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Heart Attack Archive

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Research we're watching: Taking steps to avoid heart disease

Updated March 1, 2014










Photo: Thinkstock

For people at high risk of diabetes who also have (or are prone to) heart disease, a daily walk may lower their risk of cardiovascular events, according to a study in The Lancet.

The findings are based on data from 9,306 people who took part in a larger study to evaluate two medications. Participants were required to follow a low-fat diet, get regular exercise, and track their steps with a pedometer at the beginning of the study (the baseline) and after one year.

Research we're watching: Testosterone therapy linked to heart trouble

Updated February 1, 2014

Over the past decade, ads touting testosterone therapy to treat low energy and a flagging libido in men have fueled a rapid rise in prescriptions for the hormone. Short-term studies suggest that testosterone therapy boosts bone mass, strength, and sexual function and improves some markers of heart disease risk. But concerns about the long-term safety of testosterone treatment (available as a gel, patch, or shot) linger, particularly after a 2010 study of testosterone in frail, older men was stopped early because of cardiovascular problems among the testosterone users.

Now, findings from a study of 8,700 male veterans with low testosterone add to the concern. Men who used testosterone therapy had a 30% higher risk of heart attack, stroke, or death over a three-year period than men who didn't use testosterone. The men, who were in their early 60s on average, had all undergone a heart imaging test, and most had risk factors for heart problems. Testosterone might boost heart risks by encouraging the formation of dangerous blood clots, say the authors, whose article appeared in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

New guidelines could make it easier for you to keep your heart healthy

Updated February 1, 2014

The science leans toward more aggressive use of statin drugs to prevent heart problems, but medication is not a "must do."

Doctors have a new roadmap for preventing heart attacks, strokes, and other harmful outcomes of cardiovascular disease. The guidelines, released by experts with the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology in November 2013, are the first update in more than a decade. "The guidelines provide a simplified approach to reducing cardiovascular risk," says Dr. Joanne Foody, an expert in preventive cardiology at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The new strategy for statins: Should you be taking one?

Updated February 1, 2014

Guidelines for taking cholesterol-lowering drugs now target overall risk rather than cholesterol values.



Photos: Thinkstock

Discuss all of your risks for heart disease with your doctor to determine if you should take a statin.

Double trouble: Coping with arthritis and heart disease together

Updated February 1, 2014

Key treatments for both diseases—exercise and medications—demand extra attention and planning

Many people with heart disease—nearly 60%—also deal with painful joint damage due to arthritis. Coping with both conditions together poses some special challenges, especially with regard to exercise and medications.

5 things you need to do after a heart attack

Updated February 1, 2014

Your recovery after a heart attack doesn't end when you leave the hospital. To protect your heart over the long term, follow these steps.

Having a heart attack is life-altering experience. More than likely, you'll spend the days and weeks after your discharge from the hospital flooded with new information on your heart health and medical care. You'll also be learning to cope with your identity as a heart attack survivor.

New options to reboot the heart

Updated February 1, 2014

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators can prevent sudden cardiac arrest. Now more people can benefit.

Miniature electronic devices called implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) that detect and terminate rapid, irregular beats in the heart's lower chambers (ventricles)—a problem known as ventricular fibrillation—can be a lifesaver for people susceptible to deadly arrhythmias With recent technological advances, these devices are even safer and more available.

FDA deems trans fats unsafe

Updated February 1, 2014

Photo: Thinkstock

Some frozen pizzas and other convenience foods still contain unhealthy trans fats.

These artery-clogging fats may linger in the food supply for a while. Learn how to avoid them.

Answers about aspirin

Updated January 1, 2014

Should you be taking it? If so, when, how much, and what kind?



Photos: Thinkstock

Daily aspirin can prevent heart attack and stroke, but it's often misused.

Should you take a statin to prevent a heart attack or stroke?

Updated January 1, 2014

Photo: Thinkstock

New guidelines may expand female candidates for these cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Statins are potent cholesterol-lowering drugs. However, they also have other effects that protect against heart attack and stroke. For that reason, new Guidelines released November 12 from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have broadened recommendations for use of these medicines. Cholesterol levels no longer are the main factor. As a result, if you're not taking a statin drug now, you may be advised to start.

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