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Music Might Help Soothe Ailing Hearts

Music influences people's heart rates, and one piece of music will affect individuals' hearts differently, a new, small study shows.

The findings could lead to novel, drug-free treatments for such conditions as high blood pressure and heart rhythm disorders, or to help people relax or stay alert, the researchers said.

Previous studies that examined physical responses to musi...

Drug Combos May Be Advance Against Heart Failure

Many patients with heart failure might live years longer if they were on a combination of newer medications, a study suggests.

Researchers estimate that if certain heart failure patients were prescribed a four-pill regimen -- including three recently proven therapies -- they could live up to six years longer, compared with the regimen patients commonly use.

The findings, pub...

High Blood Pressure May Affect More Pregnant Women Than Thought: Study

Twice as many women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy may be at an increased risk for heart and kidney disease than once thought, a new study suggests.

For the study, researchers collected data on more than 9,800 pregnancies among more than 7,500 women in Olmsted County, Minn., who gave birth between 1976 and 1982.

During that time, 659 women had 719 high blood...

Heart Attacks, Strokes Are Declining Among People With Diabetes

An Australian study has good news for people with type 2 diabetes -- fewer people with diabetes are having heart attacks and strokes compared to 20 years ago.

Heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular complications have declined in the general population, too. But the decreases among people with diabetes have outpaced those for the general population, the researchers said.

...

Have Heart Failure? Take Precautions During Pandemic

Heart failure raises the risk of complications and death from COVID-19, and requires extra vigilance during the pandemic, the American Heart Association (AHA) says.

More than 6 million people in the United States have heart failure. It occurs when the heart no longer pumps blood as well as it should.

"When the cardiac system is weakened by heart failure and unable to maintai...

Severe COVID-19 Might Injure the Heart

The new coronavirus may be a respiratory bug, but it's becoming clear that some severely ill patients sustain heart damage. And it may substantially raise their risk of death, doctors in China are reporting.

They found that among 416 patients hospitalized for severe COVID-19 infections, almost 20% developed damage to the heart muscle. More than half of those patients died.

...

Weight-Loss Surgery May Cut Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

Weight-loss surgery is associated with a significantly lower risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure and death, a new study reveals.

The study included more than 7,400 severely obese people, average age 36, in Denmark who had not suffered a heart attack or stroke. Half of the participants had weight-loss ("bariatric") surgery and half did not (the "control" group).

Over ...

U.S. Deaths From High Blood Pressure Soar, Especially in the South: Study

There's been a sharp increase in high blood pressure-related deaths in the United States, particularly in rural areas, a new study says.

Researchers analyzed data on more than 10 million U.S. deaths between 2007 and 2017 and found that death rates linked to high blood pressure (hypertension) rose 72% in rural areas and 20% in urban areas.

The increase was highest in ...

Statins Might Reduce Harms From Breast Cancer Chemo

Cholesterol-lowering statins are commonly used to help prevent heart disease. Now a new study hints that they could shield women's hearts from the harms of certain breast cancer drugs.

The study focused on women in Canada who'd been treated with either chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines or the medication Herceptin. Though the treatments can be lifesaving, they can also damage th...

Certain Cancers Linked to Higher A-Fib Risk, Study Finds

People with a history of certain cancers have more than double the risk for the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation, a new study says.

A-fib is a common disorder that can lead to palpitations, dizziness and fatigue. Untreated, it can cause blood clots, stroke and heart failure, and people with a-fib have five times the risk of stroke than other people.

"When we looked ...

Medical Groups Say Heart Meds Don't Worsen COVID-19 Symptoms

Two types of heart medications do not make coronavirus infection worse, three major U.S. medical groups say in a new joint statement meant to dispel misinformation about the use of the medications in people with COVID-19.

The American Heart Association (AHA), the Heart Failure Society of America and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) recommend continuation of angiotensin-...

Recommended Diuretic Drug Tied to Harmful Side Effects

Patients taking a common diuretic to help lower blood pressure may be better off with a similarly effective but safer one, a new study suggests.

Current guidelines recommend the drug chlorthalidone (Thalitone) as the first-line diuretic. But it can have serious side effects that can be avoided with another diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide (Hydrodiuril), researchers say.

"Diur...

