Atherosclerosis is a systemic disease. Fats, cholesterol and white blood cells that form plaques in arteries that feed the heart muscle and brain also may accumulate in arteries elsewhere in the body. The arteries of the legs and feet are commonly affected, and many people at risk for heart attack and stroke develop peripheral arterial […]
Get a checkup if you start slowing down earlier than you think you should. By Holly Strawbridge There are 90-year-olds who run marathons and 80-year-olds who happily work full time, but these individuals are exceptions: Most adults experience declining energy and endurance as they age. The question is, when is slowing down abnormal? If you […]
Taking Blood Pressure Medications at Bedtime May Be Helpful Many patients with high blood pressure require multiple medications in different classes to bring their blood pressure down into an acceptable range. Normalizing blood pressure is necessary to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. A large study conducted in Spain and reported in the […]
If symptoms caused you to stop taking these beneficial drugs, try these tips for preventing or minimizing side effects. By Holly Strawbridge Evidence that cholesterol-lowering statins prevent heart attacks and strokes is so compelling that these medications are a “must” for anyone with cardiovascular disease or its risk factors. But statins can sometimes cause symptoms […]
Why is it important to get a flu shot if you have heart disease? When is it too late to get it?Flu season can begin as early as October and extend as late as May, but typically peaks from December to February. Antibodies to the flu peak four to six weeks after getting vaccinated and then slowly decline for six months. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends that everyone over 6 months of age without a specific reason not to get vaccinated, such as a history of allergic reactions to the shot, get vaccinated by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated any time before January can still be beneficial.
On a more hopeful note, there was some evidence that omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) were associated with lower risk of heart attack and CAD, and that folic acid may help protect against stroke. However, the primary study on folate that reached this conclusion was conducted in China, where foods are not routinely fortified with folate like they are in the United States.
A rare, but serious, problem can occur when a DVT blood clot breaks off and is carried into a heart that has a hole between its upper chambers (patent foramen ovale, or PFO). If the clot passes from the right side of the heart into the left and is pumped into the arteries supplying the brain, it can cause a stroke.
Small calcium deposits in breast arteries are not associated with breast cancer, but they may be a marker of coronary artery disease (CAD) long before other symptoms appear. Researchers evaluated 2,100 asymptomatic women ages 40 and older using mammography and computed tomography angiography imaging of the coronary arteries, among other tests.
In the past, niacin, fenofibrates, bile acid sequestrants and fish oil were widely used to help normalize blood lipid levels. Most have fallen out of favor. But in November, physicians were wowed when a key study revealed that prescription-strength doses of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a form of omega-3 fish oil, reduced the risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack, stroke, revascularization and unstable angina by 25 percent in patients with CAD or diabetes and high triglyceride levels.
If there are specific concerns that you would like to have addressed, please write them down before you leave home and raise them early in the appointment. Please don't wait until the end of the visit to speak up. Knowing what's on your mind helps us plan our time with you, and you will be more likely to leave the office satisfied, if your questions have been answered.
You're standing in a friend's dining room with a magnificent spread before you. On a table sparkling with ornaments and candles, you see an endless array of food. In an instant, you are seduced by the sights and smells of the holiday season. You reach out and pick up a plate-and your resolve to eat sensibly flies out the window.
If you are in charge of Thanksgiving dinner, cut down on the number of carbs you plan to serve. Do you really need mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls and stuffing, too? Swap one or two of these for healthier alternatives. Even the ubiquitous green-bean casserole would be a better choice, since it contains fiber from beans and a little fat from butter and mushroom soup, which will help you feel full.