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Heart Disease Blog

Related terms: Congenital Heart Disease

People With Heart Disease, Diabetes May Be More Likely to Stay on Statins

Posted 23 Jun 2014 by

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 – People who have heart disease or diabetes, the overweight or obese and former smokers are most likely to keep taking cholesterol-lowering statins, a new study finds. Previous research has shown that as many 46 percent of patients who are prescribed statins stop taking them. Nearly one in 10 cardiovascular events are linked to failure to take prescribed drugs, according to background information in the study. Researchers looked at a group of people from Finland who began taking statins between 1998 and 2010. The people most likely to stop taking statins were women, single people and those aged 24 to 50. People without heart disease or diabetes were less likely to continue taking statins than those with the conditions. Among patients without heart disease or diabetes, those who were most likely to continue taking statins were overweight/obese or former smokers. ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Disease, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Fluvastatin, Baycol, Pitavastatin, Altoprev

Rare Gene Mutations May Help Shield the Heart

Posted 18 Jun 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 – Four rare mutations in a single gene reduce the risk of heart disease by 40 percent, a new study suggests. The discovery could lead to the development of new drugs to fight heart disease, according to the researchers at the Broad Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital and colleagues. They conducted genetic analyses of nearly 4,000 people and identified four mutations in the APOC3 gene that significantly lower levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood, as well as the risk of coronary heart disease. The APOC3 gene produces a protein that's believed to prevent the removal of triglycerides from the blood. The four mutations all decrease APOC3 activity. The findings suggest that high triglyceride levels – rather than low levels of "good" HDL cholesterol – play a major role in heart disease, according to the authors of the study in the June 18 ... Read more

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Study Ties Too Much Sitting to Risks for Certain Cancers

Posted 17 Jun 2014 by

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 – You may want to stand up to read this. A new study suggests that people who spend the bulk of their day sitting – whether behind the wheel, in front of the TV or working at a computer – appear to have an increased risk for certain kinds of cancers. Previous studies have tied too much time spent sedentary to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, blood clots, a large waistline, higher blood sugar and insulin, generally poor physical functioning, and even early death. For the new study, researchers zeroed in on 43 studies that specifically looked at the link between sitting and nearly 70,000 cases of cancer. After combining the results from individual studies – a statistical tool that helps to reveal trends in research – there was good news and bad news. The good news? Being sedentary did not appear to be linked to every kind of cancer. ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Colorectal Cancer, Endometrial Cancer

Heart Patients Without Artery Plaque Buildup Still Face Risks: Study

Posted 4 Jun 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 – People who have heart disease without major plaque build-up in their coronary arteries still face a significantly increased risk for heart attack and death, a new study indicates. The condition – called non-obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) – damages the walls of the heart's blood vessels, but does not decrease blood flow or cause symptoms. Because of that, it's generally been regarded as being a low-risk condition, according to background information in the study. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 41,000 U.S. veterans who underwent heart angiography – a test used to check for blockages in the arteries – between 2007 and 2012. They were categorized as having either normal, non-obstructive or obstructive coronary artery disease. The more severe the disease, the greater the risk of heart attack and death within a year after undergoing ... Read more

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Cancer, Heart Disease Not Likely Killers of Those Over 100

Posted 4 Jun 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 – Pneumonia and frailty are more likely to be the cause of death among people aged 100 and older, rather than chronic conditions such as cancer or heart disease, new research shows. The findings are based on data on centenarian deaths in England between 2001 and 2010. Worldwide, the number of centenarians is expected to reach 3.2 million by 2050. According to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau, there were more than 53,000 people aged 100 or above in the United States in 2010, with the number slowly rising over time. The new study of British centenarians included almost 36,000 people, 87 percent of them women, with a median age of 101 at the time of death. The number of deaths for people age 100 or more in England rose by 56 percent over 10 years, from 2,823 in 2001 to 4,393 in 2010. According to the study, these very old individuals were most likely to die in ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Heart Disease

Prescription Drug Use Continues to Climb in U.S.

Posted 14 May 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, May 14, 2014 – Prescription drugs are playing an increasingly larger role in U.S. life, with nearly half of all Americans taking one or more medications. Among adults, the most common prescription drugs are for cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol. Those are two of several key findings in the federal government's annual comprehensive report on the nation's health that was released Wednesday. The relationship between Americans and their prescriptions is complex, according to the report produced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On the one hand, more people than ever are receiving effective treatment for chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and depression. But doctors and pharmacists also find themselves struggling with unintended consequences of drug use, such as prescription narcotics abuse and the ... Read more

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Counseling Urged for Obese People at Higher Odds for Heart Disease: Experts

Posted 12 May 2014 by

TUESDAY, May 13, 2014 – The millions of Americans who are overweight with at least one risk factor for heart disease should be offered "lifestyle counseling" by their doctors or other health care workers, an influential government-appointed panel of experts said on Monday. This counseling should encourage a healthy diet and regular exercise as a means of dropping excess pounds, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said in its draft recommendation. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease – which includes heart disease and stroke – include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and pre-diabetes. It also includes "metabolic syndrome," a group of symptoms and conditions known to boost the chances of heart trouble. Timely, intensive counseling on healthy lifestyle changes "can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease," task force member Sue Curry said in a panel news release. ... Read more

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Pot Smoking May Pose Heart Dangers, Study Suggests

Posted 23 Apr 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 – Marijuana use might contribute to heart and artery disease among young and middle-aged adults, particularly those already at risk for cardiovascular problems, a small French study reports. By reviewing reported cases of marijuana abuse in France between 2006 and 2010, researchers identified 35 users who suffered heart disease – including 20 heart attacks and nine deaths. The percentage of heart disease cases among reported marijuana abusers more than tripled during those five years, rising from 1.1 percent of cases to 3.6 percent, the investigators reported. In nearly half the cases, the afflicted pot users already had risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, the study authors said. "This unexpected finding deserves to be further analyzed, especially given that the medicinal use of marijuana has become more prevalent ... Read more

