Recent Blog Articles

Heart Health Archive


Yoga and high blood pressure

Published May 1, 2022

A regular yoga practice may help lower blood pressure. But people with this condition should be cautious about certain poses that place the heart higher than the head (known as inversions).

What causes a stiff, narrowed aortic valve?

Published May 1, 2022

The most common cause of a stiff, narrowed aortic valve (aortic stenosis) is a buildup of scar tissue and calcium on the valve. Factors that contribute to narrowing of this valve include age, an inborn valve defect, and various diseases such as kidney disease. Aortic stenosis can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, and lightheadedness, especially during physical activity.

A look at diastolic blood pressure

Published April 1, 2022

When it comes to managing blood pressure, doctors tend to focus on lowering the top (systolic) number, but the bottom (diastolic) number also plays an essential role in heart health. Diastolic pressure is the pressure during the resting phase between heartbeats, and helps coronary vessels supply oxygen to the heart muscle. It’s important to keep both blood pressure numbers low per guidelines, but research suggests the diastolic number should not fall too low.

Beware of possible rise in blood clot risk when binge-watching television

Published April 1, 2022

Watching television for four or more hours a day is linked to a higher risk of developing dangerous blood clots.

Unmasking the varied causes of breathlessness and fatigue

Published April 1, 2022

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) can help diagnose unusual causes of breathlessness, such as pulmonary hypertension or heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. CPET collects information about a person’s heart and lung function to assess how the body responds to exercise. It may also help doctors better understand the lingering fatigue and breathlessness that sometimes occur after a COVID-19 infection.

Meal of the month: Southern side dishes

Published April 1, 2022

Traditional Southern cuisine features side dishes based on vegetables, beans, and whole grains that, when served together, can make a complete, meat-free meal that’s both filling and tasty.

A healthy drizzle: Olive oil linked to lower heart-related deaths

Published April 1, 2022

Consuming just a half-tablespoon or more of olive oil a day is linked to a lower risk of dying from heart disease and other chronic health conditions.

Magnesium and blood pressure: What’s the evidence?

Published April 1, 2022

The FDA will allow companies to make certain health claims regarding the consumption of magnesium and a reduced risk of high blood pressure. But the evidence for the link is inconclusive and inconsistent.

Heart attack versus cardiac arrest

Published April 1, 2022

Heart attacks occur when a blocked coronary artery prevents blood flow to part of the heart. Cardiac arrest is caused by an electrical misfire that causes the heart to abruptly stop beating.

Smart snack strategies

Published April 1, 2022

Between-meal snacks can either help or hinder people’s efforts to eat a heart-healthy diet. Simple strategies such as upgrading food choices can help. Instead of low-quality carbs like candy or potato chips, people should choose high-quality carbs like fruit or whole-grain crackers, along with a little protein or healthy fat (such as half an apple with a handful of nuts). They should also try to avoid eating simply out of habit when they’re not actually hungry.

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