Don't be fooled by TIA symptoms

A transient ischemic attack or ministroke does not create lasting brain damage but is often followed by a major stroke within a few days or weeks. It is important to get checked out right away for symptoms such as speech and vision problems or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially if it occurs only on one side of the body. Prompt treatment can limit damage and help prevent a future brain attack. More »

Air pollution and heart disease

Tiny particles in air pollution—caused by vehicle exhaust, industrial sources, and wildfires—can boost the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and irregular heart rhythms, especially among people with heart disease. (Locked) More »

Arthritis pain relief while taking warfarin

People who take warfarin should avoid taking over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Taking the two medications together can increase the risk of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract and elsewhere in the body. (Locked) More »

Cholesterol: What's diet got to do with it?

For many people, focusing on lowering dietary cholesterol alone has little effect on their blood cholesterol level. Limiting saturated fat (found mainly in animal-based foods like meat and cheese) may help lower blood cholesterol. But the source of calories used to replace those missing calories makes a difference. Substituting with unsaturated fats (found in fish, nuts, and plant oils) is likely beneficial, while substituting with refined carbohydrates (foods full of white flour or sugar) is not. (Locked) More »

Optimal blood pressure: A moving target?

People who achieve a systolic blood pressure (the first number in a reading) of 120 mm Hg may have fewer heart attacks and strokes and live longer than those who reach a systolic blood pressure goal of 140 mm Hg. But they may need to take an average of three medications to reach the lower goal. The lower goal might not be a good idea for older people, who are more prone to side effects such as fatigue and dizziness from blood pressure drugs. (Locked) More »

A different kind of heart attack

Classic heart attack symptoms—severe chest pressure, chest heaviness, or chest pain—most often arise from a blockage in a coronary artery that prevents blood from reaching the heart muscle. But a lesser-known condition called takotsubo cardiomyopathy can produce the same sudden heart symptoms even when the coronary arteries are clear. Although the condition is often reversible, it can be dangerous. (Locked) More »

Apps, texts, and sensors for boosting heart health: Do they help?

Mobile health technologies, including smartphone apps and text message reminders, show some promise for helping people make heart-healthy behavior changes. So far, limited data suggest benefits from apps that focus on weight loss and smoking cessation, and from online programs (including Web-based tutorials and networking opportunities) to boost physical activity. There is not enough research to show a benefit for wearable sensors that track physical activity. (Locked) More »

Sex before and after a heart attack

Sex rarely triggers heart attacks, and sex after a heart attack is safe for most people. But some drugs to treat heart disease can cause erection problems, and others may have dangerous interactions with drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. More »