Is there a more important muscle than your heart? Maybe not, which is why so many researchers are looking into ways to improve heart health (and to put an end to heart disease and stroke). Here’s a round-up of the latest heart health news.
Your hair and heart attack risk
A recent study by Gideon Koren, a professor at the University of Western Ontario, found that hair may actually be able to tell your doctor whether or not you're en route to having a heart attack. How? Koren measured the cortisol levels in the hair of more than 100 men (cortisol being the body's stress hormone). He found that men who had the highest levels of cortisol were more likely to have suffered a heart attack than those with lower levels.
Three new studies have shown that certain drug combinations used to treat conditions of the heart work for some patients, but not others. They also raised the notion that a blood test to measure certain hormones in a person's bloodstream may help determine which drugs will work and which ones won't.
Contrary to popular belief, eating heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids may not protect the heart of heart attack survivors from death or prevent another heart attack even if a person is receiving good care from his or her doctor.
The "British Medical Journal" released a new report that suggests cold weather may cause heart attacks. Even a drop of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit may adversely affect the health of a heart. In the past, studies have suggested a link between temperature and mortality risk, but this is the first report detailing the risk of temperature changes and heart attacks.
Health care costs are on the rise and maybe for a good reason. Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine found patients suffering from congestive heart failure were not receiving the medication they needed to keep them alive. They also were not receiving adequate care to stave off future occurrences of heart attacks or stroke. As a result, heart patients are spending more time using up all important hospital resources.