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How to Prevent Winter Weight Gain

The holidays are over, and you are left with fond memories and a few extra inches around your waist. Welcome to the annual winter weight gain. “Historically, weight tends to trend upward during the holiday season,” says Kate Patton, RD, LD, a dietitian in Cleveland Clinic’s Section of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation. Fewer fresh fruits and […]

Heart Beat: February 2021

Finally, a Medication That Prevents Recurring Pericarditis Pericarditis is a disease that causes the fluid-filled sac surrounding the heart to become inflamed. An attack initially causes sharp chest pain. As fluid builds up, increasing pressure on the heart causes other symptoms to appear. Ultimately, the heart may not be able to work at all. Pericarditis […]

Flu Shots Protect Against Heart Attack and Stroke

COVID-19 has taken center stage, but there’s another virus that deserves the spotlight: influenza. The flu can be serious—even deadly—for people with heart disease, because it increases their risk of having a heart attack or stroke. That’s why doctors urge patients to get vaccinated against the flu every year. “Getting vaccinated lessens the likelihood you will […]

New Guidance for Heart-Disease Prevention in Women

In 2011, the American Heart Association (AHA) released guidelines for preventing heart disease in women. Since that time, so much new information on women’s cardiovascular risk has come to light that the American College of Cardiology’s Cardiovascular Disease in Women Committee wrote a new set of recommendations. The document, published in May, explains how women […]

At What Age Can You Stop Taking Preventive Medications?

We know that modifying certain risk factors can help prevent heart disease. Lowering high cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels are some of the ways we can avoid a heart attack. Bringing levels down to lower our risk usually requires taking medications, in addition to making lifestyle changes. Many of us will take these […]

If You Are Perplexed About Prevention, Try This New App

It doesn’t take a medical degree to understand the value of preventing a heart attack. And if you’ve already survived one, you are likely on the lookout for ways to prevent a second one. Prevention advice is everywhere and that can be a problem. Some people find the sheer volume of information to be overwhelming […]

How to Find a Good Specialist

Let’s talk about the best ways to determine the quality of a doctor. By Holly Strawbridge In 2019, an investigative journalist named Marshall Allen received a phone call informing him that his peers had nominated him for a “top doctor” award, and that his patients had reinforced his qualification with good reviews. The caller added […]

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 […]

There’s a Type of Cholesterol as Dangerous as LDL

Fortunately, the first drug to treat it is in the pipeline. By Holly Strawbridge Do you know how much lipoprotein(a) is in your blood? This form of cholesterol, widely known as Lp(a) and pronounced “L, P, little a,” is a bad actor that greatly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Yet the public […]

Do Statins Give You Achy Muscles?

If symptoms caused you to stop taking these beneficial drugs, try these tips for preventing or minimizing side effects. By Holly Strawbridge Evidence that cholesterol-lowering statins prevent heart attacks and strokes is so compelling that these medications are a “must” for anyone with cardiovascular disease or its risk factors. But statins can sometimes cause symptoms […]

Should You Worry About Potassium?

If you have heart or kidney disease, you may need to take extra measures to maintain normal levels of this important mineral. By Holly Strawbridge Do you remember what you learned about potassium in science class? You were taught it’s a soft metal, a mineral and one of the most abundant elements on earth. But […]

Low LDL Levels Do Not Cause Hemorrhagic Stroke

PCSK9 inhibitors are so powerful that 10% of participants achieved LDL levels less than 20 mg/dL; 31% saw their LDL levels drop to 20 to 50 mg/dL. No safety concerns were seen in patients with these low LDL levels, and the rate of side effects was the same in the treatment and placebo groups. As expected, the number of cardiovascular events dropped as LDL levelsplummeted.