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AHA News: Celebrating Pride Month With Mental Health in Mind

As rainbow flags flutter in the June breeze for Pride Month, many LGBTQ+ people will feel tension in the air.

"It's been a really rough go for LGBTQ Americans" of late, said psychiatrist Dr. Natalia Ramos, an assistant clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In the wake of universal stressors such as the COVID-19 pandem...

AHA News: This Tick Season, Beware the Tiny Bugs That Can Carry Lyme Disease – a Danger to the Heart

Warmer weather is drawing people outdoors to enjoy nature. But for those who spend time working in the garden or walking along wooded or grassy trails, it also means greater exposure to a menace so tiny they may never even see or feel it.

Lyme disease – spread by ticks that can be as small as a pinhead – affects at least 30,000 people per year in the United States. According to the Ce...

AHA News: After Surviving a Heart Attack at 35, She 'Felt Like a Ticking Time Bomb'

Jennifer Valentine's colleague, longtime friend and neighbor Rebecca McCormack picked her up early at her home in York, South Carolina, for a ride to the airport. The oncology technicians at a cancer center were off to a conference in Salt Lake City.

At the airport, they had breakfast at a fast-food restaurant before the 4.5-hour flight. Valentine ordered fried hashed browns and a gravy b...

AHA News: Fear and Language Barriers Keep Some Latino People From Performing CPR

At a CPR class in Spanish in central Virginia, some members of the Latino community say they recognize that the technique can save someone whose heart stops beating. But they acknowledge that fear and uncertainty might keep them from providing critical care.

Such apprehension has prompted trainers who have witnessed it to teach not just how to administer CPR properly to a person who goes ...

AHA News: 38-Year-Old Has Had 3 Hearts: 'It's a Third Chance'

Melanie Wickersheim has no memory of the first time her heart gave her trouble. She was an infant, and her pediatric myocarditis – an inflammation of the muscular walls of the heart – resolved before she was old enough to know anything had ever been wrong.

She spent the first 10 years of her life like any other kid in Los Angeles, believing she was perfectly healthy. Until suddenly, s...

AHA News: Higher Cardiovascular Risk Score Linked to Lower Cognitive Function

A risk calculator used to predict cardiovascular disease also may help predict a person's poor cognitive function, new research suggests.

The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that the higher a person's 10-year cardiovascular risk score, the worse they scored on tests for cognitive function, adding to a large body of evidence suggesting that ...

AHA News: More Than a Kernel of Truth: Corn Can Add a Healthy Crunch to Your Cookout

Stroll past the seasonal aisle at any grocery store this time of year and you'll find a shelf piled with plastic flip-flops, a box sprouting colorful pool noodles and a "sizzling sale" on grilling accessories.

But when it comes to food, a true mark of summer is a staple of the classic American cookout: corn on the cob.

In many parts of the world, corn is called maize. It's the name ...

AHA News: The COVID-19 Emergency Is Over, But the Need For Awareness Remains, Experts Say

The official word on COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization and the U.S. government, is that it's no longer an emergency. But while that's a milestone, it's hardly an all-clear for everyone to behave as if the pandemic never happened, experts say.

"It doesn't mean there's no risk for anyone," said Dr. Preeti Malani, an infectious disease physician at the University of Michig...

AHA News: Pregnant Teacher Survives Cardiac Arrest, Delivers Healthy Baby

Alexis Simon, a special education teacher in the greater Pittsburgh area, was having a routine morning at school, sending an e-mail at her desk. The next thing she knew, she woke up at a hospital, disoriented and panicked.

"Is my baby OK?" Simon, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, asked the doctors.

The baby boy, Dominic, indeed was born healthy, three days after his mother's cardiac ar...

Large Study Supports Less Invasive Way to Treat 'Leaky' Heart Valves

When one of the heart’s valves springs a big leak, that can spell big trouble.

The good news: The condition, known as degenerative mitral regurgitation (DMR), is treatable using a minimally invasive intervention known as TEER (transcatheter edge-to-edge repair), a procedure that involves the insertion of a small clip to enable proper valve closure and blood flow.