Radiation Treatment Is Hard on the Heart

Radiation therapy that targets cancers in the chest area can tax the heart and trigger high levels of fatigue, breathing problems and a reduced ability to exercise, a new study suggests.

However, doing more physical activity before undergoing radiation therapy may help reduce these problems, the researchers added.

"This study suggests that when a patient is treated wi...

AHA News: Millions Are Learning to Live With Heart Failure

It was almost six years to the day after Aimee Rodriguez-Zepeda completed her chemotherapy that doctors listened to her heart and gave her the bad news.

"I was exhausted," she said. "They found my heart was only working at 20% capacity." Her condition - heart failure - was likely caused by the chemotherapy that saved the former Marine from uterine cancer, combined with a family h...

Heart Transplants From Donors With Hepatitis C May Be Safe: Study

One-year survival rates are similar for transplant patients who receive a heart from a donor with hepatitis C or one without the infectious virus, a new study finds.

The researchers suggest that using hearts from donors with hepatitis C, a viral infection of the liver, may be safe and could help reduce a U.S. organ shortage.

The study included nearly 7,900 adults with heart ...

Heart Disease May Up Risk of Kidney Failure

Heart disease may increase your odds for kidney failure, a new study finds.

"Individuals with a history of cardiovascular disease should be recognized as a high-risk population for kidney failure," said study leader Dr. Junichi Ishigami, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

"Physicians should be aware of cardiovascular disease as an important ris...

Study Casts Doubt on Use of Common Heart Failure Drugs

Millions of Americans with heart failure take one of the family of beta blocker medications to help ease the condition. But in many cases, could the meds be doing more harm than good?

A new study found that taking beta blockers was associated with an increased risk of hospitalization for patients with a certain form of heart failure.

It's commonly called the "stiff heart" su...

Cleaner Teeth, Healthier Heart?

Brushing your teeth may be good for your heart, a new study suggests.

It included more than 161,000 South Korean adults, ages 40 to 79, with no history of heart failure or the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation.

Between 2003 and 2004, participants had a routine medical exam and were asked about a wide range of lifestyle habits, including ho...

Diabetes Tougher on Women's Hearts

Diabetes might be more deadly for women than men, at least when it comes to heart troubles, new research shows.

Heart disease occurs an average of 15 years earlier in people with diabetes, and is their main cause of illness and death. In women, the connection between diabetes and heart disease is particularly strong.

Worldwide, more women die due to diabetes than men, 2.1 mi...

Fish Oil Is Good Medicine for Heart Failure

Fish oil might help people with heart failure avoid repeat trips to the hospital, a new study suggests.

The findings come from an analysis of a clinical trial first published last year, where researchers tested the effects of fish oil and vitamin D on people's risk of heart disease and cancer.

That main trial -- called the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL) -- had some enco...

Cancer Risk May Rise After Heart Attack

Here's some worrisome news for folks who manage to survive a heart attack: New research suggests they might be far more vulnerable to developing cancer down the road.

People who suffered a heart health scare -- a heart attack, heart failure or a dangerously erratic heart rhythm -- had a more than sevenfold increased risk for subsequently developing cancer, compared to those with healt...

Frequent Pot Smokers Face Twice the Odds for Stroke

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.

Both studies are to be presente...

Weight-Loss Surgery Protects Heart Patients From Future Trouble

If you're an obese heart patient, weight-loss surgery might be good medicine for you.

New research suggests it significantly reduces the risk of heart failure and fatal heart attack in this vulnerable group.

"Our findings suggest, for the first time, that bariatric [weight-loss] surgery can prevent the development of systolic heart failure and remarkably reduce death from re...

'Dramatic Increase' Seen in U.S. Deaths From Heart Failure

Heart failure deaths are reaching epidemic proportions among America's seniors, a new study finds.

About one in eight deaths from heart disease are from heart failure, and nine out of 10 are among those over 65 years of age, researchers report.

"We are now in the midst of a 'silver tsunami' of heart disease and heart failure," said senior study author Dr. Jamal Rana, chief o...

Not All Heart Failure Patients Get Same Level of Care, Study Finds

If you're black or Hispanic and hospitalized for heart failure, new research suggests you're less likely to be treated in special cardiac care units.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on nearly 2,000 patients treated for heart failure at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston over 10 years.

