Limit low-calorie sodas and drinks, and stick to water instead, researchers advise

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS People are drinking fewer diet drinks these days, and a panel of health experts agrees that’s a good idea. A science advisory from the American Heart Association published Monday in the journal Circulation counsels against regular and long-term consumption of diet beverages, particularly in children. […]

Boy kicking soccer ball

Soccer is called the beautiful game, but injuries also can make it a dangerous one

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Lea en español With the final World Cup showdown this Sunday, frenzied fans have seen the best soccer has to offer. They’ve also seen some of the worst injuries the sport can inflict. While chasing down a ball during a game last month against Iran, […]

Shelly Church

Losing son inspires AHA volunteer to keep his legacy alive

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS When her precious son Kyle lost his valiant, lifelong battle against heart disease at age 18, Shelly Church solemnly swore to keep his legacy alive. “He really enjoyed his life, I think maybe because he knew it was going to be short,” she said. In […]

Drowning can be fast and silent, but it can be prevented, too

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Lea en español Just back from a run with her husband, Laura Metro faced a parent’s worst nightmare: Her 6-year-old daughter, Maison, ran to her screaming, “I think Clay died! I think Clay died!” Metro’s 3-year-old son, who was swimming with family friends, was found […]

Chemicals used to flavor tobacco may damage blood vessels

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Chemicals used in popular flavorings like clove, mint and vanilla that are added to cigarettes, e-liquids and other tobacco products can harm blood vessel cells that help keep the heart healthy, a new study shows. More studies are needed on whether these products will increase […]

Hollywood silent on request to give R rating to movies with smoking

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS The silent film era ended nearly a century ago, but Hollywood is still mute when it comes to demands to change its rating system to award an R rating to most movies that feature tobacco. Last August, the American Heart Association and 16 other health […]

Heart transplant survivor shakes off sheltered childhood to enjoy life

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Kendra Plumley didn’t spend her childhood running around with other kids on her street, having friends over for sleepovers, or spending lazy summer days by the pool. Instead, she spent most of her time indoors. It wasn’t a choice. She had to protect her new […]

Air pollution exposure in the womb linked to higher blood pressure in kids

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Women exposed to higher levels of air pollution during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children who develop elevated blood pressure before age 10, according to a new study. Past studies have linked high blood pressure in both children and adults with direct […]

New guidance issued for treating cardiac arrest in children with heart disease

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Saving a child with heart disease whose heart has stopped requires a different approach than reviving a child with a healthy heart, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Cardiac arrest in the hospital is 10 times more common among children […]

Friends get kids off the couch; the outdoors helps them be more active, study suggests

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Hanging out with friends can make kids less sedentary, but having inviting outdoor spaces and nearby parks can help them be more physically active, according to new research. Both are important for kids’ health, said Tracie Barnett, lead author of a study based on data […]

Caregiving costs expected to more than double, analysis finds

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS The “informal” costs of caregiving for Americans with heart disease and stroke are projected to more than double by 2035, according to a new analysis. Informal caregiving is a broad term, typically involving family, friends and others caring for patients outside the formal health care […]

Asthma as a kid may mean stiffer arteries as an adult

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Having asthma as a child is associated with developing stiff arteries earlier in adulthood, according to a new study. The study, published Monday in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension, sought to explore the link between asthma, a chronic lung disease that makes breathing difficult, and […]

Moms of babies with heart defects also could be at risk of later heart disease

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Women who have babies with a heart defect have a 25 percent greater risk of being hospitalized for cardiovascular issues later in life, according to a new study that says the baby’s condition could be an early warning of heart disease for some mothers. The […]

Short or tall — your height can play a role in heart risks

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Lea en español Your height may have affected your choice of clothing, theater seat or airplane row. Turns out it could also play a role in your risk of heart disease and stroke. Scientists have looked at whether height increases or decreases risk of cardiovascular […]

To dye for: Dip eggs into palettes of fruits and vegetables to add flavor and color naturally

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Put a twist on making colorful eggs this season that is to dye for. Add pigment to eggshells this Easter holiday in an old-fashioned, natural way by using fruits and vegetables. Plus, if you offer up the produce to eat while you’re at it, it will be […]

