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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....

For Heart Patients, CPAP Treatment May Ease Depression: Study

FRIDAY, Aug. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea can ease depression in people with heart disease, according to a groundbreaking new study.

"Patients who have had a stroke or heart attack are prone to suffer from low mood and are two to three times more likely to develop clinical depression, which then further el...

Fast-Food Joints in the Neighborhood? Heart Attack Rates Likely to Go Up

THURSDAY, Aug. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you live in a neighborhood where fast-food restaurants abound, you might be more likely to have a heart attack, new research suggests.

It turns out that heart attack rates are higher in neighborhoods with more fast-food joints, the Australian study found.

For every additional fast-food outlet in a neighborhood, there were four a...

AHA News: Age Could Be Key to Women's Worse Quality of Life Post-Stroke

THURSDAY, Aug. 15, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- After a stroke, women are known to have a worse health-related quality of life than men, both in the short term and long term. Now a study gives some insight into why, and what can be done to alter the aftermath.

The findings, published Thursday in the journal Stroke, suggest women have a lower post-stroke quality of ...

AHA News: Tiring Easily May Warn of Future Heart Trouble

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Fatigue is universal, a feeling that becomes increasingly familiar as people get older. But when you fatigue too easily, it may not just be related to age but a reflection of your chance of having a stroke or heart attack in the near future.

A new study used a pair of formulas to calculate the 10-year risk of heart disease...

How Many Fruits and Veggies Do You Really Need?

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans still don't get enough fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods.

If money and time are concerns, your favorite drive-through donut and coffee place in the morning and the closest fast-food chain for dinner might seem to better fit your schedule and budget, even if you know these foods aren't nutritious. You may feel it's j...

Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Might Harm the Heart: Study

TUESDAY, Aug. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When men have both advanced prostate cancer and heart disease, treatment may pose a dilemma: Newer hormonal therapies that can slow the cancer down might also be risky for their hearts, a new study finds.

Once prostate cancer spreads beyond the gland, one of the mainstays of treatment is hormone therapy. The aim is to prevent androgens ("male...

Caring Doctors Can Be Life-Changing for Diabetic Patients

MONDAY, Aug. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A kind, understanding doctor could spell the difference between life or death for diabetes patients, a new study suggests.

British researchers found that patients had a lower risk of early death if their primary care doctor exhibited empathy.

The study included 628 patients in the U.K. with type 2 diabetes. A year after their diagnos...

AHA News: Daughter Makes Lifesaving Plea to 911: Coach Me Through CPR?

MONDAY, Aug. 12, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- In March 2017, Mary Smith took an afternoon off work to visit her daughter and 2-week-old grandson Brody at their Minneapolis suburb home.

Smith brought in groceries for dinner and carried a mobile crib up the stairs from the car. She was in the entryway when she found herself out of breath.

She collapsed, making a...

AHA News: Protein Made During Long Workouts May Warn of Heart Problems

MONDAY, Aug. 12, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Doctors diagnose heart attacks by looking for a specific protein the heart releases when damaged. Now, researchers have found higher levels of the same protein among some long-distance walkers – and they were more likely to die or to have a heart attack or stroke within the next few years.

European researchers looked at...

Heart-Healthy Habits Good For Your Brain

THURSDAY, Aug. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Want to reduce your risk of dementia? Take care of your heart.

That's the takeaway from a new study that suggests good heart health in middle age could lower your odds for problems with thinking and memory later in life.

The study included nearly 7,900 British adults who did not have heart disease or dementia at age 50. Over an aver...

Plants on Your Plate Will Protect Your Heart

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pile those vegetables and fruits high when you sit down to eat, and your heart will thank you.

A diet rich in plant-based foods translated into fewer heart problems in a new study.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data collected from more than 10,000 middle-aged U.S. adults who were followed from 1987 through 2016. None had...

Smoking Creates Long-Lasting Risk for Clogged Leg Arteries

MONDAY, Aug. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Cigarette smokers have a sharply higher risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD) -- and even if they quit, that added risk can last for decades, a new study warns.

PAD narrows arteries in the leg, leading to reduced blood flow that causes pain, poor wound healing and other symptoms.

The study also showed that smoking increases the odds...

AHA News: Common Prostate Cancer Treatment May Increase Risk of Fatal Heart Condition

MONDAY, Aug. 5, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Many men with prostate cancer rely on common testosterone-blocking drugs as a part of their treatment. But those so-called antiandrogens also might put them at risk for a deadly heart condition, according to new research.

In a study published Monday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, researchers look...

AHA News: Hurricane Checklist: Batteries, Bottled Water – And A Plan for Heart Care

FRIDAY, Aug. 2, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- With hurricane season in full swing, the constant counsel along the nation's coastlines is to be prepared.

But that means more than filling disaster kits with non-perishable food or planning out evacuation routes. Doctors who have helped in hurricanes say people also must plan to stay healthy before the storm – and in it...

