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Sleeping Too Long Might Raise Stroke Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're the kind of person who sleeps nine or more hours a night or takes long afternoon naps, you may want to worry about your stroke risk, a new Chinese study suggests.

According to the research, people who sleep and nap too long may increase their risk for stroke by 85%. Regular 90-minute midday naps can raise the risk 25%, co...

Black Patients May Not Gain Heart Benefit From Low-Dose Aspirin

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The daily use of low-dose aspirin against heart disease may have taken another knock.

New research shows that the practice may not provide black Americans with any lowering of their heart attack risk.

Researchers analyzed 11 years of data from more than 65,000 people, ages 40-79, living in the American Southeast. More than two-thi...

Is Pot Use a Heart Risk After Surgery?

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Heavy pot users are nearly two times more likely to have a heart attack after common types of surgeries as those who don't use the drug, a new study shows.

"While cannabis is often purported as being safe or benign, we don't fully understand the health implications of this drug, particularly in heavy users," said study author Dr. Karim Ladha,...

'Mobile Stroke Units' Help Rush Treatment to Patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're in the throes of a stroke, being stuck in an ambulance in big-city traffic is the last place you want to be -- unless you're riding in a specially equipped ambulance called a mobile stroke unit (MSU).

A new study reports that suspected stroke patients in New York City who were taken to a nearby hospital via MSU began receiving criti...

Especially in the Young, Cholesterol Is No Friend to the Heart

TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Rising levels of cholesterol among young adults is strongly tied to long-term odds for the number one killer, heart disease, a new study finds.

The new global study involved data on more than 400,000 people from 38 different trials. Their health was tracked for an average of more than 13 years, but some were followe...

AHA News: Vegan Diet May Decrease Heart Disease, Stroke Risk in African Americans

TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Following a vegan diet for five weeks may decrease risk factors for heart disease, new research shows.

The study included 50 African Americans who were asked to eat only prepared meals delivered to their homes. A cardiovascular risk calculator was used to assess their risk of heart attack or stroke over the next 10 years. For...

Obesity Might Weaken Some Drugs' Effectiveness Against AFib

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of Americans have the potentially dangerous irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation.

Now, research suggests that being obese might undercut the effectiveness of certain drugs meant to treat AFib.

The new study followed more than 300 patients listed in the University of Illinois at Chicago's AFib Registry. Researc...

Muscle in Middle Age Might Help Men's Hearts Later

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged men who maintain their muscle mass may lower their risk of heart disease as they get older, a new study suggests.

Beginning in the mid-30s, muscle begins to decline by about 3% each decade. Previous studies found that muscle mass is associated with heart attack/stroke risk, but those studies focused on people with heart disease...

Expensive Device Used in Heart Surgeries Might Pose Dangers: Study

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A pricey high-tech pump that maintains blood flow during heart procedures could be more dangerous to patients than its low-tech predecessor, a pair of new studies finds.

The Impella device is associated with an increased risk of death, bleeding and stroke among patients undergoing angioplasty to re-open clogged arteries, two separate research ...

Study Casts Doubt on Angioplasty, Bypass for Many Heart Patients

SUNDAY, Nov. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Bypass operations, angioplasty and the placement of artery-opening stents: For decades, millions of Americans have undergone these expensive, invasive procedures to help treat clogged vessels.

However, the results of a large and long-awaited clinical trial suggests that, in most cases, these procedures may not have provided any benefit over m...

Cheap, Older Gout Drug Could Be a Lifesaver After Heart Attack

SUNDAY, Nov. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A cheap drug that's been around for centuries as a gout treatment might also shield heart attack survivors from future heart crises, new trial results show.

The drug, colchicine, is derived from a plant called the autumn crocus, researchers explained Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, in Philadelphia.

I...

AHA News: Treatment to Ward Off Stroke Less Effective in Women

THURSDAY, Nov. 14, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Women are at higher risk for stroke and have different stroke symptoms than men. Now, new research suggests another difference: less benefit from a surgery used to treat carotid artery disease, a key risk factor for stroke.

The disease, also called carotid stenosis, is marked by fatty deposits, called plaque, that build up ...

Too Few Heart Patients Getting Good Results From Medicines Alone

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A rigorous, new international study finds that, despite doctors' best efforts, many heart patients given standard drugs aren't meeting goals to lower their cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

The study involved nearly 4,000 patients, averaging 64 years of age, treated at centers around the world.