Bariatric surgery in severely obese teens may greatly reduce heart attack, stroke risk

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Lea en español Bariatric surgery in severely obese teenagers could lower their risk of heart attack and stroke by about 40 to 50 percent – and could maintain that lower risk for at least five years, a new study shows. Researchers found the benefits of […]

Using hip-hop to teach kids about stroke could save lives

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Teaching school kids the symptoms of stroke and how to react quickly to them is an effective way to potentially save lives and prevent disabilities, according to a new study done in tandem with the educational program Hip Hop Stroke. Published Thursday in Stroke, the […]

Retired NFL lineman Mark Schlereth turns trash talk into baby-saving effort

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Editor’s Note: This story was updated throughout on March 9, 2018, with event results. Retired pro football player Mark Schlereth benched 225 pounds 26 times, taming social media taunts and raising money for a cause dear to his and his granddaughter’s heart. The Facebook.com/1043TheFan live event […]

Two families met on social media, and now a heart defect research fund is named in their kids’ honor

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS For the past year, two families affected by congenital heart disease exchanged messages on Facebook and over texts. They met for the first time a week ago. “There were tears and laughs and smiles,” said Lauren Kiefer-Foley, whose 6-year-old son Jack has a rare congenital […]

7 healthy, tasty recipes everyone will love

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS In celebration of National Nutrition Month, we’ve put together a sampling of easy-to-make recipes that are packed with flavor. These dishes make satisfying meals for everyone, and it just might inspire the younger ones in the family to spend more time in the kitchen — […]

Pregnancy-related heart failure most often in weeks after birth

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS A recent study shows that most pregnancy-related heart failure occurs during the first six weeks after the baby is born. That’s an issue because usually women are discharged a few days after they deliver and don’t go back to their doctor for six weeks, so […]

Surviving a heart defect to become an American Ninja Warrior

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Molly Hemphill is a congenital heart survivor and recently selected as a competitor on television series “American Ninja Warrior.” She shares her life story and future goals: At 25 years old, my life changed overnight. I was struggling to fall asleep, unsure why, when my […]

McDonald’s ‘Happy Meals’ about to get healthier, globally

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCATION NEWS McDonald’s Happy Meals might be getting happier – at least from a nutrition perspective. The fast food giant announced Thursday its worldwide goals to reduce the number of calories, limit sodium and provide more nutritional balance in the iconic meal for kids it launched in […]

Congenital heart defects linked to increased risk of dementia

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Being born with a heart defect may raise the odds of later developing dementia, especially early-onset dementia, a new study finds. Each year, at least 40,000 infants in the United States are affected by a congenital heart defect. The cause is unknown, but it’s thought […]

After surviving risky surgery, heart health became her mission

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Victoria Lewellen was about 10 years old when her pediatrician detected a heart murmur during a routine exam. Follow-up medical tests revealed she had a bicuspid aortic valve — a condition that had gone undiagnosed since her birth. It is the most common congenital heart condition and it […]

Learning to navigate congenital heart disease as an adult

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Ten months after she was born, Lauren Evanovich had open-heart surgery to repair a hole in her heart and aortic valve. As she got older, Evanovich avoided strenuous activity and saw a cardiologist twice a year. Otherwise she didn’t think much about what her congenital […]

Pulse ox screens catching many newborns with heart disease, but there’s room for improvement

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS On the heels of a study that showed infant deaths from critical congenital heart defects fell by one-third in eight states that first mandated a newborn screening test, experts now look forward to technological improvements in the test so that more babies’ lives can be […]

E-cigarettes may help adults switch from conventional cigarettes but encourage smoking among teens

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS E-cigarettes can be highly addictive, and kids who use them are more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes, concluded a panel of public health experts. The report released this week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is one of the most comprehensive […]

Kids nationwide are running 4 marathons, one lap at a time

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Some students straggle out of winter break suffering from back-to-school blues. But tens of thousands of Marathon Kids are now sprinting into the spring semester with their eye on a goal line that reads “104.8 miles.” That’s the distance students run during a school year […]

