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AHA News: After a Jump in Maternal Mortality for Hispanic Women, a Search for Answers

The COVID-19 pandemic produced no shortage of somber statistics. But for people who care about women's health, one number about Hispanic women stood out.

Their maternal mortality rate jumped sharply in 2020 – up 44% from the year before, according to the latest available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For every 100,000 births, there were 18.2 deaths among Hisp...

AHA News: For This Race Car Driver, Curing a Racing Heart Was Key to Crossing the Finish Line

Bryce Cornet is no stranger to a racing heart. His heart beats faster each time he puts on his helmet, slides into the cockpit of his race car, snaps on the buckles of his harness and puts the pedal to the floor to careen around a twisting, turning racetrack.

"I always wanted to be a race car driver," Bryce said. "Once my parents saw my interest in watching racing on TV and playing with d...

AHA News: The Benefits of Adding a Drizzle of Olive Oil to Your Diet

The ancient Greeks were on to something when they referred to olive oil as an "elixir of youth and health." Centuries later, research offers evidence about the benefits of olive oil in our daily diets.

Consuming more than half a tablespoon of olive oil a day may lower heart disease risk, a 2020 study found. And earlier this year, researchers reported in the Journal of the American College...

AHA News: She's Celebrating Her 50th Birthday and 9th Anniversary of Her Heart Transplant

At 26, Melody Hickman of Raleigh, North Carolina, was crestfallen. A routine physical detected a problem with her mitral valve. Fixing it required open-heart surgery.

"I knew I would have to be on a heart-lung machine, and the idea of having the incision really bothered me," she said, noting she often wore V-neck tops. "It was a lot to digest."

The surgery and recovery went well. Th...

AHA News: Genetics May Explain Rare Heart Inflammation in Some Young People

Gene abnormalities may make some people more susceptible to myocarditis, a rare type of heart inflammation that can affect young people and athletes, a large new study shows.

The findings, published Monday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, could partially answer why otherwise healthy young people sometimes develop a condition that can lead to heart failure and sudden ...

AHA News: How to Keep 'Vaccine Fatigue' From Getting in the Way of a Flu Shot

After nearly three years of nearly nonstop talking about viruses and vaccinations, some people might be ready to tune out.

That would be a mistake, health experts say.

Amid warning signs of a potentially severe flu season ahead, those experts worry "vaccine fatigue" will keep people from getting their flu shot – and with it, a simple, safe way to protect themselves from life-threa...

Blood Clot Risk Remains Higher Almost a Year After COVID

An increased risk of blood clots persists for close to a year after a COVID-19 infection, a large study shows.

The health records of 48 million unvaccinated adults in the United Kingdom suggest that the pandemic's first wave in 2020 may have led to an additional 10,500 cases of heart attack, stroke and other

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 23, 2022
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  • AHA News: Waiting For Takeoff, Her Heart Stopped. Flight Attendants Came to the Rescue.

    Vonnie Gaither hated leaving a reunion of extended family in Baltimore. Still, she had to tear herself away to start the trek back home to Anchorage, Alaska.

    Her flight from Baltimore to Salt Lake City was uneventful. After boarding the plane bound for Anchorage, she buckled up and called a friend to let her know she was on her way.

    She then slumped over. A pair of flight attendants...

    Already Taking a Blood Thinner? Adding Aspirin May Do Harm

    WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- For many years, doctors have advised taking low-dose aspirin to help prevent first-time heart attacks and stroke. But increasingly, they're doing an about-face.

    The latest warnings come from University of Michigan researchers who reported that patients simultaneously taking another blood thinner,

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 21, 2022
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  • AHA News: Move Around a Lot While You Sleep? It Might Be Bad News For Your Heart

    Poor sleep quality – including moving around too much or having sleep apnea – may increase the risk for a future heart problem, new research suggests.

    That problem is called left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, a precursor to heart failure. But not getting enough sleep did not appear to increase that risk, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Hear...

    Heart Disease Can Plague Adults With ADHD

    New research suggests that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may trigger more than just psychiatric complications: Adults suffering from ADHD may also be more likely to develop some type of cardiovascular disease.

    "Clinicians need to c...

    AHA News: College Softball Player's Heart Stops After Routine Play

    In her second game of the day, Fordham University shortstop Sarah Taffet hit a ground ball to first base. The fielder charged forward, stopped the ball and kept going to tag out Sarah. It turned into a small collision, with Sarah getting knocked to the ground.

    "It kind of knocked the wind out of me a little bit, but I've been tagged harder before," Sarah said. "It wasn't a dirty play."

    AHA News: Blood Clot Risk Remains Elevated Nearly a Year After COVID-19

    People who got COVID-19 had a higher risk of dangerous blood clots for close to a year later, according to a large new study on the aftereffects of a SARS-CoV-2 infection during the period before vaccines became available.

