By Rebecca Scritchfield MA, RD, LD - DietsInReview.com
February is American Heart Month. It's a time to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke, the number one killer in our country, that way you and the people you love don't become a statistic.
Do you know your numbers? Your cholesterol numbers that is. You should have your cholesterol measured annually after age 30, especially if there is a family history of high cholesterol or heart problems. High cholesterol can double the risk for heart disease. It can be possible for your body to produce too much cholesterol, even if you take steps to lower your cholesterol.
However, many people successfully lower their cholesterol with some simple changes. There are three ways to improve your cholesterol levels.
1. Diet: Start by eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Use low- or non-fat dairy. Replace olive, grapeseed, canola or safflower oils for butter, lard or margarine. Avoid foods that contain saturated, hydrogenated,
By Rebecca Scritchfield MA, RD, LD - DietsInReview.comRead More »from 3 Ways to Improve Your Cholesterol Levels
- The Editors of EatingWell Magazine | Heart Health – Fri, Feb 12, 2010 6:57 PM EST
When I read this week that former President Bill Clinton had two stents inserted into a clogged coronary artery, I thought of my own family. I've been focused on eating a heart-healthy diet for more than 20 years and I'm only 34. Why? When I was in junior high my dad was diagnosed with high cholesterol and Mom announced we were going to start eating more heart-healthy meals. My mom, who'd lost her dad-my Grandpa Bill-to a massive stroke at 62 (after he'd suffered several heart attacks, strokes and open-heart surgeries) was serious about helping our family make important lifestyle changes that beget healthier hearts.
We'd be having more chicken and fish and fewer servings of fatty meat. She'd be serving more vegetables and fewer French fries. Kind of like how Mr. Clinton, who used to indulge in fast food and donuts, revamped his diet.
Lucky for us, Mom made sure to cook heart-healthy meals that were still delicious. None of us felt deprived and my dad was able to lose weight.Read More »from Why Bill Clinton's heart scare should make us think about our own health
Our resident cardiologist, Arthur Agatston, MD, told Prevention that the first question he asks patients when they walk in his office is "How's the traffic?"
It's not small talk but a valid medical query. Being stuck in traffic raises blood pressure and triples heart attack risk. So if a patient has had a tough commute and her BP is elevated, he'll recheck it later in the appointment. There are other surprising situations and times when the chance of heart attack rises dramatically. If you or someone you know has a history of heart trouble, here's when to be watchful.
1. First thing in the morning
The risk of heart attack increases 40% in the morning, Harvard researchers estimate.
As you awaken, your body secretes adrenaline and other stress hormones, increasing blood pressure and a demand for oxygen. Your blood is also thicker and harder to pump because you're partially dehydrated. All this taxes the heart.
Protect yourself: Build some time into your schedule soRead More »from 5 scary times for your heart
- Dory Devlin, Shine staff | Heart Health – Fri, Feb 12, 2010 5:17 PM EST
AP Photo/Danny JohnstonAlmost as quickly as news hit that former President Bill Clinton was admitted to Columbia Presbyterian hospital for heart problems, word followed that he underwent surgery to have two stents implanted to clear an artery blockage and that he was released from the hospital and en route to his Chappaqua, N.Y. home.Read More »from Why Bill Clinton may be able to go back to work Monday
Now, his doctor and aides say he may be back to work as soon as Monday on Haiti relief efforts. Why is that possible after a heart blockage mended by surgery?
Two stents, small metal scaffolding devices that open constricted arteries, were implanted in one of Clinton's coronary arteries after an angioplasty procedure. Via angioplasty, a catheter is inserted in an artery in the patient's groin and then a balloon is inserted and inflated to expand the artery. When the artery is expanded, the stents are put in place to prop open the diseased artery.
There was no indication that Clinton, who underwent quadruple bypass surgery four years ago, suffered a heart attack. But because
By: Dr. Holly AndersenRead More »from Could Migraines Indicate an Unhealthy Heart?
