Nutrition & Exercise

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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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.
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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.
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Download The Full November 2018 Issue PDF

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.
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Read This Before Taking Any Kind of Herbal Supplement

"One of my patients, who was on dual anti-platelet therapy after stenting, decided to take large doses of garlic. He ended up in the emergency department with dangerous internal bleeding," Dr. Cho recalls. "Another patient took hawthorn, and it increased the potency of her digitalis. This caused her ejection fraction and kidney function to plummet."
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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.
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