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AHA News: Where There's Wildfire Smoke, There May Be Heart Problems

MONDAY, July 22, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- When the Tubbs Fire swept through their neighborhood in Santa Rosa, California, in October 2017, there was little time for Richard Grundy and Jamei Haswell to think about how all the smoke they were inhaling was impacting their health.

Trees already were burning when they pulled out of their driveway. Flames were consuming ne...

AHA News: With Help, Boy's Dreams of Flight Get to Soar Despite His Heart Issues

MONDAY, July 22, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- As soon as he could walk, Easton Fryer bolted into his backyard whenever he heard an airplane flying over his home in Hamilton, Montana.

His second birthday party was held at the Ravalli County Airport. His first flight came months later. He's since flown in a two-seater and a helicopter. After his first commercial trip, the ...

AHA News: Know the Flax: A Little Seed May Be What Your Diet Needs

FRIDAY, July 19, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Adding seeds to your diet can be an easy way to shore up your defenses against heart risks without adding too much work to meal prep.

Many types of seeds can be valuable as part of a healthy diet – commonly added as a snack or add-on to salads or desserts – because they are rich in nutrients. You also can find see...

The 'Bottom' Blood Pressure Number Matters, Too

THURSDAY, July 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to blood pressure readings, the "top" number seems to grab all the attention.

But a large, new study confirms that both numbers are, in fact, critical in determining the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Blood pressure measurements are given as a "top" and "bottom" number. The first reflects systolic blood pressure, th...

AHA News: Best Way to End Homelessness and Its Health Impact? Prevent Evictions

TUESDAY, July 16, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- The cycle of homelessness can have devastating long-term repercussions on health. A nonprofit program in Boston is tackling the problem by trying to avoid evictions.

HomeStart focuses on ending homelessness, in part by preventing it from happening in the first place.

Living in an unstable housing environment can h...

High Blood Pressure, 'Bad' Cholesterol Risky for Young, Too

MONDAY, July 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Act sooner rather than later to prevent heart disease, a new study suggests. This means young adults should not put off treating high blood pressure or unhealthy cholesterol levels.

The study involved more than 36,000 Americans. It came to some sobering conclusions about young adults with high blood pressure or elevated LDL cholesterol (the "b...

AHA News: Pregnancy Complications Could Be Early Sign of Heart Disease Risk in Black Women

MONDAY, July 15, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- A new study confirms that when it comes to assessing heart health, an important question a doctor can ask an African American woman is, "Did you have complications during a pregnancy?"

The study, published Monday in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, analyzed data collected on...

Dance Your Way to Better Health

MONDAY, July 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Two very different studies show that dancing is more than just fun. It can keep your mind sharp and your heart healthy.

The first was done in the United Kingdom and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Researchers pooled results from 11 surveys that included a total of 49,000 people. The investigators com...

AHA News: 5 Threats to Heart Health You May Not Be Aware Of

THURSDAY, July 11, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Many people can recite the major risk factors for heart disease, the stuff of posters, public service ads and dire warnings: smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, lack of exercise.

But what about these? Air pollution, loneliness, lack of green space, lack of sleep and stress.

They're ...

More Evidence Fried Food Ups Heart Disease, Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, July 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Check out the menus at any county fair -- corn dogs, fried Oreos, even fried butter -- and you'll quickly see that Americans love fried foods. But yet another study suggests that it's time to put that corn dog down.

The study found that eating fried foods increased the risk of heart attack and stroke. And the more fried foods you eat, the g...

Sleep : The Right Prescription for Your Health

WEDNESDAY, July 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night is essential for your good health, according to sleep experts.

Too little sleep not only makes you tired and cranky all day, it also has other unwanted side effects, including decreased creativity and accuracy, increased stress, tremors, aches and memory lapses or loss.

It also puts y...

In-Hospital Cardiac Arrests May Be a 'Major Public Health Problem'

TUESDAY, July 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many more U.S. hospital patients suffer cardiac arrest than previously thought, a new study reveals.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating. It differs from a heart attack, in which blood flow to the heart is blocked.

This new analysis concluded that there are about 38% more adult cases and 18% more cases in child...

More Evidence Supplements Won't Help the Heart

MONDAY, July 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you take supplements hoping to ward off a heart attack or stroke, yet another study suggests you could find better uses for your hard-earned dollars.

