Cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, is actually a collection of diseases and conditions, not one particular affliction. They include primarily heart disease and stroke. There are also diseases of the blood vessels, which include high blood pressure (hypertension) and aneurysm. Learn more about cardiovascular disease and how to take care of the heart.
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. didn't become a doctor to change the way America eats. He was a general surgeon.
If you're not overweight, eat pretty well and exercise now and then, you might think you're in good heart health. But doctors say you don't have to look like a heart attack waiting to happen to be one.
Most heart attacks strike with no warning, but doctors now have a clearer picture than ever before of who is most likely to have one, says Dr. Arthur Agatston, a Miami cardiologist and author of the best-selling South Beach diet books.
Marriage is thought to have a number of health benefits, including greater longevity, less stress, and a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
Learning your cholesterol numbers -- the good, the bad and the total -- is a well-established part of the annual physical exam.
Research suggests that marriage is good for your health -- especially if you're a man. Married men tend to live longer than their unwed counterparts, they're more likely to see their doctor regularly, and they even have a lower risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke.
People with hypertension who replace a portion of the carbohydrates in their diet with soy protein or low-fat dairy may see a small yet meaningful decrease in their blood pressure, a new study suggests.
No matter what race you consider yourself to be, you have a unique genetic makeup.
A study published Monday in a Canadian journal concluded that smokers who take Chantix, one of the most popular smoking cessation drugs, could increase their risk of heart problems.
For years, doctors have been telling their patients to eat more fish in order to boost heart health.
Having sex, drinking coffee, working out -- these and other everyday activities that cause blood pressure to spike may briefly raise the risk of a burst aneurysm in the brains of certain vulnerable people, a new study suggests.
Doctors and public health officials have been telling us for years that eating too much sodium can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke by raising blood pressure to unsafe levels. So how to explain a new study that suggests low salt intake actually increases the risk of dying from those causes?
Doctors have long known that obesity increases a person's risk of heart disease, but in recent years the picture has grown more complicated.
Teenage boys who are even slightly overweight face an increased risk of heart disease later in life, even if they slim down as adults, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
While you may consider yourself lucky to be working long hours -- or working at all -- in the current economy, your diligence may be undermining your health in the long run.
Listening to your favorite tunes or funny jokes could lower your blood pressure, perhaps even as much as cutting salt from your diet or dropping 10 pounds, according to the preliminary results of a small study presented Friday at American Heart Association meeting in Atlanta.
Exercising or having sex just about triples a person's risk of heart attack in the hours immediately afterward, especially if the person does those activities infrequently, according to a new analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Starting each day with a bowl of cereal -- especially a whole-grain variety -- could trim up to 20% off your risk of developing high blood pressure, according to preliminary research presented Tuesday at an American Heart Association meeting in Atlanta.
There were 35 black and orange balloons at Wes Leonard's funeral in Fenville, Michigan, on Tuesday, to represent the number on his high school basketball jersey. Even athletes from other schools who had competed against him were moved to tears.
Drinking a lot of soda and other sugary beverages has been linked to an increased risk of obesity and diabetes, among other health problems.
Carolyn Hennecy had a suspicion about what was happening to her when she started having shortness of breath and tension in her left arm and jaw.
This Sunday's Super Bowl could prove to be a real heartbreaker for some fans of the losing team.
Spending lots of free time glued to the TV or computer screen can hurt your heart and shorten your life, no matter how much exercise you get when you're not riding the couch, a new study suggests.
More than 20% of patients who received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator -- a high-tech device that produces electrical impulses to regulate heartbeats and prevent life-threatening arrhythmias -- in recent years were not good candidates to receive the device, a new study suggests.
It was the second play of a high school football game. A 16-year-old tight end caught the pass. As he broke free from a defender, he was struck in the chest by another player.
No man (or woman) is an island, and it's well known that social ties are good for your health. Social connections have been linked with greater longevity, and just living with someone else may lower heart disease risk.
If you take aspirin, you've got a pain reliever, heart attack preventer and possible cancer preventer rolled into one tablet. You might think that whoever invented aspirin is a genius, but the truth is humans have been using its natural equivalent for thousands of years.