"These outcomes are both unjust and avoidable, and in no way unique to a singl...

Language Barriers May Mean Repeat Visits to the Hospital

Language barriers between doctors and patients may translate into return visits to the hospital for certain heart or lung conditions, a new study suggests.

Conducted at two urban hospitals in Canada, the study found the heightened risks among patients with limited English skills who were suffering from either heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) -- which inclu...

Bedtime May Be Best Time for Blood Pressure Meds

Taking blood pressure medications at bedtime rather than in the morning nearly halves the risk of dying from a heart attack, stroke or heart failure, a large, new study finds.

Researchers in Spain followed more than 19,000 adults with high blood pressure. They found that people who took all their blood pressure meds at night had lower blood pressure around the clock compared to volunt...

Exercise Might Guard Against Heart Damage of Chemo

Chemotherapy can be hard on the heart, but an individualized exercise program may mitigate some of that damage, new research suggests.

Heart problems are a common side effect in patients with cancer because cancer treatments can impair heart function and structure or accelerate development of heart disease, especially when patients have risk factors such as high blood pressure, accor...

Opioid Epidemic Tied to Doubling of Dangerous Heart Infections

Addiction and overdose deaths aren't the only consequence of America's opioid epidemic. Cases of a potentially deadly heart infection have risen alarmingly, too, a new study finds.

This bacterial infection, called infective endocarditis, often affects young, poor white men who share needles. Many also have HIV, hepatitis C and alcohol abuse, the researchers said.

Looking at ...

AHA News: Women With Heart Failure Less Likely to Get Heart Pump Device

Women are less likely than men to receive a mechanical heart pump that is becoming the norm for people with advanced heart failure, according to new research.

The study, published Friday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure, took a deeper look at long-standing differences in how women are treated for heart failure, a chronic, progressive conditi...

Occasional Naps Do a Heart Good, Swiss Study Finds

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 had initially a higher risk for incident ...

Poverty Makes Heart Failure Even More Lethal, Study Shows

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 disparities in health care faced by many Americans," Dr...

Asian Study Finds Diabetes, Heart Failure a Dangerous Duo

Asian heart failure patients who also have type 2 diabetes can develop changes in the structure of their heart and are at increased risk for hospitalizations and premature death, a new study finds.

Diabetes is on the rise worldwide, and it's common for patients to have both diabetes and heart failure.

There has been extensive research into the combination among Western patie...

How Does Meth Trigger Heart Disease? New Research Offers Clues

Autopsies have uncovered new insight into how the illegal drug methamphetamine harms the heart.

Preliminary findings presented Thursday at an American Heart Association meeting, in Boston, suggest that meth triggers a buildup of tough protein fibers known as collagen in the heart muscle.

Previous autopsy studies have noted injury to heart cells, scarring and enlargement of ...

Diabetes Raises Heart Failure Risk More in Women Than Men

Diabetes brings with it a variety of long-term complications, but at least one of those -- heart failure -- is a bigger threat to women than men, new research suggests.

The risk difference was even more pronounced for women with type 1 diabetes.

"Our global review of 12 million people shows that having diabetes increases the risk of heart failure in both women and men. Howe...

Surgery Helps Babies Missing a Heart Chamber Survive, But Problems Linger

When babies are born without one heart chamber, a special surgery can save their lives. But a new study shows that these patients face lifelong health issues that require special care.

Still, a new American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement says, they can have rich and fulfilling lives.

A normal heart has two lower chambers, called ventricles. One pumps blood to ...

FDA Updates Cases of Food-Related Heart Disease in Pets

More than 500 reports of heart disease in dogs and cats linked to some pet foods have been confirmed, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

The cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) -- 515 in dogs and nine in cats -- were logged between January 2014 and April 2019. Some of the reports involved more than one pet in a household, so the total number of pets affected is lik...

'Double-Edged Sword': Lung Cancer Radiation Rx May Raise Heart Attack Risk

Radiation treatment for lung cancer can help extend lives, but it might also raise a patient's odds for heart attacks and heart failure, a new study shows.

Many patients may have no choice but to accept the risk: For about half of people diagnosed with the number one cancer killer, radiation remains the only viable treatment, the research team noted.

"This is alarming data -...

