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Heart Health

Does menopause raise the risk for a cardiovascular event?

Recent research shows that women who experience hot flashes and night sweats during menopause may potentially be at higher risk for a cardiovascular event.

Data from over 3,000 women included in the final analysis, with 231 (7.1%) experiencing a cardiovascular event during 22 years of follow-up. The 365 women who reported frequent vasomotor symptoms (at least six episodes of hot flashes or night sweats in the previous 2-week period) had more than twice the risk for a cardiovascular event than those who reported no vasomotor symptoms at baseline.

ortFurther research is needed to establish causality. The findings were recently presented at the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) 2019 Annual Meeting.

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Heart Health

Today is World Heart Day!

Today is World Heart Day! World Heart Day was created to inform people around the world about cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death. Each year, cardiovascular disease claims 17.9 million lives. This day highlights the actions that can be taken to prevent and control cardiovascular disease.

The World Heart Federation suggests a few ways to look after your heart:

❤ Eat well and drink wisely: for example, choose water, fresh fruit and vegetables, and limit processed foods. ❤ Stay active: aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity 5 times a week, or 75 minutes spread throughout the week of vigorous-intensity activity. ❤ Say no to smoking: within 2 years of quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease is significantly reduced, and within 15 years the risk of cardiovascular disease returns to that of a non-smoker.

Share to spread awareness! ❤

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Heart Health

Vegetarians and vegans may have a higher risk of stroke than meat eaters, but carnivores have a higher risk of heart disease

🔬🥑Recent research shows that vegans and vegetarians may be at a higher risk for stroke, but meat eaters have a higher risk of heart disease.🥩🔬

Researchers from Oxford University looked at the dietary habits and health of 48,188 participants in the UK over the course of 18 years. It was found that participants with a plant-based diet had lower rates of heart disease but higher rates of stroke than meat eaters, specifically a hemorrhagic stroke. However, those who avoided meat but ate fish, had a lower risk of heart disease without increasing their risk for stroke.

Further research is needed on the topic. The findings from this study have been published in The BMJ.

The study followed nearly 50,000 people for 18 years. Meat eaters had a higher risk of heart disease, and pescatarians fared best overall.

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Heart Health

Daytime naps once or twice a week may be linked to a healthy heart, researchers say

😴❤Researchers have found that taking a daytime nap once or twice a week may lower the risk of heart attacks or strokes.❤😴

Researchers from the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland researched the association between napping frequency and duration and the risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease complications.

Scientists studied 3,462 people between the ages of 35 and 75 for just over five years. It was found that those who napped occasionally (once or twice a week, for between five minutes to an hour), were 48% less likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or heart failure than those who did not nap at all.

More research is needed to establish a causal relationship. The findings have been published in Heart, the journal of the British Cardiovascular Society.

Some good news for nap fanatics — a new study has found that a daytime nap taken once or twice a week could lower the risk of heart attacks or strokes.

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Heart Health

Heart health: Focus on healthful foods rather than diet type

Recent research shows that the type of diet a person follows is not as important as simply making sure it includes healthful foods. 🥑🍎🥗🍅🥕

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) compared the effects of three diets on heart disease risks. Each of the diets followed the DASH pattern while focusing on one main macronutrient: carbohydrates, proteins, or unsaturated fats.

In comparison with the baseline, all three diets had positive and prompt effects on heart health: all lowered the markers of inflammation and cardiac injury. Changing the composition of the macronutrients did not make a difference, suggesting that it does not matter whether the diet is high or low in healthful fats or carbs— the most important factor is the general healthfulness of the diet.

The findings have been published in the International Journal of Cardiology.

New research looks at proportions of macronutrients, such as carbs, protein, or fats, in three different diets and their effects on cardiovascular health.

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Heart Health

Intense light may boost heart health

Recent research shows that intense light therapy may be beneficial for the heart. Researchers discovered that intense light influences the functions of the PER2 gene. This gene is expressed by a part of the brain that controls circadian rhythms.

