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A Consistent Bedtime Is Good for Your Heart

In the age of TV marathons, sticking to a consistent bedtime can be a challenge, but new research shows it could help reduce your risk of heart problems.

For the study, the researchers assessed the link between a regular bedtime and resting heart rate, and found that people who went to bed later or earlier than normal had a higher resting heart rate.

"We already know an incr...

Which Diets Help You Keep the Weight From Coming Back?

While you're hunkered down waiting for the coronavirus to abate, you might get inspired to lose weight. But which diet is best?

The short answer is that all diets seem to work. The long answer is you'll probably regain the weight within a year.

"There is no diet that somehow magically helps you keep the weight off," said Dr. Gordon Guyatt of McMaster University in Ontario,...

Extreme Heat of Climate Change Could Triple Heart-Related Deaths

Heart disease deaths spike with extreme heat, and rising temperatures due to climate change may lead to a surge in such deaths in hot regions, researchers say.

For the study, the investigators analyzed 2010 to 2016 data on more than 15,000 heart-related deaths among people aged 15 and older in Kuwait, which has an average temperature of 82.2 degrees Fahrenheit (F).

Compared ...

AHA News: Given 2% Chance of Survival, 'Batman' Came to the Rescue

"Hey, look, it's Lazarus, back from the dead."

Steve Seeram was confused. Regaining consciousness, he recalled being diagnosed with a blocked artery and being prepared to undergo a routine non-invasive procedure to implant three stents. Doctors had said he'd be home the next day.

"What are you talking about?" Steve asked. He looked down and saw a large bandage on his chest...

Certain Health Conditions Up Risks for Severe COVID-19

New research suggests that having an underlying health condition might be one of the most significant risk factors for developing a severe case of COVID-19.

Scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took a look at a group of U.S. adult COVID-19 patients and found roughly three-quarters of those who wound up in the hospital had at least one underlying health iss...

Dirty Air Might Raise Your Odds for Dementia

Smog drives up dementia risk, particularly for older men and women with heart disease, according to a new Swedish study.

For more than a decade, researchers tracked exposure to air pollution and dementia cases among nearly 3,000 Stockholm residents aged 60 and up.

Lead author Dr. Giulia Grande noted that exposure to dirty air has long been linked to an increased risk for lun...

Blood Sugar Control May Aid Stroke Recovery in Diabetes Patients

Good blood sugar control can help protect against mental decline after a common type of stroke in people with diabetes, new research suggests.

The study included 942 patients with diabetes who suffered a lacunar stroke -- one caused by a blockage in an artery that provides blood to the brain's deep structures.

Better blood sugar (glucose) control was associated with better m...

AHA News: Understanding the Basics of 'Herd Immunity'

Recently I heard a medical "expert" on the news incorrectly define the term "herd immunity." It's a new phrase for many people, but we're hearing about it more and more, so it's important to understand exactly what it is.

First, let's discuss how immunity works for individuals. A person can become immune (or resistant) after exposure to a disease-causing agent, such as the coronavirus c...

Preventing Repeat Heart Attack, Stroke More Important Than Ever: AHA

With the new coronavirus severely straining the U.S. health care system, experts are calling on heart attack and stroke survivors to take extra steps to reduce their risk of a repeat event.

The American Heart Association (AHA) said current information suggests that elderly people with heart disease or high blood pressure are more likely to be infected with the coronavirus and to devel...

When Arteries Narrow, Chest Pain Can Come Earlier for Women Than Men

Women with coronary artery disease have less narrowing in their blood vessels but more chest pain than men with the condition, a new study finds.

In coronary artery disease, plaque build-up in arteries results in reduced blood flow (ischemia) to the heart.

The study included more than 1,100 women and more than 4,000 men whose results on cardiac stress tests indicated they ha...

AHA News: What Do We Know About Congenital Heart Disease and Coronavirus?

Like many 20-year-old college students, Alex Cohen is hunkered down and sequestered amid COVID-19 chaos. Some of his peers were frequenting their usual hangouts right up until many of them began shutting down, but not Cohen.

Once word of the coronavirus hit the news, it meant something different to him. Cohen was born with congenital heart disease and, like many with similar conditio...

AHA News: After Heart Attack, 51-Year-Old Began Singing a New Tune

As the birthplace of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, the Seattle area became the epicenter of the grunge music scene throughout the 1990s. Laura Vanderpool was right in the thick of things, playing guitar and singing with several bands.

"There's a creative buzz playing in a band that's euphoric," she said. "You get locked into each other in a really spiritual way, and there's nothing else lik...

