January 2019

Tips for Protecting Your Heart During the Cold, Dark Days of Winter

Get a flu shot. Flu increases the risk of hospitalization or death from cardiovascular disease. In studies, flu shots have been shown to reduce heart attacks and strokes by 55 percent in people who had recently suffered a cardiovascular event. The flu vaccine is associated with a 50 percent reduction in flu-season deaths among heart failure patients. "Even if the vaccine is not fully effective, it can lessen the likelihood you will have a heart attack or stroke," says Dr. Rocco.   More...

Heart Beat: January 2019

Small calcium deposits in breast arteries are not associated with breast cancer, but they may be a marker of coronary artery disease (CAD) long before other symptoms appear. Researchers evaluated 2,100 asymptomatic women ages 40 and older using mammography and computed tomography angiography imaging of the coronary arteries, among other tests.   More...

Tips for Taking Accurate Blood Pressure Readings at Home

Subscribers Only — Blood pressure fluctuates predictably over a 24-hour period in response to Circadian rhythms and cortisol levels. A sharp rise occurs at 4 a.m. Blood pressure peaks between 6 a.m. and noon, drops around 1 to 2 p.m. It peaks again around 5 to 6 p.m., then drops by 15 percent overnight.   More...

How to Lower Your Risk of a Dangerous Blood Clot

Subscribers Only — A rare, but serious, problem can occur when a DVT blood clot breaks off and is carried into a heart that has a hole between its upper chambers (patent foramen ovale, or PFO). If the clot passes from the right side of the heart into the left and is pumped into the arteries supplying the brain, it can cause a stroke.   More...

When Statins Are Not the Answer

In the past, niacin, fenofibrates, bile acid sequestrants and fish oil were widely used to help normalize blood lipid levels. Most have fallen out of favor. But in November, physicians were wowed when a key study revealed that prescription-strength doses of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a form of omega-3 fish oil, reduced the risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack, stroke, revascularization and unstable angina by 25 percent in patients with CAD or diabetes and high triglyceride levels.   More...

Should You Consider Having "Off-Pump" Bypass Surgery?

Subscribers Only — Despite these advantages, the heart-lung machine increases the risk of complications during and immediately after the operation. These include stroke, kidney and respiratory failure, atrial fibrillation, wound infection, need for blood transfusion and longer hospital stay.   More...

Ask The Doctors: January 2019

I would not advise it. Recently, a large multinational study that examined the impact of seven food types on health confirmed beliefs that higher consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes and lower consumption of refined carbohydrates reduced overall mortality and cardiovascular (CVD) events.   More...

There's More Good News About the Mediterranean Diet

"Original research that brought the benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet to light found that middle-aged women who followed this diet for 15 years were about 40 percent more likely to live past age 70 without developing a chronic illness or other physical or mental problem than those who ate less healthy diets. Add stroke benefit, and you have a natural way of preventing cardiovascular disease that may equal or exceed any medication available today," says Cleveland Clinic dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD.   More...

A Serious, Often-Overlooked Vascular Disease in Women

Subscribers Only — More than 90 percent of FMD patients are women, and the vast majority are diagnosed in their 40s and 50s. But Cleveland Clinic researchers recently discovered that some patients are age 65 or older before the first symptoms of FMD appear. In this age group, the disease tends to be less serious and less likely to cause symptoms than when it's diagnosed at a younger age.   More...

"Good" HDL Cholesterol May Actually Harm Older Women

Subscribers Only — Lack of protection from HDL may explain in part why a woman's risk of heart disease begins to rise around menopause and quickly catches up to that of men. The reason for this remains unknown. "The change in hormone levels associated with menopause is usually blamed, but this has not been proven," says Dr. Laffin.   More...

Ask The Doctors: January 2019

The type of chest pain known as angina is associated with inadequate blood flow through the coronary arteries due to fatty blockages called plaques. Many blockages can be seen on angiograms taken during a cardiac catheterization. However, those occurring in very small arteries may not appear on angiography, yet may cause angina (microvascular angina). Angina can also occur when plaque-free arteries spasm (vasospastic angina). Both types of angina are more common in women than in men.   More...

Download The Full WHA January 2019 Issue PDF

Subscribers Only — More than 90 percent of FMD patients are women, and the vast majority are diagnosed in their 40s and 50s. But Cleveland Clinic researchers recently discovered that some patients are age 65 or older before the first symptoms of FMD appear. In this age group, the disease tends to be less serious and less likely to cause symptoms than when itís diagnosed at a younger age.   More...