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Heart Disease Archive
DASH diet even better for women’s hearts
A 2023 study found that the DASH diet, rich in whole grains, lean protein, nuts, low-fat dairy, and fruits and vegetables, may dramatically lower the risk of heart problems in women and Black adults.
The weighty issue of heart disease
The rates of heart disease among men are predicted to rise significantly by 2060. The primary reason is America’s rising rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes. While controlling calorie intake and increasing activity are the two best strategies for weight loss, another effective method is hospital-based weight management programs that offer a team of physicians, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, life coaches, and counselors who provide instruction, guidance, and support for weight management.
Rising alcohol intake linked to higher risk of atrial fibrillation
People who increase their drinking in later midlife—consuming 21 or more drinks per week—may raise their risk of atrial fibrillation compared with those who maintain low to moderate alcohol intake.
Raising awareness about aortic disease
New guidelines about aortic disease highlight the risks and screening recommendations for these uncommon but life-threatening conditions, which include abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms. Cigarette smoking and high blood pressure can heighten the risk of aortic disease, as can genes and certain other medical conditions, which can weaken the wall of the aorta. As a result, the aortic wall may tear (aortic dissection) or bulge outward (aortic aneurysm) and possibly rupture.
Heavy metals found in popular brands of dark chocolate
Popular brands of dark chocolate (which is often touted as heart-healthy) may contain potentially worrisome levels of lead and cadmium. Consistent, long-term exposure to these heavy metals has been linked to cardiovascular disease.
A closer look at good cholesterol
Doctors concentrate on helping men lower their blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease. Lower HDL levels are associated with higher cardiovascular risk. This may be related to HDL’s role in helping to remove excess cholesterol in arteries that can lead to plaque buildup and increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. However, no specific therapies to raise HDL levels have improved outcomes.
Watch out for bogus supplement claims
In November 2022, the FDA called out seven supplement companies for illegally claiming their products could treat or prevent cardiovascular disease, such as atherosclerosis or heart failure.
Spot the warning signs of 4 dangerous conditions
Sometimes people miss the symptoms of life-threatening conditions such as a heart attack, a stroke, atrial fibrillation, or a pulmonary embolism. To detect the warning signs, people should pay attention to sudden, new symptoms, especially if they include shortness of breath, chest pain, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, confusion, weakness, fatigue, fainting, or a terrible headache. Someone experiencing any of these symptoms should call 911. If symptoms aren’t sudden or intense, and people aren’t sure if they warrant emergency help, they should call their doctor.
Telehealth for your heart
Video visits and other forms of telehealth, which were commonplace during the COVD-19 surge, can be good options for treating people with heart disease. Telehealth delivery options can be synchronous or asynchronous, and they may also include remote monitoring or measurements such as weight and blood pressure. Blended care that combines in-person appointments with virtual visits may be the wave of the future.
Exercising when you have a heart condition
For people with all types of cardiovascular disease, regular exercise helps prevent the disease from getting worse. Even very short exercise stints can make a difference. Many people with heart disease qualify for cardiac rehabilitation, which includes an exercise stress test that shows how your heart and body respond to exertion. The results can inform recommendations for safe, effective physical activity.
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