‘Jaw-Dropping’ Drop in Hospitalizations, Deaths From Heart Disease

A new study of 34 million Medicare patients has found what one prominent heart researcher calls “jaw-dropping” reductions in hospitalizations and deaths from heart attacks and strokes over the past decade. According to the findings published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, the number of patients age 65-plus who were hospitalized with heart attacks dropped nearly 40 percent from 1999 to 2011, while those hospitalized with strokes caused by blood clots  fell by 34 percent. >> Top 15 Superfoods for …

Salt Shake-Up: Low-Salt Push May Be Unhealthy

For years we’ve been told to slash our sodium consumption to protect against strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure. But now an influential committee says there’s no scientific evidence that a very low-salt diet cuts the risk of heart disease. In fact, the new Institute of Medicine report says that cutting sodium to 1,500 milligrams (mg) daily – the current government recommendation for older adults (ages 51 and up), African Americans and those with diabetes, high blood pressure and …

When Your Heart Is Weak, The Talk You Need To Have

For older patients with advanced heart failure, heart devices are not always the best answer. Instead, patients and their doctors need to engage in “shared decision-making” about treatment options and whether pacemakers, pumps, new valves, defibrillators or other invasive procedures may leave patients feeling worse off than they were before, says a new scientific statement published Monday by the American Heart Association and endorsed by other medical groups. Too often, patients don’t realize what they’re getting into, and doctors automatically assume …

Sex And Heart Attacks: Take The Stairs Test

If you’re a heart patient and you’re healthy enough to walk up two flights of stairs without chest pain or gasping for breath, it’s probably safe for you to have sex. That’s the advice from the American Heart Association, which for the first time has scientifically studied a subject that evidently doctors and patients have been too embarrassed to talk about: Whether having sex raises the chance for a heart attack. For heart patients, it’s a common fear that having …

The Benefits of Chocolate!

It’s easy to see why this news story this morning quickly caught my eye: the word “chocolate” was in the headline. The Associated Press is reporting today on a study published in the European Heart Journal that shows that a small amount of chocolate everyday can actually reduce a person’s risk of heart problems. I can get on board with that! We’ve heard for a while that a little dark chocolate may be helpful for your health, but this study …