The better news? ...

AHA News: Young Woman Shocked by Implanted Defibrillator While Making a TikTok Video

Mary "Micky" Foos was in her garage creating a TikTok video of her dancing when she felt like she was hit from behind by an out-of-control vehicle.

"I was expecting to turn around and see a truck through my garage door," the 25-year-old said. "But when I turned around, there was nothing there. I was so confused."

The shock came from the defibrillator in her chest. The device saved h...

AHA News: Why a Cardiac Crisis Can Also Be a Mental Health Issue

The physical needs of someone recovering from a heart attack, cardiac arrest or major heart surgery can be easy to understand. For many people, the mental and emotional healing may be less so.

Issues such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress regularly affect not just patients but their loved ones, experts say, and have a direct influence on healing.

"Addressing depressio...

AHA News: Her Childhood in India – and Parenthood – Changed This Nutrition Expert's Eating Habits

These days, Saroja Voruganti, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, prefers a balanced diet that emphasizes "whole" foods and steers clear of processed ones.

That wasn't always the case.

"My dietary patterns were very different when I was younger," said Voruganti, who is also associate director for clinical research services at UNC's...

AHA News: Stroke Rehab Improves Recovery. So Why Aren't Hispanic Survivors Getting Enough of It?

Joe Granados was slumped in a chair when his wife – alerted by their children – came to check on him. He didn't seem like himself.

Alba Patricia Granados, a nurse, quickly realized her husband was having a stroke. "He couldn't speak, and he couldn't move the right side of his body," she said.

Joe had experienced similar symptoms earlier that morning but had recovered by the time...

AHA News: The Brain Isn't the Only Place a Stroke Can Occur

Sudden, painless loss of vision. Burning back pain. Achy legs. Incontinence.

People might not recognize these as signs of a stroke, because some are not the symptoms of a stroke in the brain, where most strokes occur. But strokes can happen in other parts of the body, too, said Dr. Matthew Schrag, an assistant professor of neurology and vascular neurologist at Vanderbilt University Medica...

AHA News: A Stroke at 33 Left Her With Locked-In Syndrome and a Grim Prognosis. She Defied Both.

Kate Adamson liked exercising so much, her goal was to become a fitness trainer. She grew up in New Zealand playing golf and later, living in California, she worked out often while raising her two young daughters.

Although she was healthy and ate well, she had occasional migraines. At age 33, they were getting worse and more frequent.

One week, she had the worst headache of her life...

Even Preschoolers Can Help Save a Life, Heart Experts Say

If you're old enough to dial 911, you're old enough to be a lifesaver.

Building lifesaving skills can start as young as age 4 and be expanded over the years, the American Heart Association and others advise in a new scientific statement.

Children can be adept at t...

Shift Work May Harm the Health of Men More Than Women

Working nights can be tough on the body, and a new study suggests it might take a particular toll on men's health.

The research, which involved lab mice and humans, hints that the male of the species might be more vulnerable to the "body clock" disturbances that come with shift work.

In the lab, researchers found that male mice showed a range of negative effects from being exposed t...

AHA News: Why Are South Asians Dying of Heart Disease? MASALA Looks For Answers.

Like many people of South Asian ancestry, Anjana Srivastava can offer a long list of family members who've had heart disease.

"My grandfathers. My dad. My father-in-law. My brothers," she recalled. "My grandmother died from it. I don't think I even know a single family where someone doesn't have heart disease."

That's one reason Srivastava, who grew up in India but lives in the San ...

AHA News: Are Heart Rate and Blood Pressure the Same? No, and It's Important to Understand Why.

Lower your blood pressure. Get your heart rate up. Know your numbers.

When it comes to heart health, understanding all the numbers involved – and which should be up or down and when – can be confusing. But experts say it's important to learn at least some of the basics to help maintain good cardiovascular health.

The measurements taken most often are heart rate and blood pressur...