Health experts concerned about long-term consequences of USDA changes to school meals

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Less healthy foods and beverages with more salt and calories might soon return to America’s school cafeterias under a rule issued recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Under the rule released in November, school food service programs can now include 1 percent flavored milk […]

Kimmel’s son’s experience spotlights rare congenital heart defect

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Off the Charts is a series featuring expert answers to questions about heart and brain health. This week we explore tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia. Nothing prepares an expectant parent for bad news. But that experience became part of a national discussion recently, with news that Jimmy […]

Distressing experiences as a kid impact cardiovascular health later in life

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Difficult childhood experiences — from bullying and neglect to physical and sexual abuse — are so prevalent that the American Heart Association is issuing its first scientific statement on their impact on cardiovascular health. Fifty-nine percent of the U.S. population say they experienced at least […]

Young diabetics could have seven times higher risk for sudden cardiac death

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Young diabetics could have seven times more risk of dying from sudden cardiac arrest than their peers who don’t have diabetes, according to new research. The study points to the importance of early and ongoing heart monitoring in children and young adults with both Type […]

Program helped Arkansas teen recognize her heart problem, overhaul family’s lifestyle

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Lauren Bradley figured the American Heart Association’s Sweetheart program would look good on her college applications. But participating in the program that teaches 10th-grade girls about heart health and provides volunteer opportunities at local hospitals did more than help her earn a scholarship — it […]

Tiny red hats pile up to create awareness of heart disease

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Lea en español Little red hats seem to be everywhere on social media. The pictures show them on newborns, pets and dolls, and stacked on tables in people’s homes. Some are plain; others have elaborate designs. Dawn Lang Zupsic of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, is among […]

As part of the NFL's My Cause, My Cleats initiative, Minnesota Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs's cleats honor the American Heart Association. (Photo courtesy of Minnesota Vikings)

Minnesota Vikings star receiver Stefon Diggs honors father, grandmother with custom cleats

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS When Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs laces up for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, he’ll be paying tribute to his dad, who died from heart disease when Diggs was 14. Aron Diggs never saw his son play high school football, but he nurtured […]

High schoolers enjoy peek into world of cardiovascular science

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Ariana Alonso decided years ago that she wants to become a neurosurgeon when she grows up. Now a sophomore at Valley High School in Santa Ana, California, she took the first step by joining a curriculum track that trains students for a career in health […]

Sixth-grader’s science project grows into adult-sized study showing kids can do CPR, too

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS ANAHEIM, California – At first, Eashan Biswas was just looking for a way to use a video game in his sixth-grade science project. But now, the aspiring doctor’s name is on a scientific study being presented on a national stage – and, more importantly, he’s […]

North Carolina mom becomes caregiver after teen daughter’s stroke

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Jasmine Harris had a stroke six months before her high school graduation. It started with a headache a couple days before Christmas. The family from Raleigh, North Carolina, had spent the day volunteering so her mother, La’Wana Harris, assumed her 17-year-old daughter was just tired. […]

How far apart do the houses have to be to burn off that fun-size Snickers?

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS The first house gives out a fun-size Snickers bar, a delicious little treat. You eat it in an instant, then walk to the next house, one mile away. Chances are your Halloween is calorie-neutral — so far. But the night is young. That’s the challenge of […]

Singing cardiologist gets the band back together

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Unfortunately, a Beatles reunion will never happen. But for the lucky people of Fredericksburg, Virginia, Rick and the Arrhythmics returned for a long-awaited (by some, at least) encore. Back in the 1980s, the band, which included several local doctors, specialized in rowdy, three-chord classic rock, […]

Texan Laura Goldenschue is among the 1.4 million U.S. adults with congenital heart disease. (Photo courtesy of Laura Goldenschue)

Looking beyond the heart in adults with congenital heart disease

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Laura Goldenschue takes antibiotics before going to the dentist, even just for a routine cleaning. The 59-year-old from Texas assembles a team of specialists when facing a procedure as minor as a cyst removal. She carries a tiny “health passport” that lists her doctors and […]

Line chart showing the data points discussed in the story.

