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Taller, Bigger Women May Face Irregular Heartbeat Risk

Posted 10 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 10, 2017 – Big or tall women are nearly three times as likely to develop the dangerous irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation as smaller women, a preliminary study says. The larger a woman's body size as a young adult, the more likely she is to develop the heart disorder later in life, according to the researchers. "There was a stepwise elevation in risk with increasing body size," said study author Dr. Annika Rosengren. "The group with the highest body surface area had nearly three times the risk as those with the lowest body surface area," added Rosengren, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that develops in the atria – the two upper chambers of the heart. The quivering heartbeat increases risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart rhythm problems, according to the ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Who Really Needs All Those Heart Tests?

Posted 7 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 7, 2017 – Sometimes the treatment for heart problems may be more aggressive than it needs to be, according to Consumer Reports. Heart disease requires emergency medical attention when someone is having active symptoms, such as chest pain and shortness of breath. But excessive heart screening tests associated with false alarms can cause unnecessary anxiety and lead to a series of costly and risky procedures, the new report stated. Overtreatment for heart disease can lead to complications and worse outcomes, cautioned Dr. Marvin Lipman, the chief medical adviser at Consumer Reports. Low-risk patients with no worrisome symptoms who've been told they should undergo certain heart-screening tests should speak up and ask their doctor why these tests are necessary, he advised. "If you don't get a satisfactory answer, politely decline it or ask for a second opinion," Lipman said ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Angina, Myocardial Infarction, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Diagnosis and Investigation, Ischemic Heart Disease, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Heart Devices 101: Guide to the Tools That Keep You Ticking

Posted 3 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, April 2, 2017 – Pacemakers, defibrillators and other medical devices have saved the lives of millions of people worldwide. Someone you know probably has received one of these heart-health enhancers, although not all have become household words. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration evaluates and regulates these and other medical devices in the United States. Below, the agency provides a brief glossary of terms that might come in handy when a doctor recommends a cardiac tool: Heart pacemakers: These small, battery-powered devices are implanted in the body. They deliver an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm when the heart beats too slowly. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators: These deliver a shock to restore normal heart rhythm when the heart beats too fast. Automated external defibrillators: These portable, automatic devices are found in many public locations. ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Tachyarrhythmia, Angina, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Prosthetic Heart Valves, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Myocardial Infarction, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Ventricular Tachycardia, Prosthetic Heart Valves - Mechanical Valves, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Atrial Flutter, Mitral Insufficiency, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Learning Issues Common in Kids With Heart Defects: Study

Posted 22 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 21, 2017 – Children born with heart defects seem to be at increased risk of learning problems in elementary school, a new study suggests. And those with less severe heart abnormalities may not receive needed assistance, the study of third graders from North Carolina found. Among more than 9,000 students, children born with a heart defect were 24 percent more likely to not meet end-of-year standards in reading or math, compared to those with healthy hearts, the researchers determined. "Schools should be aware that children with heart defects can have learning difficulties, even many years after their heart defect is supposedly 'fixed,' " said study lead author Dr. Matthew Oster. He's a pediatric cardiologist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Examining education records and birth data, the researchers compared more than 2,800 children born with heart defects – so-called ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease, Heart Murmur, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

5 Ways Women Can Cut Their Heart Attack Risk

Posted 15 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 14, 2017 – Heart disease is the leading killer of American women, but lifestyle changes can reduce the risk, a heart expert says. An estimated 43 million women in the United States have heart disease, but many don't know it, according to Dr. Mary Ann McLaughlin. She's medical director of the Mount Sinai Health System's Cardiac Health Program in New York City. As part of American Heart Month in February, McLaughlin describes how women can protect themselves: Starting 10 years after menopause, women should ask about a stress test if they have a family history of heart disease or are obese. Doctors also recommend a stress test if you want to start a vigorous exercise program or if you have chest pressure or shortness of breath when walking uphill. Reduce emotional stress levels through exercise, mediation or yoga. Emotional stress is a bigger heart risk factor in women than ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Obesity, Hot Flashes, Heart Disease, Menopausal Disorders, Heart Attack, Alcohol Dependence, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Dyspnea, Alcoholism, Myocardial Infarction, Hangover, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Ischemic Heart Disease, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Heart Rate Change When Standing Up Might Predict Older Adult's Death Risk

