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Heart Beat: Blood Pressure; Heart Attacks; Risks; Medications

Some Common Drugs Raise Blood Pressure If you have hard-to-control hypertension, take a look at the medications you take. One of them may be raising your blood pressure. Researchers studied more than 27,000 people enrolled in the ongoing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and found that nearly half had hypertension. Of these individuals, […]

Ask the Doctors: Statin and Cholesterol; Medication Safety

My doctor put me on a statin. Should I worry about how much cholesterol I eat? Cholesterol levels are determined by two sources: About 25% comes from the food we eat, and about 75% is made in the liver and determined by our genes. So, about three-fourths of the cholesterol in our blood is not […]

Prevent Frailty with Simple Exercises

Frailty is an all-too-common condition that can negatively impact quality and length of life. It’s a gradual process that renders an individual too weak to carry out the activities of daily living necessary to remain independent. Frailty is not necessarily a condition of old age: Individuals can become frail in their 60s. Although frailty is […]

Ask the Doctors: Heart Failure; Physical Activity; Medication

My dad is 81, has heart failure and was just diagnosed with cancer. Should he be resting, or should we encourage him to be more physically active? Your dad needs to stay active. As we age, it’s increasingly important to be physically active to maintain muscle mass, balance and cardiovascular health. With the double hit […]

No Salt? No Problem!

First, let’s tackle a misconception: Salt is not bad for you. Too much salt is bad for you. Our bodies need salt, but only a small amount, and most of us consume far more than we need. Ingesting too much salt raises blood pressure. Over time, it can make our blood vessels stiff, so our […]

Weight Loss Can Relieve the Serious Symptoms of HFpEF

When a patient with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is overweight, losing weight does what medications cannot: makes them feel better and keeps them out of the hospital. “‘You really need to lose weight’ is not something patients want to hear,” says Cleveland Clinic heart failure specialist Sanjeeb Bhattacharya, MD. “However, losing excess pounds […]

Why Call 911 for Stroke Symptoms

If you suddenly experience symptoms consistent with stroke, what will you do? Your first instinct may be to drive yourself to the hospital or ask a friend or family member to take you. Instead, you should call 911. Here’s why: The emergency medical technicians (EMTs) will know whether you are having a stroke. If it […]

Opioids Can Be Hard on the Heart

Opioids are powerful painkillers that allow us to tolerate the type of deep pain caused by trauma, major surgical procedures and some forms of cancer. But using products containing oxycodone (such as OxyContin®) in higher-than–prescribed doses or for extended periods of time can lead to addiction. When this happens, the drugs’ benefits are far overshadowed by […]

Heart Beat: Pneumonia; Heart-Attacks; PAD; Atrial Filbrillation

Pneumonia Common, Often Fatal in Heart-Failure Patients An analysis of two major clinical trials revealed that patients with heart failure (HF) have three times the expected risk of getting pneumonia, and when they do, have four times the risk of dying from it. The risk is particularly high in patients with heart failure with preserved […]

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 […]