A review of 277 published studies found that most supplements won't protect you from cardiovascular disease or early death.

"The study carries a simple message -- do not waste your mo...

AHA News: 'Surprising' Lack of Progress on Heart Disease in Younger Adults

MONDAY, July 8, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- After years of declining rates of coronary artery disease, new research shows the trend is reversing among younger people, especially women.

The culprit may be the rise in obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure rates among young adults, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of the American Heart Associatio...

AHA News: Doctors Shrugged Off Athlete's Gasping, Until One Heart Surgeon Listened

WEDNESDAY, July 3, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Back in her office after the New Year's holiday, Cat Oyler, then 45, struggled to catch her breath.

She felt like a heavy weight was sitting on her chest. She could take only a fraction of a normal breath, unable to expand her lungs or ribs.

Her breathing was so labored that her assistant sitting outside the offi...

AHA News: Adjusting BMI Eliminates Lead Asian Americans Hold in Heart Health

WEDNESDAY, June 26, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Asian Americans are more likely to have better overall cardiovascular health than white Americans, but they lose that standing when the comparison is made using a lower, Asian-specific threshold for body mass index, according to new research.

Asian Americans are one of the fastest-growing populations in the United States. ...

TV Watching May Be Most Unhealthy Type of Sitting: Study

WEDNESDAY, June 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Next time you're ready to hit the sofa for an evening of TV, think twice -- it just might kill you.

Though too much sitting has long been linked to health risks, a new study suggests all sitting isn't the same -- and sitting in front of the TV after dinner for long hours at a stretch is especially unhealthy.

In fact, those who di...

Heart Disease Is Lasting Threat to Breast Cancer Survivors

FRIDAY, June 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who survive breast cancer may have a higher risk for developing heart disease, a new study says.

Heart problems can appear more than five years after radiation treatment for breast cancer, and the added risk persists for as much as 30 years, according to Brazilian researchers.

Heart disease is the leading cause of...

AHA News: What Migraine Sufferers Need to Know About Stroke Risk

FRIDAY, June 21, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Try not to let it give you a headache, but be aware: People who suffer migraines, especially women, seem to have a higher risk of stroke.

"It's not like people with migraines should be waiting anxiously about the possibility of having a stroke, but it does occur," said Dr. Mitchell Elkind, a New York City neurologist and profess...

AHA News: This Faulty Gene May Help Predict Heart Muscle Disease

THURSDAY, June 20, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- The diagnosis of a serious heart condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy often can lead doctors to run genetic tests that help determine whether the disease stems from a faulty gene.

But a group of researchers wondered: What if they reversed the process and first looked for the faulty genes? Could pinpointing those mutations...

Fitness in Middle Age Cuts Men's Odds for COPD Later

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Having good heart-lung fitness in middle age could lower men's long-term risk of developing and dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a new study finds.

COPD includes respiratory conditions that narrow the airways, such as emphysema and bronchitis. Smoking is the main risk factor for COPD, the fourth-leading cause of deat...

Statins May Lower Risk of Stroke After Cancer Radiotherapy

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Radiation treatment for cancer can damage the heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk for a stroke or heart attack. But a new study suggests cholesterol-lowering drugs can significantly reduce that risk.

The researchers reported that taking statins may lower the risk of a stroke after radiation treatment by 32%.

"Our stud...

AHA News: Couple Knew They Would Face Heart Problems Together -- But Not Like This

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Kelly DiMaggio was used to being the patient. She was the one born with half a heart. She was the one who went through three open-heart surgeries before turning 8. She was the one with irregular heartbeats, blood clots and constant fatigue as an adult. She was the one who pushed herself to lose 30 pounds through eating healthier and ...

Vitamin D Supplements May Not Help Your Heart

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're looking to improve your heart health, getting regular exercise and eating healthy foods can definitely help, but new research says popping a daily vitamin D supplement won't.

The research -- a meta-analysis of 21 randomized clinical trials involving more than 83,000 people -- found no decrease in major cardiovascular events in pe...

A-Fib Can Raise Dementia Risk, Even in Absence of Stroke

TUESDAY, June 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many aging Americans have the common heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation, or "a-fib." Now comes the sobering news that it might raise their odds for dementia.

The Korean study couldn't prove cause and effect, but researchers noted that the link between a-fib and dementia was found even among people who hadn't suffered a stroke....

