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All Heart Health Special Reports

The Research on Psoriasis and Cardiovascular Disease

Many doctors are starting to think of psoriasis -- an uncomfortable condition that can cause a buildup of dead skin cells and dry, itchy red patches -- as more than simply a skin disease. In fact, psoriasis, which affects about 7.5 million Americans, is now being described as an autoimmune disorder that can have a negative impact on the entire body. A new wave of research has linked it to a host of chronic medical problems, including cardiovascular disease. More...

Cardiac Rehab Works: Here’s How

If you've had a heart attack or heart surgery, you and your doctor can take many steps to help you recover and improve your heart health. One of the most effective is cardiac rehabilitation -- supervised exercise and other assistance in designing a heart-healthy lifestyle. The goal of cardiac rehab is to give you the tools to make lasting lifestyle changes. More...

Protecting Your Heart With Whole Grains

Do you typically start your day with a bagel or Danish? If so, you may want to switch to a slice of whole-wheat toast or a bowl of cereal made with whole grains. The latest research shows that whole grains may lead to better heart health, including reductions in heart disease, blood cholesterol, abdominal fat, and a marker of inflammation called C-reactive protein (CRP). More...

What You Should Know About C-Reactive Protein

One of the key markers for measuring heart attack risk has been elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. But heart experts are now all too aware that approximately half of the people who develop coronary heart disease (CHD) actually have normal or near normal LDL cholesterol levels. What's going on? In this article from the Johns Hopkins Heart Bulletin, Dr. Roger S. Blumenthal, Director of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of… More...

Zapping Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Atrial fibrillation is a common heart rhythm abnormality in which the atria quiver chaotically, causing rapid and irregular contractions of the ventricles. For people with atrial fibrillation, the traditional treatment route is to try various medications first and opt for invasive procedures such as open-heart surgery as a last resort. Now a middle-of-the-road option, a minimally invasive procedure known as catheter ablation, is growing in popularity. Johns Hopkins explains catheter ablation. More...

Ways to Boost Your HDL Cholesterol

By now we all know that LDL cholesterol is the 'bad' cholesterol and HDL is the 'good' one. High levels of HDL – above 40 mg/dL if you are a man and 50 mg/dL if you're a woman – can help to protect your heart. In this article, Johns Hopkins cardiologists review essential lifestyle measures to boost your HDL levels and stay heart healthy. … More...

The Best Screening Tests for People Without Symptoms of Heart Disease

By now, everyone is familiar with the cholesterol and blood pressure measurements that doctors use to gauge heart risks. But a number of newer screening methods -- from blood tests to noninvasive imaging techniques -- are also available to spot heart trouble ahead. Here's a breakdown of the traditional ways doctors predict your likelihood of heart problems and which additional tests you might -- or might not -- want to consider. More...

Apo B -- A Better Marker for Heart Attack Risk Than LDL Cholesterol?

A high level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol is an important risk factor for a heart attack. Yet about half of the people who develop coronary heart disease have normal or even low LDL cholesterol levels. Some research suggests that a component of LDL—called apolipoprotein B, or apo B—may be more accurate at predicting coronary heart disease. More...

When Atherosclerosis Strikes in the Legs

When we hear the word 'atherosclerosis,' the buildup of plaques in the arteries, we usually think about the heart or the brain. After all, plaques in the arteries of these organs hinder blood flow and can trigger a heart attack or stroke. But when atherosclerosis is present in these parts of the vascular system, chances are it's lurking throughout, including the peripheral arteries that supply blood to the legs. In this article, Johns Hopkins' cardiologists… More...

The New Blood Lipid Tests -- Sizing Up LDL Cholesterol

Studies show that people whose LDL cholesterol is made up of predominantly small, dense particles have a threefold greater risk of coronary heart disease. And now there are tests to measure LDL particle size. Should you talk with your cardiologist about these tests? You probably know by now that low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is the 'bad' kind that causes heart attacks. But did you realize that LDL particles come in all shapes and sizes? Scientists have… More...

Preventing Heart Disease in Women – Updated Guidelines


Surgery for Heart Disease: Angioplasty vs. Bypass Surgery

The pain of angina, usually experienced in the chest, is caused by a shortage of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle due to partial blockage of a coronary artery. The two goals in treating angina symptoms are to decrease the heart’s demand for oxygen and to increase its blood supply. More...

Alcohol and Heart Attacks -- Does a Drink a Day Lower Your Risk?

Consuming one or two alcoholic drinks a day is associated with a reduced heart attack risk. Alcohol may lower the chance of a heart attack through many mechanisms. Most important is its effects on HDL (or “good”) cholesterol. Moderate drinking increases HDL by about 12%. More...

Exercising Safely After a Heart Attack

Exercise can be a frightening proposition in the aftermath of a heart attack. Many survivors worry that stressing the heart—a muscle that has already been injured by the heart attack—will trigger a second episode. As little as a decade ago, doctors shared these fears and counseled their heart attack patients to avoid exercise. More...

Heart Glossary

The Heart Glossary is derived from both Johns Hopkins heart-related White Papers, Heart Attack Prevention, and Coronary Heart Disease. More...

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