Are you bracing yourself for those words once the novelty of summer break wears off? Keep boredom at bay, and keep your kids moving, with these 30 physical activities that will be fun for you and your family.
You may think of preeclampsia—high blood pressure during or immediately following pregnancy—as a condition specific to pregnancy. However, research is finding that preeclampsia appears to be a significant warning sign for heart disease after pregnancy. In fact, the American Heart Association’s guidelines on cardiovascular disease in women consider preeclampsia as a risk factor for heart disease as strong as a failed stress test — a test commonly used to identify existing heart disease.
Learn more about the relationship between preeclampsia and later heart disease—and how you can make sure your physician is aware of your medical history to help you monitor your heart health appropriately.
One reason that heart disease is sometimes more difficult to diagnose in women is that women are more likely to have coronary microvascular disease, which affects blood vessels of the heart that are about the diameter of a human hair. While research on this condition is in the earliest stages, doctors believe that 2 to 3 million women in the United States are affected.
Learn about diagnosis, treatment and questions to ask your doctor.
Did you have an angioplasty for your heart? Take just a few minutes to learn about your procedure, your stent, and what happens now.
Watch “You & Your Stent.
Did you know that not all heart attacks have the same symptoms or severity? It’s true – there are several different types of heart attack, all of them requiring prompt medical attention.
If you are a heart patient and you also suffer from seasonal allergies, it is important that you discuss your over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription allergy medication options with your cardiologist.
Why did my doctor recommend bypass surgery for me, but my uncle, neighbor, or spouse got a stent? The answer to this question is unique for every patient, and your doctor considered many factors before making the recommendation. These questions may help as you talk with your doctor.
Every second counts if you or someone you are with is having a stroke. You only have three hours from the time of the first symptom to receive treatment that can minimize the damage to your brain and cause serious, long-term, disabilities.
Learn the signs of stroke and how to respond.
Did you know that stress – everything from the scramble to get your taxes filed to daily pressures at work and home – can take a toll on your cardiovascular health? Experts believe the key to protecting your health may be in managing stress before it problems develop.
Learn more about stress management.
Just posted on CNN.com is important information that could save lives. Learn about heart attacks from SecondsCount.org Editor-in-Chief Dr. John P. Reilly. From symptoms and when to call 9-1-1 to treatment options and living well after a heart attack, this is an article to bookmark for yourself and share with everyone you know.
To check it out, click here
Are you ready to launch a heart-healthy lifestyle? Studies have shown that taking baby steps helps many people stick with healthy changes. The SecondsCount Guide to Heart-Healthy Living takes a practical, manageable approach to nutrition, physical activity, stress, smoking, sleep quality, medication adherence, and much more.
Click here to get started.
Just in time for Easter baskets, SecondsCount weighs in on questions about chocolate. Is chocolate really good for your heart? Dark versus milk chocolate – does it matter? How much chocolate is too much?
Check this out before you indulge.
You do everything you can to manage diabetes: you check your blood sugar, take medication as directed, visit your doctor regularly, take good care of your feet, and eat right and exercise. But have you discussed your heart health with your physician recently?
Learn more about the relationship between diabetes and heart disease, including how you can improve your heart health, identify important symptoms, and evaluate treatment options.
For any non-emergency hospital procedure, you weigh the benefits and drawbacks of where you will seek treatment. Many people will choose treatment at a hospital that is close to home and easy for family and friends to access. In other cases, you may be willing to travel hundreds of miles to receive the most advanced treatment. Recent studies suggest that for elective angioplasty it's not an “either/or” decision. In fact, a study presented this week at a large medical conference seems to confirm that community hospitals can perform elective angioplasty as safely and effectively as their larger counterparts.
Click here for more information.
According to some reports, up to half of children and young adults in the United States consume the beverages known as “energy drinks” or “energy shots,” which may contain three to five times the caffeine in a same-size can of soda. Even as their popularity has grown, energy drinks have come under scrutiny for possibly serious health effects, including heart rhythm problems, increased blood pressure, and—in rare cases—cardiac arrest.
Learn more about the potential cardiovascular risks of consuming energy drinks.
In this video, SecondsCount Editor-in-Chief Dr. John P. Reilly offers a guided tour of the cath lab. You'll learn about what happens in the cath lab and the equipment used by interventional cardiologists and their teams. It’s a great way to get prepared if you or someone you love is scheduled for a heart procedure.
Click here to watch.
When you or someone you are with experiences the symptoms of a heart attack, EVERY SECOND COUNTS. Getting to a hospital quickly and safely must be your first priority. Don’t drive yourself or wait for a ride from a friend. Call 9-1-1.
