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Heart Disease Still America's Top Killer, Although the Death Rate Has Declined

Heart disease remains the United States' top cause of death, but progress is being made and more lives are being saved, a new report finds.

There were 931,578 heart-related deaths in 2021, an increase of less than 3,000 from the year before, the report from the American Heart Association (AHA) showed.

But overall, death rates from heart disease have declined 60% since the 1950s, AHA...

Flu, COVID Are Spreading: Protect Your Heart

Flu and COVID are sweeping across the country, posing a particular hazard to people at risk for heart disease.

These respiratory infections can trigger heart complications from fever, dehydration and inflammation, experts from Mount Sinai Fuster Heart Hospital say.

Mount Sinai doctors are seeing an increase in heart problems prompted by respiratory infections, and it's happening acr...

Depression Can Strike Patients With Heart Failure, But Two Therapies Help

Depression affects half of the 6 million Americans who struggle with debilitating heart failure.

Now, research shows that two leading modes of treatment -- antidepressants and an approach called behavioral activation psychotherapy -- work equally well to ease depression among these patients.

Behavioral activation psychotherapy works by promoting involvement in activities that the p...

Drug May Help Childhood Cancer Survivors Avoid Later Heart Failure

Childhood cancer survivors are at increased risk of developing heart failure later in life, due to the chemotherapy that was used to save their lives.

But an already approved drug might help reduce that risk, according to a new report published Jan. 9 in The Lancet Oncology journal

Neighborhoods Influence Whether or Not Folks Take Their Heart Failure Meds

Heart failure is a major killer.

However, a new study finds that heart failure patients living in poorer neighborhoods are much less likely to pick up lifesaving meds from local pharmacies, compared to patients living in more affluent locales.

The reasons behind the disparity aren't clear, said senior study author Samrachana...

Stem Cell Therapy Boosts Quality of Life for People With Advanced Heart Failure

Patients with advanced heart failure can benefit from stem cell therapy, a large, new clinical trial has found.

Injections of stem cells programmed to heal damaged heart tissue wound up improving overall quality of life for heart failure patients, compared to those who received a placebo treatment.

“Data from one of the largest cardiovascular cell therapy trials, testing a regener...

Marijuana Use Could Raise Odds for Heart Attack, Heart Failure

People who regularly smoke medical marijuana may be increasing their risk for a heart attack, heart failure or stroke, new research suggests.

One study found that cannabis use among older patients increases the risk of heart attack or stroke by 20%. The second study found that using cannabis increased the risk of heart failure by 34%.

The studies are scheduled for presentation at an...

Strike a Pose: Yoga Helps Heart Failure Patients

Heart failure can make everyday activities and exercise tough to carry out, but yoga might be a beneficial add-on to standard care.

A new study from India finds this ancient practice improves quality of life and cardio functioning.

“Our patients observed improvement in systolic blood pressure and heart rate compared to patients who were on medication without yoga,” said lea...

Wegovy May Be Valuable New Option for Heart Failure Patients

Weight-loss drug Wegovy (semaglutide) and its diabetes-focused cousin, Ozempic, have already upended the treatment of both obesity and diabetes, with sales of both drugs skyrocketing.

Now, injected Wegovy could prove a boon for many patients battling heart failure, a new study suggests. The trial results were presented Friday in Amsterdam at the annual meeting of the European Society of C...

Step Counts Aren't Just for the Healthy: They Also Help Heart Failure Patients

Wearable devices like smartwatches continually track physical activity, urging folks to take more daily steps for their health.

Now, a new study suggests this gentle technological nagging could be of great benefit to people whose hearts are giving out.

Heart failure patients who get between 1,000 and 5,000 steps a day have significantly improved symptoms and fewer physical limitatio...

Redlining May Raise Heart Failure Risk Among Black Americans

In areas where Black Americans have been historically affected by discriminatory housing practices, there is higher heart failure risk, according to new research.

Researchers studying more than 2.3 million U.S. adults between 2014 and 2019 found that heart failure today was linked to "redlining," which began in the 1930s. Heart failure risk for Black people who lived in these redlined ZIP...

Could Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fuel Heart Failure Risk?

Call it a hand signal of sorts.

New research from Germany shows that the common nerve disorder carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), may be a harbinger for heart failure among older folks.

