Stroke Archive


Poor physical function may predict cardiovascular disease

A new study suggests that older adults who maintain an high level functional fitness have a lower their risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke compared with those who are not as fit.

Severe neck pain: A signal of something serious?

Cervical artery dissection, a rare but potentially devastating cause of stroke, is a tear in the lining of one of the main arteries that carry blood to the brain. Any sudden, jerky neck movements, including chiropractic neck adjustments and whiplash from a car accident, can cause such a tear. Cervical artery dissections also have been reported after strenuous weight lifting, tennis, head-flinging dance moves, yoga, and roller coaster rides. The dissections occur in only about three in 100,000 people per year, but they are one of the most common causes of stroke in younger people.

Your guide to taking statins

Statins continue to be a first-line treatment for many people at risk of heart attacks and strokes. They help reduce cholesterol levels, reduce plaque build-up, and protect against plaque rupturing, and fight inflammation. Possible side effects are often mild, if they occur, and go away after a brief period. Otherwise, people can manage them by changing the dosage or switching to another type of statin, per their doctor's direction.

Sleep added to list of essential healthy heart habits

The American Heart Association added sleep to its list of factors for cardiovascular health. The others are a healthy diet; physical activity; low levels of nicotine exposure; and healthy levels of weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.

Atrial fibrillation after surgery: Common and undertreated?

After surgery unrelated to the heart, a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (afib) may be more common than previously thought. These cases, which may constitute 13% of new afib diagnoses, appear to be undertreated.

More protection for your heart? It's just a shot away

A yearly influenza vaccine may help lower the risk of serious cardiovascular complications, especially among people who've had a recent heart attack. Pneumonia and shingles vaccines also help reduce heart attack and stroke risks. Early fall is a good time to get back on track with these vaccines. Several different types of flu shots are available; experts advise getting whichever one is most readily available. For those ages 65 and older who have a choice, three vaccines (Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, Flublock Quadrivalent recombinant, and Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted) may offer slightly better protection than the regular-dose shot and are the preferred choice.

What is a bubble study?

A bubble study is a test done in conjunction with an echocardiogram to check for the presence of a tiny opening between the heart's upper chambers called a patent foramen ovale. Such an opening could explain how an unexpected stroke happened.

The case of the bad placebo

A trial from 2019 showed a medication dramatically reduced triglyceride levels in participants, but subsequent analysis found that the placebo used in the trial may have negatively affected those assigned to take it.

Long periods of sitting tied to higher risk of stroke

Sitting too much can boost stroke risk. But adding more movement—even low-effort activity such as doing household chores—may help lower that risk.

Putting potassium in perspective

Too much or too little potassium can harm the heart. Diet, medications, and kidney function can affect the body's potassium level. Dietary potassium helps keep blood pressure in a normal range, but most Americans don't consume enough of this mineral. However, people taking medications that raise potassium levels—which includes certain drugs to treat high blood pressure and heart failure—should avoid salt substitutes made with potassium chloride.

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