Every year, more than 370,000 U.S. adults undergo coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) to improve blood flow to their heart muscle. In this operation, surgeons use an artery or vein to reroute blood flow, essentially bypassing blockages in the coronary arteries. CABG is a major surgical procedure, but it’s surprisingly safe. CABG is also the […]
Every year in the United States, about 500,000 people undergo angioplasty and stenting to quickly restore blood flow through a narrowed or blocked coronary artery. This form of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) can relieve the symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD) or stop a heart attack in progress. PCI can make you feel a lot […]
Most of us understand the role of risk factors in the development of coronary artery disease leading to heart attack. But heart diseases with underlying genetic causes are less well known. They include bicuspid aortic valve disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, familial dilated cardiomyopathy, Brugada syndrome, long-QT syndrome, familial hypercholesterolemia and connective tissue diseases such as Marfan […]
Q: I am a 70-year-old who is trying to stop smoking by chewing nicotine gum up to 10 times a day. Is this safe? Is there anything I should watch out for? A: As with any medicine, nicotine gum has risks, but if used properly, it is a safe way to help quit smoking and […]
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.