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Heart Health Archive
Nordic diet may improve cholesterol, blood sugar levels
A traditional Nordic diet featuring whole grains, berries, canola oil, fish, and low-fat dairy may improve heart-related risk factors, even if people following the diet don’t lose weight.
Warning about portable electronics for people with heart devices
Some portable electronic devices—including Apple AirPod charging cases and certain smartphones—contain strong magnets that can interfere with the function of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.
Want a healthier heart? Seriously consider skipping the drinks
No amount of alcohol, including red wine, is good for the heart, according to a policy brief from the World Heart Federation. Drinking, even in moderation, increases the risk for heart-related conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, stroke, cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle), aortic aneurysm (a dangerous bulge in the wall of the aorta), and atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart rhythm). People who drink regularly might benefit from reducing their intake.
Reset your heart health
Cardiac rehabilitation and cardiovascular wellness programs can help people change unhealthy habits, reduce heart attack risk, and boost longevity. They are typically offered in group sessions, and in an outpatient hospital or community setting. Cardiac rehab is intended for people who’ve had a heart attack, heart bypass surgery, a heart or heart and lung transplant, stenting to open arteries, or valve surgery, as well as those with chronic chest pain (angina) or certain kinds of heart failure. Cardiovascular wellness programs are meant for people who don’t qualify for cardiac rehab but want to improve their heart and blood vessel health.
Long-term acetaminophen use may boost blood pressure
High doses of the popular pain reliever acetaminophen (Tylenol) may raise blood pressure when taken for two weeks.
Hospitalization after a ministroke? Not necessarily
Someone who has a transient ischemic attack (TIA, or ministroke) needs prompt testing to look for the underlying cause. A 2022 study shows that people can safely get that evaluation at a specialized outpatient clinic rather than having to be admitted to the hospital. The testing usually includes a heart ultrasound (echocardiogram), cardiac monitoring, and imaging tests. The results guide targeted stroke-prevention treatments, which can reduce the risk of a future stroke by as much as 80%.
Understanding secondary hypertension
Up to 10% of people with high blood pressure have secondary hypertension, which is caused by another condition or disease. The most common of these involve problems with the adrenal glands (hyperaldosteronism), or the arteries supplying the kidneys (renal artery stenosis). People most likely to have secondary hypertension include those with resistant hypertension who use three or more medications to manage their blood pressure, and people who develop hypertension before age 30.
Even a little extra daily exercise may postpone death
If most middle-aged and older American adults added just 10 to 20 minutes of moderate exercise to their normal daily activities, it could prevent an estimated 110,000 to 209,000 premature deaths each year.
What’s the deal with dairy and heart health?
Full-fat dairy products such as yogurt and cheese can be part of a heart-healthy diet. Compared with nonfat or low-fat products, full-fat dairy products tend to be tastier and more filling. But because they contain more calories and saturated fat, it’s best to limit full-fat dairy products to one serving a day and combine them with healthy foods, such as fruit, whole grains, and salads. Cheese is often eaten with less-healthy foods such as refined grains and meat, including pizza, burgers, mac and cheese, and Mexican food.
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