Heart Attack Archive


Low-dose aspirin linked to anemia

Older people who take low-dose aspirin every day may be more likely to develop anemia. Aspirin discourages blood clots, but the drug also blocks substances that help maintain and protect the delicate tissue lining the gastrointestinal tract. Long-term aspirin use can damage this protective layer, making bleeding more likely. Minor bleeding can go unrecognized and contribute to anemia, a condition marked by a reduced number of healthy red blood cells. People currently taking aspirin should check with their doctor to see if the practice still makes sense for them.

Testosterone therapy may be safe for men at risk for heart attack and stroke

A 2023 study suggests taking testosterone replacement therapy does not raise the risk for heart attacks or stroke among men with cardiovascular disease or a high risk for it, but it could increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, acute kidney injury, and pulmonary embolism.

Focusing on six food groups may help prevent cardiovascular disease

A 2023 study suggests eating enough of six categories of food common in popular heart-health diets is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes. The six groups are fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish, and dairy products.

Weather and air pollution linked to heart-related hospitalizations

Lower temperatures, high wind speed, atmospheric pressure, high precipitation, and high degrees of pollution may raise the risk of being hospitalized for serious heart-related conditions. Modeling these factors may help forecast future heart problems.

Statin alternative lowers heart-related deaths

The cholesterol-lowering drug bempedoic acid (Nexletol) can be a good alternative for people who can't take statins. A 2023 study found that compared with a placebo, bempedoic acid can lower the risk of heart attacks and related problems.

Heart attacks may speed cognitive decline

Accelerated cognitive decline may be more common after a heart attack, probably because the same factors that lead to narrowed heart arteries (the root cause of most heart attacks) can also cause tiny, silent strokes. An accumulation of these strokes shows up as bright areas (called white matter lesions) on an MRI scan. These lesions are markers of typical cognitive changes that occur with age. But people who have heart attacks likely have more white matter lesions and experience even greater cognitive decline.

Heart attacks strike in different ways

There are two different mechanisms by which most heart attacks happen. Both are related to insufficient blood flow to an area of the heart, most often secondary to fatty plaque buildup in coronary arteries. Chest pain remains the most common heart attack symptom, but others are often subtle, and the underlying process causing the heart attack can differ. It's important for people to recognize the different signs of heart attacks, so they know when to seek immediate medical care.

The (almost) last word on alcohol and health

Research into the health benefits of alcohol has not provided a clear answer. Some findings suggest that alcohol helps protect against heart disease and lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and drinkers tend to live longer than nondrinkers. Other studies say these benefits are less clear. If you don't drink alcohol now, there are no health reasons to start drinking. If you do enjoy it, it's best to have no more than 2 drinks in the same day.

Salty diet linked to narrowed arteries in the heart and neck

The more salt people eat, the greater their risk of clogged heart and neck arteries, a 2023 study suggests. Narrowed arteries (atherosclerosis) can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Cannabis: A cardiovascular concern?

Marijuana use, which is rising among older adults, appears to heighten the risk of heart-related problems. Cannabis is known to increase heart rate and blood pressure, although high doses can have the opposite effect. Marijuana use has been implicated in causing heart attacks, atrial fibrillation, stress cardiomyopathy, and arteritis.

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