Posted 7 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7, 2016 – Tracking the change in an older adult's heart rate when they stand up might reveal their risk of death over the next several years, a new study suggests. As the researchers explained, when people stand up their heart rate initially increases, and then recovers. The speed of that heart rate recovery in the 20 seconds after standing predicted an older adult's risk of dying within the next four years, according to a team at Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland. "The speed of heart rate recovery in response to standing is an important marker of health and vitality that could be assessed quite readily in a clinical setting such as a hospital," study lead author Dr. Cathal McCrory said in a college news release. One cardiologist in the United States believes the new test has promise. "Changes in heart rate during specific activities is a normal response," said Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Atrial Flutter, Bradyarrhythmia, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Hi-Tech Skin Patch Might Someday Track Your Health

Posted 17 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 – A new type of acoustic sensor that resembles a small Band-Aid on the skin can monitor your heartbeat and other health measures, researchers say. The sensor may one day offer a way to painlessly and wirelessly track an individual's health. The patch, which weighs less than one-hundredth of an ounce, can help doctors monitor heart health, stomach condition, vocal cord activity, lung performance and potentially many other bodily functions, researchers say. "We've developed a soft, skin-like device that can listen to internal sounds created by function of internal organs," explained study co-author John Rogers. He was a professor of materials science and engineering and a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the study and is currently at Northwestern University. "Think of the device as a wearable, skin-mounted ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ventricular Fibrillation, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Sinus Node Dysfunction, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Stress May Take Greatest Toll on Younger Women's Hearts: Study

Posted 24 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 24, 2016 – Stress may be especially hard on the hearts of younger women who have heart disease, new research suggests. Researchers gave nearly 700 men and women with heart disease a mentally stressful public speaking assignment. Then they measured blood flow to the heart. Women aged 50 or younger were nearly four times more likely than men of the same age or older women to have reduced blood flow to the heart, said study leader Dr. Viola Vaccarino. She is chair of epidemiology at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta. Reduced blood flow – known medically as myocardial ischemia – can lead to a heart attack, she noted. "Younger women appear to be more vulnerable [than men and older women] to the effects of stress on their heart," Vaccarino said. Experts have long known that younger women have worse outcomes than men of the same age after a heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Angina, Myocardial Infarction, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Ischemic Heart Disease, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Post MI Syndrome, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Sudden Heart Death More Common in Male Minority Athletes

Posted 29 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 – It's always surprising and heartbreaking to hear about a young athlete dying suddenly. Now a new study finds that in many of these cases, an underlying heart problem was already present. The researchers found that about one-third of sudden cardiac deaths were caused by the heart condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This condition causes a portion of the heart's wall to grow abnormally thick, which hinders the heart's performance. There are often no symptoms, study authors said. This heart condition is often inherited, according to the American Heart Association. About 40 percent of sudden deaths in males were caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. More than 50 percent of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occurred in minority males. Just 1 percent of these cases were found in minority females, the study published in The American Journal of Medicine found. "We have ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Block, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Women in Cardiac Arrest May Be Less Likely to Receive Help

Posted 8 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 8, 2016 – Women are less likely than men to be helped by bystanders if they suffer cardiac arrest, a new study finds. "There is a misconception that women don't have heart problems so they don't get as much help from the public and they are not treated the same by doctors," said study author Dr. Nicole Karam. She is an interventional cardiologist at the European Hospital Georges Pompidou in Paris. Researchers reviewed records of more than 11,400 people who had a cardiac arrest in public areas in and around Paris between 2011 and 2014. Cardiac arrest, the sudden loss of heart function, is often caused by abnormal heart rhythms. It is not the same as a heart attack. Even though bystanders were more likely to be present when women suffered cardiac arrest, researchers found only 60 percent of women received basic life support – such CPR and use of an automated external ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Myocardial Infarction, Heart Block, AV Heart Block, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Cardiogenic Shock, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Women's Heart Attacks Are Different Than Men's, Experts Stress

