A New Risk Factor for Heart Attack

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke, inflammation

The 3 million Americans with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease often have severe diarrhea and stomach pain, lose weight, and  feel tired. They may sometimes develop blockages in their bowels or have trouble digesting food, which can put their very lives at risk. On top of all that, new research presented recently at the American College more »

4 Essential Steps to Surviving a Heart Attack

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke

Every 43 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a heart attack. Yet the outlook has never looked better for patients who recognize symptoms and get to the hospital promptly. Over the past decade, hospitals and health systems have quietly revolutionized the way they treat heart attacks. Ambulances now electronically transmit electrocardiogram (EKG) images ahead when a heart attack patient is more »

POTUS’s Teachable Moment

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke, inflammation

What the President’s Physical Exam Results Can Teach Us About Heart Health While cardiologists have debated the finer points of the President of the United State’s recent health report, his yearly check-up is raising awareness of heart disease risk indicators that can help gauge risk over time. Among the more common risk factors, the President’s body mass index (BMI), 29.9, more »

Can an Infection Cause a Heart Attack?

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke

Can just getting sick increase your risk for heart disease? Accumulating research suggests so. Researchers have long noted a connection between infections like influenza and atherosclerosis. Moreover, the flu vaccine has been linked to a lower risk for cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and stroke, in the year following vaccination. Accumulating evidence shows a similar phenomenon is at work with more more »

Vegan & Plant-based Diets and Heart Disease

Cleveland HeartLab diet, heart attack and stroke

Simple Diet Advice for Heart Health in 2018 The evidence for the heart-healthy effects of vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based diets in general just keeps getting stronger. New studies suggest that adopting the principals of plant-based diets could be a smart way to start the New Year. Researchers at New York University School of Medicine recently pitted vegan diets against the more »

Detecting Hidden Heart Disease Before it Harms

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke, inflammation

People who are slim, don’t smoke, and don’t have diabetes usually don’t worry too much about their hearts. Those with good control of their blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels, even less so. But an alarming new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology may soon change that calculus. Researchers from Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos more »

Avoid These “Holiday Heart” Hazards

Cleveland HeartLab diet, heart attack and stroke

It’s the season for wonder and joy. But Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s celebrations have a downside when it comes to the heart. Deadly heart attacks rise during the last month of the year and holiday excesses can lead to heart rhythm disturbances like atrial fibrillation. A national study in the journal Circulation, which examined death certificates over a three-decade more »

The Dangers of Stopping Aspirin

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke

Taking a daily low-dose (81mg) aspirin is one of the simplest preventive measures heart patients and those at a high risk for a cardiovascular event can follow. It’s also one of the most important. Yet people often stop this common prescription. A new study suggests that stopping prescribed aspirin could be a serious mistake. The research, from Uppsala University in more »

Familial Hypercholesterolemia:
The Hidden Cholesterol Condition

Cleveland HeartLab cholesterol, heart attack and stroke

September is National Cholesterol Education Month—a reminder to get a cholesterol check and learn ways to reduce high levels in order to prevent heart attacks and strokes. It’s also a good time to highlight a harmful lipid condition that often goes undiagnosed and unnoticed until disaster strikes. Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an inherited disorder that leads to early and aggressive more »

Preventing Heart Failure

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke

Some 5.7 million adults in the United States have heart failure, which happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs in the body. People with heart failure experience symptoms that significantly impact their quality of life, such as shortness of breath during the activities of daily life and general fatigue and weakness, as their hearts more »

Pregnancy and Heart Risks

Cleveland HeartLab diabetes, heart attack and stroke

The Surprising Heart Risks of High-Risk Pregnancies Heart disease is usually the last thing on a woman’s mind during pregnancy. But if her pregnancy is high risk, her future heart health may be on the line, accumulating research suggests. Recent studies show that women with high-risk pregnancies or complications, such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia—a hypertensive condition related to pregnancy—have more »

High-Intensity Interval Training and Your Heart

Cleveland HeartLab exercise, heart attack and stroke

A Little Exercise Goes a Long Way for Your Heart Scientists agree: There is little that’s more beneficial to your heart than exercise. But today’s busy schedules can make it hard to establish a regular routine. Fortunately, researchers are finding that it’s not necessary to run marathons or spend long hours on the treadmill to get substantial cardiovascular perks. More more »

NSAIDs and Cardiovascular Risk

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke

The Hidden Heart Risk in Your Medicine Cabinet When nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) first hit the market, they were heralded as an attractive alternative to aspirin for tackling aches and pains, as they were thought to be gentler on the digestive tract. But in recent years, these medications, which are used for more »

Air Pollution and Heart Disease

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke

Air Pollution’s Surprising Heart Risks and What You Can Do to Lower Them The health threats of air pollution have been getting a lot of attention lately, and the news is both surprising and worrisome. A rash of new studies suggests that breathing in bad air isn’t just associated with respiratory ills like asthma or emphysema, but also with several more »

