What Your Mother’s Health May Reveal About Your Genetic Risks

The genes you inherit from your mother’s side of the family tree can have a powerful influence on your prospects for a long, healthy life. For example, a recent study found that women have a 25% greater likelihood of living past age 90 without developing any chronic disorders — such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer — if their mothers …

Simple Blood Test Reveals If You Are At Risk for Atrial Fibrillation

Up to 6.1 million Americans have atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, heart failure and increased risk for death from cardiovascular causes. Having AF quintuples risk for stroke and doubles it for heart attack or dementia. Although early detection and treatment can help save lives, this dangerous disorder often goes undiagnosed until the patient …

The Sweet Truth about Fresh Fruit, Fructose and Heart Health

One of the most common dietary recommendations for better heart health is to eat more fruit and vegetables. Although many large studies have found that a diet high in fresh produce lowers risk for heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases, patients often wonder if they should be concerned about a sugar in fruit: fructose. Fueling this …

Heart Attack Myths, Busted

If you think you’re too young — or too healthy — to have a heart attack, a recent cautionary tale published in The New York Times may change your mind. The article’s author, Trymaine Lee, never considered himself to be at risk for heart disease — until he suffered a near-fatal major “widow-maker” heart attack at age 38. “ ‘You …

7 Heart-Smart New Year’s Resolutions — and How to Keep Them

Most Americans make New Year’s resolutions — and setting goals to improve health, such as exercising more, typically top the list. This is a great time to focus on taking optimal care of your most important muscle: your heart. Large studies suggest that following an excellent lifestyle can reduce your risk for heart attacks and strokes by nearly 90%. Embracing …

Fish Oil for Heart Health: Helpful or Hype?

Fish oil is one of the world’s most popular — and controversial — supplements. About 20 million Americans take it daily, hoping to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading killer of Americans, often from heart attacks or strokes. However, decades of scientific research have yielded conflicting findings about the efficacy of the little capsules of omega-3 fatty …

Low-dose Aspirin for Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention: Helpful or Harmful?

Aspirin is the world’s most widely used drug — and one of the most controversial. Its medicinal use dates back to circa 1542 B.C., when extracts of willow bark (which contain salicylate, the active ingredient in aspirin) were described in an ancient Egyptian papyrus as a remedy for pain and fever. Also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), aspirin has proven …

Surprising Facts and Myths About Cholesterol

Cholesterol is the most demonized, misunderstood and controversial substance in our bodies and our diets. To help clear up the confusion, the CDC has designated September as National Cholesterol Education Month. It’s also a great time to get your lipid levels checked — and if they’re too high, to work with your medical provider to reduce them. Here’s a look …

Women’s Heart Attacks Are More Likely to Be Fatal: Top 10 Prevention Tips

Large studies published this year reveal an alarming trend: Women are up to three times more likely to die after a heart attack than men, largely due to unequal care and treatment. Women are less likely to receive the same risk-factor assessments and diagnostic tests for cardiovascular disease (CVD), leading to women being 50% more likely to be initially misdiagnosed. …

Seven Wonderful Health Perks of Outdoor Exercise

Exercise has such powerful mental and physical benefits that it’s been called “the ultimate wonder drug.” Moving your workout outdoors can dramatically increase these beneficial effects: Physical activity in natural settings has been linked to longer life, lower rates of illness — including heart attack and stroke — and a greater sense of well-being, reports the American Public Health Association. …