Heart Health

Over-the-counter cold and flu medicines can affect your heart

Some common over-the-counter medications typically taken for colds and the flu may increase the risk of a cardiovascular event. This increased risk is more likely to occur in people with existing heart disease, and in people who take the medications for an extended period of time.

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.

A positive mindset can help your heart

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Maintaining a positive outlook on life can help protect people from heart disease. Scientists believe that by doing this, such people avoid the damage to the cardiovascular system brought about by stress.

Planet-friendly, plant-based home cooking

The nutrition building blocks of plant-based meals are vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. These are easy to cook and relatively inexpensive, and people who prepare more meals at home tend to have better health profiles.

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.