowledge of CPR and the use of an automated electronic defibrillator (AED) a graduation requirement for all middle- and high-school students. One expert in emergency care applauded the proposal. "By teaching laypersons in public settings the proper use of such devices, we may be able to effectively increase survival rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest," said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. According to the new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, less than 6 percent of the 395,000 Americans who suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital each year will survive. And even in a hospital setting, cardiac arrest ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Heart Block, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Asystole

Health Tip: Exercising With Heart Problems

Posted 6 days ago by

-- Exercise often promotes better heart health, but it's still important to take precautions. The American Council on Exercise recommends: Getting permission from your doctor to start a regular exercise routine. Schedule 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on all or most days of the week. Talk to your doctor if before, during or just after exercise you have symptoms of dizziness, chest pain, headache, breathlessness or racing heart rate. Begin each workout with five minutes of warm-up and five minutes of cool-down. During exercise, monitor your heart rate to make sure it stays within an acceptable range. Don't push yourself to extremes. If you want a more vigorous workout, clear it with your doctor first and have a stress test. Avoid vigorous exercise in very hot or cold temperatures. Be sure to exercise in a facility that's equipped to deal with a medical emergency. Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

More Than Two-Thirds of U.S. Adults Now Overweight or Obese: Study

Posted 13 days ago by

MONDAY, June 22, 2015 – Fewer than one-third of Americans are currently at a healthy weight, with the rest of the population either overweight or obese, a new report finds. About 35 percent of men and 37 percent of women are obese. Another 40 percent of men and 30 percent of women are overweight, researchers said in the June 22 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. "Obesity is not getting better. It's getting worse, and it's really scary. It's not looking pretty," said Lin Yang, a postdoctoral research associate at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Obesity has been linked to a number of chronic health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and arthritis, Yang said. "This generation of Americans is the first that will have a shorter life expectancy than the previous generation, and obesity is one of the biggest contributors to this ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Cancer, Osteoarthritis, Heart Disease, Weight Loss, Heart Attack, Angina, Myocardial Infarction, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease

Many Americans Ill-Informed About Heart Failure: Survey

Posted 19 days ago by

TUESDAY, June 16, 2015 – Large gaps exist in Americans' knowledge about heart failure, even though nearly 6 million people nationwide have it, a new survey finds. Nearly half of the more than 1,600 survey participants did not know basic facts about heart failure. And two-thirds confused signs of heart failure with signs of heart attack, according to the American Heart Association survey. Respondents included the general public, heart-failure patients and caregivers of people with heart failure. Fifty-eight percent of the participants mistakenly thought heart failure was a natural cause of death that occurs when the heart stops beating. Forty-six percent incorrectly said heart failure is a silent killer with no symptoms. In fact, heart failure occurs when the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, fatigue, weight gain of 3 or more ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

More Research Hints at Chocolate's Heart Benefits

Posted 20 days ago by

MONDAY, June 15, 2015 – Eating milk chocolate or dark chocolate regularly may lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, a new study suggests. Middle-aged or older folks who ate as much as 3.5 ounces of chocolate a day seemed to receive heart health benefits, British researchers report in the June 16 issue of the journal Heart. And most people in the study ate milk chocolate, generally considered less healthy than dark chocolate because it contains more sugar and fat, the researchers noted. "People who want to eat chocolate should not be worried too much about their cardiovascular health," said study co-author Dr. Phyo Myint, chair of medicine of old age at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. "We did not find any harmful effects of chocolate, if they want to enjoy chocolate now and again. The key is moderation." While the study uncovered a link between chocolate and heart health, ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Angina, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Ischemic Heart Disease

Seeing Their Clogged Arteries Can Spur Healthy Changes in Patients

Posted 20 days ago by

MONDAY, June 15, 2015 – Seeing images of their narrowed heart arteries may convince some heart disease patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle and take prescribed medications, a new study suggests. "Seeing their calcified coronary arteries on the CT image was clearly an eye-opener for patients. We received comments such as, 'It is my coronary artery and my coronary artery calcification and I am facing a real risk and challenge,' " said study author Rikke Elmose Mols, a nurse and Ph.D. student at Aarhus University Hospital-Skejby in Denmark. "This may be the wake-up call patients need to take their medication and modify their behaviors to reduce their risk of having a coronary artery event," Mols said in a European Society of Cardiology news release. The research included 189 people recently diagnosed with early stage heart disease. Half were shown a CT image of calcium buildup on the ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Angina, Zocor, Lovastatin, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ischemic Heart Disease, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Lescol

