Heart Attack Archive


Gout linked with risk for heart attack and stroke

Gout strikes when too much uric acid builds up in the body and triggers severe pain, swelling, and redness in one or more joints, often in the big toe. New research suggests that an episode may increase the risk for a heart attack or stroke over the following two months.

Poor physical function may predict cardiovascular disease

A new study suggests that older adults who maintain an high level functional fitness have a lower their risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke compared with those who are not as fit.

Polypill may help prevent repeat heart attacks

For heart attack survivors, taking a polypill that contains a blood pressure drug, a cholesterol-lowering statin, and low-dose aspirin may help prevent more future heart attacks and serious heart problems than usual care that includes several separate drugs.

Cold-weather cautions

Wintertime can pose challenges to cardiovascular health. Cold temperatures can cause arteries to narrow, which can leave people with heart disease vulnerable to angina or heart attacks, especially during physical exertion. Changes in sleep, eating, and exercise habits related to the season may also affect the heart. Crowded indoor gatherings also raise a person's risk for respiratory infections, which can exacerbate heart disease.

Women's heart attacks more strongly connected to different risk factors than men's

A 2022 study found that women under 55 experiencing heart attacks have different leading risk factors than men in this age group. For women, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, and low household income are strong risk factors for heart attack.

Your guide to taking statins

Statins continue to be a first-line treatment for many people at risk of heart attacks and strokes. They help reduce cholesterol levels, reduce plaque build-up, and protect against plaque rupturing, and fight inflammation. Possible side effects are often mild, if they occur, and go away after a brief period. Otherwise, people can manage them by changing the dosage or switching to another type of statin, per their doctor's direction.

Sleep added to list of essential healthy heart habits

The American Heart Association added sleep to its list of factors for cardiovascular health. The others are a healthy diet; physical activity; low levels of nicotine exposure; and healthy levels of weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.

Bleeding problems: Know your risk

Anti-clotting medications have a well-known and fairly common effect: a heightened risk of bleeding. Being older, having certain health conditions, and taking certain drugs (including popular over-the-counter pain relievers) can increase this risk. Minor bleeding includes bleeding gums after toothbrushing or flossing and nosebleeds that take longer than usual to stop. Signs of more serious bleeding (which requires immediate medical care) include tea-colored, pink, or red urine; blood in the stool or black, tarry stools; or a sudden, severe headache.

More protection for your heart? It's just a shot away

A yearly influenza vaccine may help lower the risk of serious cardiovascular complications, especially among people who've had a recent heart attack. Pneumonia and shingles vaccines also help reduce heart attack and stroke risks. Early fall is a good time to get back on track with these vaccines. Several different types of flu shots are available; experts advise getting whichever one is most readily available. For those ages 65 and older who have a choice, three vaccines (Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, Flublock Quadrivalent recombinant, and Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted) may offer slightly better protection than the regular-dose shot and are the preferred choice.

A virtual approach to healing the heart

Cardiac rehabilitation, which teaches heart-healthy habits coupled with supervised exercise, can help people with heart conditions prevent future problems. Some parts of the program can be done at home, delivered through a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Known as virtual cardiac rehab, this approach offers several advantages over conventional rehab, such as avoiding the time and expense of traveling to multiple sessions during the week.

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