Alyson Kelley-Hedgepeth, MD
Posts by Alyson Kelley-Hedgepeth, MD
Omega-3 fatty acids from fish and fish oil have been recommended by the American Heart Association for the past 20 years to reduce cardiovascular events in people who already have cardiovascular disease. But the results of studies of omega-3 supplements have been mixed, leaving both doctors and patients still wondering what to do.
There has been concern that treating high blood pressure too aggressively could result in blood pressure dropping too much, to a level that could be dangerous. An analysis of studies found that this did not occur, and in fact intensive hypertension treatment actually reduced the risk of such a drop in blood pressure.
Doctors have begun to study the effects of COVID-related stress and anxiety on people. A recent study suggests that stress caused by the pandemic may already be affecting heart health.
Many lifestyle factors can influence the development of atrial fibrillation, and doctors now better understand the importance of these factors in treating afib. Those who are at risk of developing afib can take action to improve their health, and in some cases they may be able to reduce their symptoms.
Statins have been used to treat high cholesterol for decades, but some people who take statins still have LDL cholesterol levels that are too high. A different type of medication, PCSK9 inhibitors, were approved several years ago and are showing effectiveness in lowering LDL in such people.
Millions of Americans have trouble sleeping, a factor that is key to cardiovascular health. Two recent studies examined the relationship between sleep and heart health, and between sleep and dietary choices.
Depression often occurs alongside cardiovascular disease, or may already exist and worsens with it, but frequently the symptoms go unrecognized. The American College of Cardiology recommends screening patients to identify symptoms of depression.
Lifestyle changes have been shown to reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event, but can they also help those with diabetes? A recent study found a positive association between healthy lifestyle choices and reduced cardiovascular risk for those with type 2 diabetes.
The American Heart Association recommends that people with heart disease should take omega-3 fatty acids to prevent another heart attack, but research on taking them to prevent a first heart attack or stroke has been mixed. Will fish oil supplements reduce your risk of heart disease?