Weight-Loss Surgery May Cut Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

Weight-loss surgery is associated with a significantly lower risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure and death, a new study reveals.

The study included more than 7,400 severely obese people, average age 36, in Denmark who had not suffered a heart attack or stroke. Half of the participants had weight-loss ("bariatric") surgery and half did not (the "control" group).

Over ...

Music Helps Heal a Damaged Heart

People often turn to music to boost their mood or relieve stress. And new research suggests there may be science supporting that practice.

The study found that listening to 30 minutes of music a day eased chest pain and anxiety in people who had recently had a heart attack.

"Based on our findings, we believe music therapy can help all patients after a heart attack. It's al...

Heart Disease Risks Are Undertreated Among Noncitizens: Study

Foreign nationals in the United States are less likely to receive treatment for heart disease risk factors than native-born Americans or naturalized citizens, a new study reports.

Heart disease -- including heart attack and stroke -- is the leading cause of death among adults in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers...

Healthy Living at Home to Ward Off Coronavirus

Even if you're stuck at home waiting for the coronavirus all clear, you can still keep a healthy lifestyle.

"Prevention is key in limiting the spread of coronavirus, and with more people working remotely or limiting their exposure to crowds, it's important to maintain healthy habits at home," said Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, chief medical officer for prevention at the American Heart Associa...

Vaping's Popularity Soars as New Data Points to Heart Risks

E-cigarette use is rising, putting more Americans at risk of blood vessel damage and heart disease, according to three new studies.

In the first study, researchers found that nearly 1 in 20 adults use e-cigarettes.

"Our study may have important public health implications and ramifications for educational strategies aimed at targeting various population segments to inform t...

AHA News: A Look at Allergies and Heart Health, With Tips to Endure Pollen Season Amid Coronavirus Fears

Spring brings warmer temperatures, blooming flowers and, for millions of Americans, the arrival of allergy season. It also coincides this year with the arrival of COVID-19, which could make allergy sufferers hyperaware of every sneeze and sniffle.

But there are key differences in symptoms. Seasonal allergies can cause sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and cough. Yet unlike allergies, cor...

Certain Cancers Linked to Higher A-Fib Risk, Study Finds

People with a history of certain cancers have more than double the risk for the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation, a new study says.

A-fib is a common disorder that can lead to palpitations, dizziness and fatigue. Untreated, it can cause blood clots, stroke and heart failure, and people with a-fib have five times the risk of stroke than other people.

"When we looked ...

Who's Most at Risk From Coronavirus?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues its relentless spread around the world, the greatest worry has been for older people. But experts stress that age is not the sole determinant of risk for severe illness or death.

"The elderly and people with chronic diseases have the highest risk. If you're not sure if you're at a higher risk, talk to your doctor," said Dr. Susan Bleasdale, a spo...

AHA News: Working Out While Staying Safe During the Coronavirus Outbreak

As people are advised to stay home and as the list of gathering places being closed to limit the spread of the coronavirus grows, people might find themselves shut out of their gym, or choose not to go.

But that doesn't mean they should give up on the idea of fitness entirely, trainers say.

And people who do find places to work out in the weeks ahead will want to be aware that g...

AHA News: Smog May Shorten Life Span for Those with Heart Failure

Study after study has concluded that air pollution could be bad for heart health. For people already living with heart failure, new research shows it may shorten their lives significantly.

Those with heart failure who were exposed to air pollution levels that exceeded federal Environmental Protection Agency standards saw more than three-quarters of a year of life lost, according to a st...

AHA News: Tropical Smoothie Adds a Healthy Green Touch to St. Patrick's Day

Looking for something green for your St. Patrick's Day feast? Skip the mint ice cream and shamrock-colored beer in favor of a nutritious tropical green smoothie.

The recipe gets its sweetness from fruit and its color from spinach, a vegetable loaded with nutrients.

"Spinach is a dark, leafy green with a lot of benefits. It's rich in phytonutrients and vitamin C, has a bit iron, ...

AHA News: If You Hunker Down Against Coronavirus, Don't Stop Reaching Out, Experts Say

As more communities deal with outbreaks of COVID-19, those at risk are being advised to stay home and stock up to protect themselves.

But experts say the need to hunker down does not mean people shouldn't reach out to help.

"When there's a time of anxiety, that is not a time to pull back from connectedness," said Dr. Franklin Watkins, associate professor in geriatric medicine at...

