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Rx for a Longer Life

Every day, millions of people with heart disease or its risk factors are prescribed medications designed to make them feel better, improve their heart function and help them live a longer, healthier life. These medications work only if they are taken, and they work best when taken as prescribed. So it’s surprising to learn that […]
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Diuretics: Little Pills With a Big Job

Heart failure often causes the body to retain fluid. When this happens, you may gain several pounds in a day. Your feet and ankles may swell. Your belt may feel tighter. Maybe you become short of breath with daily activities or feel like you’re going to suffocate when you lie down. Some people lose their […]
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New Diabetes Drugs a Boon for Patients with Heart Failure

SGLT2 inhibitors go above and beyond lowering blood sugar to prevent heart failure-related deaths and hospitalizations. By Holly Strawbridge Patients with diabetes have numerous options for drugs to lower their blood sugar (glucose) levels. But a newer class of diabetes medications known as sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors has benefits that far surpass those […]
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Clinical Trials Offer Potential Benefits with Few Risks

Here’s what you need to know if you have the option of participating in a phase 3 trial of a new medication. By Holly Strawbridge If you were offered a medication that might lower your risk of heart attack further than any drug that is currently available, would you be interested? What if your doctor […]
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Coming Soon: An LDL-Lowering Drug with Few Side Effects

Bempedoic acid may be an alternative for patients who can’t take statins. By Holly Strawbridge Any day now the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is likely to approve a novel cholesterol-lowering agent called bempedoic acid. It is as effective as statins in reducing LDL cholesterol and C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation associated with […]
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Managing A-fib with Food

In their place, Zumpano recommends adopting a Mediterranean-style diet. This diet eliminates or minimizes red meat in favor of fish and skinless poultry. Three-fourths of your plate should be filled with vegetables, whole grains or legumes. Olive oil replaces butter and other oils, and fruit and nuts are used for snacks.
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In The News: June 2019

There's news that many people would like to hear. A small observational study of Greek patients presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in March 2019 found that taking a daily nap can lower blood pressure.
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Tell Your Doctor What You Want from Heart Failure Treatment

"If you have side effects from your medications and would rather not take them, I can understand," says Dr. Mountis. "If you don't want to be evaluated for an advanced therapy like a mechanical heart pump or a heart transplant, I can respect that decision after we have discussed the pros and cons. Our conversation will then shift to what you can expect to happen from that point on."
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Heart Beat: April 2019

Our biological clock (circadian system) governs many physiological processes, including blood pressure. Blood pressure normally dips at night. People who do not experience this temporary drop (called "non-dippers") are at increased risk for developing heart disease. Researchers discovered that one of four main genes comprising the circadian system act differently in men and women. They found that male mice missing this gene (PER1) become non-dippers and have a higher risk of heart and kidney disease. In contrast, female mice missing the PER1 gene continue to show normal dips in blood pressure at night (American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, January 2019 ahead of print). This phenomenon may explain in part why premenopausal women, who are less likely to be non-dippers than men of the same age, have a lower risk of heart disease. After menopause, their risk climbs due to other factors and quickly erases this biological benefit.
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How to Find the Best Walking Shoes

The midsole is the part of a shoe sandwiched between the outsole, which touches the ground, and the insole, which is located on the inside of the shoe underneath the liner. Oftentimes, the midsole of a walking shoe is thin and pliable and is made from ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA), which is light, compressible and pliable.
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In The News: March 2019

Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death from CVD. In fact, nearly one-third of U.S. deaths attributed to cigarette smoking are due to CVD. Although most smokers attempt to quit multiple times before they are able to call it quits, many do not stop smoking until they have developed smoking-related complications. Quitting smoking reduces subsequent CV events and mortality, regardless of duration or intensity of smoking, comorbidities or age. Patients benefit even when they quit smoking after they have developed CVD. This provides a strong rationale for quitting-if only the best way to accomplish this were known. Physicians have had little guidance to use in counseling patients on the most effective strategies to stop smoking. The American College of Cardiology addressed this need with an Expert Consensus Decision Pathway on TobaccoCessation Treatment (Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Dec. 25, 2018). It summarizes recommendations for a comprehensive approach to treating tobacco dependence with a chronic disease management strategy, monitoring tobacco use over time and making repeated efforts to encourage and assist smokers to quit using tobacco. The document gives physicians the information they need to answer smokers' questions about therapies for overcoming nicotine withdrawal, while bolstering self-control over smoking. It also discusses barriers to implementing and sustaining smoking cessation treatment that should be recognized and addressed to help smokers overcome their addiction to tobacco.
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Learn the Most Common Symptoms of Heart Failure

"It's good to know the symptoms of heart failure, because they can indicate that your heart is not functioning as well as it should. After you begin treatment, if your symptoms appear less often or become less severe, it tells us that your medications and lifestyle adjustments are working well to keep your heart performing to the best of its ability," says Cleveland Clinic heart failure specialist David Taylor, MD.
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