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Heart Disease Haunted Mummies, Too

Posted 3 Apr 2014 by

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 – Though the pyramids are proof of the ancient Egyptians' architectural skills, new research on mummies tucked away inside them unearths a lesser known fact: heart disease was as common then as it is today. Much to their surprise, when scientists did full-body CT scans of 4,000-year-old mummies they discovered evidence of hardening of the arteries. "Atherosclerosis is supposed to be a disease of modern civilization," said study author Dr. Adel Allam, a nuclear cardiologist and professor of cardiology at Al Azhar University in Cairo. "It's supposed to be explained by the fact that we're eating all the wrong foods, not exercising enough, becoming obese and having diabetes. And a lot of people have said that if we could just go back to the way our ancestors were living we could even lose this problem," he added. "So, we wanted to find some way to see if this is ... Read more

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More Research Links Poor Heart Health With Alzheimer's Risk

Posted 31 Mar 2014 by

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 – A new study links heart disease with increased odds of developing dementia. Researchers found that artery stiffness – a condition called atherosclerosis – is associated with the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. "This is more than just another example of how heart health relates to brain health. It is a signal that the process of vascular aging may predispose the brain to increased amyloid plaque buildup," said lead researcher Timothy Hughes, from the department of internal medicine at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. Plaque builds with age and appears to worsen in those with stiffer arteries, he said. "Finding and preventing the causes of plaque buildup is going to be an essential factor in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease and extending brain health throughout life," Hughes added. Alzheimer's ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Vitamin D Deficiency May Be Linked to Heart Disease

Posted 27 Mar 2014 by

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 – New research suggests people with lower levels of vitamin D are more likely to suffer from coronary artery disease and to have more severe forms of the illness. While the findings aren't definitive, they add to recent research that indicates vitamin D – the so-called sunshine vitamin – may play a role in preventing heart disease. The results "suggest vitamin D deficiency to be the cause rather than the consequence of atherosclerosis," said study investigator Dr. Monica Verdoia, a cardiologist at Eastern Piedmont University in Novara, Italy. Clogged arteries, or atherosclerosis, can lead to heart attack. While the study showed an association between vitamin D levels and heart disease risk, it did not prove a cause-and-effect link. The findings are scheduled for presentation Sunday at the American College of Cardiology's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin D Insufficiency

Moms Who Keep 'Baby Weight' May Risk Heart Trouble

Posted 25 Mar 2014 by

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 – New mothers who gain too much weight in the year after they give birth are at increased risk for diabetes and heart disease, researchers warn. The study, published March 25 in the journal Diabetes Care, tracked more than 300 women through pregnancy and for a year after they had their babies. About three-quarters of the women lost their so-called "baby weight" during that year and had healthy levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. One quarter of the women gained weight and showed an increase in risk factors for diabetes and heart disease. None of these risk factors was present three months after the women gave birth, according to the researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. "This finding helps us advise women about the importance of losing their excess pregnancy weight in the first year after delivery," Dr. Ravi Retnakaran said in a hospital news ... Read more

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Low-Dose Statins Good Option for Some Heart Patients: Study

Posted 10 Feb 2014 by

MONDAY, Feb. 10, 2014 – A new analysis suggests that people at high risk for heart disease who can't take high-dose statin drugs to lower their cholesterol might benefit from a treatment combination that includes taking a low-dose statin. Scientists at Johns Hopkins reviewed published research to compare the benefits and harms of a lower-intensity statin when combined with one of several other cholesterol-lowering treatments in adults at high risk for heart disease. Study author Dr. Kimberly Gudzune said combining a low-dose statin with either a so-called bile acid sequestrant or Zetia (ezetimibe) – both of which are medications that also work to lower cholesterol levels – lowered "bad" (LDL) cholesterol. Taking a high-dose statin by itself also lowered LDL levels. "At least in the short term, this strategy seems to be as effective as the high-dose statin alone, although there were ... Read more

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Fewer Heart Patients Now Dying From Heart Disease, Study Shows

Posted 10 Feb 2014 by

MONDAY, Feb. 10, 2014 – Americans with heart disease are now more likely to die from cancer, lung disease and neurological causes than from heart problems, compared with 20 years ago. That's the finding of a new Mayo Clinic study that tracked about 20,000 patients who underwent procedures to open blocked heart arteries between 1991 and 2008. The patients were divided into three time periods: 1991 to 1996; 1997 to 2002; and 2003 to 2008. During the entire study period, nearly 7,000 of the patients died. Heart disease was the leading cause of death in the first time period, led to about the same number of deaths as other causes in the middle years and accounted for only 37 percent of deaths in the third time period. Of the heart-related deaths, there was a sharp decline in those caused by heart attack and sudden heart rhythm disorders, but there was no decrease in deaths from heart ... Read more

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Health Tip: Understand Your Risk of Heart Disease

Posted 6 Feb 2014 by

-- Coronary artery disease occurs when plaque builds up in the vessels and restricts blood flow to the heart. The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute says common risk factors for CAD include: Having high blood pressure, high LDL, or "bad," cholesterol or low HDL or "good," cholesterol. Being a smoker, overweight or obese. Having insulin resistance or being diabetic. Having metabolic syndrome. Getting insufficient exercise. Eating an unhealthy diet that's high in saturated fat, sodium or sugar. Being older. Having a family history of heart disease. Read more

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