August 23rd, 2011
05:13 PM ET
Editor's note: Tune in as Dr. Sanjay Gupta explores the signs, tests and lifestyle changes that could make cardiac problems a thing of the past on "The Last Heart Attack," Saturday, August 27, 8 and 11 p.m. ET on CNN.
Researchers in Canada have shown that a special cholesterol-lowering diet works well – even with only two nutritional counseling sessions over six months.
Making dietary changes like eating oat bran for breakfast, drinking soy milk instead of dairy, soy burgers in place of hamburgers, and fruit and nuts instead of a full lunch prompted a double-digit drop in both total cholesterol and LDL or "bad" cholesterol.
The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Lead author Dr. David Jenkins, Canada research chair in nutrition and metabolism at the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital, had previously shown the effectiveness of a cholesterol-lowering diet when all the meals were provided to participants.
June 6th, 2011
05:29 PM ET
Women who currently smoke or have a history of smoking are at a greater risk for developing peripheral artery disease (PAD), and stopping smoking produces a dramatic reduction in PAD risk, but doesn’t completely eliminate it. The findings are published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday, and were presented last year at the European Society of Cardiology meeting.
PAD is caused when fatty deposits build up inside artery walls in the legs and pelvis, blocking normal blood flow. Symptoms include pain, cramping, fatigue or heaviness in the legs and buttocks during activity, as well as sudden or difficult to treat high blood pressure. PAD affects about eight million Americans, according to the American Heart Association, and its more common as people age. Untreated, PAD can block blood flow to other critical organs including the kidneys, heart, and brain. People with PAD are at higher risk for stroke and heart attack.
February 3rd, 2011
07:00 PM ET
The global prevalence of obesity has almost doubled since 1980, while some inroads have been made in dropping global cholesterol and high blood pressure rates. Those are the findings of three papers published in the Lancet, looking at global heart disease risk factors between 1980 and 2008.
"Our results show that overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are no longer Western problems or problems of wealthy nations. Their presence has shifted towards low and middle income countries, making them global problems," according to senior study author Professor Majid Ezzati, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London.
February 1st, 2011
12:26 PM ET
On the heels of the new dietary guidelines being published urging Americans to cut salt, sugar and saturated fat consumption, a new government report highlights why the attention is warranted. More than one-third of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure and high levels of bad cholesterol.
High blood pressure and high "bad" (or LDL) cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart disease, the No. 1 killer worldwide, claiming more than 17 million lives each year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 800,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease annually, 150,000 of them are under the age of 65.
January 25th, 2011
12:43 PM ET
Children can learn a lot from their parents, including whether they may someday have a heart attack, concludes a new multinational study to be published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Researchers examined data collected between February 1999 and March 2003 as part of the INTERHEART study to examine whether having a parental history of myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, increased a person's risk of having the same experience.
November 22nd, 2010
06:33 PM ET
Eating vegetables and fruits and drinking pomegranate juice have positive effects on kidney disease, according to two presentations at the American Society of Nephrology's scientific meeting in Denver Colorado.
November 17th, 2010
05:10 PM ET
Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesday, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, a chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.
Question asked by Angi Garton of Chariton, Iowa:
My mother had triple bypass surgery one year ago. She was having chest pain again and hospitalized. There are more blockages, one right below a bypass and 70 percent blockage through a bypass. Also one bypass has failed. Her cholesterol and blood pressure are in good ranges and under control. What would have caused the new blockages so quickly from a year ago?
November 17th, 2010
09:01 AM ET
People who can’t control cholesterol with diet, exercise and statin drugs could soon have a new option.
According to a new study, a medication, ancetrapib, appears to simultaneously raise the level of HDL – sometimes called “good” cholesterol- and to lower the level of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.
HDL cholesterol is not fully understood, but essentially sucks cholesterol out of cells, to be flushed from the body through the liver.
September 8th, 2010
11:26 AM ET
A new study published this week in the Archives of Pediatrics suggests that a group of chemicals called "perflorocarbons" can raise bad cholesterol levels in children.
Researchers looked at blood samples of more than 12,000 children, who lived in an area where the drinking water was contaminated with PFOA - one type of perflorocarbon – from a DuPont Chemical factory in Wood County, West Virgina. The study was completed by the C8 Health Group, formed to study the environmental effects of the contamination from the plant, and was commissioned as part of a class-action settlement.
September 6th, 2010
07:09 PM ET
Not all proteins are equal when it comes to the health of dieters eating low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets.
Animal-based proteins and fats are associated with increased mortality rates, including increased cardiovascular mortality and increased cancer mortality, a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concludes. But low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets composed mostly of plant-based proteins and fats were associated with lower mortality rates overall and lower cardiovascular mortality rates.
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.