April 2018

Faster, Better-Coordinated Care Is Improving Heart-Attack Survival

In a heart attack, minutes count. The faster blood flow is restored to the heart, the better the chance the patient will survive. Now, Cleveland Clinic and other major medical centers nationwide are working with emergency medical services (EMS) to make innovative changes in the way heart attack patients are treated. The result is faster heart-attack care and more patients leaving the hospital alive.   More...

Heart Beat: April 2018

The risk of stroke or heart attack is 5 to 10 percent per year in patients with stable atherosclerosis. Obese patients with type 2 diabetes are at greatly increased risk for heart attack and stroke, largely due to elevated blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In the first study of its kind, stereotactic external beam radiation, a type of radiation therapy used to treat tumors, proved effective in virtually eliminating ventricular tachycardia (VT) in patients who had failed conventional treatment.   More...

Recipe for a Plant-Based Diet

Subscribers Only — Whether you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, have had a heart attack or stroke yourself or have cholesterol levels that increase your risk of a cardiovascular event, switching to a plant-based diet can lower this risk. This means giving up meat, eggs and dairy products for a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. In other words, you need to go vegan.   More...

Echocardiography 101

Most people are familiar with ultrasound as the technology used to monitor unborn babies during pregnancy. When ultrasound is used to look inside a beating heart from outside the body, it is called echocardiography. The technology produces images from sound waves bounced off the†heart.   More...

Cholesterol, a Fat We Love to Hate

Subscribers Only — When LDL and HDL exist in normal proportion, they are not a health risk. But when levels of LDL or total cholesterol rise, or the amount of HDL falls, the body tends to deposit cholesterol in the arteries. Over time, this causes arteries to become narrow, which can interfere with blood flow and lead to heart attack or stroke.   More...

Ask The Doctors: April 2018

A friend is using electronic cigarettes to quit smoking and claims it is a safe alternative. Is this true? Many states have legalized marijuana for medical use. Is it safe to use marijuana if you have a history of heart disease?   More...

Why an Ob/Gyn Should Not Be Your Only Doctor

After a girl ages out of a pediatricianís care, her next doctor is likely to be a gynecologist. Unless she has a chronic health condition or suffers a health scare, this may be the only doctor she sees for many years. But young women would be wise to establish a relationship with a general practitioner, who will examine them for cardiovascular risk factors and address these issues early.   More...

Other Diseases Can Increase the Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

Subscribers Only — Having an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, celiac disease, lupus or inflammatory bowel disease greatly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The connection is systemic inflammation. Inflammatory cells settle in blood vessel walls, where they perpetuate inflammation and make plaque prone to rupture, causing a heart attack or stroke.   More...

Migraine with Aura and Stroke

Before birth, blood bypasses the lungs by circulation through a hole between the upper chambers of the heart called a foramen ovale. After birth, the hole generally closes. If it does not, it is known as a patent (open) foramen ovale, or PFO. PFOs increase the risk of a blood clot passing from the right side of the heart into the left side, where it gets pumped into the circulation and travels to the brain, causing a cardioembolic stroke.   More...

Exercise as Medicine for Women with Heart Failure

Subscribers Only — For more than a decade, weíve known that the more physically active and fit you are, the lower your risk of developing heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), the type of heart failure most common in women.   More...

Ask The Doctors: April 2018

Have you ever heard of this? I thought biotin was a vitamin! Last year I had a heart attack. They took me to the cath lab to locate the blockage and stent it, but found my arteries were clean. If I didnít have a blockage, did I really have a heart attack? I don't understand what happened to me.   More...

Download the Full WHA April 2018 Issue PDF

Subscribers Only — After a girl ages out of a pediatricianís care, her next doctor is likely to be a gynecologist. Unless she has a chronic health condition or suffers a health scare, this may be the only doctor she sees for many years. But young women would be wise to establish a relationship with a general practitioner, who will examine them for cardiovascular risk factors and address these issues early.   More...