    As seen in previous studies, COVID-19 was linked to a sharply increased risk of blood clot-related issues -- including heart attack and stroke -- immediately after diag...

    AHA News: Many Older Adults May Not Get the Intensive Blood Pressure Treatment They Need

    Fewer than 30% of older adults who need more intensive treatment for high blood pressure actually get it, new research shows. And the problem may be worsening.

    Nearly half of U.S. adults -- about 116 million people -- have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. When not properly controlled, it can lead to serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke and kidney disease...

    AHA News: Dad's Stroke at 49 Inspired Daughters to Help Patients

    One Sunday morning at church, Alejandra Rosales Murillo and her four sisters were sitting with their parents when one of the girls noticed their father's face was drooping.

    She whispered the news to their mom, Maria Rosales Murillo. She leaned toward her husband, Jose Rosales Campos, and asked if something was wrong.

    "It's probably Bell's palsy again," he said. A year earlier, he'd ...

    Deadly Form of High Cholesterol Can Catch Black Americans by Surprise

    Chad Gradney underwent quadruple bypass open-heart surgery at age 27, and afterward spent eight fruitless years battling extremely high cholesterol levels.

    Then in 2012 he found himself back in an emergency room, again suffering from chest pain.

    "That's when I found out three of the four bypasses basically had failed again," recalls Gradney, now 44 and living in Baton Rouge, La.

    ...

    AHA News: She Had a Stroke During a Video Call With Her Congressional Representative

    Getting ready for her annual meeting with members of Congress to seek more funding for Alzheimer's disease research, Ann Walters Tillery needed strong Wi-Fi for the video meeting.

    She had been working from home earlier that day but decided to go into the office at the University of Nebraska Foundation. In a quiet conference room, Walters Tillery set up her laptop and started to speak.

    ...

    Unhealthy Gums Could Up Your Odds for Dementia

    Gum disease has far-reaching effects and may increase your odds of developing dementia, a new study suggests.

    In a review of 47 previously published studies, researchers in Finland found that tooth loss, deep pockets around teeth in the gums, or bone loss in the tooth sockets was tied to a 21% higher risk of dementia and a 23% higher risk of

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 12, 2022
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  • AHA News: She Tried to Forget Her Stroke. Now, She's Putting It Into Words.

    Beth Bonness talked into the mirror as her hairstylist, standing behind her, applied reddish highlights to her brown shoulder-length hair. They'd known each other for years, and Bonness was relaying a funny story from a trip to Rome.

    Suddenly, the stylist started moving her hands around in the mirror like she was trying to interrupt Bonness.

    "Beth. Beth. Beth. Can you hear me?" she ...

    AHA News: Where You Live May Impact How Likely You Are to Take Your Blood Pressure Meds

    People who live in large urban areas may be less likely to take prescribed medications for high blood pressure and less likely to have a primary care provider than those living in smaller rural communities, new research suggests.

    The findings also suggest there are regional differences, with those living in the western part of the U.S. least likely to take medication prescribed for high b...

    Could Artificial Sweeteners Be Bad for Your Heart?

    Artificial sweeteners are a popular way to try to keep slim, but French researchers suggest they may also increase your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

    The finding stems from tracking heart health among more than 103,000 men and women in France for close to a decade.

    "We observed that a higher intake of...

    Another Reason to Get the Flu Shot: Lowered Risk for Stroke

    As flu season approaches, a new study is pointing to a possible bonus from vaccination: a lower risk of stroke.

    Researchers in Spain found that among nearly 86,000 middle-aged and older adults, those who got their annual flu shot were less likely to suffer an ischemic stroke over the next y...

    AHA News: Her Research Is Getting Worldwide Attention. But For Now, She Needs to Finish High School.

    Explaining her research, Maria Balhara sounds like a typical scientist: She had a hypothesis. She recruited participants to evaluate. She analyzed the data. Soon, she'll present her work at major scientific conferences.

    This might be routine stuff for a professor or graduate student. For a 16-year-old high schooler, not so much.

    Balhara, a senior at Cooper City High School in South ...

    AHA News: Gay, Bisexual Adults May Be Less Likely to Take Needed High Blood Pressure Medication

    Gay and bisexual men and women appear less likely to take prescribed medications for high blood pressure than their straight peers, and the gap has been widening in recent years, according to preliminary new research.

    "We expected the gap to be narrowing," said lead study author Syed Hyder, a fourth-year medical student at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

    The findings are ...

    AHA News: Educators, Other Experts Aim to Build Momentum in Fight Against Youth Vaping

    For more than a decade, the cloud of vaping has encompassed more and more kids in the United States.

