Spring 2015

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In this Issue

The Heart of a Woman

For decades, women have been striving for equality, but one place they have reached parity is in heart disease. As with men, cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women — causing a third of deaths among all women.

Veronica's Story

Veronica Sanchez thought she knew the signs of a heart attack from the movies she’d seen — chest pain and numbness in the left arm. So when she felt nauseated and dizzy, she dismissed those feelings. "I thought it was something I ate," she said.

Mariam's Story

In early 2010, Mariam Giardini was a vivacious 32-year-old. She ate healthy and worked hard to stay in shape, doing fitness boot camps and other aerobic activities. Heart disease was the furthest thing from her mind.

Debra's Story

Debra Koziol, age 54, of Cranston, Rhode Island, has spent her adult life paying attention to her health by exercising and watching her diet. She had to because in her 20s she’d been diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse—a condition causing her heart to occasionally skip a beat.

Game On!

New research shows us that, used smartly, games and gamification principles may help us reach our health goals. At its most basic, gamification means creating a system that motivates people to do things they wouldn’t normally want to do.

From Couch Potato to Ironman

I smoked too much. I worked too much. Ate a horrible diet. My only exercise was finger calisthenics with the TV remote. I was a 5-foot-6, 200-lb couch potato.

A Complicated Beginning

At three months old Crystal Flores was diagnosed with seven different congenital heart defects. Eight open-heart surgeries later she declares, "Heart disease can't beat me!"

Men Taking Care

A generation ago, male caregivers were rare. Today gender roles are changing — and more people are surviving serious health crises and being released from the hospital sooner. This increases the need for caregiving at home. Now about a third of all caregivers are men.

Dietary Supplements

Many people who want to lose weight turn to unproven dietary supplements. These are sometimes called "fat burners" or appetite suppressants.

Hands-On Improves Things

An experimental 3-dimensional printed model of the heart may help surgeons treat patients born with complicated heart disorders, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

Shannon Cockrell's Why

Children teach their parents many lessons. Shannon Cockrell’s daughter Morgan Humphreys taught her mom about the physiology of the heart—and the preciousness of life.

Glossary of Heart Disease

The term 'heart disease' is often used - but there are many types of disease that come under this category. This companion piece to "The Heart of a Woman" in our Spring 2015 issue provides a list of some of the most common conditions in the heart disease spectrum.

Double Whammy

Diabetes is not heart disease, but they are close friends. Heart disease and high blood pressure are also good friends. In fact, the three of them often travel together in the same body and create all sorts of havoc.

Conquer Cravings with these Healthy Substitutions

We have all experienced food cravings, and often those cravings have to do with texture — like something creamy or crunchy. Food textures play a big role in whether we like or dislike certain foods. For example, while you may not like mushy canned peas, you may be surprised that you like fresh or barely cooked peas.

Moroccan Chicken with Brown Rice and Lemon Sauteed Spinach

Try this Simple Cooking with Heart special dish featuring the spices of Morocco!

Don't Let Salt Sneak Up On You

Excessive sodium consumption kills about 1.65 million people every year worldwide. This is because too much dietary sodium can increase blood pressure…and it’s easy to get too much.

A Good Kind of Fat

There are several different kinds of fat — saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans fat. And the good news is they aren’t all bad for you. For instance, polyunsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on your heart when eaten in moderation and when used to replace saturated fat and trans fat in your diet.

Keep Kids Away from E-Cigarettes

The makers of electronic cigarettes want the public to believe that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to tobacco cigarettes. But they could contain chemicals and carcinogens that are harmful.

Improving Rhythm

A new small, wireless, self-contained pacemaker appears safe and feasible for use in patients, according to a small study reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Better Results

Adding another type of cholesterol-lowering drug to statin therapy may help prevent heart attacks and strokes in high-risk patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). That was the finding in a large, long-term study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

Improving Life with Stents

Patients who took two anti-clotting medications beyond the standard 12 months after stent placement were significantly less likely to develop blood clots within their stents or to have a heart attack than those whose treatment followed the standard 12-month protocol. This was the result found in a research study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

Don't Be A Stranger

People who visited their doctor at least twice a year were 3.2 times more likely to keep their blood pressure under control than those who saw their doctor once a year or less, according to research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.
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Departments

Heart News

Heart health news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.

Heartfelt

Articles, poems and art submitted by heart disease survivors and their loved ones.

Life's Simple 7

Improving your health is as easy as minding seven simple health factors and behaviors. Tips and information to help you improve your health and enhance your quality of life.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These heart patients, their loved ones and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.