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AHA News: Adopted Baby's Unexpected Heart Problem Brought Unexpected Joy

FRIDAY, Sept. 20, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- When their hopes of adopting a child from China were stretched thin by years of wait, Vanessa and Chris Zoog asked for a baby with a physical issue – one who could use an extra dollop of love. Doing so, they learned, would expedite the adoption process.

The New Jersey family, which includes their son Noah, talked about...

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...

Intense Gaming Can Trigger Irregular Heartbeat, Fainting in Some Players

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Video games that guarantee heart-stopping action might come dangerously close to fulfilling that promise in some players.

A handful of video gamers have passed out when intense sessions caused their heartbeat to lapse into an irregular rhythm known as an arrhythmia, researchers report.

Three boys between the ages of 10 and 15 sep...

Opioid Epidemic Tied to Doubling of Dangerous Heart Infections

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- 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 abus...

Radiation Rx Might Ease a Dangerous Irregular Heart Beat

TUESDAY, Sept. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new technique that uses a targeted high dose of radiation seems to prevent recurrence of a potentially deadly heartbeat for at least two years, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.

This irregular rhythm, called ventricular tachycardia (VT), occurs when the heart's lower chambers start to beat uncon...

AHA News: Vitamin D Is Good for the Bones, But What About the Heart?

TUESDAY, Sept. 17, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Vitamin D plays an important role in overall health, but if you've been taking supplements to strengthen your heart, recent research may disappoint you.

Although vitamin D is best known for its role in developing strong bones, low blood levels have been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. But recent st...

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.

Heart Attack Can Be More Lethal If Symptoms Are More Gradual

THURSDAY, Sept. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Heart attack patients often take longer to seek help if they have gradual symptoms, which may put them at increased risk of death, researchers say.

Gradual symptoms begin with mild discomfort that slowly worsens, while abrupt symptoms are sudden and severe pain, according to authors of a study published Sept. 12 in the European Journal o...

Lung Cancer Screening Can Detect Other Smoking Ills

THURSDAY, Sept. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- CT lung cancer screening can detect other serious smoking-related conditions, such as heart disease, osteoporosis and emphysema, researchers say.

Medical experts consider lung cancer screening an effective way to detect malignant tumors at earlier, more treatable stages. Now, new research suggests low-dose CT scans of the lungs could also i...

AHA News: How to Fix a Flint Neighborhood? 'Come at It From All Sides'

TUESDAY, Sept. 10, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- A music production studio, boxing lessons, employment programs, and health and wellness projects – just some of the elements it takes to reinvigorate a community.

It's the work of the Urban Renaissance Center in Flint, Mich., a nonprofit restoring life to Civic Park, a predominantly black neighborhood that has faced se...

How to Fight Hidden Causes of Inflammation

TUESDAY, Sept. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Tamping down inflammation is a must for people with a chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. But you can be exposed to damaging inflammation without having a specific medical condition.

Inflammation prevents the body from adequately reacting to stressors and puts the aging process on an unwanted fast track, increas...

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...

HRT Could Benefit Younger Women After Hysterectomy

MONDAY, Sept. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Estrogen therapy may help younger women live longer after having their uterus and ovaries surgically removed, new research reports.

The study found that when women under 60 received hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after surgery, their risk of dying during the 18-year follow-up period decreased by almost one-third compared to women taking a ...

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...

AHA News: Less TV, More Activity May Mean Extra Years Free of Heart Disease and Stroke

MONDAY, Sept. 9, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- People who watch less TV and are physically active live more years free of heart disease, according to a new study.

Past research has shown people who are highly physically active tend to live more years free of cardiovascular disease. But researchers of a study published Monday in the Journal of the American Heart Associa...

'Hot' Yoga, Hula Dance Your Way to Healthy Blood Pressure

SATURDAY, Sept. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate exercise is known to improve blood pressure -- and that may include activities that are more exotic than a brisk walk, two preliminary studies suggest.

In one, researchers found that "hot" yoga classes lowered blood pressure in a small group of people with modestly elevated numbers. In the other, hula dan...

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...

AHA News: Scientists Find Biological Link Between High Blood Pressure and Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Sept. 6, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Researchers have identified a protein that may be a risk factor for both high blood pressure and breast cancer.

Previous studies have found women with high blood pressure have about a 15% increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to women with normal blood pressure. High levels of the protein GRK4 (G-protein cou...

