SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection) Study Opportunity

11/02/2011

 Mayo Clinic is now recruiting patients for both a “virtual registry” with retrospective and prospective components and development of a DNA biobank of SCAD patients and first degree relatives. If you are a woman who survived a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) and are interested in applying to be accepted to a study being conducted at Mayo Clinic by Dr. Sharonne Hayes, access the preliminary information here.

 

 Protocol entails diagnosis confirmation and angiographic review to determine eligibility prior to enrollment in either of the studies. Women with SCAD can access the documents from this link or can request them to be emailed or mailed via the MayoSCAD@mayo.edu email address.

Women & Heart Disease Across the Lifespan (Part 3): Older Women

07/16/2010

During this final installment of our 3 part series about women and heart disease we will be focusing on heart problems older women are more likely to experience. Some of the things we will discuss are heart failure, diastolic dysfunction, atrial fibrillation, aortic valve disease and sudden cardiac death.

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Coffee and Tea Drinkers Rejoice!! Heart Health Benefits with Both!

07/01/2010

A study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association found that moderate and high intake of tea and moderate coffee intake can reduce heart disease risk.

 

The researchers in the Netherlands discovered that people who drank 6 or more cups of tea per day had a 36% lower risk of heart disease as compared to those drinking only one cup. Also, drinking 3 to 6 cups of tea was associated with a 45% reduction in heart disease risk.

For coffee, a 2 to 4 cup per day intake lowered heart disease risk by 20% compared to people drinking less than 2 cups or more than 4 cups.

The researchers also discovered that coffee and tea consumption does not affect stroke risk.

The study followed 37,514 participants for 13 years looking for cardiovascular disease events and death from all causes.

The study is limited because it did not follow the type of tea that was consumed plus the amount consumed was self reported by the participants.  Another possible interfering factor is that tea and coffee drinkers sometimes have different health behaviors. Many coffee drinkers have less healthy lifestyles, such as smoking, as compared to tea drinkers.

The good news……go out and enjoy your coffee and tea (tea drinkers a little more)!

Looking for more info about what beverages to drink – the facts about water, milk, alcohol, fruit juice check out our e-book “You are what you Drink” at http://heart-strong.com/products.html

If you are looking for more heart healthy tips and info please check out our website and our 2 books about preventing heart disease, stroke and diabetes www.heart-strong.com

“Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” and “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthy Heart – So simple you will not even have to stop and ask for directions” – our books offer realistic steps to help you develop a healthier lifestyle, all of the information in the books comes from the latest medical guidelines available and is written in an easy to follow and understand format.


Finding the Right Cardiologist for You

06/28/2010

            One of the most important parts of your journey to a healthier heart is deciding who will be your regular heart doctor. Heart doctors (cardiologists) can vary greatly. Even though most adhere to the standard of care, their interpretations can lead to a wide range of treatment styles. Some may be more conservative by suggesting very minimal medicines and follow-up. Others tend to be more aggressive in their treatment of heart disease by recommending more medicines and frequent follow-up. Both conservative and aggressive styles are perfectly fine but you need to find a cardiologist with the style you prefer. It should ideally be someone you trust undoubtedly. When it comes to your heart care, you do not have time to second-guess every move your doctor makes!

            If you prefer a cardiologist who is proactive when it comes to national guidelines and standard of care, I would recommend you search several websites. First, go to http://www.ncqa.org which is the website for The National Committee for Quality Assurance. NCQA is a not-for-profit organization that promotes quality care for patients. You can search their physician database to obtain a list of doctors who have passed the Heart/Stroke Recognition Program requirements. The list contains both primary care physicians and cardiologists. 

If you cannot find a cardiologist in the NCQA list for your area, then look up cardiologists through a search engine on the internet (Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc). You will have to type in key words like “cardiologist” and the name of your city. You can also use your local phone directory or ask a friend.

