- How to deal with seasonal allergies and heart conditions Do you look forward to the warm weather and budding flowers that signal spring, or dread the pollen and other allergens to come? Dealing with allergy symptoms is never fun, but it can be additionally complicated if you have a heart condition.
Forecasts for this year indicate pollen counts will be above normal in the southeastern United States, and most of the East Coast. A recent photo of “pollencopalypse” over Durham, NC, by photographer Jeremy Gilchrist went viral after showing how thick the pollen in the air can be in spring.
Many popular allergy medications can be safely taken by people with heart conditions, but there are some ingredients that can raise blood pressure or interfere with heart medications. As with any medicine, it is best to discuss your options with your ...
- Few people with heart failure take guideline-recommended drug Heart failure patients who could possibly benefit from a newer class of drug to lower their heart rate were more likely to take the medication if it was prescribed before hospital discharge rather than in a follow-up doctor’s visit, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions in Arlington, Virginia.
The study team included several researchers from CONNECT-HF and you can read more about the results here.
- National Heart Failure Awareness Week: An opportunity to share information and resources with others February is American Heart Month, and many people may be aware of events such as Go Red for Women, but did you know that heart failure has its own awareness week this month? February 10th-16th is National Heart Failure Awareness Week, organized by the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA).
National Heart Failure Awareness Week is a great opportunity for people who are living with heart failure to help their loved ones better understand their condition. CONNECT-HF has several resources available, including an explanation of heart failure and Healthy Living Tips. The HFSA also has tools available to download, including learning modules that patients and their caregivers can take together, and an app designed to help patients track their symptoms vital signs and medications.
“Heart failure is an important health issue throughout the ...
- CONNECT-HF reaches site activation goal Congratulations to the CONNECT-HF Team for meeting their total site activation goal of 160 sites in October.
CONNECT-HF is a large-scale, pragmatic, cluster-randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effect of a customized, multifaceted, health system-level quality-improvement (QI) program compared with usual care on heart failure (HF) outcomes and HF quality-of-care metrics, led by principal investigator Adam DeVore, MD. The trial plans to enroll 7040 participants at 160 hospitals across the United States. The goal is to evaluate different ways of improving the overall quality of care available to people with heart failure, and to help them gain the greatest benefit from the treatments and health management advice they receive.
The trial began recruiting sites in April 2017.
“We are so pleased to reach our site activation goal for this study,” said DeVore. “We ...
- Healthy Fats for Heart Health Eating healthy foods can be one of the most important actions you can take to protect your heart, but the definition of “healthy” can sometimes seem confusing. Recent research has changed the longtime belief that a healthy diet is also low in fat. Instead, your doctor may recommend eating the right kinds of fat that can be found in a Mediterranean Diet.
The Mediterranean Diet refers to the way people eat in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. People in these countries eat a lot of fish, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables and often have better health outcomes and longer life expectancy than people in the United States. Although the diet is high in fat, it is mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, which can be good for your heart.
The diet focuses ...
- Staying active in summertime heat Summertime can be a great time to find new activities to add to your exercise routine. However, higher temperatures can also create new concerns, especially for patients with a diagnosis of heart failure. But the heat doesn’t have to mean you can’t exercise. Described below are tips for exercising in the heat to help you take full advantage of summertime fun. It is a good idea to talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Listen to your body. Increased heat means that your muscles work harder to move, which puts more stress on your heart. If your heart rate feels irregular or you stop sweating, stop exercising and go inside immediately to cool down. Other warning signs include a headache, muscle cramps, dizziness, weakness, nausea or vomiting, or ...
- Meet a Cardi-Yack: Fredonia Using her own personal experiences, Fredonia Williams hopes to make a difference in the CONNECT-HF study and in the lives of people recently diagnosed with heart failure. Support for patients with heart failure is extremely important and other patients who are experts by experience are well suited to provide valuable insights to both patients and doctors.
Fredonia is a patient adviser, also known as a Cardi-Yack, in the CONNECT-HF study. Fredonia has had opportunities to interact with heart patients, cardiologists, and researchers. She believes that patient input can help researchers tweak a research question with the ultimate goal of better health for all. We invite you to watch this video to hear from Fredonia on how patients can support other patients, doctors, and researchers.
- Out with the Old, In with the New: Spring Cleaning Old Habits
Spring is here, and the newly sprouted greenery and blossoming flowers have us all in the mood for a fresh start. What kind of old habits do you want to break? Whether it’s smoking, indulging in sweets, or sitting in front of the television, we all have routines we know aren’t the best for us. The CONNECT-HF Study team encourages people with heart failure to continue working on creating healthy habits. Small changes to your lifestyle may be helpful in controlling heart failure symptoms. Here are three unexpected ways you can spring-clean some old habits and blossom into a new, heart-healthier you.
1. Stop trying to break your old habits.
Yes, this sounds like the opposite of spring cleaning, but hear this out. Most of our brains are not designed to respond ...
- Read Two CONNECT-HF Publications CONNECT-HF investigators have teamed up to write two new publications about improving heart failure care and outcomes.
The publications, Improving heart failure health: is there a secret Swedish sauce? and Leveraging Behavioral Economics to Improve Heart Failure Care and Outcomes both look at different ways researchers are trying to help people with heart failure.
About Improving heart failure health: is there a secret Swedish sauce?
Improving heart failure health: is there a secret Swedish sauce? is an editorial comment authored by two CONNECT-HF investigators. It looks at the results of a registry study in Sweden to comment on whether the data was strong enough to claim that patients who took part in the study received better care for heart failure compared to patients who did not take part.
This commentary also looks at ...
- 3 Ways to Stay Heart Healthy During the Holidays Stay heart healthy this season with these simple tips
The holidays are coming up and while they can be a cheery time of year, they may also bring unhealthy temptations and stress along with them. It can feel difficult, but it’s important to stay on track and keep up your heart healthy routine even during the holidays.
Whether you’re faced with the temptations of eating treats, skipping your usual exercise routine, the stress of visitors, or something else, there are plenty of ways to overcome the holiday slump and stay heart healthy during this time of year. We’re here to encourage you with three ideas to help you stay heart healthy this holiday season.
1. Get creative with your exercise routine.
It can be tempting to skip your exercise routine in favor of holiday ...