AHA News: How Anti-Gay Attitudes Hurt Teen Fitness

Sofia Flynn is exceptional in many ways. The 17-year-old from Chevy Chase, Maryland, already works as an emergency medical technician and does data analysis in a research lab. She has her sights set on medical school and a career in psychiatry. And she works out regularly, in a gym and in dance class.

That last item puts Flynn, a high school junior who identifies as bisexual, in a disti...

Living Healthier Can Help Shield You From A-fib: AHA

From weight loss to physical activity, lifestyle changes are effective, yet underused strategies to manage atrial fibrillation, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).

Atrial fibrillation -- also known as a-fib or AF -- is an abnormal heart rhythm affecting more than 2.7 million Americans.

In a-fib, the heart's upper chambers beat ...

AHA News: Unexplained Heart Failure at 24 Leads to Transplant

When Trent Paul Arnold was 24 and got worn out walking a short distance at work, it was a "big red flag" that something wasn't right.

"Gradually, I just kept losing more and more stamina," he said. His mother, Laura Arnold, believed he was suffering from allergies.

By the time Trent visited his doctor, breathing was difficult. His physician immediately sent him to a local hospit...

AHA News: People With Implanted Heart Pumps May Have Higher Suicide Risk

People with a left ventricular assist device, a mechanical pump that helps the heart, might face a higher suicide risk, new research suggests.

LVADs are used to treat advanced heart failure, where a weakened heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. The condition is advanced when medicines and lifestyle adaptations are no longer adequate treatments. In the U.S., about 2...

AHA News: Sleep Should Be Another Measure of Heart Health, Study Says

Adding sleep to seven established metrics could create a stronger tool for predicting heart disease risk among middle-aged and older adults, new research shows.

The preliminary findings, presented Thursday at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions in Phoenix, recommend changing the AHA's Life's Simple 7 measu...

AHA News: Changing the Way We View Women's Heart Attack Symptoms

Heart attacks are misdiagnosed more often in young women than in men, and one key way to change that, researchers say, is to think differently about how symptom can manifest.

For decades, women have been evaluated by a protocol geared toward men. "The historic failings of cardiology to take a balanced approach to research have led to fundamental flaws in the care for women with heart di...

More Evidence That Ditching Red Meat Is Good for Your Heart

If you want a longer, healthier life, try replacing that steak with beans, vegetables or whole grains -- but preferably not a fast-food veggie burger.

That's according to two preliminary studies by Harvard researchers. They found that people who eat plenty of "high-quality" plant foods instead of red or processed meat have a lower risk of heart attack and tend to live longer.

<...

Olive Oil Could Help Lower Your Heart Disease Risk

If you love to drizzle a bit of olive oil on your salad, a new study suggests a side benefit to that tasty fat: a lower risk of heart disease.

The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, found that people who had more than half a tablespoon of olive oil daily had a 21% lower risk of heart disease.

And, if you replace a teaspoon of butter, margarine or ma...

AHA News: Not All Black Ethnic Groups Are Equal When It Comes to Heart Risks

There are major differences in cardiovascular risk factors among three black ethnic groups, according to new research.

The preliminary study, presented Wednesday at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions in Phoenix, sought to separate risk factors among black ethnic groups in the U.S. by comparing African Ame...

Unscrambling the Egg Data: One a Day Looks OK

Go ahead and crack that egg. Eating one a day isn't likely to increase your risk of heart disease, researchers say.

The three-decade study showed no association between moderate egg consumption and risk of heart disease. The report -- led by a team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston -- should help reassure uneasy egg eaters.

"Recent studies reignited the ...

Erratic Sleep Habits May Boost Risk of Heart Problems: Study

People with irregular sleep patterns may be at increased risk for heart attack and stroke, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 2,000 Americans between 45 and 84 years of age who did not have heart disease. Participants wore a wrist device that monitored their sleep for seven days, including bedtime, sleep duration and wake time.

They were then followe...

AHA News: How Millennials' Notions on Food Are Changing the Entire System

Like the baby boomers before them, millennials tend to do things their own way, and that's not just a reference to their often-stereotyped love of avocado toast.

Surveys have shown the generation born between 1981 and 1996 – people aged 24 to 39 at the end of 2020 – favor organic foods, dine out more often and value convenience.

How will their distinct food and dinin...

Fish Oil May Help Prevent Heart Disease, But Not Cancer: Study

Every day, millions of Americans pop a fish oil supplement -- rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids -- in hopes it'll improve their health.

A big new data review suggests they may be half right: The supplements may slightly reduce a person's risk of heart disease, but they won't ward off cancers.

In fact, men who took the supplements actually had a slight uptick in their ris...

