Nutrition & Exercise

Ask The Doctors: August 2019

Although the effects of ASA are not fully understood, they may be a possible risk factor for an unexplained ("cryptogenic") stroke, since the occurrence is higher in patients undergoing echo in this setting. In these cases, the ASA is usually large and/or hyper mobile and is associated with a large amount of blood being shunted between the atria due to a PFO or septal defect. Identifying these abnormalities in a stroke patient does not necessarily prove a causal relationship, since other stroke causes may be present.
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A key differentiator is the intensity of pain.In the movies, heart-attack victims often clutch their chest and grimace in pain before collapsing. But it is unusual for a heart attack to produce intense pain. Heart-attack pain is generally described as an unrelenting sensation of pressure, like an elephant sitting on your chest.
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Opening Totally Blocked Arteries May Improve Quality of Life

Yet about 30 percent of cardiac catheterizations performed in patients with stable coronary artery disease show evidence of a chronic total occlusion (CTO). In this situation, blood flow through a coronary artery has been totally blocked for more than three months. Studies have shown that when more than 10 percent of the heart muscle is affected by a CTO, the patient has a significantly higher risk of death or major adverse cardiac event. These patients often suffer from angina that is severe enough to impact their quality of life.
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Should You Be Concerned If Your Heart Rate Is Too Fast or Too Slow?

Many times, bradycardia is caused by a problem with the heart's sinoatrial (SA) node. This so-called "natural pacemaker" is a cluster of cells in the right atrium that sends electrical signals to help control the heartbeat. An SA that does not work properly can cause the heart rate to slow down, speed up or become inconsistent. Sometimes, a pacemaker is required. A pacemaker that detects bradycardia sends a signal to the heart that restores a healthy rate.
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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.
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Tips for Protecting Your Heart During the Cold, Dark Days of Winter

Get a flu shot. Flu increases the risk of hospitalization or death from cardiovascular disease. In studies, flu shots have been shown to reduce heart attacks and strokes by 55 percent in people who had recently suffered a cardiovascular event. The flu vaccine is associated with a 50 percent reduction in flu-season deaths among heart failure patients. "Even if the vaccine is not fully effective, it can lessen the likelihood you will have a heart attack or stroke," says Dr. Rocco.
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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.
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Heart Beat: December 2018

It's very common for people to need multiple anti-hypertension medications to lower their blood pressure into an acceptable range. If you resent taking medications, try diet and exercise. Researchers studied 129 overweight adults with blood pressures between 130 and 160 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) systolic and 80 and 99 mmHg diastolic, but who were not taking anti-hypertension medication. The researchers randomized one-third to the DASH diet (an eating plan designed to lower blood pressure) plus supervised exercise three times a week and behavioral counseling for weight loss. One-third were randomized to the DASH diet only. The remainder made no changes to their diet or exercise habits. Over a 16-week period, those who participated in the diet, exercise and counseling group lost an average of 19 pounds and reduced their blood pressure by an average of 16/10 mmHg. The diet-only group lowered their blood pressure an average of 11/8 mmHg. Blood pressure in the group that made no changes dropped only 3/4 mmHg.
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The Best Heart Bypass Operation Available Today

The study examined only outcomes up to five years after CABG. At this point, no difference was seen in survival rates with either the vein or artery graft. But other studies have confirmed that a second arterial graft significantly increases the likelihood the patient will be alive 10 years after CABG. Cleveland Clinic and other major heart centers follow Society of Thoracic Surgery guidelines and use an artery as a second conduit whenever possible.
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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.
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Can an Implantable Defibrillator Prevent You from Dying?

At this point, it is common practice to ask the patient whether they would like the shocking function turned off. Disarming the device will not prolong or hasten death: It simply prevents the discomfort of a shock, should a rapid heart rhythm occur. "The defibrillator will ignore the episode and not respond," Dr. Wilkoff says.
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Dieting? Go Ahead and Enjoy a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

If you don't want to be seduced by the dessert table, try one of these approaches:
- Take one bite (not one slice) of every dessert you like, so you won't feeldeprived.
- If you can't resist a piece of pie, take one, but pass up the stuffing, rolls andpotatoes.
- Walk around the block instead of eating dessert. Your desire for it will fade, ifyou wait long enough.
- Offer to clean up the dishes instead of eating dessert. By the time you are done, most desserts will be gone, and the remainder will look messy and unappetizing.
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