The wholesome goodness of grains

People who eat about four servings of whole grains per day may be less likely to die from heart disease than those who eat few or no whole grains. Whole grains contain fiber, which helps people feel full and may lower cholesterol, and also contain magnesium, which may help lower blood pressure. Good sources include whole-wheat bread, ready-to-eat cereals made from oats or other whole grains, brown rice, and barley. (Locked) More »

Does “cough CPR” work?

A Facebook post suggests that coughing during a heart attack can help a person to survive. This practice, mislabeled as “cough CPR,” is not a form of traditional cardiopulmonary resuscitation. (Locked) More »

Heart attacks: Clarifying the causes and consequences

The descriptions used to describe different types of heart attacks (such as “massive” or “widow maker”) can be unhelpful or confusing. Even small heart attacks can have serious outcomes—but most heart attacks are not fatal. Another common source of confusion is the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest. In addition, doctors are increasingly realizing that many heart attacks do not result from a blockage in one of the heart’s arteries. Some heart attacks result instead from an imbalance in blood supply and demand. These are most likely to occur in older people with other health problems in addition to heart disease. (Locked) More »

Pedal your way to better heart health

Riding a bike can be a good way to exercise at different levels of intensity. Cycling also enables people to travel faster and farther than jogging but places less pressure on their joints. Indoor cycling options include a stationary bike at home or at a fitness center. Some centers also offer spinning classes, which are group indoor cycling classes led by instructors accompanied by motivating music. (Locked) More »

Zap away atrial fibrillation?

Recent guidelines for treating atrial fibrillation have shifted a procedure called catheter ablation more to the forefront of therapy choices. It uses a thin, flexible tube to zap faulty electrical pathways in the heart. Catheter ablation is an option for people with intermittent or persistent atrial fibrillation who have troubling symptoms that aren’t relieved by medication. Symptoms can include a fluttering or thumping sensation in the chest, breathlessness, dizziness, anxiety, weakness, fainting, confusion, and fatigue. (Locked) More »