    Now, with a new school year underway, educators and health experts are building on recent progress as they enter the latest round of the vaping fight.

    Research into the health impact of electronic cigarettes is still unfolding, but ill effects are beginning to be revealed.

    Ther...

    AHA News: Triathlete's Heart Stopped at the Start of a Half Ironman

    At 47, Mark Allen was in the best shape of his life. He was well on his way to his goal of competing in 50 events before his 50th birthday.

    That day, he would hit No. 21. The race -- in Augusta, Georgia -- was an Ironman 70.3, so named because competitors would swim, bike and run a cumulative 70.3 miles. Also known as a half Ironman, it would be his fourth such race.

    He just had to ...

    Monkeypox Can Harm the Heart

    Monkeypox, the contagious virus that causes a blister-like skin rash, may also cause heart problems, according to a new case study.

    In findings published Sept. 2 in JACC: Case Reports, doctors in Portugal described a 31-year-old patient with monkeypox who developed acute myocarditis about a week ...

    AHA News: Take a Fresh Look at Oatmeal -- It's Not as Simple as You Think

    Let's admit it: Oatmeal is a total nerd. It lacks fashion sense -- the color they named after it is somewhere on the drab side of beige. It's often seen with Sesame Street's Bert, who also loves bottle caps, paper clips and pigeons.

    But when it comes to healthy eating, oatmeal and the oats it comes from can definitely hang with the cool kids at the breakfast table.

    "It has many, man...

    Could Your Blood Type Raise Your Odds for Stroke?

    The risk of suffering a stroke at an early age may depend partly on a person's blood type, a large study suggests.

    When it comes to the risk of ischemic stroke — the kind caused by a blood clot — studies have hinted that blood type plays a ...

    Who's at Higher Risk for A-Fib, Men or Women?

    Doctors have long thought men had more risk of developing atrial fibrillation (a-fib) than women, but the reverse may actually be the case.

    When researchers accounted for height differences between men and women, a new study revealed that women were 50% more likely to develop a-fib, an irregular heart rhythm disorder, than men.

    "This is the first study to show an actual flip in the ...

    With Smartwatch, Cardiac Rehab at Home May Work Best

    A new smartwatch could be a key player in preventing heart attacks among people suffering from risky heart conditions, a new study claims.

    Using the smartwatch to track their heart health, patients in a home-based cardiac rehab program were more than 20% less likely to land in the hospital t...

    AHA News: She Thought Her Heart Problems Were Resolved -- Until She Got Pregnant

    Practically from the time she figured out crawling, Kacie Nowakowski began somersaulting around her home.

    Her parents, picking up on her high energy level and love of movement, enrolled her in gymnastics at age 2.

    The class also checked another box. Kacie's pediatric cardiologist had suggested she go into a high-intensity sport to strengthen her heart.

    Kacie was born with two ...

    All-in-One 'Polypill' Gets Heart Patients Taking Their Meds

    In a finding that proves convenience is key when it comes to sticking to a medication regimen, new research shows that combining three heart drugs into one "polypill" slashes the risk of dying from a second heart attack by 33%.

    "The results of the SECURE study show that for the first time that the polypill, wh...

    AHA News: Shift Workers With High Blood Pressure May Face Higher Heart Disease, Diabetes Risk

    People with high blood pressure may be at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes if they work frequent night shifts, new research suggests.

    The higher risk was more pronounced among people who also slept too much or too little when they weren't working, according to the findings published Monday in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

    The research b...

    Popular Painkillers May Pose Heart Risk for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes, Study Finds

  • By HealthDayTV HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 29, 2022
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  • Smoking Can Really Weaken the Heart

    Smoking is even worse for your heart than you might already think, new Danish research warns.

    "It is well known that smoking causes blocked arteries, leading to coronary heart disease and stroke," said researcher Dr. Eva Holt, of Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Copenh...

    AHA News: Newborn Was 'Very Sick Little Boy' Despite Several Normal Prenatal Ultrasounds

    With three children over the age of 10, Delaware couple Mark and Jenn Parrish thought they might be finished growing their family. Finding out Jenn was pregnant was a pleasant surprise.

    "It was more of a surprise when we saw the ultrasound and there were two heartbeats!" she said.

    At 34, Jenn was considered high-risk. She underwent multiple ultrasounds to examine the babies' organs,...

    AHA News: People With Dementia May Be Less Likely to Receive an Advanced Treatment For Stroke

    Among people having the most common type of stroke -- one caused by a blood vessel blockage -- those with dementia appear less likely than others to receive an advanced clot removal treatment, a large new study reports.

    The treatment, called mechanical thrombectomy, uses a device to remove a clot from a large vessel to restore blood flow to the brain. Mechanical thrombectomy has a "signif...