December 26 is historically one of the most dangerous days of the year for people vulnerable to cardiac problems, including heart attacks, arrhythmias, and heart failure.
Being overweight or obese may take years off your life, even if you don't have heart disease or cancer, according to a new study of nearly 1.5 million people.
People who snore loudly, have difficulty falling asleep, or often wake up feeling tired may have more to worry about than dozing off at work. A new study suggests they may also be at increased risk of developing heart disease and other health problems down the road.
Women with very demanding jobs are nearly twice as likely to have a heart attack as their peers in more easygoing occupations, a new study suggests.
A flu shot can do more than just fight against influenza, a new study suggests. It may also fight against heart attacks.
Folic acid supplements have long been thought to have potential heart benefits, but a large new study suggests that they don't lower the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
It was 5:16 a.m. when the call came in to a 911 dispatcher in Madison, Wisconsin. The story, from Cathy Silver, came out staccato: Cathy's husband, Jim, was gagging, gasping for air. A nurse at the University of Wisconsin Hospital, Cathy could see that her husband, the father of four grown children, was in cardiac arrest.
The millions of people who take calcium supplements to strengthen aging bones and ward off osteoporosis may be putting themselves at increased risk of a heart attack, a new study has found.
Are you pessimistic, chronically worried and stressed-out, and ill at ease socially? You may be at higher risk of heart attack and other heart problems, a new study suggests.
When Eugenie Smith's hands started tingling, she figured her biking gloves needed more padding. When she felt out of breath after a short walk on a treadmill, she assumed it was pneumonia. When her chest hurt, Smith chalked it up to indigestion.
Megan's hair was the first clue.
Overweight people with a history of heart disease who take the prescription weight-loss drug Meridia may be at increased risk of heart attack or stroke, according to a study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.
It's no secret that high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Nor should it come as a surprise that binge drinking isn't the healthiest habit. But a new study suggests that combining the two may add up to double the trouble -- and much more, in some cases.
Eating too much red meat has long been a no-no for people with high cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease. But it hasn't always been clear how much is too much.
You're in a restaurant, or at an airport, or on a crowded street. The man or woman next to you crumples to the ground. Do you know what to do? Anyone trained in CPR knows the first step: Check for breathing, and check for a pulse. If there's no heartbeat -- what then?
In restaurants in this township outside Cape Town, South Africa, barbecue grills crackle with chains of sausage, marinated chicken quarters and boulder-sized slabs of beef and lamb.
Eating too much sodium can push your blood pressure into the danger zone. Now, researchers are reporting that eating too many sweets--or drinking too much soda--may have a similar effect.
A brief chest pain, numbness in the arm or even fatigue is enough to worry Sandra Thornton, a heart attack survivor.
States are tracking the health consequences of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, including respiratory and skin irritation problems in Louisiana and Alabama, health officials said.
Heart attacks dropped by 24 percent in a large cross section of Northern Californians over the past decade, most likely due to less smoking, better blood pressure control, and lower cholesterol, a new study reports.
Dianne has always worried about her heart health -- both her parents died of heart attacks -- yet her cholesterol has never been off the charts. All the same, the 59-year-old schoolteacher (who asked that her last name not be used) has been taking a cholesterol-lowering statin for more than two years.
Heart-attack patients who don't talk to their doctors about when it's safe to have sex again are likely to see a drop-off in their sex lives, new research suggests.
Sugar lovers may have to face a bitter truth: The less sugar added to foods for typical people, the better are their blood-fat profiles and the lower are their cardiovascular risks, a study to be published Wednesday concludes.
Linda Bacon, Ph.D, dreads swimsuit season, but not because she has anything against the beach.
Women who eat more white bread, white rice, pizza, and other carbohydrate-rich foods that cause blood sugar to spike are more than twice as likely to develop heart disease than women who eat less of those foods, a new study suggests.
Eating as little as a quarter of an ounce of chocolate each day -- an amount equal to about one small Easter egg -- may lower your risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke, a new study has found. For best results, the chocolate should be dark, experts say.
Exposure to debris at Ground Zero may be linked to heart problems in police officers, according to a new study announced Saturday.