            Once you have a list of possible cardiologists for your area, I recommend you check out their credentials. By internet, you can view all types of information about any licensed provider through your state’s medical board website. To find your specific medical board website you can visit the American Medical Association’s webpage (link http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/education-careers/becoming-physician/medical-licensure/state-medical-boards.shtml) and click on your state in their list. Physicians who have passed the cardiology board exam will generally have this listed on the Medical Board website under Specialty Board Certifications. The Medical Board website can also tell you if the doctor has had any lawsuits settled against them. If you prefer not to use the internet, you can call the American Board of Medical Specialties (1-866-ASK-ABMS) with questions about a doctor’s certification.

After checking out their credentials, the next step would be to call the cardiologist’s office for an appointment. You will have to ask if they accept your insurance and if they are taking new patients. Many offices have more than one doctor in their group. If you really want to find the perfect match, consider asking a nurse, physician assistant or nurse practitioner about the doctors. You might say to them, “I’m looking for a doctor who will see me often and treat my heart disease aggressively.” Or you could say, “I’d like to see a doctor who is personable and open to alternative treatments.” Chances are they can guide you to the right person! 

Submitted by: Sharon Masinelli, PA-C

Author of What To Do When You Have Heart Disease

www.TheHeartDiseaseGuide.com

http://keepyourhearthealthy.wordpress.com


Tai Chi May Improve Your Overall Health

06/25/2010

 

Have you ever tried Tai Chi? If not it may be worth looking into…

The picture above certainly makes Tai Chi look enticing and relaxing.

Tai Chi originated in China and is often referred to as “meditation in motion.”  Tai Chi involves low-impact, slow motion mind-body exercises.  Movements are never forced, usually circular, not stressful on joints making it a great exercise for anyone of any age.

A growing body of research is now demonstrating multiple health benefits when Tai Chi is added to more traditional medical treatments.  Many of these studies were small but provide some interesting preliminary results.

Tai Chi has been suggested to:

  • Decrease arthritis pain
  • Improve quality of life and functional capacity in women with breast cancer or suffering side effects from breast cancer
  • Lower blood pressure, improve triglyceride and cholesterol levels, improve exercise capacity (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 9/2008)
  • Improve walking distance and quality of life in heart failure patients
  • Lower blood pressure (Preventive Cardiology 9/2008)
  • Improve balance and gait in post stroke patients and people with Parkinson’s disease
  • Improve sleep quality and duration (Sleep 7/2008)
  • Lowers stress levels

You may also find tai chi appealing because it’s inexpensive, requires no special equipment and can be done indoors or out, either alone or in a group.

Although tai chi is generally safe, consider talking with your doctor before starting a new program.

If you are looking for more info about heart health please visit www.heart-strong.com or check out our Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#!/profile.php?id=1443402011


Are Height and Heart Disease Risk Related?

06/19/2010

An analysis of 52 studies and over 3 million participants by French researchers revealed short adults were 1 ½ times more likely to develop and ultimately die from heart disease than were tall adults.  This held true for both men and women and across all ethnic groups.  Men under 5 feet 4 inches and women under 5 feet were considered short and men over 5 feet 8 inches and women over 5 feet 4 inches were considered tall.

 At this point, there isn’t an explanation as to why this is true. A couple of theories include shorter people have smaller coronary arteries which may become blocked earlier in life or the shorter stature may be due to poor nutrition causing decreased growth earlier in life.

 Remember though, height may only be one uncontrollable risk factor for heart disease.  There are many risk factors that can be controlled such as blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, smoking, etc.  So do not concentrate on the things you cannot change, but get out there and work on the risk factors you can improve upon! For ways to help prevent heart disease and learn your modifiable risk factors visit www.heart-strong.com


Women and Heart Disease Across the Lifespan (Part 2 – Baby Boomers)

06/08/2010
During this show we will discuss heart problems women may start to experience around menopause. “The Menopause Triple Threat” – weight gain, high blood pressure & cholesterol problems. Heart attack & stroke risk factors, “Broken Heart Syndrome”
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