Recent Blog Articles
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Women more likely than men to show atypical stroke symptoms
A 2022 study found that women are more likely than men to have "generalized" stroke symptoms such as weakness and confusion, in addition to classic signs such as speech or movement problems.
What is the ideal blood pressure number?
Recent guidelines suggest a blood pressure reading of less than 120/80 mm Hg as normal. But the ideal number for individuals depends on their individual goals and whether they also have a chronic condition, such as heart disease or kidney disease.
More benefits of a Mediterranean diet
A randomized trial published May 14, 2022, in The Lancet found that people with heart disease who ate a Mediterranean diet for seven years had a 26% lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke, compared with people who ate a low-fat diet.
Stroke risk rises in people who develop depression after a heart attack
A 2022 study found that people who have depression after a heart attack are nearly 50% more likely to suffer a stroke compared with heart attack survivors who don’t develop depression.
The ABCs of atrial fibrillation
About one in 11 men ages 65 and older has atrial fibrillation (afib), a heart rhythm disorder that causes an irregular and often faster-than-normal heartbeat. Afib can be persistent and chronic, or it can happen intermittently. People might have no symptoms with either variety, or afib can cause lightheadedness, shortness of breath, chest pain, or extreme fatigue. But the biggest worry is a fivefold increased risk of stroke. The main treatment choices for people are rate control with medication, or rhythm control, done with medication or a procedure such as electrical cardioversion or catheter ablation.
What you need to know about aphasia
Brain damage can cause the language disorder aphasia. It affects a person’s ability to understand or produce speech. Coping with aphasia requires treatment for the underlying cause and speech therapy to learn how to communicate despite language deficits. If the cause of the aphasia improves, so may the aphasia. But many people will continue to live with some level of aphasia, especially if the cause of brain damage is a progressive disease, such as Alzheimer’s.
How COVID-19 can compromise your heart health
COVID survivors—even those with mild infections—appear to face a higher risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart failure, heart attack, and stroke for up to one year after their initial infection. People who were hospitalized (especially those who ended up in the intensive care unit) may have the highest risk. The virus that causes COVID can injure blood vessels and triggers an immune response that promotes the formation of blood clots in arteries and veins throughout the body and brain.
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.
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%.
Enjoy avocados? Eating one a week may lower heart disease risk
Avocados are abundant in healthy fats, fiber, and micronutrients that boost heart health. A long-term study has found that people who eat avocado regularly have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, which leads to heart attacks and strokes.
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