    AHA News: What Goes Into a Mediterranean Diet, and How to Get Started

    If you know anything about healthy eating, you've probably heard that the benefits of Mediterranean-style eating are as clear as the crystal sea at a Greek island getaway.

    But for someone just testing the waters of heart-healthy eating, the specifics of such a diet can get a little murky. That's because its definition can vary.

    Mediterranean-style eating is not necessarily about eat...

    Medical Marijuana for Pain Is Linked to Slight Rise in Heart Trouble

    People who use medical marijuana to treat chronic pain may have a slightly heightened risk of heart arrhythmias, a preliminary study suggests.

    Researchers found that among 1.6 million people with chronic pain, those prescribed medical marijuana were 64% more likely to suffer a heart rhythm disturbanc...

    AHA News: How You Feel About Aging Could Affect Health. Here's How to Keep the Right Attitude.

    Is age really just a state of mind?

    Perhaps not the number, but how we age might be. A growing body of research suggests a person's mindset -- how they feel about growing old -- may predict how much longer and how well they live as the years go by.

    Several studies over the past 20 years suggest people with more positive attitudes about aging live longer, healthier lives than those w...

    AHA News: New Report Details What to Know About Cardiovascular Disease Symptoms

    Symptoms of cardiovascular problems run the gamut. Some -- like chest pain during a heart attack or a droopy face during a stroke -- are sudden and severe, while others last years with varying intensity. Factors such as sex, cognitive function and depression can complicate the recognition or diagnosis of symptoms.

    In a new report, experts detail the latest knowledge on cardiovascular dise...

    AHA News: Having Ideal Heart Health May Lessen the Risk for Brain Vessel Disease

    Maintaining excellent cardiovascular health may lower the risk for abnormalities in the small vessels of the brain, a new study suggests.

    Scientists aren't sure what causes the condition, known as cerebral small vessel disease, or CSVD. Previous research shows CSVD contributes to about half of dementia cases, a quarter of clot-caused strokes and most bleeding strokes.

    For the new st...

    AHA News: Heart Failure at Age 30 Brought on By Pregnancy

    Fatima Mathews knew something wasn't right. She was more tired than she'd ever felt in her life.

    "You just had a baby," her doctor reminded her. "It's normal to be tired."

    She'd been feeling tired -- and bloated and swollen -- since the last few months of her pregnancy. And now it was time to go back to work. Mathews told herself she'd be fine.

    But she didn't feel fine as she ...

    Heat, Smoke & the Heart: Wildfires Cause Cardiac Crises

    While most people know that breathing in wildfire smoke isn't good for respiratory health, they may not know that unclean air is also problematic for the heart.

    Individuals with underlying

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 15, 2022
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  • AHA News: Obstacles Didn't Stop This Heart Defect Survivor From Competing on 'American Ninja Warrior'

    At 21, Chris O'Connell learned his pediatric cardiologist had retired. He was assigned a new doctor for the annual checkups he'd had all his life.

    "I know you've been told to not exercise hard or strain your heart, but that's the old way of thinking," the cardiologist told him. "Think of your heart as a muscle that needs to be worked out."

    Chris was blindsided.

    "Are you seriou...

    AHA News: Health Conditions a Dentist Might Find That Have Nothing to Do With Your Teeth

    A visit to the dentist's office could provide a glimpse into your heart and brain health.

    More than an estimated 100 diseases can show symptoms in the mouth. For instance, periodontal disease, which results from infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that support and surround the teeth, is more common and may be more severe in people with diabetes.

    Other times, prescriptio...

    AHA News: When Her Smartwatch Indicated She Might Be in AFib, She Thought It Was a Mistake

    Megan Buchholz groggily read the notification from her smartwatch. Its vibration had roused her out of a deep sleep.

    At 3 a.m. on a Monday this past March, she read an alert that said the device identified an irregular rhythm suggestive of atrial fibrillation, or AFib, an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

    "...

    AHA News: What's New This Year For School Lunches?

    In the past, school cafeterias might have served as a source for more punchlines than nutrition. But lunch is a more dynamic and, these days, healthy part of students' lives than many people realize.

    Some of its importance is obvious. "You really don't need to do a study showing that if kids are hungry, they're going to have a harder time in class," said Marlene Schwartz, director of the ...

    AHA News: Is Caffeine a Friend or Foe?

    Caffeine jump-starts your day and puts a bounce in your step. It can help you focus, improve your mood and maybe even help you live longer.

    But how much is too much?

    Caffeine, a natural stimulant, can be found in a variety of foods, such as coffee beans, tea leaves, cacao beans, guarana berries and yerba maté leaves. It also can be synthetically created and added to beverages such ...

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