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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.

Heart Beat: September 2018

Patients with type 1 diabetes require multiple insulin injections a day. This can make it difficult to keep blood glucose levels within the ideal range. Now theres a smartphone app that can help. The Guardian Connect continuous glucose monitoring system works hand-in-hand with the Sugar:IQ app to analyze how patients glucose levels are responding in real time to food intake, insulin and other variables. Data are sent to the cloud for processing, and the information is returned to the app for viewing on an iPhone. The system helps patients identify foods and habits that cause their glucose to spike, as well as times of the day or week when glucose levels fluctuate. This allows them to adjust their insulin use accordingly. In a pilot study, patients using the system spent 33 minutes more per day in the ideal glucose range and had one less hyperglycemic event per month. When the Sugar:IQ app explained the dangers of hypoglycemia, the number of hypoglycemic events dropped in more than half of app users. The system, which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is now being retooled for Android users.

Stay Active After a Heart Attack

If you were not active before your heart attack, its particularly important that you make exercise a priority. If you were active before your heart attack, dont be afraid to resume the same activities, once you get clearance from your physician, he says. The best way to do this is to enroll in a cardiac rehab program. In fact, we recommend cardiac rehab for all patients after a heart attack.

What Vitamins Should You Take to Improve Your Heart Health?

A Chinese study (included in the JACC paper) found that folic acid supplements reduced the risk of stroke 22 percent overall and 73 percent in participants who took folic acid in addition to their blood pressure medication. But those findings might be different if a similar study were conducted in the U.S., where cereals, breads, pasta and rice are fortified with folic acid. The Chinese diet is lower in folate than our diet. It is unclear whether additional dietary folate would be beneficial here, says Dr. Hazen.

Hidden Sources of Salt May Be Raising Your Blood Pressure

Its no surprise that bacon, sausage and lunchmeats are sky-high in sodium. But many top offenders dont taste salty. These include ketchup, bread, processed cheese, breakfast cereals, bottled salad dressings, canned soups and nearly any frozen, boxed food. That means you have to make an extra effort to read labels in order to understand the sodium content of what you areeating.

Abandoned Leads Can Cause Major Problems Later On

Various types of CIEDs are used to restore a normal rhythm when a heart starts beating too slowly, too fast or irregularly. They range in sophistication from a simple, single-chamber pacemaker with one lead to a biventricular pacemaker with defibrillator, which has three leads. Regardless of the number of leads, all CIEDs have a battery that sends electrical impulses down the wires into the heart muscle to make itcontract.

Should Your Replacement Valve Be Made of Tissue or Metal?

Porcine valves typically fail suddenly and unpredictably by tearing. If this were to happen in the aortic position, the patient would require emergency surgery. Thats why we use porcine valves in the mitral position. If a mitral valve fails, we can lower the patients blood pressure or use a balloon pump to hold the patient until the valve can be replaced, heexplains.

Thrombectomy Does Not Alter the Need to Treat Stroke Quickly

Paramedics are taught to take stroke victims to the nearest stroke center. But it may be in some patients best interest to be taken to a center that performs thrombectomy, even if its farther away. These may be patients with severe strokes, in which case one-half their body may be paralyzed, their eyes may be pulling to one side and they may have difficulty speaking. Because its not always that straightforward, Dr. Hussain and colleagues are developing a grading system to help paramedics identify the severity of a stroke, so they know how to make this judgment call.

Ask The Doctors: July 2018

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets for preventing cardiovascular disease, but a vegetarian diet may also be a good choice. A recent meta-analysis of 11 vegetarian diet trials found significant lowering of total and LDL cholesterol levels, but not triglycerides.

How a Colorful Diet Can Help You Prevent Heart Disease

At the center of this battle is oxygen, which combines with the food weeat to produce energy-a good thing. However, the metabolic process also creates dangerous byproducts known as oxygen free radicals.

Erectile Dysfunction Closely Tied to Heart Attack Risk

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one reason some men cant achieve an erection, says Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Michael Rocco, MD. In men ages 40 to 70 who have no symptoms of heart trouble, ED is an independent risk factor for a heart attack within about three to five years.

Patients with Aortic Disease Require Lifelong Care

Aortic disease kills more than 40,000 people a year in the U.S. alone, yet is relatively unknown. The disease causes the walls of the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body, to weaken and balloon out, creating an aortic aneurysm. When the aneurysm reaches its limit, the inner layers of tissue simply rip apart (dissect). Most people do not survive an acute aortic dissection Those who make it to a hospital often require an emergency intervention.