AHA News: Her Husband and Her 'Indomitable Spirit' Keep Her Going Since a Stroke at 43

Cécile Boynton texted Mark, her husband of five months, that she was on her way home from work. They would then head over to their personal trainer for a workout session.

The two had met a few years earlier at a taekwondo studio near their home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Both black belt holders, Mark had been practicing martial arts since he was a teenager. Cécile had been practi...

AHA News: Health Care Exec's Heart Stops at the Airport

With her suitcase in tow, Kathy Wilson-Gold dropped off her 6-year-old twins, Michael and Megan, at school on a sunny Monday in October, then drove to the airport for a business trip to New Jersey.

The health care executive and registered dietitian's first flight from her home in Oklahoma City to Dallas was smooth. So was her next leg to Philadelphia. After landing, Kathy got a text from ...

AHA News: High Blood Pressure, Pregnancy Complications May Greatly Raise Moms' Future Heart Risks

Women who have high blood pressure before they become pregnant may be twice as likely as those who don't to develop cardiovascular disease within a decade of giving birth, new research finds.

And if their pregnancies involve complications, they are up to 10 times more likely to develop premature cardiovascular problems, according to the study, published Friday in the American Heart Associ...

Whether or Not You Get Heart-Healthy Statins May Depend on Race

Millions of Americans take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, but a new study finds Black and Hispanic adults get the drugs less often than white people do.

“This adds to the known racial and ethnic disparities already highly prevalent in heart disease,” said lead author Dr. Ambarish Pandey, an assistan...

AHA News: Health Advice For Women at Each Stage of Motherhood

Everyone knows that on Mother's Day, Mom's needs come first. But the rest of the year, mothers often put their health care on hold to focus on others.

"A lot of times as women, we tend to put ourselves last," said Dr. Marlene Blaise, a cardiologist in independent practice in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Avoiding that is important for more than mothers themselves, said Jennifer Stuart, an ep...

Scans Suggest Sleep Apnea Could Be Harming Your Brain

Poor sleep brought on by sleep apnea may ultimately undermine the brain health of older men and women, new research suggests.

The concern stems from a new brain scan investigation that involved 140 sleep apnea patients.

“Sleep apnea is a medical condition in which patients ... stop breathing during sleep, which can affect their sleep quality by causing multiple arousals and droppi...

AHA News: The 'Hispanic Paradox': Does a Decades-Old Finding Still Hold Up?

Many Hispanic people in the United States face socioeconomic disadvantages and lower access to affordable health care. Despite these and other challenges to their health, they generally tend to live longer than other racial or ethnic communities -- a health phenomenon that's been studied for decades.

The "Hispanic paradox" has been widely recognized since 1986, when University of Texas re...

AHA News: Former Marine Opens Up About Struggles and Feelings of Hopelessness After Stroke

One hot day last June, Elmar Uy and his girlfriend, LJ Jennings, were gardening outside their home in Hudson, New Hampshire, when something strange happened. Everywhere Uy looked, he saw crescent-shaped spots.

Jennings thought Uy might be dehydrated. She got him some water.

Over the next few days, Uy's eyes became sensitive to light. He had headaches. He thought it might be an ocula...

Head-to-Head Study Finds Which Diabetes Meds Are Best for the Heart

There are many medications for type 2 diabetes, but one class may stand out for protecting the heart, a new study suggests.

The study, of thousands of U.S. veterans with diabetes, found that those who added drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists to their usual regimen were somewhat less likely to suffer a first-time heart attack or stroke in coming years.

That was in comparison to vet...

AHA News: 'Grief Is Not On Anyone Else's Timeline': The Varied Experiences of Coping With Loss

Kyme Holman-Williamson was always close to her older brother, Eddie. So when she learned he needed a heart transplant, she immediately prepared a room for him in her Maryland home, where she could care for him after his surgery.

What she didn't prepare for was his death.

Eddie Holman, a former Marine, survived a seven-week wait for a donor. Wearing a heart pump, he walked nearly 7 m...

