American Heart Association

Social and practical barriers keep heart failure patients from benefits of exercise therapy


Although supervised aerobic physical activity is a proven therapy for heart failure patients, lack of social support and practical barriers such as lack of transportation, keep many patients from benefiting from cardiac rehab programs, according to new research in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart […]

Cardiac rehab coverage expands for chronic heart failure patients with symptoms


Medicare’s and Medicaid’s newly extended cardiac rehabilitation coverage for chronic heart failure patients with symptoms has tripled the number who are now eligible, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

Chronic heart failure patients are at high risk for serious […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Mom’s heart attack made AHA mission personal for staffer


At 63, Kay Machyniak of Wausau, Wisconsin, was working to reduce her risk for heart disease.

While she could do nothing about her family history of problems, she quit her heavy smoking habit. She also lost weight.

She feared that it wasn’t enough. She was often short […]

Young heart attack survivor pushes physical limits in new research


Nick Weber had his life all planned out. He had just graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and was studying to become a doctor. Then, at age 22, he had a heart attack.

It happened in 2013 while cycling at White Rock Lake in […]

Home exercise can ease hopelessness in coronary heart disease patients

Home exercise can ease feelings of hopelessness in people with coronary heart disease, according to a small study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

Feeling hopeless —pessimism and a sense of helplessness about the future — can be dangerous because it can discourage people from taking healthful […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Retired Coast Guard Senior Chief shares story to educate others – especially men

Robert Epps was working the soundboard at his local church one Sunday morning when he walked up the stairs to the office. This simple activity left the 31-year-old with a terrible pain in his chest that made it hard to breathe.

“It felt like someone had stabbed me with a […]

Home-based walking program eases clogged leg arteries

A home-based walking program helped people with clogged leg arteries walk farther and faster, according to new research. The program was beneficial even 12 months after participants started it.

Supervised exercise can improve walking and lessen the symptoms of peripheral artery disease, but the benefits of a home-based walking program […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: 17 days before co-chairing Heart Walk, he underwent open-heart surgery

As a father, husband, businessman and co-chair of the 2012 Heart Walk in Lincoln, Neb., Craig Gies kept plenty busy.

He was so busy that about two weeks before the event, he’d yet to write a letter seeking donations from family and friends.

The fact he wrote it from his hospital […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Minnesota man learns importance of CPR training twice

Six months after strangers revived his stopped heart and surgeons unclogged several arteries in heart, Dan Wessel headed toward Christmas feeling great – so great that his wife asked him to dress up as Santa Claus for a program at the school where she teaches.

Dan loved it. Yet on […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Quadruple bypass turns longtime smoker into dedicated marathon runner

Jacob Sternfeld started smoking when he was 12 and by age 50 had hardly ever stopped. He was burning through 30 cigarettes a day, practically two for every waking hour.

“My wife said it was like a secret mistress, because I’d leave dinner to smoke,” he said.

In March 2009, Jacob […]