A Hearty Dose of Cardiovascular Advice and Research

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 12, 2013

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and it is also one of the leading causes of disability. As part of American Heart Month, we offer insight from our clinicians and researchers about how to reduce your heart disease risks and what new things we’re learning about cardiovascular disease and treatment.


Heart Disease: Eliminate Excuses to Reduce Your Risks

Dr. Eldrin F. Lewis, MD, MPH, tells his patients that they’ll dramatically reduce their risk of developing heart disease if they follow a few simple guidelines for reducing their blood pressure (hypertension). Genetics can indeed play a role in developing high blood pressure, but obesity, inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use, stress, and salt intake are all hypertension risk factors that you can  control.


Weighing the Benefits and Risks of Cholesterol Drugs

If you’ve been taking a statin medication to lower your cholesterol, you might be wondering what you should do in light of new warnings about the link between statin use and diabetes. Research conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital may help you and your doctor weigh the benefits and risks.

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Are Tight Deadlines Hurting Your Heart?

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital July 19, 2012

Stress at work could be affecting your heart health.

Bosses of the world, take heed. If you’re pressuring your employees to perform, you might be doing a lot more than just stressing them out.

New research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) suggests that women with high job strain (high demands and low control) and active job strain (high demands and high control) are much more likely to experience a cardiovascular-related event than women with low job strain. To determine who has high job strain –defined as having a demanding job that provides limited opportunity for decision making or using your creative or individual skills – researchers analyzed self-reported data from some 22,000 women who participated in the landmark Women’s Health Study.

They found that women with high or active job strain were 38 percent more likely to experience a cardiovascular-related event (condition or invasive procedure), including heart attack, stroke, coronary artery bypass graft, coronary angioplasty, and cardiovascular death. Perhaps most notable among these risks is that a woman with high job strain is 70 percent more likely to have a heart attack. Even women who have a relatively high level of control at their workplace – physicians, executives, nurses, teachers, and managers – were found to be at greater risk for a cardiovascular event because of the intense demands of their jobs.

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Online Tools to Help You Fight America’s Top Killer

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital July 10, 2012

Online Tools to Help You Fight America's Top Killer

Learn how to prevent cardiovascular disease with our free online tools.

The numbers are staggering. Cardiovascular disease is behind one out of every three deaths in the United States. Heart attack and stroke claim the lives of more than two thousand Americans every day. But, the nation’s number one killer is largely preventable.

“More than 90 percent of deaths from cardiovascular disease can be prevented,” says Dr. JoAnne Foody, a cardiologist and Director of the Cardiovascular Wellness Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “And, the steps to reduce the risks are fairly simple.”

Dr. Foody explains that there are seven ideal health metrics to help prevent cardiovascular disease, which were recently published by the American Heart Association:

  1. No smoking
  2. Physical activity (walking, biking, swimming, etc.) for 30 minutes most days of the week
  3. Blood pressure less than 120/80 mm Hg (untreated)
  4. Normal blood glucose (fasting glucose of less than 100 mg/dL)
  5. Total cholesterol of less than 200 mg/dL
  6. BMI of less than 25
  7. Healthy eating

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