Recent Blog Articles

Heart Health Archive


When the doctor becomes the patient: A transformative experience

Published January 26, 2022

A doctor’s serious health threat prompts reflection on the power of spirituality, the value of mindfulness practice, and acknowledgment of mortality as a motivator to reassess one’s priorities.

Thinking of trying Dry January? Steps for success

Published January 3, 2022

Many people have been drinking more since the start of the pandemic. If you want to cut down on your alcohol consumption, or just want to start the new year on a healthy note, consider joining the Dry January challenge. Does a month seem like a long time? Here are steps you can take to improve your chances of success.

Is there such a thing as a silent stroke?

Published January 1, 2022
It is possible to experience a stroke without symptoms. Addressing cardiovascular risk factors can help lower the risk.

Chemical in plastics and personal care products linked to heart disease

Published January 1, 2022
Exposure to chemicals called phthalates, found in commonly used plastics, may be linked to a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

Seasonal changes and blood pressure

Published January 1, 2022
Some people with borderline high blood pressure have higher readings during winter, even high enough to need medicine to control it. In spring or summer, they might be able to reduce the dose or stop taking the medication. Losing excess weight and cutting back on salt also can help.

Don’t fail your heart health

Published January 1, 2022
The most common type of heart failure in older adults is heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. This is caused by the heart’s left ventricle not being able to relax, which means less blood enters the chamber, so less gets pumped out. Prevention and treatments continue to evolve, but include controlling blood pressure, addressing weight gain with exercise and diet, not smoking, and curbing alcohol intake.

FDA urges the food industry to cut back on salt

Published January 1, 2022
The FDA called for the food industry to voluntarily cut the amount of sodium in processed, packed, and prepared foods. Those products provide about 70% of the sodium in the typical American diet.

Low-dose aspirin: Little benefit for people without prior heart attack

Published January 1, 2022
A draft guideline from a national panel of experts recommends that people without heart disease who are 60 and older should not take low-dose aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke.

Gum disease and heart health: Probing the link

Published January 1, 2022
About two-thirds of people over 65 have periodontal disease, which is linked to a higher risk of heart disease. Shared risk factors such as smoking and an unhealthy diet may explain the association, but bacteria and inflammation could be a common thread. The bacteria responsible for periodontal disease can travel to blood vessels throughout the body and have been found in the fatty debris (atherosclerosis) that clogs arteries located far from the mouth—and in blood clots from people who have experienced heart attacks.

What’s the best blood pressure target for older adults?

Published January 1, 2022
For people over 60, aiming for a blood pressure target below 130/80 mm Hg may prevent more cardiovascular problems than aiming for the higher target suggested by some physicians. Some feared that the more intensive treatment required to reach the lower target might cause more adverse side effects (such as dizziness and falls) in older people. But side effects do not appear to differ among people taking intensive versus standard therapy.

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