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Heart Disease News

Related terms: Congenital Heart Disease

Deaths From Heart Disease Drop Quickly After Stent Procedure: Study

Posted 10 Nov 2014 by

MONDAY, Nov. 10, 2014 – Heart attack survivors who receive prompt treatment to unclog blocked arteries and keep them open have a lower long-term risk of dying from heart disease, a new study finds. However, they still have an increased risk of death from noncardiac causes, such as cancer and lung problems. The study included more than 2,800 heart attack patients in Denmark who were treated quickly with angioplasty to clear arteries and stents to keep them open on a procedure known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), and then followed for a median of almost five years. The rate of heart-related deaths among the patients was high in the first month after treatment, but then fell to less than 1.5 percent a year, the study found. After the first month, nearly 65 percent of deaths among the patients were due to noncardiac causes such as cancer and lung conditions, according to the ... Read more

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Health Tip: Risk Factors for Heart Disease in Women

Posted 6 Nov 2014 by

-- Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States, government statistics show. The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says risk factors for heart disease in women include: Having diabetes, pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Using birth control pills. Smoking. Having high cholesterol, high triglycerides or high blood pressure. Being overweight or obese. Living a sedentary lifestyle. Eating a fatty diet. Undergoing stress. Being depressed. Read more

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Women Often Ignore Signs of Heart Trouble

Posted 29 Oct 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29, 2014 – When it comes to heart disease, a new study finds women are more likely than men to delay care when they have symptoms that spell trouble. "The main danger is that when someone comes to the hospital with a more severe or advanced stage of heart disease, there are simply fewer treatment options available," study author Catherine Kreatsoulas, a Fulbright Scholar and research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in a news release from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. In the study, researchers talked to patients who sought medical care for angina and were waiting to undergo angiogram tests to look for signs of coronary artery disease. Angina, or chest pain, occurs when the heart doesn't get as much blood and oxygen as it needs because of a blockage in the heart's arteries. The researchers found that men acted more quickly when they ... Read more

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Stress Affects Women, Men With Heart Disease Differently, Study Shows

Posted 13 Oct 2014 by

MONDAY, Oct. 13, 2014 – Stress triggers different physical and mental reactions in women and men with heart disease, new research indicates. The study involved 254 men and 56 women with stable heart disease who did three mentally stressful tasks: an math test, a mirror tracing test and an anger recall test. Stress had a greater impact on blood pressure and heart rate in men, while women were more likely to experience decreased blood flow to the heart and increased clumping of blood cells associated with clot formation. Women also had a greater increase in negative emotions and a larger decline in positive emotions while doing the stressful tasks, according to the study published Oct. 13 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. "The relationship between mental stress and cardiovascular disease is well known," study author Dr. Zainab Samad, an assistant professor of medicine ... Read more

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Genes May Make Some More Prone to Heart Disease When Under Stress

Posted 1 Oct 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 1, 2014 – Genes may interact with stress to trigger heart disease in some people, a new study suggests. The genetic risk occurs in about 13 percent of people, but only in those who are white. The finding could help these people reduce their heart disease risk through simple measures such as exercise, a healthy diet and stress management, the Duke University researchers said. The study authors analyzed genetic data from nearly 6,000 people and found a strong link between variations in the EBF1 gene and higher levels of central obesity, as measured by hip circumference. In people with these gene variations, their hips grew wider as their stress levels increased. Further investigation revealed a "significant pathway" to high blood sugar levels, diabetes and heart disease, most notably a narrowing of the arteries. "These findings suggest that a stress reduction ... Read more

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Could a Fading Sense of Smell Point to Earlier Death?

Posted 1 Oct 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 1, 2014 – Older adults who have trouble smelling the roses – literally – may face an increased risk of dying in the next several years, new research suggests. In a study of over 3,000 older Americans, researchers found those who were unable to detect scents such as rose, orange and peppermint were more than three times as likely to die in the next five years, versus those with a sharp sense of smell. In fact, anosmia – the inability to distinguish odors – was a bigger predictor of death than major killers such as heart disease, lung disease or cancer, the researchers reported Oct. 1 in the online journal PLOS One. "We were pretty surprised it was such a strong predictor," said lead researcher Dr. Jayant Pinto, a surgeon at the University of Chicago who specializes in nasal disorders. Now, the question is why. No one is saying anosmia itself kills people, stressed ... Read more

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Diabetics Face Much Greater Risk of Heart Damage, Study Says

Posted 11 Sep 2014 by

THURSDAY, Sept. 11, 2014 – Using a new ultra-sensitive test, Johns Hopkins researchers found that people with diabetes may have a sixfold higher risk of heart failure even if their cholesterol is low and they appear otherwise healthy. Results of the new study suggest that people with diabetes and pre-diabetes may be suffering undetectable – but potentially dangerous – heart muscle damage, the researchers concluded. This heart damage is occurring regardless of a diabetic's cholesterol levels, which had no effect on test results, said lead author Elizabeth Selvin. She co-director of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Training Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Even if we treat people with diabetes with statins, we may not be able to fully address the increased risk of death and heart failure in that population," Selvin said. "This underscores the need for ... Read more