The researchers found that, one...

One-Third of Heart Patients Skip Their Flu Shot

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It seems like a no brainer: The flu shot protects heart patients from illness and death, so getting one should be the first thing they do every year before the season starts.

But new research shows that a third of these vulnerable patients don't get vaccinated.

"Patients need to be educated about the benefits of the flu vaccinati...

Artificial Intelligence Uses ECGs to Predict A-Fib Risk

TUESDAY, Nov. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In two studies, artificial intelligence was used with electrocardiogram (ECG) results to identify patients who are at increased risk for a potentially dangerous irregular heartbeat, and those more likely to die within a year, researchers say.

Using more than 2 million ECG results gathered over three decades, the team created "deep neural netw...

Frequent Pot Smokers Face Twice the Odds for Stroke

MONDAY, Nov. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking pot doesn't do your heart or your brain any favors, a pair of new studies shows.

Frequent pot smokers are more than twice as likely to suffer a stroke compared with those who don't partake, the first study found.

They're also more likely to be hospitalized for a dangerously erratic heart rhythm, according to the second study....

Evening Meals Could Harm the Female Heart, Study Shows

MONDAY, Nov. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Late dinners and heavy evening snacking do no favors for women's hearts, a new study suggests.

Researchers at New York City's Columbia University found that those who ate more of their daily calories in the evening had a higher risk of heart disease.

One cardiologist who looked over the new findings wasn't surprised by the effect.

AHA News: Stroke Death Rate Increasing for Middle-Aged Americans

THURSDAY, Nov. 7, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- In more than half of all counties across the country, a growing percentage of middle-aged Americans are dying of strokes, according to a new study.

The study – which examined stroke mortality rates at the county level – reveals a statistical jump previously masked by national data showing a leveling off of stroke...

Sleepless Nights Could Raise Heart Risks

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Sleep problems could increase your risk for heart attack, stroke and other heart and brain diseases, a new study suggests.

It included 487,200 people in China, average age 51, with no history of stroke or heart disease. They were asked if they had any of these problems three or more times a week: trouble falling asleep or staying asleep; wak...

Most Widely Prescribed Blood Pressure Med Might Not Be Best Option: Study

FRIDAY, Oct. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of Americans take an ACE inhibitor to help curb their high blood pressure -- in fact, these drugs are the most widely used antihypertensives in America.

However, a new international study of nearly 5 million patients is casting doubt on the notion that the drugs are as effective as another class of blood pressure medicines.

...

Could AI Beat Radiologists at Spotting Bleeds in the Brain?

THURSDAY, Oct. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Computer-driven artificial intelligence (AI) can help protect human brains from the damage wrought by stroke, a new report suggests.

A computer program trained to look for bleeding in the brain outperformed two of four certified radiologists, finding abnormalities in brain scans quickly and efficiently, the researchers reported.

"T...

PTSD Linked to Increased Risk of Stroke in Younger Adults

THURSDAY, Oct. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Young and middle-aged adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have an increased risk of stroke, new research suggests.

For the study, researchers analyzed medical data from more than 1 million veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They ranged in age from 18 to 60 years and two-thirds were white.

Of those, 29% h...

How Does Early Menopause Affect a Woman's Heart?

THURSDAY, Oct. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Menopause before age 50 puts women at increased risk of nonfatal heart conditions, and the earlier menopause occurs, the greater the risk, new research suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 300,000 women who were part of 15 studies around the world, and found that women who reached menopause before age 50 were more likely to hav...

Your Furry Best Friend Might Extend Your Life

TUESDAY, Oct. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Don't get too mad at that new puppy who piddled on the rug or chewed up your favorite slippers.

In the long run, that scamp is going to help you live a longer and healthier life.

A pair of new reports found that dog owners have a lower risk of early death than people without canine companionship, particularly when it comes to dying f...

Stroke Rate Continues to Fall Among Older Americans

TUESDAY, Oct. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Starting in the late 1980s, stroke rates among older Americans began to fall -- and the decline shows no signs of stopping, a new study finds.

The researchers found that between 1987 and 2017, the rate of stroke incidence among Americans aged 65 and older dropped by one-third per decade. The pattern has been steady, with no leveling off in rec...

Fish Oil Supplements May Do Your Heart Good

MONDAY, Sept. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of Americans pop a fish oil supplement each day, hoping to bolster their heart health. Now, research suggests they may be on the right track.

