Weight-loss diets that keep your heart happy

People should be cautious about weight-loss diets that restrict a specific category of food (such as carbohydrates, fats, or even animal products) without focusing on the overall quality of the foods. Diets with lots of ultra-processed foods or red meat may contribute to poor heart health. But people can lose weight on less-extreme versions of either low-carb or low-fat diets, as long as they focus mostly on unprocessed or minimally processed foods. (Locked) More »

Blood thinners after a stent: How long?

After receiving a stent, people normally take aspirin and another anti-clotting drug for up to a year afterward and sometimes longer. Doctors adjust the timeline depending on an individual’s situation. (Locked) More »

Optimize your exercise routine

People new to exercise should do it whenever they feel motivated and energized. Morning workouts may help people feel energized and creative and lead them to make more careful food choices throughout the day. But people’s joints and muscles may feel more limber in the afternoon, and an afternoon workout can provide a healthy, energizing substitute for a 3 p.m. snack. More »

Suspected heart attack? Don’t fear the emergency room due to COVID-19

People with heart attack symptoms have avoided emergency rooms during the COVID-19 pandemic. But waiting too long for diagnosis and treatment can be dangerous. Two classic heart attack symptoms, chest pain and breathlessness, are also common symptoms of COVID-19. People who show up with those symptoms will be tested for COVID and asked to isolate until testing negative. But their initial workup for a possible heart attack will otherwise be essentially the same as in the past. (Locked) More »

Can personality affect heart disease risk?

People with type D personalities are anxious, irritable, and angry. They also tend to feel ill at ease in social situations and uncomfortable opening up to others—and they have a higher-than-average risk for heart disease. The negative emotions that characterize Type D temperaments trigger the stress response. Repeated surges of stress hormones in the body can cause blood pressure to rise and make the blood more likely to clot. Stress also activates the immune system, triggering inflammation that damages blood vessels. (Locked) More »

Cancer survivors: A higher risk of heart problems?

Cancer survivors should be aware that cancer and its treatments—including newer immune-based therapies—can compromise cardiovascular health. Risk calculators to estimate the 10-year odds of having a heart attack or stroke may underestimate risk in people who’ve received treatment for cancer. Cancer survivors should stay vigilant for any new heart-related symptoms during and after treatment. The most common include shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, and a rapid, irregular heartbeat. (Locked) More »

Fruit of the month: Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit, or simply kiwi, is a brown, fuzzy, egg-sized fruit with bright green flesh. One provides about 80% of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement, and it’s also a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin K. More »