What’s Your Number? What You Need to Know about Cholesterol

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital September 23, 2014

September is Cholesterol Education Month, a good time to learn more about this important measure of your heart health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 71 million American adults have high cholesterol, but only one-third of them have the condition under control. The good news is that changes in lifestyle, medications, or a combination of both may help you get your cholesterol back to healthy levels. Your physician can work with you to find the right combination of treatments.


For Good Health Know Your Cholesterol Levels

The amount of cholesterol in your blood has a lot to do with your chances of getting cardiovascular disease (CVD). High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for CVD. In fact, the higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk of developing CVD or having a heart attack. Learn what your numbers mean.


Video: Cholesterol Screening

Your body needs cholesterol to make hormones and to keep your cells healthy. Cholesterol comes from two sources: your liver and your diet. However, if your diet exceeds the body’s need for cholesterol or saturated fats, your cholesterol level in your blood will increase. Watch a video to understand treatments and lifestyle changes that are prescribed by your doctor.


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Improving Your Health the Mediterranean Way

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital April 30, 2013

Think of the Mediterranean to inspire healthy eating.

With its abundance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, olive oil, and fish, the Mediterranean diet has been linked to a multitude of health benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and better weight control.

Unlike some restrictive dieting approaches, the Mediterranean diet encourages inclusion rather than exclusion. However, the Mediterranean diet goes beyond food selections. It also hinges on attitudes towards eating and food.

Cultures adopting the Mediterranean approach generally care deeply about their food and are mindful when they eat, taking time to enjoy the taste and satisfaction of the meal. This is in stark contrast to the typical American diet, where consumption of meals tends to be done quickly and without much thought, which also can result in overeating and weight gain.

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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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Choose a Wealthy State for a Healthy Heart

Posted by Blog Administrator April 4, 2012

map wealthy state for a healthy heart

The wealth of your state can affect the state of your health.

It looks like women can add geography to their list of heart disease risk factors.

According to new research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), the financial health of your home state can have an impact on your heart health. A study led by Dr. Cheryl Clark, Director of Health Equity Research and Intervention at the BWH Center for Community Health and Health Equity, compared each state’s gross domestic product, poverty rate, and financial inequality to rates of cardiovascular inflammation among their female residents.

Cardiovascular inflammation is a major contributor to the development of plaque inside the arteries (atherosclerosis) and is also a strong predictor of heart attacks in healthy women. To determine the presence of cardiovascular inflammation in a patient, researchers measured the blood levels of C-reactive protein and two other substances that are reliable indicators of the early development of atherosclerosis.

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