Study suggests ‘full-term’ pregnancy may need narrower definition

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Studies have shown strong links between preterm births and future health risks such as heart failure. But being born early, yet still within the full-term range, may also pose heart-related risks later in life, a new study suggests. The findings could have far-reaching implications in […]

Minnesota Vikings join the many NFL players helping kids get healthy

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Minnesota Vikings Everson Griffen and Kyle Rudolph are the latest in a long line of NFL players tackling the issue of children’s health. The players (and plenty of kids) star in a new video released Tuesday as part of the NFL Play 60 Challenge, a nationwide […]

Report: U.S. obesity rate holds steady

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS After decades on the rise, obesity rates have for the second year in a row showed signs of leveling off, a new report finds. Even so, the condition is still at epidemic proportions, with more than a third of Americans considered obese, according to the State […]

Experts aim to improve treatment for heart complications in people with neuromuscular disorders

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Many people with neuromuscular disorders that begin in childhood are living longer thanks to advances in treating the disease and its complications, such as breathing problems. That trend, however, has not applied to the potentially deadly heart complications associated with many of these disorders. Experts […]

CPR in school laws take effect in eight new states this year

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS After Noah Weeda collapsed during soccer drills in April 2015 at his Grand Rapids, Mich., high school, best friend Tyler Menhart called 911 and used CPR skills he learned as a Boy Scout. In South Carolina, 18-year-old high school football player Ronald Rouse died in […]

Bicyclist schools kids in heart health

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS When Chris Figureida leaves Deadhorse, Alaska, on Wednesday on a 3,000-mile bicycle trip to San Diego, he’ll share the lonely road with moose, musk oxen and the occasional grizzly bear. Yet some of his best adventures will take place indoors. Throughout his 78-day trip, Chris […]

Study: Socioeconomics impacts children’s carotid arteries

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Disadvantaged kids may be at a higher risk for heart disease later in life, according to new research published on Wednesday. The study, published in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, found that children from socially and […]

How virtual reality is changing cardiovascular care

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Lea en español Virtual reality has been a staple of science fiction ever since Stanley G. Weinbaum wrote about high-tech goggles in 1935’s Pygmalion’s Spectacles. Now that virtual reality has become actual reality, it’s slowly but surely revolutionizing the treatment of heart disease and stroke. […]

Young woman/adult smoking e-cigarette

Public health groups ask to join tobacco regulation lawsuits

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Six of the nation’s leading public health organizations on Monday filed motions asking federal courts for a say in two lawsuits brought by the e-cigarette and cigar industries against the Food and Drug Administration’s “deeming rule.” The deeming rule, issued last year, established public health […]

To save drowning victims, a push to get everyone on the same page

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide die every year from drowning. Yet efforts to figure out the best way to save them have been hindered by inconsistencies and confusion about how to report the details of these tragic occurrences and their eventual outcomes. Those much-needed […]

Putting all of her heart into rugged sports before ‘American Ninja Warrior’ tryout

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS American Ninja Warrior, you’ve been warned: Molly Hemphill is coming after you again. She’s extremely fit, courageous and indomitable, a zealous rock climber eager to take on the NBC show’s rugged obstacle course that few can conquer. But Hemphill has conquered plenty already. She has […]

Hollywood and tobacco: Movie characters still lighting up

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Filmmakers are having a hard time kicking the habit, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite earlier declines in tobacco use in youth-rated movies, that progress has stalled since 2010. Between 2010 and 2016, the total number of […]

FDA, health groups call for better strategies to test heart drugs in kids

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS The Food and Drug Administration and three major health organizations are calling for a shakeup in how drugs are developed and tested in children with heart disease and other conditions. In a health policy statement issued Thursday, the groups said drug trials must be flexible […]

Breastfeeding could help a mother’s heart – in more ways than you think

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Researchers and doctors have long touted the short- and long-term health benefits of breastfeeding, but research published Wednesday shows it also may reduce a woman’s risk of having a heart attack or stroke later in life. An analysis of data from 289,573 women in China […]