Posted 26 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2016 – Heart attacks in women often have different causes and symptoms than those in men, and they're deadlier, too. That's the premise of a scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) that hopes to raise awareness about key differences in heart attack indicators and treatment in women. Women who don't recognize their heart attack symptoms won't seek needed medical care, said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. "These delays in care contribute to higher mortality rates experienced by women, particularly younger women," he said. Worldwide, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women. Since 1984 in the United States, heart attack survival has improved for women. But the heart death rates among women still outpace heart deaths in men, according to the AHA statement. The new ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Post MI Syndrome, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Long-Term Smog Exposure May Boost Heart, Lung Disease Deaths

Posted 26 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2016 – Long-term exposure to ozone air pollution – commonly known as smog – may increase the risk of death from heart and lung diseases, a new study indicates. Researchers reviewed data from a U.S. study that began in 1982 and found that for every additional 10 parts per billion (ppb) in long-term ozone exposure, adults were 12 percent more likely to die from lung disease. In addition, they were 3 percent more likely to die from heart disease, and 2 percent more likely to die from any cause, according to the study. It was published online recently in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Pollution specifically attributed to traffic was linked to a 41 percent increased risk of dying from heart disease with each 10 ppb increase in exposure, the investigators found. "About 130 million people are living in areas that exceed the National Ambient ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Did Antarctic Explorer Shackleton Have a 'Hole in His Heart'?

Posted 21 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 21, 2016 – A century ago, British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton was a key figure in the race to explore Antarctica. Now, two expert physicians believe he may have done so while battling a hidden foe: a congenital heart defect. Shackleton made the first crossing of the mountains and glaciers on the island of South Georgia without any health problems, but suffered repeated bouts of breathlessness and weakness on subsequent Antarctic expeditions. The physical problems that plagued Shackleton have long been a mystery, however. In an attempt to solve it, retired anesthetist Dr. Ian Calder and consultant cardiologist Dr. Jan Till studied documents held at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, England. The researchers concluded that Shackleton was born with a hole in his heart – an atrial septal defect. The two experts published their theory online recently in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Race Not Tied to Threat of Second Stroke, Study Finds

Posted 21 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2016 – Younger black people are three times more likely to have a stroke than their white peers, but they may not be at greater risk for a second stroke, new research suggests. "The interaction between black race and age appears to be remarkably different for the risk of first versus second stroke," said study author George Howard, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "There was very little difference in race for the risk of a second stroke," he said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. The seven-year study involved almost 30,000 people, including close to 3,000 with a history of stroke. Over the course of the study, about 300 of the people who had a previous stroke suffered another one. Meanwhile, just over 800 of the remaining people had their first stroke during the study period. By the age of 45, the black study participants with no ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Atrial Fibrillation, Smoking, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Transient Ischemic Attack, Pre-Diabetes, Myocardial Infarction, Diabetes Mellitus, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Abnormal Electrocardiogram, Post MI Syndrome

Slow Heart Rate Doesn't Mean Early Death Risk: Study

Posted 19 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2016 – People with a slow heart rate don't have an increased risk for heart disease, a new study suggests. A typical heart rate for an adult at rest is 60 to 100 beats a minute, but in some people it's below 50 beats a minute, a condition called bradycardia, the researchers said. Because the heart may not be pumping enough blood throughout the body, this slow heart rate can lead to light-headedness, shortness of breath, fainting or chest pain. However, it hasn't been clear whether a slow pulse increases the risk of heart disease, according to the study authors. "For a large majority of people with a heart rate in the 40s or 50s who have no symptoms, the prognosis is very good," corresponding author Dr. Ajay Dharod, instructor in internal medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., said in a center news release. "Our results should be ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Bradyarrhythmia, AV Heart Block, Ischemic Heart Disease, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

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