May 2019

The Dangers of Chronic High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

At rest, a normal heart beats 60 to 100 times a minute, depending on your age and level of fitness. This means your heart beats at least 86,400 times a day or 31,536,000 times a year. That's a lot of work for a muscle the size of your fist. And just like any other muscle that is exercised, the heart will grow bigger when it is forced to strain.   More...

In The News: May 2019

French researchers analyzed the results of food questionnaires completed every six months by 44,551 adults ages 45 and older participating in an ongoing study on food habits. On average, more than 29 percent of their total calories came from ultra processed foods. During the seven-year study, 602 participants died. After carefully adjusting for other factors, the researchers concluded that every 10 percent increase in the amount of ultra processed foods consumed increased the risk of all-cause death by 14 percent. Ultra processed foods tend to be high in calories, carbohydrates, salt and fat and low in fiber and vitamins. In addition, they may contain harmful food additives and contaminants.   More...

Practice Portion Control to CutCalories and Lose Weight

Subscribers Only — There's strong evidence that people with heart disease or its risk factors benefit from eating more of certain foods and less of others. That's why many cardiologists recommend the Mediterranean diet, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet or plant-based vegetarian or vegan diets. All have been proven to lower the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. But if your goal is to lose weight, you also have to watch how much you eat, keeping an eye on portion control.   More...

A Cardiovascular Disease That Is Easy to Overlook

Subscribers Only — Legs that cramp when walking are a classic symptom of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The discomfort occurs because atherosclerosis has narrowed the arteries in the legs, restricting blood flow. This makes PAD a close cousin of coronary artery disease (CAD) and cerebrovascular disease (CVD). Unfortunately, some physicians don't look for PAD in asymptomatic patients, even when they are at high risk for the disease.   More...

Pay Attention to Chest Pain!

Heart attacks are caused by coronary artery disease (CAD), which limits or blocks blood flow in the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle. CAD is caused by atherosclerosis, a process in which cholesterol, fats and white blood cells accumulate in the walls of coronary arteries, forming plaques.   More...

Fainting as a Sign of Bradycardia

Most people who need pacemakers are over age 60. Their slow heart rate often is caused by a malfunction in one of the heart's electrical timers called the sinus node. This node, located in the upper right chamber of the heart, emits electrical pulses that keep the heart beating properly in what's known as sinus rhythm.   More...

Innovations Speed Prehospital Stroke Diagnosis

Subscribers Only — Companies are addressing this need in various ways. One of the most intriguing is a visor that uses electromagnetic waves to assess the volume of fluid in the brain. A difference in volume between the right and left hemispheres indicates a stroke has occurred. In studies, the wireless device was able to diagnose a severe stroke with 92 percent accuracy in about 30 seconds.   More...

Ask The Doctors: May 2019

The patients were divided into five groups based on level of fitness. The highest fitness category (comparable to endurance athletes) had the lowest mortality rate (80 percent lower than the least-fit group) even when the analysis controlled for age, gender and heart risk factors. Mortality dropped with each progressive level of CRF, with no upper limit at which the benefits declined or flattened. The benefit of high performance was seen in both genders and in subgroups older than70.   More...