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: So You Think You Can Survive a Heart Attack? Nigel Lythgoe Tells His Story

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Reality TV brought fame and fortune to Nigel Lythgoe. So, it's no surprise he can spin entertaining tales about the real-life drama he experienced with his heart.

But the man once dubbed "Nasty Nigel" for his bluntness as a talent show judge sounded downright empathetic as he explained why he tells those tales.

...

AHA News: Do NFL Players' Hearts Take a Hit From Football?

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Tim Tyrrell talks about football like a man who loved every minute of his six years in the NFL. He relishes stories of the devastating hits he leveled. He's proud of the way he could get knocked out, shake it off and get right back into the game. He loved the "ridiculous" intensity of two-a-day practices, the steak-and-egg breakfasts...

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...

Exercise May Be of Extra Benefit to People With Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Sept. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise benefits heart disease patients more than healthy people, according to a new study.

It found that while stepping up physical activity reduced the risk of death for people with and without heart disease, those with heart disease had greatest benefit. The more they exercised, the more their risk dropped.

The study in...

AHA News: Education Seems Tied to Death Risk for Heart Disease Patients

TUESDAY, Sept. 3, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- How long people stay in school may play a significant role in predicting how well those with coronary heart disease will fare, according to new research that linked lower levels of school completion with a higher risk of heart attack and death.

Education level has been known to influence people's risk of developing cardiovas...

AHA News: She Appeared to Be a Healthy Athlete, But Nobody Had Checked Her Heart

TUESDAY, Sept. 3, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- One of the first things Sarah Jane Stallings did when she and her husband, Bo, took over the CrossFit gym in her hometown of Russellville, Arkansas, earlier this year was to start a Fit over Fifty program.

Sarah Jane, who goes by SJ, is young and strong, but she can relate to what it feels like to exercise when age is not on...

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...

Obese Teen Boys More Prone to Heart Attacks in Middle Age

TUESDAY, Sept. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Teen boys who are overweight or obese may be more likely to have a heart attack before they're old enough to retire, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 1.7 million men in Sweden born between 1950 and 1987 who had extensive physical exams when they entered mandatory military service at age 18.

They were t...

Lifestyle May Matter More Than Your Genes in Early Heart Disease

MONDAY, Sept. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An unhealthy lifestyle is a bigger contributor to heart disease than genetics for many younger adults, according to a new study.

The findings show that good health habits should be a key part of prevention efforts, even in people with a family history of early heart disease, researchers said.

The study inc...

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 ...

Got High Blood Pressure? Get Your Flu Shot

SUNDAY, Sept. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you have high blood pressure, getting a flu shot could save your life, researchers say.

A new study found that patients with high blood pressure who got a flu shot had a nearly 18% lower risk of dying during flu season.

Previous research has found that the stress flu puts on the body may trigger he...

AHA News: Time With Grandkids Could Boost Health – Even Lifespan

FRIDAY, Aug. 30, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Julie Brogan's granddaughters, ages 9, 12 and 13, spend part of every summer at her home overlooking Lake Michigan in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. They enjoy paddle boarding, swimming and working on projects in the professional painter's art studio.

Their experiences have mirrored what scientific researchers have found: Spending ...

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...

AHA News: Understanding Connection Between Poverty, Childhood Trauma and Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Aug. 27, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Traumatic childhood experiences among the poor and uninsured are associated with higher cardiovascular risk, according to new research.

Experts have long known difficult childhoods are linked with a wide range of health risks later in life, including obesity, substance abuse and cardiovascular disease.

They're als...

Staying Optimistic Might Lengthen Your Life, Study Shows

MONDAY, Aug. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An upbeat view of life may increase your odds for living to a ripe old age, new research suggests.

The finding stems from a look at optimism and longevity among nearly 70,000 women and 1,400 men. It builds on earlier research linking higher levels of optimism to lower risks of chronic illness and premature death.

"This study took us...

For Seniors, 'Silent Strokes' Are Common Post-Surgery Threat: Study

MONDAY, Aug. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Silent strokes are common in seniors who have had surgery, and may double their risk of mental decline within a year, a Canadian study reports.

While an obvious (or "overt") stroke often causes symptoms such as weakness in an arm or speech problems, a silent (or "covert") stroke is apparent only on brain scans.

The new study included...

AHA News: Study of Skiers Holds Surprises About A-Fib, Stroke and Intense Exercise

MONDAY, Aug. 26, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Exercise is important for health and wellbeing. But past studies suggest high-intensity exercise may be a risk factor for an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation that sometimes leads to stroke. So, are athletes who develop A-Fib at higher risk for stroke?