Ailing Heart Can Speed the Brain's Decline, Study Finds

MONDAY, June 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The strong link between brain health and heart health is reinforced in a new study. The research showed that as cardiovascular health falters, so too does thinking and memory.

In one of the largest and longest studies of its kind to date, researchers studied a group of nearly 8,000 people in the United Kingdom. The participants were over 49 y...

Overweight Kids Are at Risk for High Blood Pressure

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight preschoolers have twice the odds of developing high blood pressure by age 6, putting them at risk of heart attack and stroke later in life.

And those odds begin building as early as age 4, a new study reports.

"The myth that excess weight in children has no consequences hampers the prevention and control of this health pro...

AHA News: Are Transgender Men and Women Who Take Hormones at Risk for Heart Disease?

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- The impact of hormone therapy on the heart health of transgender men and women has been the subject of several studies published within the last year. But medical experts and researchers aren't ready to sound the alarm just yet.

"We have to recognize that hormones can be lifesaving therapy for trans people," said Dr. Richard ...

Eating More Red Meat May Shorten Your Life

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Is that second serving of steak or extra strip of bacon worth shaving time off your life?

That's a question researchers want you to ponder, because their new study finds the more red and processed meat you eat, the greater the odds of cutting your life short.

People who increased their red meat intake by just half a serving a day ...

AHA News: When Dancer Kept Fainting, an EKG Finally Revealed Why

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Looking back, Daniela Leonhardt's first indication something was amiss with her heart happened in December 2010, when she fainted before an Irish dance competition.

At the time, she was 30 years old, the mother of two little boys and in jaw-droppingly good shape. Why would she have thought the dizziness and nausea that fol...

Surprising Ways Owning a Dog Is Good for Your Health

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Apart from the sheer fun of owning a pet, having a dog enhances well-being and even personal growth in many ways.

Caring for a dog teaches kids responsibility and offers everyone in the family unconditional love. Many studies have found that the social support that dogs -- and pets in general -- provide boosts their owner's emotional healt...

Study Refutes Notion That People on Warfarin Shouldn't Eat Leafy Greens

TUESDAY, June 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Spinach-loving seniors, rejoice. A new study suggests that -- despite doctor warnings to the contrary -- you can eat leafy greens rich in vitamin K if you are taking the blood thinner warfarin.

In fact, "I think all warfarin-treated patients would benefit from increasing their daily vitamin K intake," said lead author Guylaine Ferland. She's...

AHA News: How to Have a Heart-Healthy Pregnancy Before You Even Conceive

TUESDAY, June 11, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Taking good care of your health, especially your heart, is important during pregnancy. But preconception care – the care you get before becoming pregnant – can be just as critical for both mom and baby.

"There are demands that get placed on the heart during pregnancy," said Dr. Maria Sophocles, an OB-GYN and medical...

Gene Test Might Someday Gauge Your Heart Attack Risk

TUESDAY, June 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Can a DNA test predict a person's future heart health? Perhaps, researchers say.

A team of Canadian researchers found that by analyzing a person's entire genome, it might be possible to predict their future heart disease risk.

The so-called "polygenic risk score" analysis looks for key heart disease indicators -- genetic "biomark...

High Blood Pressure at Doctor's Office May Be More Dangerous Than Suspected

MONDAY, June 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you dread seeing the doctor and your blood pressure reading always seems to be high at the doctor's office, a new review says you should take those elevated readings seriously.

The problem is called white-coat hypertension (because of doctors' traditional white coats) and it may signal an underlying problem.

The research defined...

AHA News: 3 Simple Steps Could Save 94 Million Lives Worldwide

MONDAY, June 10, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Doing three relatively easy things could help save 94.3 million people around the world from premature deaths caused by cardiovascular disease, new research suggests.

Those lives could be saved over a quarter-century span by scaling up treatment of high blood pressure, reducing sodium intake and eliminating artificial trans f...

Midlife Diabetes Can Really Raise Your Odds for Stroke Years Later

THURSDAY, June 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In a finding that further confirms the link between type 2 diabetes and stroke, a new study shows that having the blood sugar disease during middle age may boost your risk of having the most common type of stroke later in life.

In addition to a 30% greater chance of an ischemic stroke, the researchers also found that people who had type 2...