Don't have a heart attack reading this: A large study published today in the Journal of Neurology reports an association of migraine headaches with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Migraines afflict nearly 28 million Americans with a 3:1 female predominance. It is usually characterized as a chronic condition, associated with recurring, intense, throbbing and mostly unilateral headaches. Although incompletely understood, migraines are felt to be due to the "vasodilation" or enlargement of blood vessels flowing into the brain. When these blood vessels dilate, they stretch surrounding nerve cells, which in turn release neurotransmitters or chemicals that can cause pain, inflammation and further enlargement of the arteries.
How Deadly Is a Broken Heart?
Nearly one quarter of migraines are associated with an "aura." Most often this aura is characterized by visual disturbances, such as zigzagging patterns, flashes of light or blind spots. Occasionally,
1. There's a tape measure in the examining room.
Your waistline provides a better indication of your heart disease risk than a height/weight measure does. The number to watch for: 35 inches. Anything over that puts women at highest risk. (Related: All About the Flat Belly Diet)
2. She asks you about exercise.
Along with eating well, being active can help cut your risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 50 percent. So your doctor should question you about your workout habits - and make sure your program is challenging enough to help your cardiovascular system. (Related: Find the right workout routine for your lifestyle)
3. Your blood tests include high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.More Health and Fitness Advice Read More »from 3 Ways to Know if Your Doctor is Heart-Smart
Cholesterol and "regular" CRP tests provide a good window on your heart attack risk, but the high-sensitivity version is better. And it's a far more accurate predictor of your chances of a stroke. (Related: Will these foods lower your cholesterol?)
by GALTime.comRead More »from Migraines May Double Risk of Heart Attack
If you suffer from migraines you may want to make sure your doctor pays close attention to your cardiac health, as well. A new study finds migraine sufferers are twice as likely to have heart attacks as people who don't suffer from these debilitating headaches. The research, published in the online issue of Neurology, also found that migraine sufferers face increased risk of stroke and were more likely to have key risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Senior author of the study Richard B. Lipton, M.D., professor and vice chair in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, says, "Migraine has been viewed as a painful condition that affects quality of life, but not as a threat to people's overall health. He added, "Our study suggests that migraine is not an isolated disorder and that, when caring for people with migraine, we should also be attentive
Heart disease is far from just an adult problem, so we asked GALTime.com resident RN Tamara Walker for her advice on how to keep kids heart healthy:
More kids than ever before are struggling with health problems that were once only seen in adults, including heart disease, usually due to a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. The number of children who are overweight or obese has increased dramatically in the past few years. It has been reported that one in three children qualify as obese, and more are overweight, according to recent studies. Obesity in children can cause serious health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease and it increases their future risk of heart attacks. Even children who are not overweight can have health issues due to an unhealthy diet and not enough exercise. Studies have shown that plaque build-up in the blood vessels can start as early as the toddler years. Whether your child is overweight or not, it isRead More »from Heart Disease Strikes Children, Too
There's always news about heart health, but is it news you can use? Here, for heart month, are important findings from the past year that you can act on-and benefit from-now.Read More »from 5 Advances in Heart Health
TAKE THIS: Fish oil
It requires no prescription, but fish oil packs lots of power. According to a recent review of more than a dozen major studies, if you have high cholesterol, fish oil can lower your odds of cardiovascular problems by nearly 20 percent; if you've had a heart attack, it can cut the likelihood of a second one by 15 to 30 percent. It's the fatty acids EPA and DHA that are key. "All healthy people should average about 500 milligrams a day of combined EPA and DHA," says study author Carl J. Lavie, MD. "You can get that with two fish meals per week or through a supplement."
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PLUS: 6 Easy Ways to Follow the Mediterranean Diet
TALK TO YOUR DOC BEFORE SWALLOWING THIS: Aspirin
This heart hero helps ward off heart attacks in men and strokes in women, but experts have
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