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Fleeting Symptoms May Be Those of Stroke. Don’t Ignore Them.

For years, we thought that stroke symptoms lasting only a short time—say, 10 to 30 minutes—were merely a warning sign that a full-blown stroke might soon follow. While this is true, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has revealed this is only part of the story. “Patients who come to the emergency department with symptoms of stroke and are […]
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How Thyroid Hormone Levels Affect Your Heart Function

Did you know there’s a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that controls your heart? It’s your thyroid, and it produces hormones that control how your body functions. In this role, it governs how strongly your heart beats. When your thyroid works normally, you will feel normal. But in 12% of adults—mostly women—it stops working like […]
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Heart Beat: November 2020

Liver Disease Connected to Arrhythmias Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a known independent risk factor for atrial fibrillation (A-fib). In NAFLD, fat accumulates in the liver for unknown reasons. Now, a retrospective study has found that NAFLD increases the risk that A-fib will recur after ablation. Researchers reviewed 267 consecutive obese patients who had […]
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Ask the Doctors: Why is the purpose of getting a coronary artery calcium score?;...

What is the purpose of getting a coronary artery calcium score? The amount of calcium in the coronary arteries has been associated with increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Although obtaining a coronary artery ­calcium score can be quite helpful in certain­ individuals when making decisions about starting or escalating lipid-lowering therapy, the presence of […]
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Download The Full October 2020 Issue PDF

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Are All Cardiovascular Risk Factors Equally Dangerous?

If giving up cigarettes causes you to gain 50 pounds, is the extra weight worse for you than smoking? Or did you simply trade one cardiovascular risk factor for another? This is a reasonable question. Many people have more than one cardiovascular risk factor, and the thought of addressing them simultaneously may be overwhelming. So […]
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Don’t Be Scared of Pumpkin!

What would October be without pumpkins? Church parking lots and farmers’ markets are filled with orange globes of every size and shape waiting to be taken home and carved into scary jack o’lanterns. Doorsteps and dining tables are decorated with pumpkins surrounded by colorful fall leaves. After Halloween is over, thoughts turn to Thanksgiving and […]
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Proven Heart-Attack Prevention Regimen for Patients with Angina

If given a choice between taking three medications or undergoing an invasive procedure to prevent a heart attack, most people will choose the medications. It’s a sound decision, since research has shown that medical therapy for coronary disease can be very effective. But here’s the rub: A recent study found that only one-third of patients experiencing […]
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Do Your Homework Before Taking a Dietary Supplement

Given a choice between taking a dietary supplement made from plants or a drug made by a pharmaceutical company, most people will choose the natural product. Interest in natural supplements is high, and demand is expected to double by 2024. But when some natural products are taken along with prescription medications, serious problems can sometimes […]
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Rapid Heart Rate Recovery Is the Sign of a Healthy Heart

Your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. It may vary during the day, but will rise significantly when you exercise. How quickly your heart rate returns to normal after you stop exercising is known as heart rate recovery (HRR). If your HRR is slow, you may be headed for […]
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Self-Testing HRR

The only reliable way of measuring HRR is with a stress test. However, there are several ways you can get a general idea of how well your heart recovers at home. First, locate your pulse by placing your fingers on your wrist or the carotid arteries on your neck, under your jaw. Then, climb the […]
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Flu Shots Protect Against Heart Attack and Stroke

COVID-19 has taken center stage, but there’s another virus that deserves the spotlight: influenza. The flu can be serious—even deadly—for people with heart disease, because it increases their risk of having a heart attack or stroke. That’s why doctors urge patients to get vaccinated against the flu every year. “Getting vaccinated lessens the likelihood you will […]
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