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AHA News: 'Supernatural' Actor Had a Stroke at a Fan Convention. Now, He's Giving Back in His Own Way.

Actor and musician Rob Benedict was in his natural habitat, onstage and entertaining an audience, when two of his friends decided to pull a practical joke on him.

They were all gathered in Toronto for a fan convention for "Supernatural," the long-running TV series. Benedict, who played the author Chuck Shurley (aka God) on the show, was taking part in a panel discussion when his two actor...

Shingles Ups Odds of Stroke, Heart Attack By Almost 30%

People who've had a bout of shingles may face a heightened risk of heart attack or stroke in later years, a new, large study suggests.

Anyone who ever had chickenpox can develop shingles — a painful rash that is caused by a reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox. About one-third of Americans will develop shingles in their lifetime, according to the U.S. Centers for Diseas...

AHA News: After Cardiac Arrest at College Basketball Game, He's Ready to Cheer Again

For more than 50 years, Stan Goldstein has donned his red, black, white and gold -- the colors of the University of Maryland's Terrapins -- to cheer for his alma mater's men's basketball team at home games.

In the 1990s, the team invited him to travel on their charter plane with other donors, so he became a fixture at road games, too.

In January, Stan, 75, left his home in Potomac, ...

Winter Holidays Are High Time for Heart Attacks: Protect Yourself

The winter holidays are a time of celebrating and sharing precious time with family and friends, but they can also be deadly: More people die of heart attacks on Christmas Day than on any other day of the year.

Experts aren't certain what's behind that troubling fact, but they offer some suggestions to help ensure that you and your loved ones aren't among them.

"The holidays are a ...

AHA News: What's New With the Flu? Here Are 7 Things to Know

Don't call it a comeback if it was never really gone, but the flu is poised for a breakout year.

Like the killer in a horror movie franchise, this season's flu is bringing fresh twists to a familiar theme. Here are seven things you should know to stay safe.

Early season

Several factors make this flu season unique, including an early start, said Dr. Ellen Eaton...

AHA News: As Winter Approaches, Seasonal Depression May Set in for Millions

Winter's coming. The leaves have fallen, temperatures are dropping and there's less daylight to brighten our moods.

While some enjoy the changing of the seasons, millions of U.S. adults will experience a form of depression during the winter months known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. It can feel just like regular depression, because it is, said Thea Gallagher, a clinical assistan...

Put Away That Salt Shaker to Shield Your Heart

Toss out your salt shaker if you want to lower your risk of heart disease, a new study suggests.

Even if you already follow a low-salt diet, sprinkling salt on your food can raise your risk for heart disease, heart failure and plaque in cardiac arteries, researchers report.

"Compared with people who always added salt to foods -- usually at the table -- those who sometimes, rare...

AHA News: 3 Heart Surgeries and a Mini-Stroke by Age 35. This Year? 3 Marathons

For his first 29 years, Justin Cadelago thought little about his heart. The exception was even a fun memory: he got to leave school early once a year to visit his pediatric cardiologist.

Cadelago was born with an aorta narrower than usual. This congenital heart defect is called coarctation of the bicuspid aortic valve. When Cadelago was a week old, doctors repaired the defect via open-hea...

Flakes Are Falling Again: Here's the Safe Way to Shovel Snow

Shoveling snow is a strenuous workout that poses risks for people with heart conditions.

“We have to think of shoveling snow as a pretty significant exertion, like an exercise,” said Dr. Donald Ford, chair of family medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio. “So if you're go...

AHA News: Her Heart Stopped in Front of the U.S. Capitol

It was a Wednesday morning last October and still dark when Delya Sommerville took off for a run with her jogging club.

They usually went out two to three times a week in the Capitol Hill area of Washington, D.C., and ran for about an hour. On this day the focus was hills.

"I don't feel very strong today," she said to one of her running friends.

Before long, Delya lagged behin...

AHA News: Green Beans Can Be One of the Healthiest Dishes at the Holiday Table

Whether served in a casserole, almondine or roasted with garlic, green beans are sure to make an appearance on many a table this holiday season.

And unlike many of the tempting treats that make up holiday meals, the green bean is one item that's not usually served with a side of guilt. In fact, it may be the Mighty Mouse of the holiday meal -- here to save the day from a beckoning bounty ...

AHA News: Feast on Gratitude This Season -- It Could Be Good For You, Mentally and Physically

Overindulgence is a Thanksgiving tradition rarely praised by health experts. But when it comes to the reason for the season -- gratitude -- feel free to serve up as much as you can.

That's because research suggests expressing gratitude might be not only a nice thing to do, but a healthy one, too.

Gratitude is a simple concept, said Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director of the Grea...