When boosting this gene through intense light therapy, it was discovered that mice’s heart tissue received extra protection when experiencing issues with oxygen, for example, like during a heart attack. The light also increased cardiac adenosine, a chemical that helps with blood flow regulation.

When tested in humans, PER2 levels increased in response to light therapy as it did in the mice. Human volunteers saw a decreased level of plasma triglycerides and improved metabolism.

Further research is needed in humans to understand the impact of intense light therapy and its potential for cardiovascular protection. The findings from this study have been published in the journal Cell Reports.

New research in mice and humans finds that exposure to intense light therapy can boost the heart’s protection against a heart attack.

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Heart Health

Genetic variants linked to insomnia have increased risks…

Recent research shows that people with genetic variants linked to insomnia have an increased risk of heart disease, heart failure and stroke.

Researchers looked at health information of more than 1.3 million participants. The investigators compared whether or not genetic variants linked to insomnia were also associated with the risk of heart conditions and stroke. It was found that those with a genetic predisposition to insomnia had a higher risk of heart disease, heart failure and stroke that affected large blood vessels.

More research is needed to further understand the possible relationship. The findings have been published in the journal Circulation.

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Heart Health

A plant-based diet might help your heart and longevity, study suggests

Results from a new study suggest that eating more plants and less meat may be tied to an increase in life expectancy and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers studied data on 12,168 middle-aged adults in the United States. It was found that those who followed diets with mostly plant-based foods, compared with those who had the lowest adherence, had a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, approximately 32% lower risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease, and 18-25% lower risk of early death from any cause.

More research is needed to determine if a causal relationship exists. The findings have been published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Sticking to a plant-based diet or a diet of more plant foods than animal foods could be linked with a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and up to 25% lower risk of early death, according to a new study.

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Heart Health

5 Heart Disease and Diabetes Risk Factors That Should Be on Your Radar

A recent article from Healthline discusses five risk factors for heart disease and diabetes that the Endocrine Society recommends are regularly assessed.

Regular screenings in these five areas can help you reduce your risk for developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

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Heart Health

Is daily aspirin for heart health necessary?

According to a Harvard study, millions of people who take aspirin every day to prevent heart attacks may not truly need it.

According to the study, about 29 million people 40 and older took an aspirin a day in 2017 despite not having heart disease. It was found that only a marginal benefit, if any, could be found from routine aspirin use, and a study published this year in the journal JAMA Neurology found that taking low-dose aspirin is associated with an increased risk for bleeding within the skull for people without heart disease.

A Harvard study revealed that some 29 million who don’t have heart disease were taking aspirin every day in 2017.

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Heart Health

How an omega-6 fatty acid may keep heart disease at bay

A recent article from Medical News Today discusses how omega-6 fatty acids may be beneficial against atherosclerosis.

New research in mouse cells sheds light on some mechanisms that help explain how dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid, an omega-6, prevents atherosclerosis.

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Heart Health

Cutting Just 300 Calories Per Day May Keep Your Heart Healthy

Recent research shows that cutting 300 calories per day could help to improve heart health on several levels.

In a study of over 200 individuals, it was found that those who cut 300 calories a day experienced approximately a 16.5 pound weight loss on average and saw improvements, including lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, on all six primary factors associated with risks to heart health, as well as improved insulin resistance and metabolic rates.

The findings have been published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Always speak with your doctor before making dietary changes.

That’s the equivalent of about six standard Oreos. But this modest reduction in calories could have protective benefits for our hearts, a new study finds.

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Heart Health

Cardiovascular risk linked not to weight, but to body fat storage

Recent research shows that where fat is distributed most within the body, and not body weight, may be more indicative of cardiovascular risk in women over the age of 50.

Researchers studied data from 161,808 women aged 50–79 to find out whether BMI or fat distribution was associated with cardiovascular risk. It was found that women with the highest percentage of fat stored around their middles and trunks and the lowest percentage of fat around their legs had the highest risk of cardiovascular disease.