CDC: Youth e-cigarette use drops for the first time

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Fewer middle and high school students are vaping, according to data released Thursday, the first time numbers have dropped since 2011, when e-cigarettes were first included in the governmental report. However, e-cigarettes remain the most used tobacco product by middle and high school students, surpassing […]

Study author: Conventional CPR education efforts should intensify for children

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Lea en español Education efforts to teach bystander CPR should intensify in minority communities, according to the lead author of a recent study that showed Hispanic and African-American children were less likely to get CPR with breaths, which had improved survival compared to compression-only CPR […]

Kids’ heart health focus of new research

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Four new research projects focused on children’s heart health were announced Thursday by the American Heart Association. Experts say that helping children maintain ideal cardiovascular health is more effective than taking a wait-and-see approach and treating disease in adulthood. The aim of the AHA’s Strategically […]

Organizations fund more than $550,000 in heart defect research

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Five research programs are receiving a total of $561,798 to fund congenital heart defect research, the American Heart Association and The Children’s Heart Foundation announced Tuesday. About 40,000 infants are affected by congenital heart defects each year in the United States, and one in four […]

Nevada to require CPR training in schools

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Nevada recently became the 37th state to require CPR training for students. Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the bill in May. After the law takes effect with the 2017-2018 school year, all of the state’s high school graduates will know how to perform CPR. For public […]

Knowing heart attack symptoms postpartum

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS The terrifying chest pains and tightness started two weeks after Bronwyn Pullin had her baby boy. “I brushed it off as anxiety about a new baby and all the changes that come with it,” said Pullin. “I would try laying down, moving around or eating. […]

Promising athlete to heart patient … back to promising athlete

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS DENTON, Texas – With a highlight-reel sliding catch, centerfielder Camden Thrailkill sealed Denton Guyer’s victory 8-7 over Lewisville. In the stands, his parents could only marvel. “You’d never have expected this,” said Rik, his dad. “Just to see him out there competing, and the joy […]

Trump signs spending bill that gives National Institutes of Health a boost

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS The National Institutes of Health came out on top once again with an increase in federal funding for the rest of this fiscal year, but the completed spending bill made cuts in initiatives that support prevention. The bill, signed into law on Friday by President […]

Mom saves son with CPR after heart-stopping hit to chest

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS It all started out so normally. Jose Agredano, 16, had a soccer match on Feb. 16. In California, the San Benito High School team was playing Watsonville High, at Watsonville’s field. Jose’s parents, Jose Sr. and Gina, a family care doctor, were on the sidelines. […]

Florida children take steps intended to last a lifetime

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS TAMPA, Florida – Barbie Monty’s fifth-grade class at Carrollwood Day School is organizing a half-hour health walk on Friday, but the steps are intended to last a lifetime. “We’re going to encourage kids to try to stay healthy,” said Demir Dikmen, one of the students. […]

Clues but still no clear cause for rare heart disease in kids

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Hugh Ham was just 1 year old when he developed a rash and fever. Doctors thought he had strep throat. Ten days later, he was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, a rare heart disease in young children that causes inflammation in blood vessels throughout the body. […]

Chronic conditions decrease for younger people, report says

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Early deaths because of chronic conditions including heart disease, cancer and HIV have decreased over the past decade among people under 44. Those results are “something to celebrate,” said Julie Willems Van Dijk, Ph.D., R.N., director of County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, which released its […]

Fateful days changed the destiny of cardiology doctor

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Two life-changing events helped mold Dr. Arie Szatkowski, an ebullient, shaggy-haired New Yorker, into a cardiac crusader of the Mid-South. When he was 23, his father, who was a doctor, died suddenly of a heart attack far too young. “He was my role model, and […]

South Dakota becomes 36th state to require CPR training to graduate

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS CPR training will now be a requirement to graduate high school in South Dakota under legislation signed into law Friday. South Dakota is now one of 36 states and Washington, D.C., that require high school students to be taught CPR based on American Heart Association guidelines. […]

Fifteen health organizations file in Philadelphia’s sugary drink tax

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Fifteen health organizations filed a friend-of-the-court brief Friday in hopes that the beverage industry’s appeal of a sugar tax will fall flat. Philadelphia’s 1.5-cent-an-ounce tax on sweetened drinks survived a major challenge in December from the beverage industry, after a city judge dismissed the group’s […]