The most up-to-date review of data from 13 prior studies found daily omega-3 fish oil supplement use tied to a significant lowering of risk for heart attack, according to a team led by Dr. JoAn...

Evidence Builds That Optimism Might Lengthen Your Life

FRIDAY, Sept. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A sunny outlook on life may do more than make you smile: New research suggests it could also guard against heart attacks, strokes and early death.

In the review of 15 studies that collectively involved almost 230,000 men and women, the findings were remarkably consistent, the study authors added.

"We found that optimists had a 35...

Heavy Exposure to Pesticides May Boost Stroke Risk

FRIDAY, Sept. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Working around high levels of pesticides may translate into a high risk for heart trouble later, a new study suggests.

That was the case for a group of Japanese-American men in Hawaii who were followed for more than three decades. Compared to men who had not worked around pesticides, those who had the greatest exposure had a 45% higher ri...

AHA News: Why Aren't More Stroke Survivors Getting Statins?

THURSDAY, Sept. 26, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- People with a history of stroke are less likely than those with heart disease to get cholesterol-lowering statin drugs despite the benefits, a new study has found.

Statins help protect the heart and brain by preventing artery plaques — buildups of cholesterol, calcium and other substances in blood vessels — fro...

Walking Pace May Signal If Stroke Patients Can Return to Work

THURSDAY, Sept. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Walking speed may indicate whether young stroke survivors are ready to return to work, a new study suggests.

And 3 feet per second may be the threshold that predicts whether they can meet a workday's challenges, the researchers found.

One of every four people who has a stroke is younger than 65 years old. As many as 44% may be...

Mental Ills May Put Veterans at Higher Odds for Heart Trouble

TUESDAY, Sept. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Veterans who suffer from depression, anxiety, psychosis or bipolar disorder are more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or die from heart disease, a new study finds.

Those who have most severe mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, are at greatest risk.

Although it's unclear how mental problems affect heart disease r...

'Self-Silencing' Can Be Potentially Deadly for Women

TUESDAY, Sept. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Do you rarely express anger at those close to you? Is it difficult for you to reveal negative feelings in your relationships?

New research suggests that might make you more vulnerable to having a stroke.

In a study of women aged 40 to 60, those who suffered from "self-silencing" had an increased risk of having plaque in their carot...

Scientists Discover New Way Fat Harms Your Arteries

THURSDAY, Sept. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists may have found a way that obesity directly damages the arteries and contributes to heart disease -- a discovery that they say could eventually lead to new treatments.

The British researchers found that in heart disease patients who are obese, body fat surrounding the arteries tends to secrete high amounts of a protein called WNT5...

AHA News: These Diets Helped Women With Diabetes Cut Heart Attack, Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, Sept. 19, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Eating patterns similar to the Mediterranean diet and the blood pressure-lowering DASH may help older women with Type 2 diabetes ward off heart attacks, strokes and related problems, new research suggests.

Diabetes afflicts one-quarter of Americans 65 and older. An estimated 68% of these patients will die of heart dise...

Could Daily Low-Dose Aspirin Still Help Some People?

MONDAY, Sept. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Debate over the benefits and drawbacks of daily low-dose aspirin has flared in recent years, with guidelines now generally urging against the regimen to prevent a first heart attack or stroke in healthy people.

But some people with good heart health still might benefit from taking daily low-dose aspirin, a new study from New Zealand argues.

Occasional Naps Do a Heart Good, Swiss Study Finds

MONDAY, Sept. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could grabbing a nap once or twice a week help you live longer?

A new study reports the occasional nap appears to cut in half people's risk of heart attack, strokes and heart disease, compared with folks who never nap.

But more frequent napping provided no benefit, researchers found.

"In fact, we found that frequent nappers...

Having HIV May Heighten Stroke Risk

MONDAY, Sept. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People with HIV have a greatly increased risk of a common heart rhythm disorder that's a leading cause of stroke, a new study shows.

The increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) from HIV is similar to or higher than known risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure, according to researchers from the University of California, San Fr...

40-Year Study Sees Steady Rise in Pregnant Women's Blood Pressure

MONDAY, Sept. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Over the past four decades, the U.S. has seen a sharp rise in the number of pregnant women with high blood pressure, new research reveals.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from about 151 million hospitalizations between 1970 and 2010 to determine the rates of chronic high blood pressure in pregnant women aged 15 to 49.

