The Surprising Link Between Depression and Heart Disease

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You might have heard that people who are depressed are more likely to have heart disease. People who have heart disease are also more likely to get the blues. Having both heart disease and depression is worse for your health than just having heart disease. A 2017 study found that people diagnosed with depression after they’d had a heart attack more »

Young women, heart attacks and how to prevent them

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Here’s some good news about heart disease, the number one killer of Americans:  the rate of heart attacks and strokes is dropping and has been for decades. That means you are less likely to develop these problems than in the past. But there’s bad news, too: heart attacks are striking more young people, particularly younger women. New research shows that more »

Top Herbs for Your Heart

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A healthy diet is the first step toward a healthier heart. Eating lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, healthy fats like olive oil, and lean protein like fish and chicken, can’t be beat for preventing heart attacks and strokes.   But how you prepare these foods also makes a big difference. A variety of herbs have been shown to give more »

You Probably Don’t Get Enough of this Hidden Heart Helper

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Heart-healthy diets include plenty of vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, and whole-grain bread and pasta. One thing these foods have in common is fiber. Fiber is good for your body in many ways and especially good for your heart. The results of a large review study just released by the World Health Organization (WHO) are more »

Can Energy Drinks Harm Your Heart?

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Energy drinks are popular with people who want a power boost, including children and athletes. But these drinks, which contain caffeine, sugar, herbs, and other ingredients, may do more harm than good. A recent study from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston found that having just one energy drink had a bad effect on the flow of more »

The Wonderful Ways Dark Chocolate Helps Your Heart

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Exercise. Eat healthy. Stay slim. Lower your stress. This “to-do” list is great for a healthy heart, but it may not sound like fun. Thank goodness, there’s chocolate! Hundreds of studies have found that chocolate—specifically, dark chocolate— keeps the heart and blood vessels in good shape. Here are some of the ways this delicious treat helps the heart: It may more »

The Heart Risk of Vaping

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Smokers sometimes turn to e-cigarettes to try to quit smoking. But according to new research from Boston University School of Medicine, they may be trading one health harm for another. The study looked at the effects of nine flavorings common in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products on a type of cell that lines the walls of blood vessels, including the more »

New Heart Benefits of Vitamin D

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Vitamin D plays many important roles in the body—from strengthening your bones to boosting your immune system to help keep you healthy. Research also shows it keeps your heart and blood vessels in good working condition. Here are a few of the ways the so-called “sunshine vitamin” keeps the heart strong and healthy: Preventing stroke A new report from Italy more »

4 Essential Steps to Surviving a Heart Attack

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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 »

Can an Infection Cause a Heart Attack?

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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 »

Detecting Hidden Heart Disease Before it Harms

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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

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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 »

Stopping Stroke is a No-Brainer!

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Every two seconds, someone in the world has a stroke. Every five seconds, someone dies due to stroke. World Stroke Day, on October 29, is an opportune time to make note of the progress that’s been made to stop stroke—and the efforts that have fallen short. First the good news: Strokes can be prevented and if they do occur more more »

The Dangers of Stopping Aspirin

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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

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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

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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 »

The Cardiac Risks of Rheumatoid Arthritis

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As if the chronic pain and mobility challenges of rheumatoid arthritis weren’t burdensome enough, it’s becoming clearer that people with the disease face another serious health threat—a greater risk for heart disease. Some 1.5 million Americans, a majority of them women, have this form of arthritis, an autoimmune disease that happens when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, more »

Pregnancy and Heart Risks

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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 »

Lutein and Your Heart

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A New Anti-Inflammatory Nutrient Lutein, a nutrient that’s related to beta-carotene and vitamin A, is often thought of as the vision vitamin. It’s used as a supplement to prevent eye-related conditions including macular degeneration, cataracts, and retinitis pigmentosa. But new research from Linköping University in Sweden suggests that there’s a vital new role for this vitamin known as a carotenoid, more »

Choline, TMAO and Heart Health

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Powerful new evidence from the Cleveland Clinic confirms a link between choline, a nutrient naturally found in foods like red meat, egg yolks and dairy products, and the risk of dangerous blood clotting. Choline interacts with gut bacteria to make the blood more prone to clotting by helping to produce a compound called, trimethylene N-oxide (TMAO). Elevated blood levels of more »

NSAIDs and Cardiovascular Risk

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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 »

Caffeine, the Heart, and Inflammation

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Caffeine has upsides and downsides for your health. But new research suggests your morning mug of joe could be a net positive when it comes to your cardiovascular risk. Researchers from Stanford University in California reporting in the journal Nature Medicine found that the more caffeine older people consumed, the more protected they were against chronic inflammation. In the process the scientists more »

Gout: A New Heart Disease Risk Factor?

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For the 8 million Americans who suffer from gout, sudden and severe attacks of pain in the joints aren’t the only things to worry about. A new study in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases shows that the majority of people presenting with this common form of arthritis are at a very high risk for cardiovascular disease and prevention tactics should more »

Air Pollution and Heart Disease

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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

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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 »

Dental Hygiene and Your Heart

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Healthy Teeth and Gums—More Important Than Ever for Your Heart Gum disease, when bacteria-laden plaque accumulates around the teeth, has long been linked to poorer health—particularly heart health. Inflammation is believed to be behind the connection. Now it looks as though another common dental infection may be just as harmful. Called apical periodontitis, the condition results in inflammatory lesions that more »

The Flu Shot and Your Heart

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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 »