How Your Marital Status Affects Your Odds of Dying From Heart Disease

Your gender and marital status hold telling clues about your risk of dying of heart disease, a large British study suggests.

It found that widowed and divorced men have significantly higher odds of death due to heart disease than women of the same marital status. But single men are more likely to survive heart failure than single women.

Compared to widows, men whose spouses ...

AHA News: Diabetes and Heart Failure Are Linked; Treatment Should Be Too

Having Type 2 diabetes or heart failure independently increases the risk for getting the other, and both often occur together, further worsening a patient's health, quality of life and care costs, a new report says.

Many of the risk factors and mechanisms behind Type 2 diabetes and heart failure are similar, yet there's a lack of guidance on how to care for people with both condition...

Many Heart Failure Patients Might Safely Reduce Use of Diuretics

Heart failure is a common ailment afflicting older Americans, and many take drugs called diuretics to rid the body of excess fluid buildup that can impede breathing.

Now, a team of Brazilian researchers say that, in some cases, it's safe for patients with stable heart failure to stop taking diuretic drugs.

"Patients don't like using diuretics because they feel they have to s...

For People With Heart Failure, Loneliness Can Mean Worse Care

Fewer than 1 in 10 heart failure patients follow lifestyle treatment recommendations, and a new study suggests that loneliness is a major reason why.

Polish researchers assessed 475 heart failure patients' compliance with a regimen of restricting salt and fluid intake, being physically active, and weighing themselves each day.

Only 7 of the patients followed all four li...

Fertility Treatment Tied to Deadly Heart Problem in Pregnancy: Study

The risk of a pregnancy-related type of heart failure is five times higher for women who undergo fertility treatment than those who conceive naturally, a new study says.

The condition is called peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM). It affects about 1 in 1,000 pregnant women worldwide and is life-threatening to the mother and baby.

This study included 111 women with PPCM and was ...

Diet for Blood Pressure May Also Reduce Heart Failure Risk

The DASH diet's mission is to fight high blood pressure. But a new study suggests that the eating plan may also significantly lower the risk of heart failure in people younger than 75.

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The diet is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products. It's low in salt, red meat, sweets and suga...

Heavy Teen Boys May Face Higher Heart Disease Risk as Adults

Just a few extra pounds during adolescence may translate into higher odds for heart disease in adulthood, a new study of young men suggests.

It included about 1.7 million Swedish men who began military service at ages 18 or 19 between 1969 and 2005. They were followed for up to 46 years.

During the follow-up, nearly 4,500 were diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, an uncommon heart...

Heart Attack Rehab at Home Could Save Lives

MONDAY, May 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you had a heart attack and could get rehab therapy at home, would you be more likely to get the follow-up care that doctors recommend?

A new scientific statement says you would, and advocates for the option to be more widely available because so many patients never get the therapy -- often because health insurance companies don't cover at-h...

U.S. Heart Failure Rates Are Rising, Especially for Black Adults

Most people are terrified of having a heart attack, but they might also need to worry about heart failure, particularly if they are black.

After years of decline and despite treatment advances, the risk of dying early from heart failure-related causes started increasing after 2012, new research shows. Black men seem especially hard hit by this troubling new trend, the study authors n...

Veggies, Fruits and Grains Keep Your Heart Pumping

As if you needed any more proof that fruits, vegetables and whole grains are good for you, a new study finds they may cut your chances of heart failure by 41%.

Conversely, the so-called Southern diet, which focuses on meats, fried and processed foods and lots of sweet tea, was tied to a 72% increased risk of heart failure.

"Eat more plants, limit red and processed me...

Quick Test Helps Predict Hospital Readmission Risk After Heart Attack

For elderly heart attack survivors, how well they perform on a simple mobility test could help predict whether they will be back in the hospital within a month, researchers say.

Nearly one in five of these heart patients are readmitted with complications such as heart failure, bleeding or irregular heart beat within 30 days after leaving the hospital.

The new study included ...

Grief, Divorce Can Really Tax the Heart

For some people, the stress of dealing with a particularly rough patch in life or trauma may also strain the heart, a large new study suggests.

The research, based on over 1.6 million Swedish adults, found that those diagnosed with a stress-related disorder faced a higher risk of suffering a heart attack or other cardiovascular trouble over the next year.

The disorders range...