Heart Health

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.

February and the heart: More than Valentine’s Day

February is Heart Month, which is a great time to make a commitment to getting heart healthy. Getting to, and staying at, a healthy weight is important for heart health. These three simple steps can help you eat more healthfully, shed some pounds, and enjoy your food mindfully.

Expert advice on how to quit smoking

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

People who are serious about quitting smoking want to know the most effective methods for doing so. For most people this is likely to be a combination of behavior strategies and medications, including nicotine replacement products that can be taken with other smoking cessation drugs.

Can shoveling snow put your heart at risk?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Based on data from over three decades of Canadian hospital admissions, there is evidence to suggest that men who are at high risk of heart disease, or who already have it, should avoid shoveling snow.

Fish oil capsules: Net benefits for the heart are limited

At one time there was hope that omega-3 supplements in the form of fish oil capsules might prevent heart disease, but 15 years of research has found this belief to be untrue, and taking fish oil could even be harmful to some people.

New high blood pressure guidelines: Think your blood pressure is fine? Think again…

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

There’s been plenty of talk about the new blood pressure guidelines, but most people just want to know what the new categories mean, and what they should be doing to improve their blood pressure so they don’t find themselves needing to take medication.