AHA News: Estrogen Therapy in Early Menopause May Help Keep Arteries Clear

Taking an estrogen pill early in menopause could slow the progress of fatty buildups in the neck arteries, according to new research.

The preliminary study, presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions in Phoenix, sheds new light on estrogen therapy's possible impact on plaque buildup in arteri...

Dirty Air Cuts Millions of Lives Short Worldwide: Study

Worldwide, air pollution may be shortening people's life expectancy by an average of three years, according to new estimates.

Researchers calculate that air pollution actually has a bigger impact on life expectancy than tobacco smoking, HIV/AIDS or violence.

While that might sound surprising, it reflects the ubiquity of air pollution, said study co-author Jos Lelieveld of th...

Intense Exercise Can Trigger Heart Trouble in the Unprepared

For most people, aerobic exercise is great. However, high-intensity exercise like running in marathons and triathlons can pose heart risks for those who have inadequate training.

Sudden cardiac arrest, atrial fibrillation and heart attacks are among these risks, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).

"Exercise is medicine, and ther...

AHA News: Stroke at 39 Left College Professor Unable to Speak

A few months before her 39th birthday, Sherry Pinkstaff challenged herself to run for at least 15 minutes every morning and she did, often jogging along the ocean near her home and sometimes pushing a stroller carrying her two young children.

The benefits went beyond physical fitness.

"I can't tell you how many times I get ideas, personally and professionally, when I&#...

AHA News: Could Sunshine Lower Blood Pressure? Study Offers Enlightenment

Exposure to sunshine is linked to lower blood pressure, says a new study that included hundreds of thousands of patients at dialysis clinics across the United States. But don't use this news as an excuse to book a beach vacation just yet.

For the new study, appearing Friday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers examined blood pressure readings from more ...

Healthy Heart in Your 20s,  Healthier Brain Decades Later

A healthier heart in early adulthood could mean fewer thinking and memory problems later in life, a new study suggests.

"These results indicate that people need to pay close attention to their health even in their early 20s," said study author Dr. Farzaneh Sorond, of Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago.

Sorond and her team conducted a 30-year study of 189 p...

Blood Flow in Heart Differs in Men and Women

How your blood flows through your heart may depend on whether you are a man or a woman, new research suggests.

For the study, researchers used a sophisticated imaging technique called 4D flow MRI to examine blood flow and to assess how it influences cardiac performance.

Scans of the heart's main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, were analyzed from 20 men and 19 women.

...

AHA News: What Heart Patients Should Know About Coronavirus

The coronavirus should have everyone's attention by now, health experts say. And people with heart disease have extra reasons to be alert.

COVID-19, which was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, has sickened tens of thousands of people and killed hundreds around the globe. On Tuesday, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respira...

Years of Endurance Exercise May Change Heart Structure

Triathlons, rowing, mountaineering, cross-country skiing: Tough exercise like this done over decades appears to reshape the heart, new research shows.

In older adults, long-term endurance exercise seems tied to an enlargement of the aorta -- the large artery that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. But whether that change is beneficial or harmful remains u...

AHA News: After Heart Attack, Mini-Stroke and Stroke, Survivor Has Some Advice

Andy Beal woke up at 4 a.m. and went to the bathroom as he'd done hundreds of times before. This time, though, the 44-year-old North Carolina man had trouble getting back into bed.

"I collapsed. I had to like roll into bed," Andy said. "The entire right side of my body was paralyzed."

When his wife, Sheila, asked if he was OK, all Andy could say was, "I feel weird."

Andy...

AHA News: Race, Income in Neighborhoods Tied to Cardiac Arrest Survival

Socioeconomics might impact the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest, suggests a new study that found survival rates are lower in heavily black than in heavily white neighborhoods, and in low- and middle-income areas compared with wealthy ones.

More than 350,000 people each year in the U.S. have out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, when the heart's electrical system abruptly malfunctions, a...

AHA News: Legacy of Discrimination Reflected in Health Inequality

Risk factors that can lead to heart disease and stroke include obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. For African Americans, another issue also threatens their cardiovascular health: discrimination.

"This is an uncomfortable subject for many people," said Dr. Keith Churchwell, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. "Most of us...

AHA News: When an Untreated Infection Leads to Heart Valve Disease

Much as he tried, Gabriel Oluka could never keep up with other children.

As he got older, he experienced heaviness in his chest, frequent sore throats and occasional painful joints. Sometimes his breathing became too rapid, and he couldn't always sleep lying down.

But what he remembers the most was constant exhaustion.

"Even when I was doing nothing, I would sit...

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