A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

With rates of depression rising in U.S., mental health experts say online screenings are an important tool

More Americans are using online screening tests to gauge whether depression is playing a role in their health, and mental health experts say that’s a good thing. Just as people might screen for diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, a depression screening provides a quick way to spot the first signs of what might be a serious mental health issue. Marcie Timmerman, executive director...

Most women with heart disease just don’t get enough exercise; it’s the #1 killer of women in the U.S.

More than half of women in the United States with heart disease aren’t getting enough physical activity, and that number has increased over the past decade, a study says. In Kentucky, 4.9% of women reported they had been told by a health care provider that they had heart disease, compared to 3.2% of women nationwide, according to America’s Health Rankings. “Physical activity is a known,...

Appalachian residents more likely to die from smoking-related diseases; how to decrease smoking

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News It’s well documented that people in Appalachia die sooner than other Americans, and are more likely to die from smoking-related diseases. It doesn’t have to stay that way; a new report offers a detailed list of strategies and policies proven to decrease smoking, the cause of many premature deaths. The report was created by Appalachian Regional...

Half of U.S. adults don’t know symptoms of heart attacks; Kentuckians have second highest risk

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News About 50 percent of American adults don’t know the five common symptoms of a heart attack, even though a heart attack happens about every 40 seconds in the U.S., according to a recent study. The five common symptoms of heart attack are pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back; feeling weak, lightheaded or faint; chest pain or discomfort; pain or discomfort...

Study says genes linked to body’s use of cholesterol, fat and heart disease also increase Alzheimer’s risk

A study of more than 1.5 million people found that some of the genes that increase the risk of heart disease also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It might mean, eventually, that managing cholesterol and fat in the diet could lower some people’s risk for Alzheimer’s. Illustration by Michael Worful The study, published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica, looked at the differences...

New report shows obesity rates on the rise among Kentucky teens, improving for younger kids

A new report shows fewer young Kentuckians are obese, but the opposite is true for local adolescents. According to latest State of Obesity Report, more than 20 percent of Kentucky teens are obese, the third-worst rate in the country. That number has grown from just more than 18 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, obesity rates for younger kids are improving. Roughly 13 percent of Kentucky children ages...

Ky. ranks next to last in exercise, the closest thing to a wonder drug, say Centers for Disease Control

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky adults rank next to last for getting the recommended amount of exercise, followed only by Mississippi, according to a recently released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, based on CDC polling that asks people about their exercise habits and health. The poll found that only 14.6 percent of Kentucky adults reported getting the amount of...

52 Weeks of Public Health: Move with heart to better your health during American Heart Month

As part of American Heart Month in February, the Department for Public Health encourages Kentuckians to increase their levels of physical activity to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. To get involved, use the hashtag #MoveWithHeart on social media to connect with others and search for posts about exercise, physical activity and improving cardiovascular health. Heart disease is the second...

Study shows combination of low-salt, heart-healthy diet as good as drug therapy for high blood pressure

A new study finds that cutting back on salt and following the heart-healthy DASH diet can lower blood pressure, a disease that affects almost two out of every five Kentuckians. “Our results add to the evidence that dietary interventions are as effective as—or more effective than—anti-hypertensive drugs in those at highest risk for high blood pressure, and should be a routine first-line treatment...

SmartHealthToday: For young father Matt Richard, world’s smallest pacemaker was big solution

SmartHealthToday Life threw a dramatic curve ball to Matt and Krissy Richard of Fort Thomas. The drama started on a Thursday morning, as Krissy prepared breakfast for their four, young children. When Matt walked downstairs, she quickly realized something was very wrong. “He was very confused. He kept saying, ‘I woke up at the wrong point. I feel like I need to go back to sleep,’” remembers...

UK Gill Heart Institute partners with The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati for heart treatment trial

The University of Kentucky’s HealthCare’s Gill Heart Institute and The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati have partnered to test a new treatment for adults with congenital heart disease. The COMPASSION Trial will test the efficacy of the Sapien 3 valve as a replacement for a diseased pulmonary valve. The Sapien 3 has already been approved for replacement of the aortic valve. The COMPASSION...

U of L cardiologist to test biomarker that may predict heart disease in women

Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in women worldwide, including in the United States. Although deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in men have declined since the 1970s, the rates of death for women have not followed. University of Louisville cardiologist Andrew DeFilippis, M.D., M.Sc., may be on the verge of a breakthrough in detecting cardiovascular disease before a heart attack...