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Heart Health Archive

Articles

Living with stable angina

Published January 1, 2022
For people with stable angina, which occurs in about two-thirds of people with heart disease, optimal medical therapy is almost always the best treatment. It includes all the medications a person needs to get cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar into a healthy range. Certain medications, including beta blockers, calcium-channel blockers, and nitrates, also help relieve the discomfort of angina.

Meal of the month: Healthy meals for 2022

Published January 1, 2022
Easy-to-prepare meals that promote heart health often include plant-based ingredients but can also feature fish or small amounts of chicken or beef.

How a sugary diet may sabotage your heart health

Published January 1, 2022
Reducing added sugar in sweetened beverages and packaged foods may help reduce obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in the United States, which could lead to substantial health care cost savings. Most of the added sugar in the typical American diet comes from sugary beverages, which add extra calories that have no nutritional advantages and may contribute to weight gain. Replacing sugar with artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners is one popular option, but it’s not clear that eating such products offers any health advantages. A better option would be to substitute fresh, whole foods such as fruit for processed junk food and to drink sparkling water with a splash of juice instead of a soda.

Types of aortic valve problems

Published January 1, 2022
In aortic stenosis, the heart’s aortic valve narrows and can’t open fully. In aortic regurgitation, the valve doesn’t close properly. The cause may be present at birth (congenital) or acquired later in life, and the problems can occur alone or together.

Salt substitute associated with lower rates of stroke, death

Published January 1, 2022
A large study published online Aug. 29, 2021, by The New England Journal of Medicine found that people who used a salt substitute on their food had a lower risk of stroke, heart attack, and early death, compared with people who used regular salt.

5 numbers linked to ideal heart health

Published December 16, 2021

Five numbers give a thumbnail assessment of a person’s overall heart health and what factors they might need to address to lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke. These numbers offer ideal goals for most people, although targets can vary for individuals based on age or other health conditions.

Switching to a salt substitute may reduce stroke risk

Published December 1, 2021
Swapping regular table salt (sodium chloride) with a salt substitute containing some potassium chloride may lower the risk of strokes and related heart problems.

Less heart disease in people with a dairy-rich diet?

Published December 1, 2021
People who eat more dairy fat—which is plentiful in whole milk, yogurt, and cheese—may be less likely to develop heart disease than people who eat smaller amounts of dairy.

Fruit of the month: Citrus fruits

Published December 1, 2021
Citrus fruits such as oranges and tangerines contain heart-healthy nutrients such as fiber and flavonoids. But grapefruit also contains compounds that may increase the blood level of certain statins.

Constipation: A connection to cardiovascular disease?

Published December 1, 2021
People with chronic constipation may be more prone to heart disease, but the connection remains unclear. Straining and bearing down to have a bowel movement can temporarily boost blood pressure, putting the cardiovascular system at risk. And a possible link between constipation and blood clots may be worth further study. In rare cases, clots form in the veins that serve the gastrointestinal organs, including the large intestine (colon). Known as splanchnic venous thrombosis, the problem seems to be far more common in people with constipation than in those without.

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