In a study of 164,000 people, those 60 years or older who had the condition, which causes pain, weakness and numbness in the hand and wrist, had nearly a 50% higher risk for heart failure.

But the a...

3 Men Rid Themselves of a Deadly Heart Condition. Finding Out How Might Help Others

Patients who develop a devastating heart condition have new reason to hope after a study identified three men whose condition spontaneously reversed.

The condition is called transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis. It involves a buildup of sticky, toxic proteins that can lead to heart failure. About half of patients die from the progressive disease within four years of diagnosis.

Until no...

Large Study Supports Less Invasive Way to Treat 'Leaky' Heart Valves

When one of the heart's valves springs a big leak, that can spell big trouble.

The good news: The condition, known as degenerative mitral regurgitation (DMR), is treatable using a minimally invasive intervention known as TEER (transcatheter edge-to-edge repair), a procedure that involves the insertion of a small clip to enable proper valve closure and blood flow.

The better news? A ...

Do All Heart Attack Survivors Need Long-Term Beta Blocker Meds?

It's standard for heart attack survivors to take beta blocker medications for years afterward, but a new study suggests that may be unnecessary for people who've had a milder heart attack.

Researchers found that among heart attack survivors whose hearts still had normal pumping ability, there was no added benefit from using beta blockers for more than one year. They were no less lik...

New 'E-Tattoo' Is Worn on Chest to Track Your Heart Health

Could an electronic chest “tattoo” -- wireless, lightweight and razor-thin -- upend heart monitoring and lower the odds of heart disease for folks who are at high-risk?

Just possibly.

The clear patch in question is not quite 4 by 5 inches in size, weighs less than an ounce, and is powered by a battery no bigger than a penny and just like a temporary tattoo sticker, it's designe...

Black Cancer Patients Much More Prone to Chemo-Linked Heart Trouble

Sometimes cancer, and the treatments meant to eradicate it, can damage the heart and blood vessels. Now, a new analysis finds that damage may be much more likely if the patient is Black.

Black patients had 71% higher odds of developing what is known as cardiotoxicity following chemotherapy when compared to white patients. They also had increased odds of being diagnosed with congest...

When BMI Isn't Used as Measurement, Obesity's Health 'Benefit' Disappears

Much has been made of the so-called “obesity paradox” -- the observation that people with a heart condition seem less likely to die if they are overweight or obese.

But European researchers now say they've debunked that theory, which was based on earlier research that relied on body mass index (BMI, a measure based on weight and height) to judge whether a person carried excess weight....

Stick-on Sensor Could Warn of Heart Failure Complications

A stick-on sensor may help keep people with heart failure out of the hospital, new research suggests.

Investigators found that when doctors had actionable information about patients' conditions, delivered remotely through this noninvasive device, it prompted them to adjust medications earlier and prevent complications from escalating. Patients with heart failure who used this device were...

Too Little Dietary Salt Can Mean Trouble for Heart Failure Patients

It may seem counterintuitive, but a new study review suggests that consuming too little salt could be harmful to heart failure patients.

Doctors currently recommend a low-sodium diet to lower blood pressure and avoid fluid buildup and swelling, which can be common symptoms for heart failure. The condition develops when the heart muscle becomes too weak or stiff to effectively pump blood ...

Lifelong Bachelors Fare Worse When Heart Failure Strikes

When heart failure strikes, being a lifelong bachelor may mean you might die sooner than women or previously married men diagnosed with the same condition, a new study suggests.

Lifetime marital history appears to be an important predictor of survival in men with heart failure, but not women. Specifically, lifelong bachelors had significantly worse long-term survival than men who had bee...

How Phone Calls Could Boost Survival for Heart Failure Patients

A phone call from a nurse may be the lifeline needed to help improve survival for heart failure patients.

New research from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles finds that check-in calls may help save lives.

“There's a lot of new technology and new ideas about how to manage people who have heart failure remotely, but we demonstrated that low-tech and old-fash...

Sepsis Raises Odds for Heart Failure After Hospital Discharge

Having sepsis -- a life-threatening response to infection -- may put patients at risk for future heart failure and rehospitalization, according to a new study.

Sepsis is an extreme immune response to an infection in the body. It can cause that infection to spread throughout the body and lead to organ failure and possibly death.