Do you have a Heart Attack Action Plan? Click here to check out ours!
Did you know that poor sleep could raise your risk of cardiovascular disease? Learn why researchers believe improving the quality of your sleep might affect your heart health. And get helpful tips for promoting better sleep.
Get sleep-smart as well as heart-smart.
Approximately 85–90 percent of children who are born with CHD in the United States now survive to adulthood. If you are a member of these newer generations of adults with CHD, you may have arrived at adulthood with questions about the safety of pregnancy and delivering a baby.
Get more information and questions to ask your doctor.
If you or your child has a congenital heart defect, what questions should you ask your doctor before taking up a sport, starting an exercise program, or participating in physical activity?
Get helpful background information and helpful conversation-starters on the levels and types of physical activity may be right for you or your child.
The veins perform a critical function of the cardiovascular system, specifically returning blood to the heart to the oxygen and nutrients the body needs. For many of us, it’s when something goes wrong with our veins – especially if it causes pain or embarrassment – that we appreciate how important our veins are to our health.
Learn about varicose veins and spider veins and options for treatment.
If you are an adult congenital heart disease patient or the caregiver for a child with congenital heart disease, you will likely be asked at some point to obtain patient medical records from one physician and provide them to another.
Learn about the process for obtaining medical records, options for maintaining a personal health record at home, and questions to ask about medical records.
Like all parents, you may feel both anxiety and excitement when it comes time to enroll your child in school. For parents of children with congenital heart disease, these feelings may be more pronounced because of your child’s health issues. Likewise, if you are an adult who was born with congenital heart disease, you may have questions about how smoothly your transition to college or career training may go.
Get more information on how you can obtain help in educational settings, if you need it.
Use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), also known as “doping,” isn’t just a problem among elite athletes like Lance Armstrong. Unfortunately, PED use is widespread in high schools, colleges, and gyms across the United States. Many young people may feel pressured – by their peers or by their own ambitions – to use these illegal drugs to improve their competitive performance, lose weight, or improve their own body image. Doping may raise the risk for a number of serious health-related problems, including increased risk of heart-related death and long-term cardiovascular damage.
Learn more about PEDs and strategies for discouraging doping
It’s the worst flu season in years, say doctors and nurses at many hospitals across the United States. No doubt about it, the flu is miserable for anyone who contracts it, and it can be dangerous. A growing number of deaths are considered to be related to the seasonal flu, prompting many healthcare providers to issue reminders to get a flu shot. Are there special precautions that people with heart disease or congenital heart defects should take?
Learn more about the flu and steps you can take to protect yourself
If you have heart disease, taking care of your heart is a job you have to do 365 days a year. In addition to monitoring your symptoms, taking your medications as prescribed, and following recommendations for a heart-healthy lifestyle, you have to be prepared to handle the curveballs Mother Nature sometimes throws, including snowstorms and the complications they may bring, such as power outages or road conditions that could make it tough to get to the pharmacy, among other things.
Get tips for preparing for cold weather
Smoking is a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease – one of many reasons to kick the tobacco habit in 2013. Quitting is challenging, but millions of people have succeeded and begun reaping the benefits of quitting within 20 minutes of their last cigarette. At SecondsCount, you can learn proven strategies for quitting, access tools and resources that will help, and get started today.
Learn strategies to quit smoking
Of all times of the year to know the symptoms of a heart attack, Christmas and New Year’s Day may be the most important. That’s because research has shown that more people die from heart attack on these two holidays, plus the day after Christmas, than other days of the year. Knowing the symptoms could save a life.
Learn about heart attack symptoms and get prepared
Tell us more about your chronic angina!
As we grow in our outreach to patients, SCAI - in partnership with Mended Hearts and ACC - is interested in understanding more about certain cardiovascular conditions among patients. This survey is brief and will require no more than 10 minutes of your time. As a thank you for participating, you will have the opportunity to be entered into a drawing to win one of five $100 Walmart gift certificates.
Take the survey
While moving band equipment, 53-year-old Jim Sparacino began to feel light-headed, a feeling he had become accustomed to over the past few months. A bystander thought Jim was having a heart attack but, as he learned later, his heart was fine. Instead, Jim was suffering from carotid artery disease, which can lead to a stroke. Working with his doctors, Jim explored his treatment options, keeping in mind his need to protect his vocal cords.
Read Jim's story and learn which treatment was right for him
Heart Attack Smarts: When Seconds Count, Call 9-1-1
When you or someone you are with experiences the symptoms of a heart attack, EVERY SECOND COUNTS. Getting to a hospital quickly and safely must be your first priority. Don’t drive yourself or wait for a ride from a friend. Call 9-1-1. Health providers on ambulances:
Thanks to advances in cardiovascular medicine, most people who suffer a heart attack and get to a hospital are successfully treated and go home within days. The key is getting to the hospital as soon as symptoms start.