C...

Aggressive Blood Pressure Treatment Does Not Put Seniors at Risk: Study

SATURDAY, Sept. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Intensive treatment to lower high blood pressure can decrease older adults' risk of sharp blood pressure drops that can cause dizziness and increase the likelihood of falling, a new study says.

It included more than 2,800 patients, average age 63, who had recently suffered a stroke.

Half received more ag...

Even Small Improvements in Cholesterol, Blood Pressure Help Prevent Heart Attack

THURSDAY, Sept. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Small, lasting changes in cholesterol and blood pressure levels can dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes over a lifetime, new research suggests.

The large study found that a combination of a drop in LDL cholesterol (the bad type) of 14 mg/dL and a 5 mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressur...

AHA News: Now a 2-Time Survivor, Tedy Bruschi Still Tackling Stroke Awareness

THURSDAY, Sept. 5, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Former NFL star Tedy Bruschi spent the last 14 years showing what a stroke survivor could do: continue playing pro football, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, run the Boston Marathon.

Now Bruschi is showing what a two-time stroke survivor can do.

Bruschi had his second stroke on July 4. Since then he's run a 7-mile road r...

Going Vegetarian Good for Your Heart, But May Up Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, Sept. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Vegetarianism is all the rage these days, but a new study suggests that slicing meat from your diet might raise your risk of stroke slightly.

While vegetarians had a 22% lower risk for heart disease, they had a 20% higher risk for stroke, British researchers found. Meanwhile, people who ate fish but no other meats (pescatarians) had ...

Poverty Makes Heart Failure Even More Lethal, Study Shows

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new study helps confirm a dismal reality: Poor Americans are more likely to die from heart failure than their richer counterparts.

The likely reasons? According to the researchers, higher obesity rates and associated increases in type 2 diabetes appear to be driving two-thirds of the trend.

"This study underscores the disparitie...

Hurricane Dorian Can Wreak Havoc on Heart Health

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As Hurricane Dorian rolls up the southeastern coast of the United States, most in its path worry about having enough water, food and batteries to ride the storm out.

But the American Heart Association (AHA) warns that the high stress and trauma of such an event can also trigger heart trouble, especially among heart disease and stroke patie...

Poor Circulation in Legs? Statin Meds Can Keep You Living Longer

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Folks with peripheral artery disease (PAD) have a much lower risk of death if they take cholesterol-lowering statins as directed by their doctor, a new study reports.

About 200 million people worldwide suffer from PAD, a condition in which arteries feeding blood to the legs become clogged, researchers explained.

However, patients who ...

Weight-Loss Surgery Drops Heart Disease, Death Risk for Diabetics

TUESDAY, Sept. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For people who are obese and have type 2 diabetes, weight-loss surgery leads to more than a slimmer figure.

It also reduces the risk of heart complications and premature death by about 40% compared to standard medical care, new research says.

The Cleveland Clinic researchers compared the impact of various types of weight-loss (ba...

Cancer Overtakes Heart Disease as #1 Killer of Middle-Aged in Wealthy Nations

TUESDAY, Sept. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Heart disease still claims the lives of more people globally, but in more affluent nations it has now ceded its place as the leading killer to cancer, a major new report finds.

Around the world, 40% of all deaths are caused by heart disease, making it the number one global killer. That means that of the estimated 55 million people who die...

For Men, Living Alone May Mean Poorer Control of Blood-Thinning Meds

MONDAY, Sept. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Men who are on the blood-thinning drug warfarin have more difficulty taking the medication if they live alone, but the same is not true for women, a new study finds.

Warfarin (brand-name Coumadin) is a common anti-clotting treatment to prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart ...

Long-Term 'Couch Potatoes' May Face Double the Odds for Early Death

SATURDAY, Aug. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Decades spent on couches, chairs and otherwise not exercising could mean much shorter lives, new research shows.

A Norwegian team who tracked health outcomes for more than 23,000 adults over 20 years found that those who were inactive over that time had twice the risk of a premature death, compared to those who we...

Rising Obesity Rates Undermining Strides Made Against Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Aug. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Rising obesity rates, coupled with an associated jump in diabetes and high blood pressure cases, appears to be undoing decades of gains made against heart disease, a new study finds.

After 2010, the rate of deaths from heart disease continued to drop, but more slowly. Deaths from stroke leveled off, and deaths from high blood pressure ("hyper...