AHA News: Report Details How to Fine-Tune Asian Diets For Better Heart Health

Just as the term "Asian American" encompasses a vast number of people and cultures, the idea of an "Asian diet" oversimplifies differences in what they eat, a new report on heart health says.

Understanding those differences is important for the United States' fastest-growing ethnic group and the professionals who tend to their health, says the American Heart Association scientific stateme...

Science Reveals Cause of Rare Heart Trouble in Young Men Who Get COVID Vaccines

Researchers think they've figured out why the COVID vaccine causes heart inflammation in an extremely small number of teenage boys — and what might be done to avoid it.

The second dose of COVID vaccine appears to promote a severe inflammatory response in these teens, setting off a cascade of events that causes myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), the researchers reported.


AHA News: She Wanted to Thank the Surgeon Who Saved Her Life as a Baby. She Did -- As His Colleague.

Hours after Sarah Hernandez was born in La Verne, California, doctors diagnosed problems with her heart -- problems they couldn't fix. So they arranged for her to be flown to nearby Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

The trouble involved two valves in the newborn's heart. One valve was deformed and the other was overly narrow. Both congenital heart defects prevented proper blood flow. She n...

AHA News: How a Self-Care Expert Takes Care of Herself

Self-care means many things to many people. To Dr. Beth Frates, director of lifestyle medicine and wellness in the department of surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, it boils down to "caring for your body, mind and soul."

And to do that, she might pick up a hula hoop. Or a dog.

Frates, who is president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, has written extens...

Key to Post-Stroke Recovery: Exercise

Physical activity after a stroke may be crucial to a more successful recovery, according to a study by Swedish researchers.

They found that patients who increased and sustained their exercise in the six months after their stroke were functioning better than those who didn't.

"People who have experienced a stroke can gain functional benefits by increasing physical activity, regardle...

AHA News: Blood Pressure: What Do the Numbers Mean and Why Do They Matter?

It's a standard part of any medical visit. Someone, typically a nurse, wraps a cuff around your arm and asks you to sit quietly while the cuff squeezes to the point of discomfort, then slowly eases its grip. Some numbers get jotted down in your chart.

"136 over 79."

What does that even mean?

"The top number -- the systolic -- tells us how much pressure there is from b...

AHA News: A Stroke at 30 Sapped an Elementary School Teacher's Joy. Then She Reclaimed It.

Elementary school teacher Rachel Henry had been having monster headaches for a few weeks. She complained about them to colleagues, family, even the school nurse. No one seemed concerned about the 30-year-old. Henry, who lives in Worcester, Massachusetts, assumed they would pass.

At a routine checkup for a thyroid condition, Henry was checked in by a nurse. When the nurse and doctor return...

AHA News: Hispanic People -- Especially Men -- Are Less Likely to See a Doctor, and the Reasons Can Be Complex

Language barriers, cultural differences and systemic health inequities are among the reasons many Latino people, particularly men, avoid doctor visits -- and that could lead to dire outcomes, experts warn.

Studies have suggested that of all racial and ethnic groups in the United States, Hispanic people are least likely to seek medical care for an illness. In a 2022 Pew Research Center sur...

AHA News: Doctors Said Weight and Stress Caused Her Symptoms. They Came From a Blocked Heart Artery.

After a week of remote work in Farmington Hills, Michigan, Denise Castille was packing up her desk and preparing to leave for the airport to catch a flight back to her home in McKinney, Texas.

Most of her co-workers had already left for the Independence Day long weekend when Denise, then 46, started experiencing sharp chest pain. She began sweating profusely. Her skin suddenly appeared gr...

Tight Control of High Blood Pressure Brings Big Brain Benefits

Maintaining tight control of your blood pressure could help your brain, potentially reducing your risk of stroke, a new study says.

When blood pressure was intensively managed in adults over age 50, patients had fewer lesions in the brain's white matter, according to researchers.

Having this consistently controlled blood pressure significantly reduced the risk of strok...