Researchers in Sweden looked at men and women who complete...

Wintertime Smog Tied to Rise in Heart Procedures

FRIDAY, Aug. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Breathing in smoggy air, especially in the colder months, may be especially taxing for the heart, new research out of Europe suggests.

Polish researchers found that high levels of air pollution were tied to spikes in procedures to open blocked heart arteries. This was especially apparent in winter, when pollution levels were highest, a new stu...

Your Dog May Be Leading You to a Healthier Heart

FRIDAY, Aug. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Your dog might be your heart's best friend, if a new study is any indication.

Researchers found that compared with people who had no pets, dog owners tended to have fewer risk factors for heart disease: They got more exercise, and had healthier diets and lower blood sugar levels.

Even compared with other pet owners, they were doing b...

Just One Pill for All Your Heart Health Needs? It's On the Way

THURSDAY, Aug. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Imagine a single pill loaded with a battery of heart medications that you take once a day to cut your chances of heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

A new clinical trial has turned that idea into reality.

The "polypill" reduced the risk of life-threatening heart health problems by more than one-third during a five-year period i...

Push Stroke Patients Harder for Better Gains in Walking: Study

THURSDAY, Aug. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke survivors can recover their walking ability faster through high-intensity step training than with less demanding rehab, a new study suggests.

"Rehabilitation after a stroke traditionally focuses on patients practicing low-intensity walking, usually only in a forward direction, which does not provide enough of a challenge to the nervou...

Large Opioid Rx After Heart, Lung Surgery Often Leads to Misuse: Study

THURSDAY, Aug. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The more opioid painkillers that heart and lung surgery patients are prescribed, the more likely they are to become dependent on them, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed insurance claims from more than 24,500 Medicare patients who had heart or lung surgery between 2009 and 2015. Those patients filled an opioid prescription between 30 da...

Why Diet Sodas Aren't the Answer for Your Sugary Drink Cravings

THURSDAY, Aug. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The health risks of sugary drinks, from juice to soda, are well known. They can lead to overweight and diabetes, stroke and other problems in the brain, including poorer memory and smaller brain volume.

But diet sodas aren't the answer. A number of studies have found an association between artificially sweetened beverages and an increased ri...

Dirty Air Is Deadly, Global Study Confirms

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Air pollution -- especially the fine particles that you breathe into your lungs -- can shorten your life, a global study reports.

The new research found that short-term exposure to air pollution upped the daily risk of death from all causes. The risk of dying from heart disease, stroke and lung disease also rose with exposure to fine parti...

AHA News: Meth and Heart Disease: A Deadly Crisis That's Largely Overlooked

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Although frequently overshadowed by the opioid epidemic, surging methamphetamine use nationally and around the world has fueled a chilling crisis of its own, according to a new report.

The result is a significant increase in meth-related deaths from unique cardiovascular consequences that researchers are trying to understa...

When Does Heart Health Return to Normal After Quitting Smoking?

TUESDAY, Aug. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When you stop smoking, your heart starts to rebound right away, but a full recovery can take as long as 15 years, a new study suggests.

"The benefit of quitting smoking cannot be overstated -- the cardiovascular system begins to recover quickly, with some physiologic changes happening within hours," said lead researcher Meredith Duncan, of th...

AHA News: New Heart Saved Her – and It Came With the Name of Teen Who Gave It

TUESDAY, Aug. 20, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Kurt Lefteroff knew Cheryl Murdock for nine years before they started dating in September 2001. She was 42 and seemed perfectly healthy.

He didn't know that when Murdock was in sixth grade, she was diagnosed with a heart condition. He didn't know she had taken medications to manage that heart issue for 30 years. And he didn'...

'No Quick Fix' for A-Fib, But Cardiologist Says You Can Help Prevent It

MONDAY, Aug. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There is no cure for a-fib, but the common heart disorder can be managed, an expert says.

Atrial fibrillation -- which can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications -- affects as many as 6 million people in the United States. It's more common in whites than in blacks and Hispanics, and more common among m...

How Sleep Woes May Strain Your Heart

MONDAY, Aug. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you spend a lot of nights watching the clock instead of sleeping, new research suggests you may need to be as concerned about your heart health as you are about lost shut-eye.

People with genetic variants linked to insomnia have an increased risk of heart disease, heart failure and stroke, according to the study....

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