Heart Health

Alcohol and heart health

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Moderate alcohol consumption can have a beneficial effect on heart health, but the “moderate” part is the key. One drink a day is recommended as the safest amount that offers a heart-health benefit.

Dogs and health: A lower risk for heart disease-related death?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A Swedish study found a new connection between dogs and health–people who own dogs tend to live longer and have a lower risk of death from a cardiovascular event than those who do not. But the study did not prove that dog ownership is the reason for the advantage.

Music and heart health

Almost everyone enjoys listening to music, but researchers are finding a connection between music and heart health. This isn’t limited to music therapy ans benefits may come from engaging with music in a variety of ways.

Choosing life with a VAD (ventricular assist device)

Despite the challenges of needing to use a battery-operated ventricular assist device (VAD) for heart failure, one man came to terms with his situation and found ways to adapt and enjoy his life as much as possible.

Heart attack versus cardiac arrest

Heart attack and cardiac arrest are different types of events, sometimes connected but often separate. Both are serious, but neither is necessarily fatal.

Lowering nicotine in cigarettes

Mallika Marshall, MD

Contributing Editor

With the intent of making cigarettes less addictive, the FDA has proposed lowering nicotine levels, which could also make it easier for smokers to quit.

Cholesterol: Understanding HDL vs. LDL

When you hear the phrase “high cholesterol,” what exactly does it mean? Doctors often focus on two types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. Understanding the differences, and knowing your cholesterol levels, are the first steps to improving your cholesterol profile and lowering heart disease risk.

Where do you stand on bystander CPR?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A survey about CPR found that just over half of those who responded knew how to perform it. Many people are concerned that they will do it wrong, or don’t feel comfortable getting involved, but learning and performing CPR is now easier than before.

6 simple things that can help lower your blood pressure

With the recent updating of blood pressure guidelines, many people have found themselves in a higher-risk category. But making some small lifestyle changes can help get blood pressure down to a healthier level.

Is red wine actually good for your heart?

The belief that drinking red wine offers some degree of protection from heart disease has persisted for decades, but any evidence in support of this is just observational, without any scientific proof to back it up.