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Articles on Heart Disease

Articles on Heart Disease

Heart disease is a broad term used to describe a range of diseases that affect your heart, and in some cases, your blood vessels. The most common heart condition in the United States is coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attack and other serious conditions.  Other heart conditions include cardiomyopathy, cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, inflammatory heart disease and valvular heart disease.



05/20/2010 - Articles

Trends in heart disease in Canada

We know much more about heart disease than we did 50 years ago. High blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol and smoking are all risk factors for heart disease and their importance has been uncovered by medical research. At the same time, there are now many treatments for heart disease, such as angioplasty, and a plethora of drugs for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. So what effect has the new understanding of heart disease had on people’s health? Read more

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05/20/2010 - Articles

Work pressure increases heart disease risk among women

Work pressure and lack of control over your work are known to be risk factors for heart disease. But previous research on the impact of work pressure on health has been confined to men. Researchers in Denmark now report on the effect of work pressure and control over work on the heart health of 12,116 nurses taking part in the Danish Nurse Cohort Study. The women were all aged between 45 and 64 in 1993 when they were asked about work pressure and the degree of control they felt they had over their work. Their health was then tracked for the next 15 years. Read more

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05/20/2010 - Articles

Pneumonia vaccine does not protect against heart attack, stroke

If you are at risk of heart attack or stroke, your doctor may offer you a shot of pneumonia vaccine as a preventive measure. Previous research has suggested that pneumonia vaccine does indeed offer some protection against cardiovascular events. However, a new study from Kaiser Permanente scientists casts doubt on the health benefit of the pneumonia vaccine. Read more

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05/20/2010 - Articles

Protein in urine a risk for those with high blood pressure

People with high blood pressure are at increased risk of both kidney problems and heart disease. We already know that excreting a slight excess of protein in the urine (microalbuminuria) is linked to an increased risk of kidney and heart disease in people with both diabetes and high blood pressure. In the MAGIC (Microalbuminuria: A Genoa Investigation on Complications) study, a team at the University of Genoa, Italy, now reveals that microalbuminuria is also a risk factor for people without diabetes who have high blood pressure. Read more

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05/20/2010 - Articles

Poor oral care increases risk of heart disease

Oral care involves looking after teeth, gums and mouth and it is very important for your general health. A leading oral specialist, Professor Robin Seymour, of Newcastle University Dental School, UK, has just carried out an analysis of the link between poor oral care and coronary heart disease. In a review of 15 separate studies, he found that those with unhealthy gums arising from neglect of oral care are more likely to have heart disease. One reason may be that inflamed gums are linked to higher levels of C-reactive protein, a possible biomarker of heart disease, in the body. Dental cleaning can actually reduce levels of C-reactive protein and also improve the health of blood vessels. Read more

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05/20/2010 - Articles

Consumption of added sugars hits lipid profile

Added sugars, like high fructose syrup, are used in processed or prepared foods to increase their sweetness and general palatability to the consumer. Over recent years, there has been a large increase in the US population’s intake of added sugars. But few studies have examined the impact of added sugars on health. Read more

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05/13/2010 - Articles

Do statins help control blood pressure?

Statins are known to reduce high cholesterol levels and thereby reduce the risk of heart disease. Some studies have suggested that statins might also be able to lower blood pressure. If this is true, then this would be an added benefit for those at risk of heart disease. Many patients have both high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and will be taking statins for the first and a blood pressure-lowering drug for the second. Could they be getting extra ‘value for money’ from their statins? A new study from researchers in Milan sought to answer this question. Read more

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04/07/2010 - Articles

Coffee drinking is not linked to heart rhythm disturbance

Coffee drinking sometimes brings on heart palpitations and people may be concerned that it is bad for the heart. However, a new study from researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, California, now reveals that normal amounts of coffee don’t harm heart health. Indeed, people who drink a lot of coffee are actually rather less likely to be hospitalized for heart rhythm disturbances. In the new study, over 130,000 men and women were monitored and those drinking four or more cups of coffee a day were 18% less likely to enter hospital for a heart rhythm problem than those who did not drink coffee. Those who drank one to three cups of coffee a day had a 7% reduction in risk. The findings don’t prove cause and effect and do not mean coffee actually protects the heart from heart rhythm disturbance. It might be that coffee drinking is linked to other heart protective factors in the lifestyle of consumers. It is also possible that caffeine affects the electrical activity of the heart through inhibition of adenosine, which is active in this role. Coffee drinkers can therefore ‘take heart’ that their beverage is not causing an increased risk of heart rhythm disturbance. Read more

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04/06/2010 - Articles

Fatigue may predict heart attack

Fatigue is a very common symptom and it may, or may not, suggest underlying health issues. To complicate matters, fatigue is also difficult to measure. However, a new study, from researchers at Osaka City University, Japan, reveals how a new scale for measuring fatigue has uncovered a link with heart attack. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms experienced by patients on dialysis for kidney failure. The researchers applied the new questionnaire to a group of 788 patients on dialysis and found that around 16% had very high fatigue scores. After two years of follow up, patients with a high fatigue score were found to have more than twice the risk of heart attack or stroke. Read more

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03/31/2010 - Articles

Genetic markers do not predict heart disease risk in women

Genetic factors are likely to influence a person’s risk of heart disease, including heart attack. As genetic technology becomes more widely available, it is possible that a test might be developed that could predict heart disease risk. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have tried out this approach by compiling genetic risk scores based upon a number of marker genes uncovered by genomic-based research into heart disease. Read more

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