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Weighing in at about the same as when he graduated high school, Brian Muscarella, 62, eats a healthy diet and enjoys plenty of physical activity. Indeed, he has completed the New York City Marathon four times.

But at 53, Muscarella's life changed dramatically when he had a spinal stroke, which accounts for just over 1% of all strokes.

"I had great blood work, I was in shape,...

High blood pressure is one of the top risk factors for heart attack and stroke. It's also common among people who develop severe symptoms of COVID-19.

So, with more people at home practicing social distancing and with fewer chances to check blood pressure at public pharmacy machines or doctor visits, it's more important than ever to know how to do it at home.

How do I se...

Since marrying in 2002, Doug Behan and Lise Deguire have gone on safari in Tanzania, watched the sunset over the Santorini caldera in the Greek Islands and walked through the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru.

And those are just a few of their annual excursions. "It's on my bucket list that I want to visit every continent," Deguire said.

Early this year, the Yardley, Pennsylvania, c...

Hyvelle Ferguson-Davis was reviewing paperwork at her office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when the headache started. It grew stronger and stronger and her eyes blurred, making it difficult to read. She hoped she wasn't coming down with something.

After work, Ferguson-Davis, then 41, drove home with a still-pounding headache. She was too busy to get sick, she told herself. Most immediate...

Multiple sclerosis can cause weakness, pain, fatigue and vision problems. The disease also appears to increase the odds of heart disease and stroke, new research suggests.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disorder that can affect movement. The British study found that people with MS were nearly one-third more likely to have "macrovascular disease." Those are condit...

U.S. emergency rooms are seeing about half as many heart attack patients as usual -- and researchers suspect the new coronavirus is the reason why.

It's not that fewer people are having heart attacks, doctors say. Rather, it's fear of getting COVID-19 keeping people from hospitals.

And the consequences can be deadly.

"I'm certainly not convinced that the true rat...

It's a myth that heart attacks are a "man's disease." Yet a new research review confirms that women remain less likely than men to get medications routinely recommended for preventing heart trouble and strokes.

Researchers found that across 43 international studies, a general pattern emerged: Women with risk factors for heart disease and stroke were less likely than men to be prescrib...

Every weeknight in April, Charley Bednarsh flung open the windows of her fifth-floor apartment across from the World Trade Center. At 7 p.m., she'd lean out, bang a metal spoon against a pan and shout with joy as part of the chorus of New Yorkers saluting health care workers fighting the coronavirus.

With the kids below cranking their noisemakers, another neighbor blowing his trumpet an...

Preventing heart disease may protect you from dementia, researchers say.

The new study looked at nearly 1,600 people, at an average age of 79.5, who were followed for 21 years. Their heart disease risk was assessed at the outset, and participants had annual memory and thinking tests.

The takeaway: People with a higher risk of heart disease also had greater mental (cognitive)...

Almost every adult will face this health problem as they get older. But knowing how blood pressure might change over a lifetime can give people a better appreciation of why it's important to keep it in check at any age.

When left uncontrolled or if undetected, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease or other major health problems.

"Pr...

Low-income Americans are much less likely to be screened for heart disease or to receive counseling about controlling risk factors, a new study finds.

Heart health screenings -- such as regular blood pressure and cholesterol checks -- and counseling to improve diet, increase exercise or quit smoking play important roles in reducing heart disease risk.

Income has long been as...

An agonizing headache jolted Whitney Spotts awake in the middle of the night.

She hoped she wasn't getting sick because she was enjoying a rare long weekend with her husband, Eric, and their 18-month-old daughter.

The following day, Whitney stayed in bed with excruciating pain behind her forehead. Later she started vomiting.

It was probably a bad case of the flu, thought...

Drinking lots of sweetened soda may increase the risk of developing chronic kidney disease, two new studies find.

"Consumption of 500 milliliters [16.9 fluid ounces] of a commercially available soft drink sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup increased vascular resistance in the kidneys within 30 minutes," the researchers found.

In a second study, the investigators found...

Memory and thinking skills are generally worse after a stroke for people with type 2 diabetes compared to people with normal blood sugar levels or prediabetes, new research suggests.

"We found that diabetes, but not prediabetes, is associated with poorer cognitive performance in every aspect of cognition tested," said study lead author Jessica Lo. She's a research associate from the ...

Women who drink a lot of sodas, sweetened juices and other sugary drinks are at greater risk of developing heart disease, a new study finds.

Those who drink one or more a day have nearly a 20% higher risk than women who never do. And it's not just soda that's problematic: Fruit drinks with added sugars are also a culprit, researchers say.

Though the study does not pro...

TUESDAY, May 12, 2020 (American Heart Association News) --The first thing to know about the possible links between COVID-19 and stroke is simple, say doctors: We just don't know.

"We have very serious worries that there's a connection," said Dr. Patrick D. Lyden, professor of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. "But I want to make it crystal clear that if we stay fo...

The coronavirus pandemic has affected all areas of medical care, and a new study finds it has delayed potentially life-saving organ transplants.

