Heart Health

Marijuana may be risky for your heart

Growing numbers of Americans are using some form of marijuana, including edibles and other products. But evidence is emerging that it can be harmful to the heart: it can cause a faster heartbeat and a rise in blood pressure, and chemicals in it can affect medications used to treat heart disease.

Can controlling blood pressure later in life reduce risk of dementia?

An analysis of multiple studies looking at the relationship between high blood pressure and cognitive health –– abilities like thinking, memory, and attention –– found that older people who lower high blood pressure are slightly less likely to develop cognitive impairment or dementia.

How to stock a plant-based pantry (and fridge) on a budget

Uma Naidoo, MD

Contributor

Given the economic stresses stemming from the current pandemic situation, many of us are trying to maintain healthy eating habits while also spending less. Adjusting your food purchases to include more plant-based choices can help your health and your budget.

Better heart health in eight weeks? Double down on fruits and veggies

Want to improve heart health? New research based on blood samples from the original DASH diet shows the DASH diet and another diet high in fruits and veggies can lower measures of heart strain and heart muscle damage within eight weeks.

Are statins enough? When to consider PCSK9 inhibitors

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.

Are there benefits of cardiac catheterization for stable coronary artery disease?

In patients with acute coronary syndrome, studies have shown that cardiac catheterization can decrease heart attacks and improve survival. A recent study attempted to determine if the procedure would have comparable results in people with a more stable form of coronary artery disease.

And now for some good news on health

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Good news on health –– which seems hard to come by right now –– includes declines in the rates of six out of 10 major causes of death in the United States.

Go to the hospital if you need emergency care, even in the era of COVID-19

Scott Weiner, MD

Contributor

Emergency departments have seen a decline in people seeking care, even for serious conditions such as strokes and heart attacks, out of fear of contracting COVID-19. But delaying treatment in such situations could worsen the outcome, and precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of all patients.

Looking past the pandemic: Could building on our willingness to change translate to healthier lives?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that people are capable of changing their behavior— surprisingly fast—when the stakes are high. Can we apply that resolve to other persistent issues that affect our health and quality of life?

Is angioplasty plus stenting or coronary artery bypass surgery better for treating left main coronary artery disease?

People with disease of the left main coronary artery usually have the option of bypass surgery or angioplasty and placement of a stent. Two recent studies comparing these choices came to different conclusions about which is more effective.