Heart Failure Archive


What is palliative care for heart failure?

Palliative care for heart failure aims to improve quality of life for patients and their families by addressing physical symptoms, and also emotional, psychosocial, and spiritual issues. This may include treating anxiety and depression in patients and supporting caregivers, who may be dealing with stress and worry. Palliative care also includes talking with patients about their personal goals and what matters most to them, which can help guide their care as the illness progresses.

Can I improve my ejection fraction?

Ejection fraction is the fraction (expressed as a percentage) of the blood that the heart "ejects" out to the rest of the body when it contracts. Low ejection fraction signals one form of heart failure. An echocardiogram is the standard test to measure ejection fraction.

Prediabetes linked to higher risk of cardiovascular problems

Even slightly elevated blood sugar levels—a condition known as pre-diabetes—may raise the risk of cardiovascular problems. But attention to weight loss and greater use of medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol appear to reduce the risk.

Are you missing out on this crucial cardiovascular therapy?

A 2023 study found that most people who are hospitalized for heart failure aren't being referred for cardiac rehabilitation. The rehab is a recommended, medically supervised three-month program (covered by Medicare) that significantly lengthens life.

Harvard study: Even weekend warriors achieve heart benefits

A 2023 Harvard study found that regularly squeezing a week's worth of exercise (150 minutes) into just one or two days—a "weekend warrior" approach—is linked to the same heart-healthy benefits as daily exercise.

Weather and air pollution linked to heart-related hospitalizations

Lower temperatures, high wind speed, atmospheric pressure, high precipitation, and high degrees of pollution may raise the risk of being hospitalized for serious heart-related conditions. Modeling these factors may help forecast future heart problems.

Why are you coughing at night?

Several health issues are associated with nighttime coughing. Some of the most common are postnasal drip, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), medication side effects, and heart failure. When a new nighttime cough lasts more than a few weeks, it's important to go to a doctor to rule out dangerous causes, such as heart failure. The doctor can also determine if a drug side effect, postnasal drip, or GERD is causing the cough, and prescribe medications to treat the condition.

COVID-19's cardiac legacy: An update

COVID-19 may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure, up to a year after the infection. But vaccination appears to lower these risks. Getting just one dose of a COVID vaccine may halve the risk of myocarditis, a rare condition that causes inflammation of the heart muscle that can arise after viral infections.

Heart failure risk in people with diabetes who take certain pain relievers

People with diabetes who take pain relievers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be at higher risk of heart failure, according to a 2023 study. NSAIDs include ibuprofen, which is sold over the counter as Advil and Motrin.

Can a smart watch detect early risks for certain heart problems?

A 2023 study suggests that the type of technology used in smart watches to measure the heart's electrical activity may have the potential to detect early signs of heart failure or atrial fibrillation.

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