Diabetes Drugs that Lower Heart Risks

Cleveland HeartLab diabetes, heart attack and stroke

Of all the complications of diabetes, including blindness, neuropathy (i.e., nerve pain), amputations, and kidney failure, the most dangerous—heart disease—is often paid the least attention. Yet people with diabetes are more than twice as likely to develop heart problems than those without diabetes, and the majority of people with type 2 diabetes will eventually die from cardiovascular ills such as more »

Festivities Ahead? Strategize to Keep the Holidays Healthy and Heart-Smart

Cleveland HeartLab diet, exercise, heart attack and stroke, lifestyle habits

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the holidays and your health. The good news: Research shows that the average American puts on just about a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day (though heavier people add more than five pounds). The bad news: Most people never shed the extra weight, according to a study in the more »

The Flu Shot and Your Heart

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke, inflammation

Fall is the time for colorful foliage, cooler temperatures—and the beginning of cold and flu season. No mere nuisance, flu costs the U.S. more than $10 billion and takes about 3,600 lives each year. Vaccination is a powerful weapon against the seasonal illness, which poses particular health risks to the very young and the elderly. But flu shots also have more »

Stress, the Heart, and Inflammation

Cleveland HeartLab blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, inflammation, lifestyle habits

Racing through traffic. Meeting a deadline. Giving a presentation. These and other stressors take a toll on your immediate health, increasing blood pressure, heart rate, and the release of harmful hormones like cortisol. But it’s the long-term effects you may really need to worry about. Chronic stress is associated not only with complaints like insomnia, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal distress, more »

Sitting is the New Smoking

Cleveland HeartLab diabetes, exercise, heart attack and stroke, inflammation, lifestyle habits

Is Sitting the New Smoking? The headlines on the health dangers of sitting are hard to ignore. Inactivity has been recognized as an independent risk factor for heart attack and stroke—as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. Now the American Heart Association (AHA) has issued a strongly worded advisory aimed at getting people up and moving, even those who are already physically more »

A New Eating Peril: The Social-Business Diet

Cleveland HeartLab biomarkers, cholesterol, diabetes, diet, heart attack and stroke, lifestyle habits

When it comes to our eating habits, it doesn’t get much grimmer than the Western diet. High in fat, red and processed meats, salt, and sugar and low in healthful plant foods, it’s the predominant eating pattern in the U.S.—and increasingly in other parts of the world—and solidly linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic conditions. But recently more »

Heart Disease and Menopause: Does the Risk Start Earlier?

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke, women's health

When it comes to menopause and heart disease risk, timing could be everything. Doctors have long known that women face a greater risk for heart disease after menopause, the cessation of menstrual periods. But reporting in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville recently put a new timestamp on the process. The more »

The Gut, the Heart, and TMAO

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke, TMAO

The Surprising Link Between the Gut and Heart Health Science has long recognized that what we eat plays a critical role in our heart health. Now the details of this complex connection are coming into focus. One of the more intriguing recent discoveries has to do with the role of the gut microbiome—the trillions of microbes that reside in the more »

Migraine and CVD: When Headaches Spell Heart Woes

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke, women's health

Migraine headaches affect as many as 18 percent of American women and 6 percent of American men, triggering a cluster of neurological symptoms, including severe pain, visual disturbances, nausea and vomiting, tingling and numbness, and sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. If that weren’t enough, it’s beginning to appear that this common condition may also be a harbinger of future more »

Silent Heart Attacks

Cleveland HeartLab biomarkers, heart attack and stroke, inflammation

Silent and Deadly: The Growing Danger of Symptomless Heart Attacks A heart attack can be a vital wake-up call for people with cardiovascular disease—a chance to embrace radical changes to improve heart health, and if medical help is sought quickly, even avoid heart damage. But what if the heart attack goes undetected because there are no symptoms? According to alarming more »

Loneliness as a Risk Factor for Heart Disease and Stroke

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke, lifestyle habits

The Stroke Threat You’ve Never Heard Of Regardless of their personal habits, most Americans know that diet, exercise, sleep, and other lifestyle measures can affect their risk of developing heart disease and experiencing a life-changing stroke. But another, less obvious factor appears to play a role in these common heart problems: Sheer loneliness. The link was confirmed in a recent more »

A Surprising Heart Disease Risk Factor for Women – Especially Younger Women

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke, inflammation, women's health

Women with endometriosis—the growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus—tend to focus their concerns on health problems such as debilitating pelvic pain and infertility. But new research suggests that women with the condition may also face another more deadly health threat: heart disease. Endometriosis, which strikes women of reproductive age, particularly in the later childbearing years, is characterized by the more »

Questioning the HDL Hypothesis

Cleveland HeartLab cholesterol, heart attack and stroke, lifestyle habits

For decades, the relationship between cholesterol and heart health seemed to be black and white: High levels of “bad” or “lousy” LDL cholesterol raised the risk for heart disease. High levels of “good” HDL or “healthy” cholesterol reduced it by removing cholesterol from artery walls. The belief has been so solid that doctors routinely prescribed drugs like niacin to help more »

4 Things I Wish I’d Known Before My Heart Attack: A Doctor’s Story

Cleveland HeartLab biomarkers, cholesterol, heart attack and stroke

Doug Dunning, MD thought he was healthy – until he suffered a heart attack on June 15, 2015, at age 56. He is now convinced that it might have been prevented with the right knowledge, testing, and optimal medical care. “This experience has changed how I practice medicine, making me a more attentive advocate for my patients’ cardiovascular wellness – and my more »

Could Food Be a New Medicine to Fight Heart Disease?