More 'Buyer Beware' Warnings for Unregulated Stem Cell Clinics

THURSDAY, Aug. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Folks who get treatment from a stem cell clinic could be spending their money on what amounts to snake oil, a new study warns.

Doctors administering stem cells might have no expertise in the condition they're trying to treat, and the cells themselves might be derived from questionable or discredited sources -- if the treatment contains any stem...

AHA News: Cigarette Smoke in Pregnancy May Impair Healing of Newborns' Hearts

THURSDAY, Aug. 1, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Exposure to cigarette smoke in utero strongly harms a newborn heart's ability to repair itself after injury, according to a preliminary study of mice.

Findings in animals may not translate to humans, but researchers of the new study hope it helps scientists advance their understanding of possible regeneration in adult human ...

How Does Meth Trigger Heart Disease? New Research Offers Clues

THURSDAY, Aug. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- 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 t...

AHA News: Chemical Widely Used in Medical Plastic Alters Heart Function in Lab Tests

WEDNESDAY, July 31, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Plastic medical devices abound in hospitals. IV bags, catheters and feeding tubes cram every corner.

But the chemicals that make these medical items so flexible may be changing transmission of the electrical impulses that help keep the heart pumping, according to new research.

Phthalates are a group of chemicals...

Trying to Avoid a Second Stroke? Blood Pressure Control Is Key

MONDAY, July 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you've already had one stroke, your risk for another is much higher. But new research found that well-controlled blood pressure can reduce that risk by about 20%.

The study authors suggested maintaining a blood pressure of 130/80 mm Hg or less.

"Intensive blood pressure control of at least less than 130/80 mm Hg is recommende...

AHA News: A Date With 'The Heartbreaker,' Then Open-Heart Surgery

MONDAY, July 29, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Angie Bryan and her date were taking a stroll on a Saturday afternoon when she started to lag behind. Way behind. As she slowed to the point of stopping, she began to gasp for air, able to take only shallow breaths.

Although she wasn't nervous on the date – they'd already gone out a few times – she thought she mus...

Americans Are Spending Even More Time Sitting, Study Shows

FRIDAY, July 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The United States has grown a bumper crop of couch potatoes in recent years, a new study reports.

The amount of time people spend sitting around actually increased after the initial release of the federal Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in 2008, researchers have found.

"Over the past 10 years, there was no signifi...

AHA News: Innovative Hub Feeds the Need for Fresh Produce in Flint

FRIDAY, July 26, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Flint, Michigan, is best known in recent years for its troubles over tainted water. But another problem has challenged the city for decades: Most of its population lack easy access to healthy, nutritious produce.

Flint Fresh took on the challenge first through its Mobile Market – a portable produce stand – and the...

AHA News: Her Heart 'Looked Like Swiss Cheese' After Stroke at 29

THURSDAY, July 25, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Jennifer Michele always has had a knack for sprucing up spaces. That talent prompted her to start an interior design firm in 2007. She then quickly landed the sort of high-profile design job that can make a career.

Less than a year later, at age 29, she had a stroke.

It happened on a late November morning in Vail...

AHA News: Here's How Many Years You Could Gain by Keeping Heart Disease at Bay

THURSDAY, July 25, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Heart disease is the nation's No. 1 cause of death, killing about 650,000 people every year. Life expectancy is cut short by the disease and the health problems that stem from it. But by how much – and what can people do to take those years back?

For heart attacks alone, more than 16 years of life are lost on average,...

Bigger Waistlines a Threat to Women's Health, Even Without Obesity

WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A widening waistline can harm the health of older women, even if they avoid obesity, new research suggests.

It's a condition known as "central obesity" -- a concentration of fat around the abdomen. Central obesity can occur even if it's not enough to shift a person's body mass index (BMI) into the obese range, explained researchers led by W...

Former NFL Players Have Higher Odds for Dangerous A-Fib

WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Former pro football players typically have healthier hearts than the average Joe -- except when it comes to a type of heart rhythm disturbance, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that former NFL players had a nearly six times higher rate of atrial fibrillation (a-fib), versus other men their age. The condition was present in 5% of ...

Higher Cost of New Cholesterol Drugs Putting Patients at Risk: Study

TUESDAY, July 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Heart attacks, strokes and other heart problems are more likely in high-risk patients denied access to cutting-edge cholesterol-busting drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors, a new study reports.

Patients are 16% more likely to have a heart-related health crisis if their PCSK9 prescription is rejected than if it is covered and filled for a year, ac...

AHA News: Early Pregnancy May Be a Prime Time to Promote Heart Health

TUESDAY, July 23, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Improving cardiovascular health during the early stages of pregnancy can lead not only to a healthier pregnancy, it also can greatly improve a woman's long-term heart health, new research shows.

The findings, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, underscore the importance of entering preg...

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...

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