Eating the wrong food and gaining too much weight can clog arteries with fatty deposits, potentially leading to life-threatening heart attacks and strokes.
A fifth heart attack, such as the one suffered this week by former Vice President Dick Cheney, is not rare because of advances in modern medicine, cardiologists say.
Stents, small metal scaffolding devices placed inside blood vessels around the heart, are used to treat conditions that result when arteries become narrow or blocked.
Since certain parts of the country are in the depths of a "snowmageddon," with more snow predicted, chances are good you might be shoveling a bit -- or a lot.
Holidays often mean cookies -- and calories. Here's a way to keep the flavor but trim some of the fat in one tasty treat.
The first few months after a prostate cancer diagnosis may be an especially perilous time for men, but not because of the cancer, new research suggests.
If you take heart medication, you may want to avoid some of the most popular over-the-counter herbal supplements on the market, including ginseng, saw palmetto, and echinacea. These herbal remedies -- and many others -- can cause potentially serious problems in people taking heart medications, a new report warns.
You've probably heard eating more fish is good for you. But if selecting and preparing fish feels like entering uncharted waters, you're not alone: Most Americans eat very little fish compared to chicken and beef (just under 7 pounds a year vs. more than 100 pounds, according to the United States Department of Agriculture).
A new California law named for rapper Kanye West's late mother requiring a physical exam and medical history before cosmetic surgeries isn't likely to lead to better patient safety, some cosmetic surgeons said.
If Americans cut their salt intake by just half a teaspoon per day, it would produce public health benefits on par with reducing high cholesterol, smoking, or obesity, a new study has found.
It's shocking, but it's true: Being a woman who's more than 20 pounds overweight may actually hike your risk of getting poor medical treatment. In fact, weighing too much can have surprising -- and devastating -- health repercussions beyond the usual diabetes and heart-health concerns you've heard about for years.
If you've just had your first heart attack, doctors may one day be able to reverse the damage done with stem cell therapy.
Every morning, Christy Farley rises from bed and feels relieved.
Watching too much television can make you feel a bit brain-dead. According to a new study, it might also take years off your life.
Yoga instructor Sadie Nardini and her husband got an early start on their New Year's resolution: In December, the New York couple decided to have sex every day for the entire month.
People with heart disease and similar conditions who don't have enough vitamin D are more likely to be depressed than their counterparts with adequate levels of the "sunshine vitamin," according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando. This link seems to be even stronger in the winter.
Like most people, you probably think of cholesterol -- if you think of it at all -- and picture fatty foods and heart trouble.
Matt Nader felt as if he had swallowed a grenade.
Should people who don't have high cholesterol take a cholesterol-lowering statin? Maybe, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is considering an advisory panel's recent recommendation to do just that.
Growing up in Southern California, Holly Morrell and her brother, Eric, had no closer friends than their cousins Kyle, Mitchell and Desiree. Holly's father, Chuck, and his twin brother, Gary, were the famous "Touchdown Twins," stars at Downey High School in Modesto and then Washington State University. After a brief stint in pro football, Chuck became an actor and film producer. Gary was a sports broadcaster.
Should a man have to choose between his golf drive and his sex drive?
Heart attack patients are exposed to a radiation dose equal to about 725 chest X-rays over the course of their hospital stay, according to research presented Monday at the American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Florida.
Heart patients who take certain stomach-acid-suppressing drugs to prevent gastrointestinal bleeding may be at increased risk of dying after a cardiac procedure, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA) in Orlando, Florida.
When Katherine Frazier was a teenager in Silver Spring, Maryland, back in the '60s, smoking was the "in" thing to do. She thought it was glamorous. She thought it was cool. Her friends smoked, her parents smoked, and at the time, no one knew that smoking tobacco could kill you.
It's widely known that cholesterol-lowering statins can benefit patients with heart disease, but a new study suggests they may actually harm some people with heart failure.
Taking a low-dose aspirin every day can help prevent heart attacks in people who've already had one. But if you've never had a heart attack (or stroke), the risks of taking a daily low-dose aspirin outweigh the benefits, according to a U.K. report published in Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.