Print and share our Heart Attack Action Plan with your family and friends
It’s not too late to access the free Mended Little Hearts - SecondsCount webinar for families of children with congenital heart disease. The webinar features Dr. Dennis W. Kim, a pediatric interventional cardiologist and the associate editor-in-chief of SecondsCount.org, discussing which patients are candidates for this ground-breaking minimally invasive procedure, how the procedure works, and what families should expect when their child undergoes transcatheter valve replacement. Dr. Kim fielded questions from moms and dads all over the United States, earning feedback like this from parents:
“[The webinar really gave] us hope that there are some great advances on the horizon for our 8 year-old. I thought Dr. Kim did an excellent job of explaining CHDs in general and how the valves may be used. I was really glad my husband and I listened in.”
“Amazing!!!! ... I loved that webinar ! It was so informative. Our son is 5 and will soon need a valve replacement. This webinar helped educate us a lot on what to expect.”
Watch the webinar
Make your tastebuds AND your heart happy when you use these tips for planning a holiday meal.
Get heart-healthy holiday meal planning tips.
Blocked Arteries & Diabetes? Which Treatment Option Is Best When You Have Both?
Cardiologists continue to research which factors to consider in determining the best way to treat your heart. A study published last week delivers helpful information on the best treatment strategy for patients who have significant blockages in three or more heart arteries and diabetes. The study compared the outcomes of patients who had been treated with either angioplasty and stenting or bypass surgery. After following the patients for five years, the researchers found the diabetic patients who underwent bypass surgery were less likely to die or have a non-fatal heart attack than those who had their arteries cleared with angioplasty. The patients who had surgery were somewhat more likely to suffer a non-fatal stroke.
There are many factors that your doctors consider when recommending treatment for your heart disease. Diabetes is one of those factors. The findings from this clinical trial will help cardiologist and other healthcare providers make the best treatment recommendations for patients who have severe heart disease and diabetes. If you have diabetes and are scheduled for an angiogram (a test that permits your doctor to see if your arteries have blockages that are preventing blood flow to your heart), then your interventional cardiologist may talk with you about how he or she will proceed if the test shows three or more arteries with major blockages. Rather than treating those arteries during the same session as your angiogram, your doctor will likely stop the procedure and work with you and a cardiac surgeon to arrange for a bypass operation.
It is wise to discuss the benefits and risks of any test or treatment before it happens. This includes asking your doctor to explain his or her recommendation and why it is right for you, given your unique health status. This is especially important if you have diabetes.
Learn more about diabetes
When you're a mom-to-be, your own heart health may be the last thing on your mind. But maybe it's something you and your obstetrician should discuss. Why? Because new research has suggested that certain complications during pregnancy may predict future heart disease.
Learn more about pregnancy complications that could be linked to heart disease, and questions to bring up with your doctor
Every second counts if you or someone you love is having a stroke. In fact, just a few hours can make the difference between recovery or learning to walk and talk all over again—or worse still—death.
Learn the warning signs and what to do if they occur
Great news! Heart patients who are treated with angioplasty feel better than they did before the procedure, according to a recent survey. With their symptoms diminished or even eliminated, many patients are ready to grab hold of their second chance at living life to their heart’s content. That means something different for everyone, such as returning to work, getting physically active, or enjoying personal relationships with friends, family or their spouse
SecondsCount provides heart-smart strategies to help patients make the most of their second chance.
Learn how to nurture your heart health with diet, physical activity, stress management, quality sleep, and more!
Today, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) announced results from a new survey that found four out of five (81 percent) patients say their lives have changed for the better following angioplasty, a procedure to open blocked arteries and allow blood to circulate freely.
Learn more about the survey
Oops, where’d the day go? When you woke up this morning, you had every intention of making time for physical activity, but now it’s late, and you’re tired. You’re busy. We get it. But finding time for fitness could change how you live the rest of your life: healthy or not. Click here to learn why.
Still overwhelmed? We suggest starting small, with our Beginner’s Steps to Moving More.
What in the world do your feet have to do with cardiovascular disease? Well, if you have diabetes, peripheral artery disease (PAD), or both, then your feet need special attention to avoid serious problems, such as loss of a toe, foot, or even a leg. That’s why we created the SecondsCount Treat Your Feet Checklist – a simple tool that will make taking care of your feet worlds easier.
Check it out, print it out, and try it out today!