July 28th, 2014
03:31 PM ET
Good news for runners: A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests running, even for a few minutes a day, can reduce your risk of dying from heart disease - whether you plod along or go at race speed.
Researchers studied more than 55,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 100 over a 15-year period, looking at their overall health, whether they ran and how long they lived.
Compared to nonrunners, those who ran had a 30% lower risk of death from all causes and a 45% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, investigators found. In fact, runners on average lived three years longer than those who did not hit the pavement. When data was broken down by age, sex, body mass index, and smoking and alcohol use, the benefits were still the same.
June 19th, 2014
08:54 AM ET
Young women are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or die of heart disease if they suffer from depression, a new study suggests.
Researchers looked at 3,237 patients with suspected or established heart disease who were undergoing coronary angiography – a medical procedure used to diagnose narrowing in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. On the same day of the procedure, the patients answered nine questions assessing their state of mind.
If the patient was experiencing moderate to severe depression, and was under 55 years old, researchers found she had double the chance of experiencing a heart attack in the next few years. Depressed women under 55 were also twice as likely to have heart disease or to die from any cause during that time period than those who were not depressed. Men and those women older than 55 with depression did not show the same increased risk.
Depression is as powerful a risk factor for heart disease as diabetes and smoking, study author Dr. Amit Shah, a cardiologist at Emory University in Atlanta, concluded.
June 13th, 2014
12:01 AM ET
Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.
Keep your phone out of your pocket – your sperm will thank you
Since guys don’t usually carry handbags, they tend to keep mobile phones in their pants pockets. A recent study from the University of Exeter suggests this may not be a great idea.
That cell phone could actually have a negative effect on your sperm quality.
April 23rd, 2014
06:21 PM ET
Young people who use marijuana may be at risk for heart attacks and other serious cardiovascular problems, a new study suggests.
Researchers reviewed records from the French Addictovigilance Network, a national system of centers in France that gather information about drug abuse and dependence. From 2006 to 2010, they found 35 reports of patients who had experienced cardiovascular complications following cannabis use. The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
April 3rd, 2014
12:58 PM ET
No, this isn't an excuse to put down your running shoes. Unless, of course, you're already running more than 20 miles a week.
Research presented this week at the annual American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions in Washington shows runners who average more than 20 miles a week don't live as long as those who run less than 20 miles a week. In fact, they live, on average, about as long as people who don't run much at all.
In other words, like most things in life, moderation may be key.
March 31st, 2014
02:13 PM ET
More than 13,000 cardiovascular experts met in Washington over the past few days for the Annual American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions, where more than 2,000 studies are being presented so doctors and researchers can learn about the latest research in diagnosing, treating and preventing heart disease. Here's a small sample of the studies presented:
Married people have healthier hearts
You might have heard it before; being married may be good for your health.
In a new study, researchers screened 3.5 million adults for cardiovascular problems and found that those who were married had less heart disease and healthier blood vessels throughout the body than people who were single, divorced or widowed.
Dr. Jeffrey Kuvin, spokesperson for the American College of Cardiology, says the findings may be linked in part to the effects of stress and the strength of a marriage. In a healthy marriage, there may be less conflict and less stress. FULL POST
March 17th, 2014
05:00 PM ET
Many health organizations, including the American Heart Association, recommend eating polyunsaturated fatty acids - particularly those called omega-3s and omega-6s - for heart health. But new research once again casts doubt on whether these fatty acids have any effect on reducing your risk of heart disease.
A meta-analysis published Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine did not find significant evidence to support eating a diet high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and low in saturated fats. It didn't seem to matter whether the fats came from dietary sources or supplements.
"Current evidence does not clearly support guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats," the study authors concluded.
And a second study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that supplementing a diet with long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids did not reduce study participants' heart disease risk.
March 12th, 2014
04:02 PM ET
Nearly one-third of Americans have high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When it’s not under control, it can lead to heart damage, stroke and even death.
Now new research suggests anyone with blood pressure even slightly higher than the optimal 120/80 may be more likely to have a stroke –including those patients who are diagnosed as pre-hypertensive.
The research, which is published in the Wednesday online issue of Neurology, looked at 19 studies done on the risk of developing stroke in people with "pre-hypertension," or blood pressure that falls in the gray area, between 120/80 and 140/90. More than 760,000 participants were followed for time periods ranging from four to 36 years.
The analysis found people who were pre-hypertensive were 66% more likely to develop a stroke than people who had normal blood pressure. The results were the same even when investigators adjusted for other stroke risk factors, such as diabetes and smoking.
March 7th, 2014
07:27 AM ET
Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.
Don't diss canned vegetables
Researchers at Michigan State University analyzed more than 40 scientific journal studies to see if canned fruits and vegetables provide the same nutritional benefits as fresh and frozen produce. Cans are often cheaper than fresh or frozen products, and therefore easier for low-income families to buy.
March 3rd, 2014
08:45 PM ET
Getting really angry might be more dangerous than you think.
A new study found people who experienced severe anger outbursts were more at risk for cardiovascular events in the two hours following the outbursts compared to those who remained calm.
"The relative risk was similar for people who had known pre-existing heart disease and those who didn't," says Dr. Murray A. Mittleman, senior study author and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The study was designed so that each patient was compared to his or her own baseline risk. "A person with pre-existing heart disease or cardiovascular disease, the absolute risk they are incurring is much greater than (that of) a person without cardiovascular disease or risk factors," Mittleman says. FULL POST
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.