Across the United States, transplants from deceased donors dropped 51% from early March to early April, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the researchers found. In France, meanwhile, those procedures plummeted 91%.

Experts said th...

Screening to detect potentially deadly heart problems in U.S. college athletes saves lives, researchers say.

And it's also cost-effective. "It can be implemented for much less than the cost of a pair of athletic shoes," said study leader Dr. Kimberly Harmon, of the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattle.

Sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of death amo...

Retired happily and resettled in a peaceful community near Salt Lake City, 70-year-old Doug Tapking is enjoying the good life - golfing and woodworking, singing in choirs with his wife, Karen, and spending time with their four grandchildren.

But retirement hasn't always been so idyllic. Four years ago, while dining out with another couple at a bustling steakhouse, Doug's left arm and le...

Amid recent warnings about a possible link between COVID-19 in children and an inflammatory condition called Kawasaki disease that can harm the heart and other organs, heart experts stress that such cases seem to be rare.

Most kids with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or none at all, but a small number have developed Kawasaki disease, often requiring hospitalization and occasionally, inte...

Obesity, type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure increase teens' risk of premature blood vessel aging, a new study finds.

"Our study demonstrates that the slow changes in blood vessels that lead to the development of atherosclerosis [narrowing of the arteries] begins early in life," said lead author Justin Ryder. He's an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota ...

Your doctor may have cautioned that the caffeine in coffee can set your heart racing and cause an abnormal heartbeat. Well, that's bunk, a new study finds.

"We were unable to find any evidence that those who drank coffee had a higher risk of developing abnormal heart rhythms. That's especially relevant because a common reason that health care providers recommend avoiding coffee is pr...

Adults who had rough childhoods have higher odds for heart disease.

That's the conclusion from a look at more than 3,600 people who were followed from the mid-1980s through 2018. Researchers found that those who experienced the most trauma, abuse, neglect and family dysfunction in childhood were 50% more likely to have had a heart attack, stroke or other heart problem in their 50...

The latest addition to medical haute couture may be a necklace outfitted with a pendant that people can use to screen themselves for signs of an abnormal heart rhythm condition known as atrial fibrillation.

Fashioned by a team of Finnish researchers, the pendant houses a portable electrocardiogram (EKG) designed to transmit heart readings to a cellphone app and ultimately to a cloud-b...

Lots of boozing might increase your risk for a stroke, Swedish researchers report.

Heavy alcohol use can triple your risk for peripheral artery disease, a narrowing of arteries that results in reduced blood flow, usually to the legs. It can also increase your risk for stroke by 27%. There's also evidence of a link to coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation and aortic aneurys...

People who've recently had a heart attack show increased activity in the area of the brain involved in stress and emotions. And this is associated with elevated inflammation in arteries, a small, preliminary study finds.

"The results of this study advance our understanding of the interconnections among the brain, bone marrow and blood vessels," said study lead author Dr. Dong Oh Kang,...

With increasing evidence showing a link between COVID-19 and stroke, it's more important than ever to call 911 if someone shows signs they are having one, experts say.

"Despite a growing connection between COVID-19 and an increased risk of stroke, hospitals across the country continue to experience a decrease in stroke cases," said Dr. Richard Klucznik, a stroke surgeon and president ...

The coronavirus pandemic shouldn't stop people with heart problems from seeking medical care, experts say.

"Either call your doctor or come to the emergency department. Don't take chances with heart disease," said Dr. Sam Torbati, co-director of the emergency department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

"We are very concerned that fears over COVID-19 is resulti...

An Australian study has good news for people with type 2 diabetes -- fewer people with diabetes are having heart attacks and strokes compared to 20 years ago.

Heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular complications have declined in the general population, too. But the decreases among people with diabetes have outpaced those for the general population, the researchers said.

...

As a caretaker for her aging and ailing parents, Deborah Brown took on many responsibilities. At work, she dealt with extreme cases of child abuse and neglect as a lead trauma investigator for the City of Chesapeake Child Protective Services in Virginia.

Even though she knew she was "burning the candle at both ends," Brown gladly took on another duty - speaking at the women's day servic...

Stress placed on the heart by COVID-19, a hesitancy by people to call 911, and even reluctance on the part of bystanders to perform CPR may be boosting rates of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, a new report finds.

The data comes from four provinces in northern Italy, a region that was hit very hard and very early by the coronavirus pandemic.

The researchers said that between ...

Mothers who have high blood pressure are more likely to have babies with slightly different-shaped hearts, a finding that could impact future cardiovascular care for those women and their children, according to a new study.

The research, published Thursday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, adds a new layer of understanding to how pregnancy complications affect p...

Electronic cigarettes that contain nicotine may prompt spikes in blood pressure and heart rate in the young, a new study suggests.

Research has shown that traditional cigarettes trigger increases in blood pressure and heart rate and lower so-called muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) -- a measurement of nerve messages to blood vessels that quickly responds to changes in blood pre...

Fewer heart attack and stroke patients are seeking medical care since the coronavirus pandemic began and doctors are wondering why.