Study finds kids’ meals not improving much despite initiative

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Parents frustrated with a barrage of unhealthy meal choices for their children when dining out were supposed to get a hand when the National Restaurant Association started an initiative six years ago to help cut calories, fat and sugar in kids’ meals. But a recent […]

Headaches far more common in kids than adults who have stroke

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS HOUSTON — Children are far more likely than adults to get headaches when having a stroke, a new study suggests. The findings, presented Wednesday at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017, showed that 6 percent of children under age 3 and 46 percent […]

Kids with heart defects face learning challenges, inadequate school support

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Children born with heart defects face learning challenges and inadequate special education assistance in elementary school, according to a new study. Using North Carolina education records, birth defect registries and birth certificates, researchers examined whether congenital heart defects were associated with low scores on standard […]

Under-recognized heart valve disease kills estimated 25,000 each year

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS On the nation’s first Heart Valve Day this Feb. 22, Dennis Dobkowski, who needed surgery to fix damage to his valves, will share his experience with Congressional representatives in hopes of getting attention for this under-recognized problem. Awareness is low for heart valve disease, which is a […]

Having a ball in the fight against heart disease

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Heart disease is the world’s No. 1 killer. So even those without the condition are still affected. Pauline Pavao is one of those people. Although she’s healthy, Pauline lost both her parents to the disease, and her son Cori was born with a congenital heart […]

32 heart surgeries, and she’s only 19

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Bethany Gooch was a fussy newborn. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, in October 1997, regular pediatrician’s visits didn’t reveal anything wrong. But just days before Bethany’s first Christmas, her color seemed off. The Gooches took Bethany to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a pair […]

After her baby’s heart surgery, researcher studies impact on parents’ mental health

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Sarah Woolf-King’s son Charlie was born with holes in his heart that required open-heart surgery when he was just 9 weeks old. The terrifying experience created stress, anxiety and isolation that sent the clinical psychologist online to message boards and Facebook groups looking to connect […]

Parents of kids with heart defects at risk for PTSD, other mental health issues

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Parents of children with critical congenital heart defects are at high risk for mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, according to a new study. Researchers who reviewed published data from 10 countries found that up to 30 percent of parents […]

Editorial: Don’t go backward on child nutrition

Editor’s Note: Retired pediatrician Alan Lake, M.D., writes that there’s ample proof that the government’s school lunch standards are helping America’s kids get the nutrition they need.   There is myriad evidence that the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, signed into law by President Obama in December 2010, is working. And it’s not […]

New reports find kids and adults love their soda and sugary drinks

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Despite longstanding calls by health experts to put down the soda, Americans continue to enjoy their sugar-sweetened drinks. Nearly two-thirds of children in the United States reported consuming at least one soda or other sugary drink on any given day, according to new federal statistics […]

Heart failure projected to increase dramatically, according to new statistics

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS The number of people diagnosed with heart failure is increasing and projected to rise by 46 percent by 2030, resulting in more than 8 million people with heart failure, according to the American Heart Association’s 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update published Wednesday. There are […]

Yoda makes sheep history with heart surgery

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS At first glance, Yoda looks like a perfectly healthy 15-month-old sheep as he playfully butts his head against a visitor’s knee and dances at the sight of his daily treat – a cup of delicious, nutritious grain. But look closer and you’ll notice the 18-inch-by-18-inch […]

Children work to make an ICU waiting area more child-friendly

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS On their first day in the ICU waiting area at the Medical City McKinney in Texas, Adyn and Adysn Schachtel paid little attention to their surroundings. That’s because the children were more concerned about their father Andrew, a regular exercising, egg white-eating 43-year-old who’d inexplicably […]

In a book, two friends turn the page on heart disease

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Harry Zuckerman didn’t cry when he was born 17 years ago in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Doctors immediately suspected something might be wrong. Within days, Harry was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect that changes the flow of blood through the heart. It […]

Successful pregnancy possible for some women with high-risk congenital heart disease

