Heart Health

Heart disease and breast cancer: Can women cut risk for both?

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

While they share many risk factors, far more women are living with heart disease than with breast cancer. Exercise and a healthy diet can cut a woman’s risk for both.

NSAIDs: How dangerous are they for your heart?

There is growing evidence that NSAID medications may increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The overall risk is quite small, but it can vary depending on the duration of treatment and whether a person has existing cardiovascular disease.

Benefits of a healthy diet — with or without weight loss

Can you improve your health by changing your diet, even if you are unable to lose weight? Three studies examined different variations on the DASH diet, and all found improvements in blood pressure, plus lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in one instance — even without weight loss.

Heart failure and salt: The great debate

While doctors typically recommend restricting sodium for heart failure patients, a recent review of studies found limited and inconclusive evidence that a low-salt diet makes a difference. But good judgment tells us that avoiding excess salt is good advice for everyone, not just those with heart failure.

The new cholesterol guidelines: What you need to know

The cholesterol guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association have been updated for the first time since 2013. Notably, target cholesterol levels have been returned to the guidelines for people in specific circumstances, to be achieved through medications and lifestyle changes.

What’s good for the heart is good for the mind

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

The epidemic of people with dementia is expected to get much worse in the coming decades, but understanding the connection between vascular health and cognitive health allows people the opportunity to adopt heart-healthy habits that can reduce their risk of dementia.

Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, part 2

The results of another clinical trial add to the evidence that healthy people without a history of cardiovascular disease should not take a daily aspirin for the prevention of a heart attack or stroke.

Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease?

While taking aspirin daily to prevent a second heart attack or stroke is well established, the results of a new study showed that taking a daily aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease, in people without any known disease already, did not provide a significant benefit.

Preterm birth and heart disease risk for mom

A study found that women who delivered a baby before the 37th week of their pregnancy were more likely to have their blood pressure rise later, but preterm birth or other pregnancy complication does not mean that future cardiovascular disease is a given.

Health benefits of walnuts

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The benefits of nuts on cardiovascular health have been known for some time, but an analysis of multiple trials found particular health benefits of walnuts. The data showed that people who ate a diet enriched with walnuts had lower cholesterol than those who ate a standard diet.