It's possible that during the pandemic, patients are ignoring symptoms that would otherwise worry them, doctors from Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles suggest.

While investigators are trying to figure out what's happening, Dr. Patrick Lyden, a profe...

Electronic cigarettes are touted by some as safer than smoking tobacco. But a new study finds they damage blood vessels just like traditional cigarettes do.

Among hundreds of healthy young adults, researchers found that vaping and smoking cigarettes cause the same harm to arteries that leads to heart attacks, strokes and heart disease.

"The evidence is growing that e-cigar...

Exposure to trauma and other adverse experiences during childhood increases lifelong risk for cardiovascular disease and death, regardless of a person's health during young adulthood, new research shows.

The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found children who experienced severe adversity - such as verbal, physical or emotional abuse or ...

Young people who pull themselves out of poverty may be no better off when it comes to their heart health, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that "upwardly mobile" U.S. adults tended to be less stressed and depressed than peers who spent their whole lives below the poverty line. Unfortunately, it did not make a difference in their cardiovascular health.

They were just a...

Work stress may increase your risk for ending up in the hospital with peripheral artery disease, a new study suggests.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) occurs when cholesterol or other fatty substances accumulate in blood vessels away from the heart -- usually in the legs -- and restrict blood flow. Left untreated, PAD increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Previous ...

Heart failure raises the risk of complications and death from COVID-19, and requires extra vigilance during the pandemic, the American Heart Association (AHA) says.

More than 6 million people in the United States have heart failure. It occurs when the heart no longer pumps blood as well as it should.

"When the cardiac system is weakened by heart failure and unable to maintai...

Cardiac rehabilitation programs improve heart attack survivors' quality of life, especially if they get lots of exercise, a new British study finds.

A heart attack can reduce quality of life due to struggles with mobility and self-care, as well as daily leisure and work activities.

Many heart attack survivors take part in cardiac rehab, which emphasizes exercise, quitting sm...

Helping other people is a way of life for Chris Hagan. He volunteered as a fireman for more than three decades and still does community outreach for the station.

But 22 years ago, Hagan was the one who needed help, as he worried about how to pay bills while waiting for a heart transplant.

"It was horrible sitting at home feeling helpless," he said. "But my family and friends wer...

The impact of COVID-19 on the heart isn't yet clear, but an expert says people with heart disease should take especially good care of their health.

"The effects of the COVID-19 virus on the heart are an actively developing topic right now," said Dr. Asim Babar, a cardiologist at Loyola Medicine in Maywood, Ill.

The unknowns include how heart disease affects COVID-19 recover...

The number of American adults with high cholesterol dropped nearly 8 percentage points from 2000 to 2018, health officials reported Wednesday.

By 2018, just over 11%#37; of adults age 20 and over had high cholesterol, a major cause of heart disease, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The Healthy People 2020 Guidelines has e...

Nearly a week into suffering from COVID-19, Dr. Tim Martindale started feeling like himself again.

The coughing, aching and abdominal cramping eased. His blood pressure, pulse, temperature and oxygen saturation all neared or reached the normal range.

Good news, right? Maybe. Based on reports he'd read from doctors in New York, Italy and China, Tim knew this meant he reached a fo...

Doctors are increasingly worried that people are mistaking stay-at-home orders to mean they should avoid emergency medical care -- including for serious lung diseases.

People with chronic lung conditions, such as emphysema and moderate to severe asthma, are among those at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. And medical experts have been urging them to be vigilant abou...

Almost half of the U.S. population -- 150 million people -- are exposed to air pollution that puts their health at risk, the American Lung Association says.

Climate change is making air pollution worse due to record levels of particle pollution and higher ozone pollution (smog) caused by wildfires. Air pollution poses a threat to everyone, especially children, older adults and people ...

Eighteen patients with severe COVID-19 treated at a New York City hospital showed the classic signs of a heart attack on their electrocardiograms.

But a closer look at each case revealed that more than half of these patients didn't have a blockage in a major artery, the typical trigger of a heart attack. Thirteen of the 18 patients died of cardiac causes while in the hospital, said a ...

As U.S. hospitals deal with a continuing influx of COVID-19 patients, cardiologists are sounding an alarm: People may be ignoring heart attack symptoms in fear of going to the ER.

Since the coronavirus first hit the United States, doctors at a number of hospitals have noticed a pattern. Fewer patients are being treated for heart attacks at a time when -- if anything -- an increase wou...

A few years after her first child was born, Nina Stanley began experiencing strange blood pressure spikes.

While pregnant, she'd had preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. She also had HELLP syndrome, a disorder of the liver and blood cells. But all those complications seemed to clear once she delivered her son.

She still h...

The deadly consequences of wildfires may stretch beyond the people directly in harm's way. Smoke-polluted air may also fuel a spike in cardiac arrests, a new U.S. government study finds.

Looking at the impact of California wildfires in recent years, researchers with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found a clear pattern: As smoke from the fires rolled in, more people fell vict...

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