There's a Best Time of Day to Exercise for Women's Heart Health

Regular exercise has long been hailed as a great way to preserve heart health, but could a morning workout deliver more benefits than an evening visit to the gym?

New research suggests that for women in their 40s and up, the answer appears to be yes.

“First of all, I would like to stress that being physically active or doing some sort of exercise is beneficial at any time of day,...

AHA News: As Hearts Race Over the World Cup, Playing Soccer Has Its Benefits From Head to Toe

Soccer is filled with cardiovascular activities that can benefit the brain as well as the heart.

From fullbacks sprinting back to prevent a counterattack to midfielders jogging up the other end to build up play, players on the pitch are rarely standing still. The quadrennial World Cup, being played in Qatar from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18, will shine a spotlight on what's known as the "beautiful ...

AHA News: Some Reduced-Carb Diets May Decrease Diabetes Risk, But Others May Raise It

When it comes to reduced-carb diets, it may be quality, not quantity, that matters most.

New research finds that animal-based, low-carbohydrate eating was associated with a higher Type 2 diabetes risk, whereas plant-based, low-carb eating was associated with a lower diabetes risk. The research, recently presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions conferenc...

AHA News: 'I Need to Walk Again': Stroke Survivor Keeps Promise to Her Husband, Who Died On 9/11

From her hospital bed, Beth Murphy demanded that a television be brought into her room. She needed to see the face of her husband.

Kevin Murphy died on 9/11 as he worked at the World Trade Center in New York City. Of the 2,977 killed that day in separate terror attacks, Kevin and 2,752 others died at the twin towers. He was 40 years old.

On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Beth couldn'...

AHA News: Fatty Liver Disease May Increase Heart Failure Risk

An abnormal buildup of fat in the liver not caused by alcohol may greatly increase the risk of heart failure, according to new research.

Nearly 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has a condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. Scientists already knew NAFLD can lead to permanent liver damage and increase the risk for atherosclerosis, when plaque builds up in the arteries.

Weight-Loss Surgery Slashes Odds for Heart Attack in Very Obese People

Getting bariatric surgery may significantly help prevent heart attacks, strokes and angina in very obese people, a new study finds. The study participants were also affected by what's known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is often linked with obesity.

While studying patients who had a body mass index (BMI) higher than 40 and NAFLD, researchers from Rutgers Universi...

AHA News: A New Route to Keeping Women in Rural Communities Healthy

A community health program that included exercise classes and hands-on nutrition education helped women living in rural areas lower their blood pressure, lose weight and stay healthy, according to a new study.

Compared to women in urban areas, women in rural communities have higher cardiovascular disease risk, are more likely to have obesity and tend to have less access to health care and...

AHA News: Study of Heart Disease Trends Reflects Diversity Among Asian Americans

Cardiovascular disease rates differ among Asian American subgroups but are rising faster for most of them than for white adults, new research from Northern California suggests.

Only people of Japanese American and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander descent are not experiencing a faster rise in heart disease rates, according to findings presented this month at the American Heart Associati...

AHA News: Born With 6 Heart Defects, He's Now a College Junior and Competitive Swimmer

Zayne McCall was blue when he was born. Before his mother could hold him, doctors rushed him away to run tests.

At first, they thought one of his lungs had collapsed. Further testing showed Zayne was born with heart defects -- six of them.

These included anomalous pulmonary venous return, a rare defect in which oxygen-rich blood returns to the right side of the heart instead of the ...

AHA News: Popular Fertility Treatments Linked to Higher Heart Risks in Women During Delivery

A popular type of fertility treatment is associated with increased risk for serious cardiovascular complications in women at the time of delivery, longer hospital stays and higher hospitalization costs, new research finds.

"It's not necessarily that reproductive technologies are causing the cardiac complications," said Dr. Erin Michos, senior author of the study, which was presented Monda...

Fatal Heart Infections Linked to Opioid Abuse Have Tripled Among Young Americans

The U.S. opioid epidemic has been heartbreaking — literally.

Young adults' risk of dying from a devastating infection of the heart has doubled to tripled in the United States during the past two decades, a new study reports.

Researchers ascribe the increase in fatal heart infections to the growing number of people between 15 and 44 who are injecting opioid drugs.

“We found...

AHA News: Teens' Research Highlights Lasting Heart Health Effects of Redlining

Science is about discovery. It's about answering questions and, often, raising new ones.

For Elise and Demir Dilci -- 16-year-old twins whose research was presented Sunday at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions in Chicago -- it was certainly all that. The two high school sophomores from Houston's Awty International School set out to answer a single question and found they...

AHA News: More Physical Activity Before a Heart Attack May Reduce Risk for a Second One

Being physically active in middle age -- before having a heart attack -- may reduce the risk of having a second heart attack, according to new research.