Adell Tomas, who lives outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, admits she has a weight problem: Ten years ago, she tipped the scales at more than 300 pounds. Because of her obesity, she developed high blood pressure, arthritis and type 2 diabetes. She says she just didn't take care of herself.
Three runners collapsed and died during the Detroit Marathon on Sunday. Although that news is shocking and frightening for runners and non-runners alike, such deaths are rare, experts say.
Fresh from medical school, Anna Bågenholm chose to do her residency in the Norwegian city of Narvik because of its spectacular mountain slopes. An expert skier, Bågenholm had gone off the trail with two other young doctors on a warm spring afternoon when she fell.
The Hardens were losing track of each other's conversations. It had been a long, exhausting day for both Scott, a sheriff's deputy, and Kathie, an elementary school teacher. The couple put their two young children to bed, turned on the Food Network for a few minutes, then called it a night.
A wiry, slightly hunched man presses in a few numbers, the electronic lock gives way with a beep and the group presses into the crowded laboratory, plastered with ominous warnings about toxins and biohazards.
Chris Brooks, just 22, was out for a night of bowling with friends. Exhausted, on the way home, he texted his girlfriend, "I'm dead." Fifteen minutes later, he was -- clinically dead -- suffering an unexplained cardiac arrest on the couch at home, right in front of his parents. But it wasn't the end.
Seated on a jetliner, Dr. Mary Gallagher and her husband, Don Dietrich, were about to take off for an anniversary vacation in Puerto Rico. But a glance at her husband of five years set off an alarm -- he was gasping for breath. Gallagher, an anesthesiologist, knew the signs: Dietrich was in cardiac arrest.
I am going to let you in on a secret: When a person's heart stops beating, it's not the end. Contrary to what you may think, death is not a single event. Instead, it's a process that can be interrupted.
People as young as 40 with borderline or high cholesterol levels are at increased risk for developing Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia, said a Kaiser Permanente study released Tuesday.
When 48-year-old Erin Peiffer, of Eldersburg, Maryland, learned that she had high cholesterol in her 20s, she never thought it would pose a problem.
The ban on smoking in public places, such as bars and restaurants, has been one of the greatest public health debates of the early 21st century. Now, two large studies suggest that communities that pass laws to curb secondhand smoke get a big payoff -- a drop in heart attacks.
Need a reason to look on the bright side? A new study suggests that optimists' glass-half-full approach to life may actually offer some health benefits. Women 50 or older who are optimistic are less likely to get heart disease and die of any cause in a given time period compared to women their age who are more pessimistic, according to a study published recently in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
You're under 50. You're pretty fit. You can't have a heart attack, right?
You know that fat in your body you wish you didn't have? It turns out those cells could be used to create stem cells that one day may be able to cure disease.
Do you sometimes feel as if going to a doctor's office is like going through a revolving door: in, swoosh-blur, out? You fight traffic to get there, wait a while in the waiting room, wait a while in the exam room, get seen, get dressed and get out. But once you've gone, you realize you're missing something -- maybe a small piece of helpful information. Below, some insider tips from medical specialists who tell you what your doctor doesn't have time to tell you in that all-too-brief appointment.
If you're looking for an all-natural way to lower your cholesterol -- in addition to watching what you eat and exercising -- there are plenty of dietary supplements on the market that claim to do the trick. Each year seems to bring a new alternative remedy -- garlic, ginseng, or red yeast rice, for example -- that users tout as the next best thing to get cholesterol under control.
If all goes according to plan, cancer survivor Kyle Garlett will compete in October's Ford Ironman World Championship, a grueling triathlon made up of a 2.4-mile ocean swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile run.
In a field largely still in its infancy, scientists are making headway toward using stem cells to treat heart ailments.
The crew aboard the Delta Boeing 737 had an in-flight emergency on their hands: Ben Van Doorn was having a heart attack, and a doctor was trying to save his life with an onboard medical kit.
This Caribbean city already known for cigars, furniture, chocolate and coffee may become a magnet for Americans seeking controversial stem cell therapy for life-threatening illnesses if a Florida cardiologist has his way.