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Warning: Common Pain Relievers Unsafe for Heart Patients

The FDA mandated a cardiovascular safety trial of celecoxib (Celebrex). This trial, spearheaded by Dr. Nissen, compared moderate doses of celecoxib to ibuprofen and naproxenin 24,081 arthritis patients at increased cardiovascular risk needing daily pain relief. The cardiovascular risks from celecoxib were no greater than those conferred by the other NSAIDs.

Download The Full February 2019 Issue PDF

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30.3 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. Another 84.1 million have pre-diabetes, a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes within five years, if its not treated. Diabetes is a major risk factor for early death from heart attack, stroke and many cancers. It also increases the risk of kidney disease, blindness and amputation. But these outcomes are not inevitable, if you learn about the disease and your role in managing it.

Download The Full January 2019 Issue PDF

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.

Heart Beat: January 2019

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.

How to Lower Your Risk of a Dangerous Blood Clot

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.

When Statins Are Not the Answer

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.

Insider Advice: How to Optimize an Appointment with Your Doctor

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.

Holiday Heart Health Secrets

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.

New Diabetes Medications Do the Heart a World of Good

People with type 2 diabetes cannot absorb sugar and convert it to a form that can be stored and used for energy. Instead, sugar continues to circulate in their blood.

New Tests Improve the Ability to Predict Future Heart Attack

Many of us know that cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, body-mass index and smoking are modifiable risk factors for heart disease. If you smoke or have high levels of the other risk factors, you will need to make lifestyle changes and/or take medications to prevent a heart attack. But these measures don't always stop a serious cardiac event fromoccurring.

Ask The Doctors: November 2018

Whether to continue taking clopidogrel with aspirin over the long term is a different issue. Aspirin alone can increase the risk of bleeding, and this risk increases with the combination of medications. Low-dose aspirin plus clopidogrel or other anti-platelet drug is recommended for up to one year after MI. Continuing the combination beyond that point is not common practice in all patients, since the increased bleeding risk may outweigh the benefits. However, the combination may be continued in certain patients, including those who received a left main artery stent, complex overlapping or branch-point stents, recurrent MI, in-stent clots or vascular events such as a transient ischemic attack while on aspirin alone. Even in these situations, an individuals bleeding risk needs to be considered to ensure safety.

Leadless Pacemakers Prove Unlikely to Cause Infection

Each year, about 1 million people in this country receive a pacemaker to regulate their slowing heart rate. These pacemakers are implanted in a pocket of tissue under the skin and send electrical pulses down a lead (wire) inserted into the heart muscle. Pockets can be a source of infection, which then spreads into the bloodstream via the lead and can infect the heart.