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Heart Studies Don't Reflect Real-World Patients, Study Finds

Posted 26 Aug 2014 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 26, 2014 – People who take part in clinical trials of new heart disease treatments are generally younger and healthier than the typical heart patient, a new study confirms. Experts said the findings, which appear in the Aug. 27 Journal of the American Medical Association, aren't surprising – but they are troubling. "It's of major concern that clinical trials are enrolling a more select patient population that is not fully representative of the real-world patients encountered in clinical practice," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a spokesman for the American Heart Association who wasn't involved in the study. "Doctors are left not knowing whether the therapy will be equally efficacious and safe for older patients with more [co-existing] conditions," said Fonarow, who is also a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Jacob Udell, the lead ... Read more

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Health Tip: Reducing Your Chances of Heart Disease if You Have Diabetes

Posted 18 Aug 2014 by

-- Diabetics are at increased risk of developing heart disease, but there are lifestyle changes you can make to help lower the risk. The National Heart Lung and Blood Association explains how you can reduce the risk of diabetic heart disease: Maintain healthy cholesterol. Keep high blood pressure in check (under 130/80 mm/Hg). Don't smoke Lose any excess weight. Eat a diet low in sodium, sugar and saturated and trans fats. Get plenty of regular exercise. Find ways to manage stress. Read more

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Women, Blacks Hit Harder by Heart Disease Risk Factors

Posted 11 Aug 2014 by

MONDAY, Aug. 11, 2014 – Chronic diseases that can increase a person's risk of heart attack or stroke appear to hit women and blacks the hardest, a new population-based study found. Diabetes and high blood pressure in particular, contribute to an ongoing gender and race gap in heart disease risk, researchers report online on Aug. 11 in the journal Circulation. "These findings could support the idea that when a woman or a black patient has these risk factors, they tend to be not as recognized or well-controlled, because they aren't as aggressively treated," said Dr. Susan Cheng, a specialist in cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Researchers studied more than 13,500 Americans between 1987 and 1998 to determine their population attributable risk – a measure that considers how common a risk factor is and by how much that factor raises the chance of future ... Read more

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'Ice Man' Mummy May Have Been at Risk of Heart Disease

Posted 1 Aug 2014 by

FRIDAY, Aug. 1, 2014 – Roaming the high Alps more than 5,000 years ago, the individual whose preserved mummy became famous as the "Ice Man" no doubt had a very tough and active lifestyle. But all of that may still not have shielded the Ice Man, nicknamed Otzi, from a very modern scourge: heart disease. A human's genetic risk for atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries," appears to be the same today as it was thousands of years ago, a new study finds. "Our ancestors going back thousands of years show signs of atherosclerosis," explained a team led by author Albert Zink of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at the European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen in Italy. The researchers noted that CT scans show "evidence of calcium deposits associated with atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries of mummies as old as 5,000 years. Even though our human ancestors lived far different lives ... Read more

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Some Jobs Harder on the Heart Than Others, Report Finds

Posted 1 Aug 2014 by

THURSDAY, July 31, 2014 – Stress at work may raise your risk of heart attack and stroke, particularly if you work in the service industry or have a blue-collar job, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. But being unemployed might be just as unhealthy, they added. "Workplace factors that increase risk include job stress, exposure to air pollution – like dust and secondhand smoke – and noise," explained lead researcher Dr. Sara Luckhaupt, from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "These workers would benefit from health programs that combine reducing occupational risk factors like job stress with health promotion activities like smoking cessation," she said. Some workers may already have other risk factors for stroke and heart attack, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, which can be made ... Read more

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No TV or Obesity, But Ancient People Still Had Heart Disease

Posted 31 Jul 2014 by

THURSDAY, July 31, 2014 – They may not have had fast food, TVs or cigarettes, but people of ancient times commonly developed clogged heart arteries – and a new research review speculates on some reasons why. Using CT scans of mummified remains from ancient Egypt, Peru, the Aleutian Islands and the American Southwest, researchers have found evidence of widespread atherosclerosis – the hardening of heart arteries from fatty substances that build up, eventually leading to heart attack or stroke. That's despite the fact that those ancient groups were largely free of today's perilous lifestyle factors, such as sugar- and fat-laden diets, inactivity, smoking and widespread obesity. "Our team has evaluated mummies from five different continents. We have yet to find a culture that didn't have atherosclerosis," said cardiologist Dr. Gregory Thomas, the lead author of a review published in the ... Read more

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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

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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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