What is Ejection Fraction and What Does it Tell You About Your Heart?

Before seeing your cardiologist, your doctor will schedule you for an echocardiogram of your heart. One piece of information your cardiologist can learn from the results of the echocardiogram is whether your ejection fraction (EF) is low. Let’s explain what this means: The heart is a muscle that pumps blood to the rest of your […]

When the Heart Fails

Heart failure is a serious heart condition characterized by the inability of the heart to pump sufficient blood throughout the body. Major risk factors for heart failure include high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and diabetes. Other heart problems like arrhythmias or heart valve disease may also contribute to the development of heart failure. Understanding […]

Why Does the Risk of Heart Problems Increase During Winter

Winter weather can be deadly—for your heart. This is the conclusion of several studies that investigated the impact of cold weather on the heart. One study published in the journal Hypertension examined the effects of weather (sunlight, air temperature, and rain) on 16,010 people with high blood pressure. This study found that blood pressure increased […]

Reaching Your Target Heart Rate

Your heart rate is a measure of how hard your heart is working to pump blood around the body. It is usually measured by counting the number of heartbeats per minute. Your baseline heart rate refers to how fast the heart is beating at rest, before beginning any exercise. In adults and seniors, the average […]

Liver Disease and Heart Disease: It’s A Two-Way Street

Nonalchoholic fatty liver disease is a risk factor for the development of heart disease, and vice versa. This is the conclusion of a study published in the Journal of Hepatology that investigated the link between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and heart disease. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a chronic liver disease that occurs in people […]

How Alzheimer’s Disease Affects the Heart

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, characterized by difficulty with memory, thinking, and behavior that gets progressively worse over time. Researchers have discovered that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a build-up of amyloid beta proteins in the spaces between brain cells. Although the brain is where symptoms of the disease are first […]

Why African-Americans Have Elevated Rates of High Blood Pressure

Compared to Caucasians and Hispanics, African Americans have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, an important risk factor for heart disease. New research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging shows that elevated rates of high blood pressure in African Americans may be caused by increased stiffness or […]

Heartburn Medications Might Make Your Heart Burn

Regular use of the heartburn medications known as proton pump inhibitors may increase your risk of stroke. This is the conclusion of a recent study that evaluated the effects of proton pump inhibitors on stroke risk. The four proton pump inhibitors evaluated were omemprazole (Prilosec)1, pantoprazole (Protonix), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and esomeprazole (Nexium). Heartburn is a […]

Baby Boomers are the “Stroke-Healthiest” Generation

Baby boomers born between 1945 and 1954 have the lowest rates of stroke when compared to both their younger and older peers. This is the conclusion of a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association that examined the incidence of stroke across generations. Researchers looked at over 225,000 records of stroke between […]

Better Heart Safe Than Sorry When It Comes to Daily Aspirin

Many doctors recommend a daily dose of aspirin to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, cancers, and other conditions. The daily aspirin is not without risks, however, most notably increased incidence of stomach bleeding. Does the risk outweigh the benefit? This is the focus of a meta-analysis published in Public Library of Science that […]