“We know that infection may be a potential tr...

Risks for Heart Failure Rise in Rural America

Adults who live in rural areas, and Black men in particular, are at much higher risk for developing heart failure.

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition that develops when the heart fails to pump enough blood for the body's needs.

Researchers from the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., anal...

Is There a Best Diuretic Drug for Heart Failure?

It doesn't matter which water pill you're prescribed to treat your heart failure, because new trial data shows that one works as well as the other.

Two diuretics widely used to treat heart failure, furosemide and torsemide, showed no difference in their ability to improve patient survival, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored trial.

“We're not saying...

Herbals, Yoga, Ginkgo: What Alternative Treatments Help Fight Heart Failure?

It's tempting to follow the latest trend when it comes to health care, but for patients who live with heart failure, some alternative treatments could have serious consequences.

To address the issue, the American Heart Association (AHA) has published a new scientific statement covering a wide range of alternative therapies and their impact on heart failure. It also offers guidance for he...

Climate Change's Extreme Temperatures Could Mean More Heart Deaths

Both extremely hot and very cold days take their toll on people who have heart disease, particularly those with heart failure.

A new multinational analysis of 32 million heart-related deaths over the past 40 years found more occurred on days with severe temperatures, an issue that climate change could make even worse.

Although the greatest number of deaths were due to heart failure,...

Cases of Meth-Linked Heart Failure Are Spreading Worldwide

Methamphetamine wreaks havoc on the heart, warns new research that shows heart failure rates linked to the illicit drug are on the rise around the world.

Not only are these cases increasing, but they are more severe than traditional heart failure cases and they are striking all racial and socioeconomic groups.

“The increasing prevalence of meth [heart failure] across racial/ethn...

Flu Shot Could Be Lifesaver for Folks With Heart Failure

People battling heart failure should make the time to get their flu shots now, a new study suggests.

Not only will the shots help prevent influenza in this high-risk group, but it could also reduce pneumonia infections and cardiac complications, researchers report.

"If you have heart failure, you should get your flu shot because it can save your life -- that is what we found in thi...

Raise Med Dosages in Weeks After Heart Failure Crisis for Better Outcome: Study

When people with heart failure wind up in the hospital, it tends to become a slippery slope: They are more likely to be readmitted or die within six months during this vulnerable period.

Now, new research shows that ramping up doses of three heart failure medications within two weeks of hospital discharge along with more frequent follow-up visits cuts the risk of both hospital readmission...

Study Compares 2 Common Diuretics Used in Heart Failure

Patients with heart failure are often prescribed a diuretic or "water pill" to prevent fluid buildup. A new study has found that two often-prescribed medications work equally well at reducing deaths.

"Given that the two different therapies provide the same effect on outcomes, we shouldn't spend time switching patients from one to the other, and instead concentrate on giving the right dos...

Hearts From Donors Who Had COVID Are Safe for Transplant

A person with heart failure in dire need of a new heart may have faced delays in getting one during the pandemic when potential donors tested positive for COVID-19.

As some centers began accepting these hearts for transplant anyway, data from a new study shows that...

Black Americans Less Likely to Get Lifesaving Heart Treatments

A person with advanced heart failure may often need a heart transplant or a mechanical heart pump to survive.

But white patients are twice as likely as Black patients to get this critically important care, a new study finds, and racial bias may be the reason why.

A Hotter World Can Worsen Heart Failure

Climate change could spell trouble for those with heart failure, a new study suggests.

When the temperatures soared in France during the summer of 2019, the heat wave appears to have worsened the conditions of heart failure patients, researchers report.

"The finding is timely, given the heat waves again this year," said study a...

Smoking Can Really Weaken the Heart

Smoking is even worse for your heart than you might already think, new Danish research warns.

"It is well known that smoking causes blocked arteries, leading to coronary heart disease and stroke," said researcher Dr. Eva Holt, of Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Copenh...

Certain Painkillers Raise Heart Failure Risk in People With Type 2 Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes might face a substantially increased risk of heart failure if they take ibuprofen or some other type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), a new Danish study indicates.

Short-term

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 24, 2022
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  • Watch Out for the Warning Signs of Heart Failure

    Heart failure can develop at any age, but it can be prevented or treated, one cardiologist says.

