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A study found those who were prayed for were as likely to have a setback in hospital, be re-admitted, or die within six months as those not prayed for.
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Patients admitted to hospital with heart problems suffer fewer complications if someone prays for them, according to scientists in the US.
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The study showed hugs increased levels of oxytocin, a "bonding" hormone, and reduced blood pressure - which cuts the risk of heart disease.


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A gene mutation that almost guarantees the development of heart disease is carried by 60m people, researchers say.


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Researchers have cracked the mystery of why eating garlic can help keep the heart healthy.


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The team is now working to grow organs including hearts using the technique.


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Hardening of the arteries has been found in Egyptian mummies - suggesting that the risk factors for heart disease may be ancient, researchers say.


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Drinking alcohol every day cuts the risk of heart disease in men by more than a third, a major study suggests.
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Men who do not openly express their anger if they are unfairly treated at work double their risk of a heart attack, Swedish research suggests.


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Heart attack survivors are highly likely to avoid sex, fearing it could kill them.


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Researchers have used X-ray techniques to uncover the cause of death of a 700-year-old Italian saint. Santa Rosa - who died when she was 18 or 19 years old - was most likely killed by a blood clot in the heart, say the Italian research team.


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Heart surgeons are using extreme cooling to allow them to stop a patient's heart long enough to carry out surgery and then revive them.


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Garlic may be useful in addition to medication to treat high blood pressure, a study suggests.


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Doctors have suggested how much garlic they think a person would have to eat each day to gain from its anti-cancer properties - half a clove. It should be served raw to have maximum effect, they said. Previous studies had suggested that a human would have to eat their own weight in garlic before gaining any benefits. But the new research suggests half a raw clove would be enough, rising to four and half cloves if cooked.


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A device which can be worn like a watch could revolutionise the way blood pressure is monitored in the next few years, scientists say.


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