When heart attacks go unrecognized

Nearly half of all heart attacks are “silent,” meaning the person doesn’t realize it at the time. One reason may be a higher-than-average pain tolerance. People with diabetes might be less sensitive to pain because the disease can deaden nerves. However, failure to recognize atypical heart attack symptoms is a more likely explanation. Nonclassic symptoms include shortness of breath, weakness, nausea or vomiting, and unexplained fatigue. (Locked) More »

Fluid around the heart

A buildup of fluid inside the sac surrounding the heart is called a pericardial effusion. It can result from an infection, a heart attack, or many other conditions. Treatment depends on the cause and the severity of the symptoms. (Locked) More »

Overactive thyroid and afib

An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) can cause a fast heartbeat, trouble sleeping, and weight loss. In some people, the condition may trigger the heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation. (Locked) More »

The value of prevention

People who exercise, eat right, and follow other heart-healthy habits have much lower medical costs than people who don’t adhere to key heart disease prevention strategies, known as Life’s Simple 7. Created by the American Heart Association, the list also includes stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. The savings arise mainly from avoiding hospital charges for heart surgeries and other procedures. More »

Breakfast and beyond: The case for a healthy morning meal

Skipping breakfast puts a strain on your body, which may increase the risk of insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and cholesterol problems. Breakfast may also help people maintain a healthy body weight. A healthy breakfast should include lean protein, whole-grain carbohydrates, healthy fat, and fresh fruit. (Locked) More »

Does your heart need a valve job?

In aortic stenosis, calcium deposits build up on the aortic valve, causing it to stiffen and narrow. Symptoms include shortness of breath during activity, feeling lightheaded or faint, and sometimes chest pain. About three to four of every 100 people ages 75 and older have severe aortic stenosis. Replacing the valve, which is usually done with minimally invasive surgery, is the only treatment option. (Locked) More »