It is emphasized that more research is needed to understand this possible relationship. The findings have been published in the European Heart Journal.

Research in a large cohort of women over the age of 50 suggests that body shape, resulting from fat distribution, is associated with cardiovascular risk.

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Heart Health

Unscrambling the message on eggs - Harvard Health

The egg debate continues! Are eggs safe to eat with regards to cholesterol? How many?

A recent article from Harvard Health Publishing discusses eggs and cholesterol. 🍳

Advice about eating eggs has changed over the years, ranging from a limit of three to seven per week. Although eggs are high in cholesterol, dietary cholesterol does not affect blood cholesterol very much in most people. Saturated fat from meat and f…

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Heart Health

Heart disease can have long-term impact on the brain, study says

Recent research shows that those with coronary heart disease are at a higher risk for cognitive decline later in life.

Researchers found that scores on cognitive tests, such as verbal memory and orientation of time, dropped faster after patients received such a diagnosis than they did leading up to it.

The findings were recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Patients who receive a diagnosis of coronary heart disease are at higher risk for cognitive decline later on, a new study shows.

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Heart Health

'Pumping heart patch' ready for human use

A recent article from BBC News discusses the “pumping heart patch” that is being studied and tested in the UK. The patch is made of millions of beating stem cells, and is hoped to help repair damage caused by heart attacks.

The patch has been declared safe in animal testing and is hoped to begin human trials in the next two years, according to the British Cardiovascular Society.

It is packed with millions of living cells to mend damage after a heart attack, say researchers.

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Heart Health

Can blueberries protect heart health?

Recent research shows that eating up to one cup of blueberries per day can help to improve vascular function and arterial stiffness.

Researchers conducted a small study involving 115 individuals, aged 50 to 75. It was found that those who consumed one cup of blueberries were able to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by between 12 and 15%.

The findings were recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

A recent study that investigated the impact of blueberries on cardiovascular health concludes that we should all be eating 1 cup of blueberries each day.

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Heart Health

High cholesterol linked to Alzheimer's disease

Recent research shows that there may be a possible link between high cholesterol and an increased risk of developing early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers collected data from over 2,000 individuals. It was found that those who had higher levels of LDL cholesterol were more likely to have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease compared with those with lower LDL measurements.

It is emphasized that more research is needed to establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship. The findings have been published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

Scientists believe early-onset Alzheimer’s is associated with cholesterol genes

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Heart Health

Heart disease deaths in middle-aged women on the rise

According to the CDC, deaths due to heart disease are on the rise for middle-aged women.

While more research is needed as to why, some medical professionals feel it is related to increases in risk factors such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, and more.

A rise in risk factors like obesity along with the high cost of health care and insurance may play a role.

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Heart Health

DASH diet reduced heart failure risk 'by almost half' in people under 75

Researchers recently examined the impact of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet on blood pressure and heart failure.

The study was carried out by a team at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The findings have recently been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

People under 75 who followed a plant-rich diet for reducing high blood pressure had a significantly lower risk of heart failure than those who did not.

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Heart Health

How to lower cholesterol naturally without medication

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), unhealthful lifestyle choices are the leading cause of high cholesterol. But, for some individuals, genetics, certain medical conditions, and medications can also contribute to high cholesterol.

A recent article from Medical News Today discusses some dietary changes that can be made to help lower cholesterol. For many individuals, changing diet alone may not be enough. Always make sure to speak with your doctor before implementing changes!

High cholesterol levels can increase a person’s risk of heart disease. Natural ways to lower cholesterol include replacing trans fats and saturated fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, eating more soluble fiber, and exercising regularly. Learn more here.

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Heart Health

15 Things Brain Doctors Wish You Knew About Strokes

An interesting recent article from Reader’s Digest shares information to know about strokes.

Every 40 seconds in the United States, someone experiences a stroke. Learn what doctors need you to know about this deadly condition.

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