AHA News: Long COVID in Children Still Poses Plenty of Questions

In the constantly unfolding tale of the pandemic, long COVID -- the persistent effects that can follow a SARS-CoV-2 infection -- is among the more challenging twists, one that researchers are just beginning to grasp in adults.

And in children, it might be a whole other story.

"It's a very difficult collection of symptoms, without a clear single treatment," said Dr. Sarah de Ferranti...

Psychotherapy's Hidden Bonus: Healthier Hearts

Treating depression with talk therapy may provide protection against heart disease, new research suggests.

As depression lifts, people may begin to engage more in healthy eating and exercise, investigators believe.

In a study o...

AHA News: Since Her Heart Transplant, She Treats Every Day Like a Birthday

Jen Lentini was a 13-year-old competitive baton twirler and lacrosse player in the Long Island town of Hicksville, New York, when the problems began.

The pain started in her stomach. It was so severe that she'd often sit through a couple of classes then call her parents from the nurse's office, asking to go home. Her grades started to slip. She didn't hang out as much with friends.


AHA News: Concerns Remain as COVID-19 Pandemic Weighs on Hispanic People in US

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Hispanic population faced disproportionately high case numbers. As the coronavirus crisis enters its fourth year, and with some federal resources set to expire soon, concerns remain about the continuing impact of COVID-19 on Latino people.

Between Jan. 22, 2020, two days after the first COVID-19 case in the United States was confirmed, and May 30, ...

AHA News: Exercise Kept Her Family History of Heart Disease at Bay For Decades -- Until She Hit 65

Jana Turner had always enjoyed a sense of control over her life. She never married or had children. Her career in commercial real estate remained her top priority, culminating in a rise to becoming a partner in her company.

She also took control of her health. Because her parents and all four grandparents had died of heart disease, she stayed lean, ate a healthy diet and remained active. ...

AHA News: Her Parents Needed a Spanish-Speaking Doctor. She's Becoming One to Break Down Health Care Barriers.

Growing up in Chicago, Melissa Rodríguez Mendoza initially had designs on working in the fashion industry. Trips to the doctor's office with her parents changed her mind.

Immigrants from Mexico, her parents mainly spoke Spanish and had trouble finding Spanish-speaking doctors. Melissa would accompany her mother and father to medical visits to be their interpreter.

When it came time...

AHA News: What Is Commotio Cordis, Which NFL Player Damar Hamlin Says Stopped His Heart?

Damar Hamlin has confirmed the cause of his near-fatal collapse on "Monday Night Football" as commotio cordis, a rare event caused by a blow to the chest.

"This event was life-changing, but it's not the end of my story," Hamlin said Tuesday.

Hamlin, 25, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, spoke at a news conference after working out with the team. Earlier, general manager Brandon Beane ...

AHA News: On a Snowy Day, the Warmth of a Stranger Kept One Man Alive

In the early months of 2021, heavy snow blanketed the city of Philadelphia.

Justin Stroh and his wife, Bess, both in their 60s, had been taking turns shoveling the snow in front of their suburban home. On a Monday in February, the snow was falling fast and hard, dumping 1 to 2 inches an hour before mixing with rain. The combination made it too heavy to clear. The Strohs considered taking ...

AHA News: This Food Expert Aspires to a Diet Full of Goodness -- But He Didn't Always

Christopher Gardner was once a junk-food-devouring teen. Today, he eats a whole-food, plant-based diet, works to improve the food system and encourages people to "be intentional about food choices. Think about them, ask others about them, discuss them, be aspirational in terms of trying to hit as many of the high notes as you can at one time."

What changed? It's a story that starts with a...

Some Bear Facts That Could Help Prevent Human Strokes

Long periods of immobility can put people at risk of dangerous blood clots — yet hibernating bears lie around for months without any problem. Now scientists think they've figured out why.

The researchers hope the insight can eventually lead to new drugs for preventing life-threatening blood clots — the kind that begin in the legs but can travel to the brain and cause a stroke, or to t...

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