    Heart failure happens when the heart becomes too stiff or weak, no longer able to keep up with the body's demands for pumping blood. The primary cause is heart disease, but the heart muscle...

    More Young Americans Are Dying of Heart Failure

    A growing number of younger American adults are dying of heart failure, with Black Americans being the hardest-hit, a new study finds.

    Heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart muscle cannot pump blood as well as it should, leading to symptoms like fat...

    Prostate Cancer Treatment May Raise Heart Risks

    Hormone therapy is a common treatment option for prostate cancer, but it may increase the risk of death from heart disease, especially in older men, a new study finds.

    Dr. William Dahut, a prostate cancer researcher and chief scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, said the study from Lithuania provides more evidence that starting hormonal therapy requires careful thought, par...

    Fat Around the Liver Raises Risk for Heart Failure

    About 30% of adults around the world have a buildup of fat in the liver, a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

    Now an international team of researchers has linked that condition to a heightened risk of heart failure.

    NAFLD, as it is called for short, is increasing rapidly because of rising rates of overweight and obesity, the researchers noted.

    They reviewed ...

    Men Often Die Before Women, and the Y Chromosome May Be to Blame

    Scientists have unearthed a possible reason why men tend to die at younger ages than women: Those who lose Y chromosomes from their blood cells as they age may be more vulnerable to heart tissue scarring and heart failure.

    The research is the latest to look at the phenomenon of "

    Grief Can Be Heartbreaking for People Battling Heart Failure

    Can someone really die of a broken heart?

    If that person has serious heart disease, new Swedish research suggests the answer may well be yes.

    After analyzing almost three decades worth of data on nearly half a million heart failure p...

    A-Fib After Any Surgery Raises Odds for Heart Failure

    The risk of being hospitalized for heart failure after surgery is higher in patients who develop an abnormal heart rhythm, a new, large study shows.

    Of more than 76,000 heart surgery patients, about 18.8% developed post-operative atrial fibrillation (A-Fib). Researchers found their risk of hospitaliz...

    Cancer Survivors Face Higher Heart Risks Later

    If you survive cancer, you're more apt to have heart trouble later on, a new study shows.

    Researchers found that compared to others, cancer survivors had a 42% greater risk of heart disease, most likely due to

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 30, 2022
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  • Pandemic Gave Clues to Cause of Rare Heart Condition in Kids

    A decline in cases of a rare heart disease in children during the COVID pandemic may provide clues about its cause and how to prevent it, researchers say.

    Kawasaki disease (KD) affects fewer than 6,000 kids in the United States each year, but is the most common acquired heart disease in children. Symptoms include f...

    Extreme Heat Can Bring Extreme Heart Dangers

    The record-breaking heat that's scorching much of the United States this week poses significant heart dangers, and you need to take steps to protect yourself, the American Heart Association (AHA) says.

    That's especially true for older adults and people with high blood pressure

    Unvaccinated People With Heart Failure Face Triple the Odds of Fatal COVID

    Heart failure patients who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 have a three times higher risk of death if they get the disease than those who are fully vaccinated and have received one booster, new research shows.

    The findings are crucial because many heart failure patients are reluctant to get COVID-19 shots due to concerns ab...

    Gout Medicine May Also Help Fight Heart Failure

    The anti-inflammatory benefits of a common gout medicine may help save the lives of heart failure patients, researchers say.

    The medication, colchicine, could also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients whose arteries are clogged with cholesterol, according to t...

    AHA News: Falls Can Be a Serious, Poorly Understood Threat to People With Heart Disease

    Falls pose a major risk to people with heart problems, and health experts need to do more to understand and prevent the danger, a new report says.

    "Falls are very common," said Dr. Sarah Goodlin, senior author of the scientific statement from the American Heart Association. They are associated with serious injuries, and just the fear of falling can limit a person's quality of life.

    ...

    Virus Found in Pig Heart Transplanted Into Man Who Later Died

    An investigation into the death of the first person to receive a heart transplant from a pig has discovered that the organ had an animal virus, but it's not clear if the virus was a factor in the patient's death, University of Maryland Medical Center doctors say.

    They found viral DNA inside the pig heart transplanted into 57-year-old David Bennett Sr., 57, who

  • By Robert Preidt and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • May 6, 2022
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