Scientists have long known that regular physical activity helps prevent stroke, heart attacks and other forms of cardiovascular disease. But few studies have explored whether exercise protects against another serious cardiovascular event ...

6 'Heart-Healthy' Supplements Flop in Cholesterol Study

Folks taking dietary supplements intended to help their heart health are just wasting their money, a new clinical trial suggests.

Six supplements widely promoted as heart-healthy — fish oil, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, plant sterols and red yeast rice — didn't do a thing to lower “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or improve heart health, researchers found.

“C...

Experimental Pill May Be New Way to Control Cholesterol

Millions of people take daily medication to lower their cholesterol levels and prevent heart attacks, but there hasn't been a drug that targets a dangerous type of cholesterol in the blood known as lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a).

That's why a new study of an investigational drug called olpasiran, which blocks the production of apolipoprotein(a) — a key component of Lp(a) — is generating a l...

AHA News: Some Flu Vaccine Reactions Might Be a Good Sign for People With Heart Disease

People with heart disease who forego annual flu vaccination for fear of having an adverse reaction may wish to reconsider. New research finds individuals with high-risk heart disease who experience mild to moderate side effects are less likely to be hospitalized for heart or lung problems or die from any cause.

The findings suggest mild vaccine-related side effects, such as injection site...

Is Surgery Always Necessary for Folks With Chronic Angina?

Folks suffering chest pain from clogged arteries appear to have some true flexibility in choosing the medical care that's right for them, researchers report.

That's because their overall risk of death is about the same whether they choose aggressive surgical treatment or a more conservative approach focused on medication and lifestyle changes, according to seven-year clinical trial result...

AHA News: As Cardiac Arrest Deaths Fall, Black and Rural Communities Lag

Cardiac arrest deaths have dropped significantly in the U.S., except in Black and rural communities, according to new research.

Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating unexpectedly. A heart attack can trigger cardiac arrest, but so can other heart and non-heart issues. Higher bystander CPR rates and improved cardiovascular care have saved lives, but cardiac arrest was still a facto...

AHA News: How a Middle-of-the-Night Heart Attack at 40 Became Her Wake-Up Call

Intense chest pain awakened Natalie Latham from a deep sleep. Surely, she figured, it was from the spicy soup she'd eaten the night before.

Natalie had worked a full day in her role as marketing director for a bank in Brandon, Mississippi, then took one of her sons to baseball practice. Afterward, they picked up dinner from one of their favorite restaurants.

She expected her spicy m...

AHA News: Upping Your Step Count, Even in Small Amounts, May Increase Life Span

Adding 1,000 or even 500 steps to your daily routine could lead to a longer life, new research suggests.

Experts have long endorsed walking as a free and easy way for people to get a wide variety of health benefits, including improved sleep, prevention of weight gain and reduced risks for serious conditions like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

While fitness apps often recommend ...

AHA News: Chest Pain, Shortness of Breath Linked to Long-Term Risk of Heart Trouble

Chest pain and shortness of breath may offer distinct warnings of future heart problems over 30 years' time, according to a new study.

Chest pain accounts for more than 6.5 million visits to U.S. emergency rooms each year. Yet little research has looked at what it might signify over the years to come, said the study's lead researcher, Dr. Kentaro Ejiri, a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns ...

AHA News: Heart Inflammation Risk Remains Rare After Third COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

A third dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine poses no more risk of heart inflammation than a second dose, a large study suggests. The findings could help allay concerns about risk going up with each additional dose.

Cases were rare. Most appeared within seven days of vaccination and the patients recovered, found the study, which is being presented Saturday at the American Heart ...

AHA News: Dementia Risk May Be Tied to How Long Blood Pressure Stays in Target Range

The longer a person's blood pressure levels remain under control, the lower their risk may be for dementia, new research shows.

The findings add to evidence suggesting that good heart and brain health is best achieved by keeping systolic blood pressure (the upper number) consistently under control, compared to having levels that vary, even if the average falls within the target range.

...

Bad Marriages Put Heart Attack Recovery in Peril

A bad marriage can break your heart -- literally.

Heart attack survivors in a stressful relationship are more likely to have a rocky recovery, a new study reports.

"We found there's an independent association between severe marital stress and worse outcomes within their first year of recovery," said lead research...

AHA News: Black Licorice Is a Candy That Should Inspire Caution

"How do you feel about black licorice?" sounds like a question for starting a simple chat at a Halloween party -- or a silly internet fight. It's a love-it-or-hate-it candy that inspires intense opinions.

But if you ask a health expert, expect a serious conversation -- because eating lots of black licorice can cause complications that are "acutely life-threatening," said Dr. Christopher N...

