June 2019

In The News: June 2019

There's news that many people would like to hear. A small observational study of Greek patients presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in March 2019 found that taking a daily nap can lower blood pressure.   More...

Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation (A-fib) Now the First Choice

Subscribers Only — Using a catheter, a cardiologist with expertise in the heart's electrical system (electrophysiologist) positions a probe inside the heart. Radio-frequency energy or cold is used to isolate the areas triggering the arrhythmia. Since A-fib commonly originates in the pulmonary veins, which drain blood from the lungs into the left atrium, these veins are targeted. Cleveland Clinic electrophysiologists also ablate the back wall of the left atrium. The technique creates areas of therapeutic scar tissue that lower the risk of transmitting irregular electrical signals.   More...

The Food Felons: Fat and Sugar. Which Is Worse for You?

Subscribers Only — The concern is primarily with added sugars. These are sugars (usually sucrose) that do not appear naturally in foods, but are added for taste. Sugar is the main attraction in foods such as candy, cookies and ice cream. Sugar also is hidden in unlikely places, including breads, cereals and tomato sauces. This makes it very easy to consume large amounts of sugar unknowingly.   More...

Finally, There's a Good Way to Repair Leaky Mitral Valves

Some surgeons have tried resecting tissue while transferring chords from other places on the mitral valve, but the extensive amount of suturing causes scar tissue to form. Over time, the valve becomes stiff. While the procedure can produce the desired results, it requires the heart to be stopped for a long period of time. Afterwards, some patients require special drugs to help their heart contract and must stay in the intensive care unit for several days.   More...

Tell Your Doctor What You Want from Heart Failure Treatment

Subscribers Only — "If you have side effects from your medications and would rather not take them, I can understand," says Dr. Mountis. "If you don't want to be evaluated for an advanced therapy like a mechanical heart pump or a heart transplant, I can respect that decision after we have discussed the pros and cons. Our conversation will then shift to what you can expect to happen from that point on."   More...

Ask The Doctors: June 2019

The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity weekly. Moderate is often defined as 50 to 70 percent of maximally predicted heart rate (MPHR); vigorous is 70 to 85 percent.   More...