FDA Ban on Harmful Trans Fats Expected Soon

Posted 20 days ago by

SUNDAY, June 14, 2015 – Harmful trans fats may soon be banished from America's food supply, following a U.S. Food and Drug Administration announcement expected any day now. The move could prevent as many as 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease a year, the FDA says. Most trans fats in food come from partially hydrogenated oils. Up to now, the FDA has designated these oils with "generally recognized as safe" status. That allows manufacturers to use the oils in food without prior FDA approval. But under the proposed rule on the verge of finalization, the FDA would reclassify partially hydrogenated oils as food additives. This means companies would need federal approval before including them in food products. "This is going to be a huge public health victory," said Jim O'Hara, director of health promotion for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Heart Attack, Angina, Myocardial Infarction, Hypertriglyceridemia, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease

Early CPR Spurred by Smartphone Alerts Saves Lives

Posted 10 Jun 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, June 10, 2015 – Starting cardiopulmonary resuscitation early and using smartphone alerts to increase rates of bystander CPR can save people with cardiac arrest, two new studies find. When CPR was started before an ambulance arrived, twice as many cardiac-arrest patients lived to leave the hospital than when CPR was delayed, researchers said. And alerting people trained in CPR that their help was needed nearby greatly increased the rate of early CPR. "We have proved what has been thought before – that early CPR is associated with improved survival," said lead researcher Dr. Jacob Hollenberg, from the department of cardiology at South Hospital at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. He said a mobile phone app that alerted laypeople trained in CPR that their help was needed nearby increased the rate of early CPR by 30 percent. Both studies were published June 11 in the New ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Angina, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, AV Heart Block

Resuming Blood Pressure Meds After Surgery Linked to Better Outcomes

Posted 4 Jun 2015 by

THURSDAY, June 4, 2015 – People with high blood pressure who resume taking their medication soon after surgery may have a lower risk of complications and death, a new study suggests. Researchers reviewed information from more than 30,000 patients taking a particular type of high blood pressure medication before surgery. All were taking drugs from a class of medications known as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). These drugs are widely used to treat high blood pressure. None of the surgeries was for heart-related problems, according to the researchers. About one-third of those people didn't restart taking their high blood pressure medication within two days of surgery. The study found this group was linked to a higher risk of death within 30 days compared to people who immediately resumed their medication. The increased risk of death in people who didn't start taking their blood ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Heart Disease, Losartan, Benicar, Diovan, Cozaar, Micardis, Valsartan, Avapro, Atacand, Irbesartan, Telmisartan, Candesartan, Olmesartan, Edarbi, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Teveten, Azilsartan medoxomil, Eprosartan

Rise in Deaths Even When Smog Is Below EPA Standard: Study

Posted 3 Jun 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2015 – Death rates among people older than 65 appear to be affected by air pollution, even when the air they breathe meets current standards, researchers say. In the study, Harvard researchers looked at Medicare recipients in the New England region. The investigators found that death rates among seniors were linked to levels of a type of air pollution called "fine-particulate matter" – even in places where air pollution levels were below those recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). No evidence exists for a "safe" level of pollution, said senior report author Joel Schwartz, a professor of environmental epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Instead, "we need to focus on ways that lower exposure everywhere all the time," he cautioned. The report was published online June 3 in the journal Environmental Health ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Test Endurance Athletes for Heart Woes While They Exercise: Study

Posted 3 Jun 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2015 – Endurance athletes should be tested for potentially deadly heart rhythm problems when they are exercising rather than resting, and the tests should include the right ventricle as well as the left ventricle, a new study says. Some athletes who participate in endurance events such as marathons and triathlons may have heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) that can cause sudden death. A team of researchers from Australia and Belgium found that important signs of rhythm problems in the heart's right ventricle can only be detected during exercise, according to the study published June 3 in the European Heart Journal. Currently, most routine assessments of athletes with suspected heart rhythm problems are done when the patients are resting, and the focus is on the left ventricle, the investigators said. "You do not test a racing car while it is sitting in the garage. ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Bradyarrhythmia, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Heart Block, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia, Ischemic Heart Disease, Atrial Tachycardia, AV Heart Block, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

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