Heartburn Drugs Again Tied to Fatal Risks

THURSDAY, June 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People who use common heartburn drugs for months to years may face heightened risks of dying from heart disease, kidney failure or stomach cancer, a new study suggests.

The study included more than 200,000 U.S. veterans. It's the latest to raise concerns over drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). They include prescription and over-the-c...

Tight Diabetes Control Alone May Not Benefit the Heart Long-Term

WEDNESDAY, June 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Type 2 diabetes is a known risk factor for heart disease, and researchers thought that five years of really tight blood sugar control might reduce the risk of heart disease for years to come.

But a new 15-year follow-up study found that was not the case. The findings suggest it might be more important to control other risk factors for heart...

American Soldiers' Hearts in Worse Shape Than Civilians'

WEDNESDAY, June 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- New research shatters the image of U.S. soldiers as the epitome of fitness and primed for battle: Instead, they are less likely to have ideal blood pressure than their civilian counterparts.

In fact, less than one-third of active Army personnel have ideal blood pressure (120/80 mm Hg), compared with over half of the general population, the ...

Dentists Prescribe Antibiotics Far Too Often: Study

WEDNESDAY, June 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Dentists tend to be overeager when it comes to prescribing antibiotics, new research suggests.

The study authors found that antibiotics prescribed to prevent infection during dental procedures weren't necessary 81% of the time. That's important because 10% of all antibiotic prescriptions come from dentists, the researchers said.

...

Another Use for Beta Blockers? Curbing A-fib

TUESDAY, June 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People whose heart rhythm problems stem from stress and anger may benefit from taking beta blocker drugs, a new study suggests.

Atrial fibrillation (a-fib) is a common type of heart rhythm disorder sometimes triggered by stress and negative emotions.

Beta blockers are drugs that block the effects of adrenaline and related substances....

Patient Catches on Fire During Heart Surgery

TUESDAY, June 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Having emergency heart surgery is always risky, but a new case report reveals an unexpected danger: A flash fire ignited a man's chest during such a procedure.

A 60-year-old man underwent lifesaving heart surgery for a torn aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from the heart.

The patient had chronic obstructive pulmonary di...

HIV Patients More Likely to Have Heart Troubles, But Less Access to Care

MONDAY, June 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In what amounts to a double whammy for those living with HIV, a new American Heart Association scientific statement says these patients face higher heart risks but also major barriers to health care.

Three-quarters of people in the United States with HIV are older than 45 and have significant health problems at earlier ages than people without...

How Much Coffee Is Too Much?

FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- From cappuccinos to cold brew, coffee is a morning must for many Americans, but is it healthy and how much is too much?

A University of South Australia study suggests a couple of cups to start your day probably won't hurt -- and may even be good for you. But drinking six or more cups of coffee a day can increase your risk of heart disease by up...

Many Heart Failure Patients Might Safely Reduce Use of Diuretics

FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- 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 d...

AHA News: Retired Basketball Pros Get Lifesaving Assist From Free Heart Screenings

THURSDAY, May 30, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- During his 11-year NBA career, Harvey Catchings shared the court with legends. With the Philadelphia 76ers, he suited up with All-Star Caldwell Jones and slam-dunking Darryl Dawkins. Later, he played against Hall of Famer Moses Malone.

Catchings, 67, is the only one of the four still alive.

"Sometimes I think abou...

Women in Cardiac Arrest Less Likely to Receive Help, Study Finds

MONDAY, May 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women who suffer a cardiac arrest in public are less likely than men to get resuscitation help from bystanders, and more likely to die, new research shows.

For the study, scientists analyzed data on more than 5,700 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests that occurred in a province of the Netherlands between 2006 and 2012. Women accounted for 28% o...

Vaping May Exact a Toll on Blood Vessel Health

TUESDAY, May 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In yet another sign that electronic cigarettes are far from harmless, a new lab study suggests that vaping damages the cells that line the inside walls of blood vessels and could hasten heart trouble.

Lab-grown endothelial cells were more likely to die off or suffer from impaired function when exposed to e-cigarette vapor, the researchers rep...

Good Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar Levels Can Prevent 'Heart Block'

FRIDAY, May 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Keeping blood pressure and blood sugar levels under control might prevent a common heart rhythm disorder called "heart block."

That's the finding from a new study analyzing data on more than 6,000 people, aged 30 and older, in Finland.

In the study, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researchers found that 58 of thos...

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