Cleveland HeartLab diet, heart attack and stroke, metabolic syndrome

A compound called DMB (3,3-dimethyl-1-butanol), found in olive oil, red wine and other foods, may someday be a first-of-its kind drug with the potential to treat—or even prevent—heart disease in the future, suggests a new Cleveland Clinic study published in the journal Cell. The investigators report that in mice, dietary supplementation with this naturally occurring compound safely inhibited atherosclerosis (plaque more »

TMAO Testing: A New Way To Assess Heart Attack And Stroke Risk

Cleveland HeartLab biomarkers, heart attack and stroke, TMAO

A new blood test that measures levels of TMAO (trimethylamine-N-oxide) — a metabolite derived from gut bacteria — can powerfully predict future risk for heart attack, stroke, and death in patients who appear otherwise healthy, according to pioneering Cleveland Clinic research. The new test — now available through Cleveland HeartLab — measures blood levels of TMAO, a compound produced by more »

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need For Optimal Heart Health?

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke, vitamins and supplements

Not only are low levels of vitamin D linked to coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack and stroke, but a new study reveals what specific level of deficiency may raise risk for these conditions.  As we recently reported, up to 75 percent of Americans are low in vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin”. The study found that that patients with blood more »

The Hidden Disease That Triples Heart Attack Risk

Cleveland HeartLab diabetes, heart attack and stroke, metabolic syndrome

It’s extremely common for people to be diagnosed with diabetes soon after they’ve suffered a heart attack, according to a new study presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2015 Scientific Sessions. Patients often chalk this double whammy up to bad luck, believing that they were inexplicably hit with two unrelated conditions at once. In reality, having diabetes–particularly if it’s more »

Many Young Women Don’t Know They’re at Risk Until a Heart Attack Occurs: Here’s Why and How to Protect Yourself

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke, lifestyle habits, women's health

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is on the rise among younger women, yet many of them are unaware of their risk until they actually suffer a heart attack, according to a Yale School of Public Health study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). Only 53 percent of the young heart attack survivors studied more »

CoQ10: What are the Heart Health Benefits?

Cleveland HeartLab heart attack and stroke, vitamins and supplements

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) ranks among the bestselling supplements, with global sales predicted to reach $849 million by 2020, according to a recent study. Researchers report that CoQ10 may have significant benefits for people with cardiovascular disease (CVD), from reducing risk for repeat heart attacks and improving outcomes in patients with heart failure to lowering blood pressure and helping combat side more »

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: A Natural Way to Lower Blood Pressure

Cleveland HeartLab blood pressure, diet, heart attack and stroke, vitamins and supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA–found in fatty fish and fish oil supplements–reduce blood pressure as effectively as lifestyle changes such as exercising more, cutting back on salt, or limiting alcohol, according to a recent meta-analysis published in American Journal of Hypertension. That’s good news for the 70 million Americans who suffer from hypertension (HTN). Defined as blood pressure of more »

4 Tasty Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Spices That Boost Heart Health

Cleveland HeartLab diabetes, diet, heart attack and stroke, inflammation

Used as a natural “medicine” for thousands of years, certain herbs and spices really do have amazing health benefits, including fighting chronic inflammation, which has been linked to a wide range of conditions, from heart disease to diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer, according to new studies. Here’s a look at four delicious seasonings that rank as anti-inflammatory standouts. Curcumin: The more »

Triglycerides May Predict Risk For Repeat Heart Attacks

Cleveland HeartLab biomarkers, cholesterol, heart attack and stroke, vitamins and supplements

Survivors of heart attacks and other acute coronary events are up to 61 percent more likely to suffer repeat events if they have high fasting triglycerides, according to new research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).  The investigators examined outcomes in two studies of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS): sudden blockage of blood flow more »

Telomere Testing May Predict Lifespan and Health Risks

Cleveland HeartLab biomarkers, cancer, diabetes, heart attack and stroke

Telomere Testing May Predict Health Risks Years in Advance The length of telomeres — protective caps at the end of chromosomes often compared to plastic tips on shoelaces — could be an important predictor of increased danger for a range of disorders, from cancer to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. What’s more, telomere testing may identify patients at risk more »

What a Practice Analysis May Reveal About the Health of Your Practice

Cleveland HeartLab biomarkers, heart attack and stroke, inflammation

Every day, about 2,150 Americans die from heart disease, stroke and other forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD)–one every 40 seconds, according to “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics–2015 Update: A Report from the American Heart Association.” CVD remains the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. These are frightening statistics. Cleveland more »