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How to Boost the Odds of Survival After a Heart Attack

Technically referred to as a myocardial infarction, a heart attack occurs when the complete blockage of a coronary artery interrupts blood flow to a portion of the heart muscle, causing death of heart tissue. According to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, following medical guidance after a heart attack increases the odds…

Heart-Smart Exercise Advice for the Sedentary

Physical inactivity is an important risk factor for a heart attack. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (for example, brisk walking) five days a week. Exercise not only reduces your risk of a heart attack, but also helps control body weight, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes, and…

E-Cigarettes Not Safer for Your Heart

Smoking tobacco is a well-established risk factor for heart attacks, and a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine confirms that switching to electronic cigarettes doesn’t eliminate that threat. But the study also offers some good news for people who quit smoking traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

Why a Healthy Diet Doesn’t Cancel the Harm Caused by Too Much Sodium

Following a diet low in sodium but high in potassium can help lower blood pressure and, in turn, reduce your risk of a heart attack. But if you eat well-balanced meals, can you use salt to make your food tastier? Results from a study in the journal Hypertension show that a healthy diet doesn’t cancel the…

An Avocado a Day . . . Keeps the Cardiologist Away?

Good news for avocado lovers: Eating one avocado a day may have beneficial effects on the heart, according to a randomized, controlled study published in the Journal of Nutrition last fall. But don’t forget to compensate for the calories.

Is Coronary Artery Calcium Screening Right for You?

Coronary artery calcium (CAC) screening is a test in which a computed tomography (CT) scan is used to detect calcium-containing plaques in the coronary arteries. Findings from a study in the European Journal of Preventive Medicine add to a growing body of evidence that CAC screening can help pinpoint who will most benefit from statins—and who…

Who Should Be Screened for an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm? Questions Remain

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) goes hand in hand with heart disease. But it rarely causes symptoms until it ruptures and becomes a life-threatening emergency. Ultrasound screening can catch aneurysms early, before they burst, but a lack of good research has made it hard for experts to offer comprehensive screening guidelines—especially for women. Although the U.S.…

Getting a Handle on Heart Failure

Heart failure—also known as congestive heart failure—occurs when your heart can’t pump enough blood with adequate force to meet the body’s needs. It’s a common condition, affecting about 6.5 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although life expectancy after a heart failure diagnosis varies, medical treatment…

Women Less Likely than Men to Receive Life-Saving Heart Pump

Women who have advanced heart failure are less likely than men with the condition to receive a potentially life-saving heart pump known as a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, according to a study published online in Circulation Heart Failure.

Is the Price Right for the Newest Cholesterol Drugs?

When the newest cholesterol-lowering drugs, PCSK9 inhibitors, first became available in 2015, the cost was about $14,000 per year—which strictly limited their use. But according to the National Lipid Association (NLA), major reductions in the prices of these non-statin medications make them a more reasonable option for some people at high risk of a heart attack.