January 2011 references and further reading

Kvaavik E, Batty GD, Ursin G, Huxley R, Gale CR. Influence of individual and combined health behaviors on total and cause-specific mortality in men and women: the United Kingdom health and lifestyle survey. Archives of Internal Medicine 2010; 170:711-8. Myint PK, Luben RN, Wareham NJ, Bingham SA, Khaw KT. Combined effect of health behaviours and risk of first ever stroke in 20,040 men and women over 11 years' follow-up in Norfolk cohort of European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC Norfolk). BMJ 2009; 338:b349. Chiuve SE, McCullough ML, Sacks FM, Rimm EB. Healthy lifestyle factors in the primary prevention of coronary heart disease among men: benefits among users and nonusers of lipid-lowering and antihypertensive medications. Circulation 2006; 114:160-7. (Locked) More »

Top five habits that harm the heart

Five poor heart habits are responsible for the majority of heart disease, but their opposite, healthy behaviors can help protect the heart and improve overall health. And it's never too late to start. You don't need to aim for a complete transformation all at once. Small changes in diet, exercise, or weight can make a big difference in your health. Setting goals you can realistically achieve, and then meeting them, can snowball into even bigger improvements. More »

Tiny pumps can help when heart failure advances

Left ventricular assist devices support the heart while waiting for — or in place of — a heart transplant. These pumps have been around in one form or another for years. But advances in engineering and medical technology have made them small enough for almost anyone and portable enough to let their users take a walk, go shopping, and even travel. The devices don't work magic, and they come with big personal and financial costs. But they can offer months or years of extra life for people with failing hearts. More »

Ask the doctor: Do I really need surgery to fix my aortic valve?

I have had a leaking aortic valve for many years. I get an echocardiogram every six months. After the latest one, my doctor told me that my heart was enlarging and asked me repeatedly whether I was getting short of breath with exercise. I told him that sure, I get tired, but it isn't like I am breathing hard while sitting still. Now he wants me to have surgery to replace the valve. Should I do this at age 68? (Locked) More »