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Stroke Archive

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Stroke risk rises in people who develop depression after a heart attack

Published July 1, 2022

A 2022 study found that people who have depression after a heart attack are nearly 50% more likely to suffer a stroke compared with heart attack survivors who don’t develop depression.

The ABCs of atrial fibrillation

Published July 1, 2022

About one in 11 men ages 65 and older has atrial fibrillation (afib), a heart rhythm disorder that causes an irregular and often faster-than-normal heartbeat. Afib can be persistent and chronic, or it can happen intermittently. People might have no symptoms with either variety, or afib can cause lightheadedness, shortness of breath, chest pain, or extreme fatigue. But the biggest worry is a fivefold increased risk of stroke. The main treatment choices for people are rate control with medication, or rhythm control, done with medication or a procedure such as electrical cardioversion or catheter ablation.

What you need to know about aphasia

Published July 1, 2022

Brain damage can cause the language disorder aphasia. It affects a person’s ability to understand or produce speech. Coping with aphasia requires treatment for the underlying cause and speech therapy to learn how to communicate despite language deficits. If the cause of the aphasia improves, so may the aphasia. But many people will continue to live with some level of aphasia, especially if the cause of brain damage is a progressive disease, such as Alzheimer’s.

How COVID-19 can compromise your heart health

Published July 1, 2022

COVID survivors—even those with mild infections—appear to face a higher risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart failure, heart attack, and stroke for up to one year after their initial infection. People who were hospitalized (especially those who ended up in the intensive care unit) may have the highest risk. The virus that causes COVID can injure blood vessels and triggers an immune response that promotes the formation of blood clots in arteries and veins throughout the body and brain.

Want a healthier heart? Seriously consider skipping the drinks

Published May 1, 2022

No amount of alcohol, including red wine, is good for the heart, according to a policy brief from the World Heart Federation. Drinking, even in moderation, increases the risk for heart-related conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, stroke, cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle), aortic aneurysm (a dangerous bulge in the wall of the aorta), and atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart rhythm). People who drink regularly might benefit from reducing their intake.

Hospitalization after a ministroke? Not necessarily

Published May 1, 2022

Someone who has a transient ischemic attack (TIA, or ministroke) needs prompt testing to look for the underlying cause. A 2022 study shows that people can safely get that evaluation at a specialized outpatient clinic rather than having to be admitted to the hospital. The testing usually includes a heart ultrasound (echocardiogram), cardiac monitoring, and imaging tests. The results guide targeted stroke-prevention treatments, which can reduce the risk of a future stroke by as much as 80%.

Enjoy avocados? Eating one a week may lower heart disease risk

Published April 11, 2022

Avocados are abundant in healthy fats, fiber, and micronutrients that boost heart health. A long-term study has found that people who eat avocado regularly have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, which leads to heart attacks and strokes.

A look at diastolic blood pressure

Published April 1, 2022

When it comes to managing blood pressure, doctors tend to focus on lowering the top (systolic) number, but the bottom (diastolic) number also plays an essential role in heart health. Diastolic pressure is the pressure during the resting phase between heartbeats, and helps coronary vessels supply oxygen to the heart muscle. It’s important to keep both blood pressure numbers low per guidelines, but research suggests the diastolic number should not fall too low.

Does a low-salt diet really improve your health?

Published April 1, 2022

Using salt substitutes containing potassium chloride instead of using sodium chloride (table salt) may help reduce heart attack and stroke risk. A Harvard study published online Nov. 13, 2021, by The New England Journal of Medicine found that people who consumed the most sodium chloride had a 60% higher risk of a major cardiovascular event (a heart attack, a stroke, cardiac stent placement, or surgery) compared with those who consumed the least. People who consumed the most potassium chloride had a 31% lower risk of a major cardiovascular event compared with the people who consumed the least.

Close relationships with neighbors influence cardiovascular health in Black adults

Published March 3, 2022

A study of Black adults living in the Atlanta area suggests that feeling rooted in community and socializing with neighbors may strongly contribute to better cardiovascular health, which might lower risk for heart attacks and strokes.

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