October 1st, 2012
12:20 PM ET
Lack of quality sleep for adults may negatively impact heart health. Evidence now suggests that sleep problems during adolescence may increase health risks as well.
The research appeared Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
"When most people think about cardiovascular risk factors and risk behaviors, they don't necessarily think of sleep," said Dr. Brian McCrindle, senior author and cardiologist at SickKids in Toronto, Ontario. "This study ... shows a clear association between sleep disturbance (in adolescents) and a greater likelihood of having high cholesterol, high blood pressure and being overweight or obese." FULL POST
September 17th, 2012
12:05 AM ET
Children are eating as much salt as adults, according to a new report, and experts are concerned.
Most adults consume too much sodium and that can have serious health implications. Too much salt in a person's diet can raise your blood pressure; high blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.
In this new study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that if a child is overweight and eats as much salt as an adult, the risk for high blood pressure goes up dramatically.
September 6th, 2012
04:36 PM ET
Doctors have been telling us for years that a glass of red wine at night may be good for our hearts. But they still can't tell us why, exactly.
Does the answer lie in the antioxidants known as polyphenols, which may or may not boost blood-vessel function, improve cholesterol levels, and fight inflammation? Or does alcohol play the more important role?
A small new study may provide a clue. To compare the effect of polyphenols and alcohol on blood pressure, researchers instructed 67 older men at risk for heart disease to consume the same beverage every day for one month at a time: red wine (about two glasses), non-alcoholic red wine, or gin (about two shots).
August 30th, 2012
05:20 PM ET
Chest pain could mean you need a serious operation to get blood flowing back to your heart. But it’s hard to know who needs such an intervention, especially without evidence of a heart attack.
August 29th, 2012
01:01 PM ET
Calorie restriction has long been used to examine aging in rodents and monkeys. Past studies have shown that restricting calories in a nutritious diet by 10 to 40% can delay or prevent chronic diseases, slow aging and increase life spans.
But new research published this week in the journal Nature shows quite the opposite – that calorie restriction does not improve survival outcomes. Turns out, the issue may be more complicated than first thought.
Researchers at the National Institute of Aging have been studying the effects of calorie restriction in rhesus monkeys for more than 20 years in hopes of eventually applying the results to humans.
Male and female monkeys of all ages are enrolled in the study. The experimental group eats approximately 25% fewer calories than the control group. Any animal that dies during the study undergoes a necropsy (an autopsy performed on an animal) to find the probable cause of death.
August 21st, 2012
12:49 PM ET
Editor's note: These tips were originally published on CNN.com in 2011. To read the full article, click here.
"i had an ache in my chest, both my arms were sore... i became nauseous, my skin was clammy, i was very very hot, i threw up... i googled womens heart attack symptoms, i had many of them, but really? – i thought – naaaa."
Heart disease is the number-one killer of both men and women, but O'Donnell's response is common, experts say - especially among women.
Although most report symptoms of chest pain with a heart attack, women are more likely to report unusual symptoms like back pain, jaw pain, light-headedness and extreme fatigue, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
August 16th, 2012
11:19 AM ET
Eating a little dark chocolate each day may be good for the heart, but only if you grab your running shoes in one hand and an apple in the other.
New research found that people who ate dark chocolate or cocoa for short periods of time saw a slight drop in blood pressure. But there is a caveat: If you eat these treats, you need to make sure you're doing all of the right things to stay healthy, such as exercising, eating right and - if you're on blood pressure medicine - taking that as well.
Scientists in Melbourne, Australia, curious about the role of dark chocolate in heart health, looked at 20 studies in which adults ate dark chocolate or cocoa. More than 850 people participated in the trials that generally ran from two to eight weeks.
August 15th, 2012
05:38 PM ET
A new study suggests eating egg yolks can accelerate heart disease almost as much as smoking.
The study published online in the journal Atherosclerosis found eating egg yolks regularly increases plaque buildup about two-thirds as much as smoking does. Specifically, patients who ate three or more yolks a week showed significantly more plaque than those who ate two or less yolks per week.
It may seem harsh to compare smoking with eating egg yolks, but lead study author Dr. David Spence says researchers needed a way to put it into perspective since both eating cholesterol and smoking increase cardiovascular risks - but the general public believes smoking is far worse for your health.
July 9th, 2012
05:36 PM ET
You've got a sugar craving but don't want to put on more pounds, so you turn to alternative sweeteners. Is that a good move?
A joint scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association reveals that while non-nutritive sweeteners can be useful for limiting carbohydrates and limiting added sugars in the diet, the existing scientific evidence is inconclusive about whether this strategy works well in the long run for cutting calories, reducing dietary sugar and losing weight.
The non-nutritive sweeteners in the analysis include both artificial sweeteners and stevia, which is marketed as a natural sweetener. Because the study was not looking at the safety of sweeteners, they chose products that were regarded as generally safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The products include aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), acesulfame-K (Sweet One), saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low), sucralose (Splenda), Neotame, and stevia (Truvia, PureVia, Sweet Leaf).
June 27th, 2012
07:13 AM ET
Women who regularly cut back on carbohydrates and eat high amounts of protein are at increased risk of heart disease, concludes a study published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal.
To gauge the impact of the popular Atkins-style diets on women's hearts, researchers in Greece turned to a food survey completed by more than 43,000 women in Sweden. The women, who were between 30 and 49 years old, recorded the frequency and quantities of food they ate over six months in 1991 and 1992.
Using the survey, researchers calculated which women were eating the least amount of carbohydrates and the most amount of protein. The women were then followed for 15 years on average to see who became diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. The women's food habits were not tracked long-term but did provide researchers a snapshot in time.
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.