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Your Mental Health Can Influence Your Risk of Heart Disease

Much of the talk about heart-disease prevention centers on controlling risk factors such as high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. But there is growing realization that an individual’s psychological health can contribute to their cardiovascular health in both negative and positive ways. To spread the word, so to speak, earlier this year the American […]

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair Is a Permanent Fix

A goal of Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor is to teach readers the symptoms of new or worsening cardiovascular disease (CVD) and what you should do when experiencing these symptoms. Quick action can often prevent a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke or a condition such as heart failure, which can impact quality of life. But […]

How Heart Attacks Happen

Many of us were taught that heart attacks happen when cholesterol and other fats build up inside an artery until they block blood flow. The concept is easy to understand and makes sense, but it’s not what happens. What does take place helps to explain why preventing coronary artery disease is so important. Where Plaque […]

Heart Beat: Erectile Dysfunction; Heart-Attack Risks; Weight Gain; Blood Clot Removal

Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Lower Risk of Second Heart Attack The systemic nature of atherosclerosis can cause erectile dysfunction (ED) in men, in addition to cardiovascular disease. Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors are often prescribed to improve erections by dilating blood vessels in the penis. In the process, they improve circulation body-wide, lowering blood pressure and protecting the […]

How to Reduce Your CVD Risk After Menopause

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women is uncommon until middle adulthood, when the risk begins to rise. After menopause, the risk accelerates, ultimately making CVD the leading cause of death in women. Research conducted over the past two decades has revealed that women’s bodies go through the following changes that are responsible for the elevated risk: […]

What We’ve Learned About COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Risk

As efforts to vaccinate the world against COVID-19 ramp up, thousands of individuals continue to be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus every day. The need to prevent this infection is urgent, as is the need to find effective ways to treat it. But first, we have to understand it. Researchers worldwide are racing to learn […]

Are All Cardiovascular Risk Factors Equally Dangerous?

If giving up cigarettes causes you to gain 50 pounds, is the extra weight worse for you than smoking? Or did you simply trade one cardiovascular risk factor for another? This is a reasonable question. Many people have more than one cardiovascular risk factor, and the thought of addressing them simultaneously may be overwhelming. So […]

Heart Beat: June 2020

Hypertension-Related Deaths on the Rise A study of deaths occurring in the United States from 2007 to 2017 showed that hypertension (high blood pressure) is living up to its reputation as a silent killer. During this decade, deaths from hypertension rose from 18.3 per 100,000 people to 23 per 100,000. The increase was seen throughout […]

Alzheimer’s and Heart Disease: What’s the Connection?

Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia. Cognitive impairment. Memory loss. Fewer words strike greater terror in the heart than these neurological disorders and the symptoms that define them. There are more than 5.8 million adults in the United States living with Alzheimer’s, and thousands more suffer from Alzheimer’s disease-related disorders (ADRD), a category that includes vascular dementia and […]

Are Eggs Healthy or Harmful?

Eggs yolks may be cholesterol bombs, but egg whites are packed with healthy protein. "Egg whites are one of the best protein sources we have. I tell patients to hard boil a dozen eggs, shell them, throw away the yolks and add the whites to oatmeal, salads and soups. The protein prevents them from getting hungry a couple hours after eating, and I've never seen anyone gain weight from eating too many egg whites," says Dr. Hazen.

In The News: November 2019

Low-dose dietary supplements of omega-3 fatty acids have little effect on lowering cardiovascular risk (see article on page 6). However, high doses of omega-3, either eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) alone or EPA plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), can significantly lower cardiovascular risk in patients with high triglyceride levels. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several products-Lovaza, Omtryg, Vascepa and Epanova-that are now available by prescription. Results of the REDUCE-IT trial, presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) 2018 Scientific Sessions, showed that in patients with elevated triglyceride levels and cardiovascular disease or diabetes plus one additional risk factor, 4 grams per day of purified EPA reduced the risk of a major cardiovascular event by 25%. In a science advisory issued Aug. 19 online in Circulation, the AHA summarized the findings of 17 clinical trials in which high-dose EPA or EPA plus DHA reduced triglyceride levels by 30 to 36%. The AHA concluded they are a safe and effective option for reducing triglycerides whether used alone or in combination with other lipid-lowering drugs.

An Attitude of Gratitude Is Good Medicine

Fostering a sense of gratitude is one way to counter negative emotions, such as anger and depression. There are plenty of studies linking these and other chronic forms of negative psychosocial stress to coronary artery disease. In the INTERHEART study, which included 25,000 people from more than 50 countries, individuals who experienced negative stress on a daily basis had more than twice the risk of heart attack than those without chronic stress.