Moderate drinking not harmful for older patients with heart failure, study suggests A new study suggests that people over age 65 who are newly diagnosed with heart failure can continue to drink moderate amounts of alcohol without worsening their condition. However, the findings do not suggest that nondrinkers should start imbibing after a heart failure diagnosis, the researchers emphasized.

Secondhand smoke and cardiac arrhythmia Continuous indoor exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke triggers changes in the heart’s electrical activity, known as cardiac alternans, that can predict cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death, a new study shows. The authors believe the study, conducted in mice, suggests that secondhand smoke exposure alters cells that regulate how the heart beats.

How dietary fiber and gut bacteria protect the cardiovascular system The fatty acid propionate helps defend against the effects of high blood pressure, including atherosclerosis and heart tissue remodeling, a study on mice has found. Gut bacteria produce the substance — which calms the immune cells that drive up blood pressure — from natural dietary fiber.