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Doctors have historically advised against pregnancy in women with complex heart defects. But pregnancy may be possible for some of them, according to new guidance based on emerging data. The American Heart Association published the new advice Thursday in its journal Circulation. Pregnancy is a […]

Study uncovers more kidney failure decades after children’s heart transplants

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS People who had heart transplants as children have an increasing risk of kidney failure over time, researchers found when they connected databases that separately tracked the two conditions in thousands of people. The study findings showed kidney failure was more extensive than previously thought, said […]

Avoiding tobacco best way to avoid disease, researchers find

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Getting adults to quit smoking and preventing kids from ever starting are the best defenses against heart disease, stroke and other diseases, according to a new study. Experts’ rankings of the top 28 evidence-based preventive services that healthcare providers could offer were released Monday in a […]

New Michigan law requires CPR training to graduate high school

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Lawmakers in Michigan hope the odds of surviving a cardiac arrest improve in the state, where high schoolers will soon be required to take CPR training before graduating. “We’re hoping this will help increase survival rates across all Michigan communities and beyond,” said pediatric cardiologist […]

7-year-old hasn’t let health problems slow him down

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Watching 7-year-old Ian Cox run and play with his little brother, it’s hard to imagine he was so fragile at birth. Like other boys his age, he loves building things with Legos and Playstix, and dressing up as superheroes, particularly the Samurai Power Ranger. “He […]

Teen e-cigarette use falls for the first time

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS For the first time, researchers are finding that significantly fewer teens are using e-cigarettes, hookahs and other popular “vaping” products. The University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey, which tracks trends in substance use among 40,000 to 50,000 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades, […]

Study ponders whether governments should consider drink taxes based on sugar content

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Taxing drinks based on how much sugar is present could be the most effective way to decrease consumption and nudge the beverage industry to reduce sugar content, according to a report released Monday by the Urban Institute. The research shows a single-tier tax on sugar […]

Cozy red hats keep babies’ heads warm, raise awareness of heart disease

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Lea en español Gabe Foster loves to knit and do good deeds. That’s why the 10-year-old jumped at the chance to make red caps for newborns to help raise awareness about congenital heart disease. Last year, the fifth-grader from Fairport, New York, only had time […]

Surgeon General’s report warns e-cigarettes a ‘public health threat’

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS The growing use of e-cigarettes among young people is a “public health threat,” according to a new report released Thursday by the U.S. Surgeon General. The report is the first detailed federal review of the public health impact of e-cigarettes on the nation’s youth. It […]

American Heart Association, The Children’s Heart Foundation fund more than $1M in heart defect research

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Seven researchers will split nearly $1.1 million in funding for congenital heart defect research. The American Heart Association and The Children’s Heart Foundation announced the awards Tuesday. The funds are the latest to be doled out through the Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards, a program […]

HUD bans smoking in public housing

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Smoking will be prohibited in public housing properties to reduce secondhand smoke exposure, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD announced Wednesday that public housing agencies must implement a smoke-free policy that bans the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and hookah […]

Pulse oximetry screening successes set stage for more work to save babies

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS Heart problems are the most common type of birth defect, and until very recently many life-threatening defects went undetected until babies were already home from the hospital. Frantic parents sometimes noticed symptoms only after it was too late to save a baby’s life — or […]

41 years later, bionic baby is a success story

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS When Shannon Phillips went into pacemaker clinics for checkups over the years, other patients looked at her with puzzled expressions. “What is this little girl doing here?” their faces seemed to ask. When Phillips was 7, she would have been there for a follow-up visit […]

Chicago’s Cook County bridges budget gap with ‘soda tax’

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS By July, more than 5.2 million residents of Chicago and its suburbs will begin seeing higher prices on sweetened drinks. The Cook County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday passed its $4.9 billion budget – including a penny-per-ounce tax on bottles, cans and fountain drinks that […]

Childhood adversity linked to blood pressure dysfunction

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS NEW ORLEANS — A difficult childhood may be associated with a risk of poor blood pressure regulation. Fluctuations in blood pressure readings have been associated in some studies to elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and complications from hypertension. Researchers at the Augusta University Medical College of […]