AHA News: Former Grand Slam Tennis Champion Murphy Jensen Went From Touting CPR, AEDs to Having Them Save His Life

Murphy Jensen looked across the tennis court and smiled -- a joyful, mischievous grin.

At 6-foot-5, with a smooth face and scalp, the bright flash of his teeth radiated warmth and happiness. No surprise there; delight is his default setting.

It was the eve of his 53rd birthday and he was playing a mixed doubles exhibition against his big brother, Luke. It was a friendly competition,...

Deadly Aneurysm-Linked Strokes Are Rising, Especially Among Black Americans

An often-deadly type of stroke -- subarachnoid hemorrhage -- is on the upswing in the United States, particularly among Black people, new research shows.

Unlike the more common ischemic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage happens when there is bleeding in the space between the ...

AHA News: Actor Uses Humor, Vulnerability to Share What Life After 3 Strokes Is Like

Like many actors in Los Angeles, Michael Shutt had a second job. As a bartender at a restaurant, he had flexible hours and a reliable income with benefits.

Shutt worked the day shift so he could devote his evenings to a theater company where he acted, directed, produced, helped develop scripts and more.

During a busy afternoon of tending bar, he felt something like a jolt of electri...

AHA News: Telehealth May Be Just as Good as Clinic Visits for Treating High Blood Pressure

Telehealth care by pharmacists is an effective alternative to clinic-based care for managing high blood pressure, a new study has found.

Scientists know that high blood pressure is a major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular-related deaths in the U.S. But controlling the condition, also known as hypertension, has been difficult.

Nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood press...

AHA News: Healthy Fun or Health Risk? The Two Sides of Fear

The good news is that fear can persuade us to avoid dangerous situations or help us flee from an angry bear.

The bad news is that fear can lead to chronic stress, with serious health consequences.

So should that affect your Halloween plans?

Probably not, said Zachary Sikora, medical director of psychology at Northwestern Medicine in suburban Chicago -- unless you think scary m...

AHA News: Protecting LGBTQ People From the Health Risks of Social Isolation

The ways Donald M. Bell and his Chicago neighbors connect with one another are as simple as they are significant.

"We have certain rituals that pull certain clumps of people together," said Bell, 73. Sometimes, it's gathering to watch "Jeopardy!" in the community room of their senior apartment building. Other times, they make meals for each other, because cooking for one can be hard, but ...

AHA News: Using Friendly Faces to Help Close Gaps on Vaccines and More

The coronavirus pandemic magnified health disparities among racial and ethnic groups. Some experts say using trusted community voices could help close gaps not only in vaccination rates but in overall health.

Even before the pandemic, public health experts knew that people from historically underrepresented and underserved populations were less likely to receive preventive care, including...

AHA News: California Boy Needed Surgery to Fix Unusual Heart Defect

On her first visit to the hospital to check on her newborn patient, the pediatrician detected a heart murmur. A few days later, at Cix Greene's first office visit, the doctor didn't hear it. It was almost eight years later, at the boy's annual checkup, before she heard it again. She told Cix's mother to take him to a pediatric cardiologist.

Chappral Greene wasn't worried that the earliest...

AHA News: How to Lower Heart Disease and Breast Cancer Risk at the Same Time

It turns out that many of the lifestyle behaviors that help fight off breast cancer in women also can help them avoid heart disease.

Think of it as a "double win," said cardiologist Dr. Ana Barac, director of the cardio-oncology program at MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute in Washington, D.C.

Such a win could benefit a substantial number of women. In the U.S., an estimated 9.1 mi...

AHA News: Cómo reducir a la misma vez el riesgo de enfermedades cardíacas y de cáncer de mama

Resulta que muchos de los comportamientos relacionados con el estilo de vida que ayudan a luchar contra el cáncer de mama (seno) en las mujeres también pueden ayudarlas a evitar las enfermedades cardíacas.

Considera esto como una "victoria doble", dijo la Dra. Ana Barac, cardióloga y directora del programa de cardiooncología del MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute en Washington, D.C...

AHA News: Triathlete's Pain Was the Start of a Rare Form of Heart Attack

MaryKay West was at work in Portland, Oregon, after a long weekend in Southern California. Her husband, Jeff, had a work assignment there and she and their daughter, Anna, had visited. They'd gone for walks, shared nice meals and done a little sightseeing. And, as usual, MaryKay had gone for a run.

A competitive athlete since her youth, MaryKay was a state champion sprinter in high school...

AHA News: 5 Questions to Ask Before Sharing Health Stories on Social Media

When it comes to posting health information on social media, beware before you share.

Experts say that's an essential step in battling medical misinformation, an escalating problem as more people turn to social media for news, knowledge and advice about all things health-related.

In the wake of rampant false information about COVID-19, the U.S. surgeon general's office released an a...

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