Lipoprotein(a), genetic heart condition, increases risk of heart attack

Like many things we see in medicine, it just didn’t seem fair. Heart-wise, my patient seemed to have done everything right: good diet, plenty of exercise, ideal weight and no smoking. Yet, at a young age, he had hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, which put him at risk of a heart attack or a …





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Intolerance to exercise discovered to be blockage in 35-year-old’s heart

At age 35, Adriana Oviedo started to experience an intolerance to any exercise. At times, she would become anxious and feel out of breath just walking to her car. Her chest hurt. Her arm ached, and she felt like she was breathing in cold air, which burned. Her primary care physician prescribed anti-anxiety medication and …





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Robotic heart surgery saves the life of teenage athlete

Ever since he can remember, 15-year-old Camden Thrailkill has been passionate about baseball and football. The high school freshman from Denton, Texas spends his days outside of the classroom honing his athletic skills as a member of his school’s football and baseball teams. Year-round, the athlete dedicates endless hours to working out. It’s the never-ending …





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Autoimmune diseases can be a strong predictor of heart disease

I met a patient in the hospital where he was being treated for his coronary disease. I noticed that he had psoriasis, the inflammation and autoimmune disease that manifests itself in skin lesions. “Are you seeing a dermatologist?” I asked the patient. “You really ought to get your psoriasis treated.” “No, it’s not bothering me,” …





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72-year-old returns to active life following coronary artery bypass surgery

Danny McCoy is not your average 72-year-old. The retiree who previously worked in recreational property management in Houston completed a half-marathon without any prior training while in his fifties. He lived an active life. Prior to his race, Danny thought it wise to request a stress test through his primary care physician. Now, more than …





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Broken Heart Syndrome: Can you die from a broken heart?

While anyone can face a broken heart, broken heart syndrome (also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy or stress cardiomyopathy) is a condition almost unique to women between the age of 50-80. The cause of the heart condition is not completely known, but is thought to be triggered by adrenaline which surges in stressful situations. When someone’s …





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Leading the nation in healing hearts: The evolution of heart surgery

Sternotomies — the medical term for splitting open the chest to reach the heart — get the headlines. Transplants, bypasses and other open-heart surgeries are amazing, dramatic and lifesaving, the stuff of riveting documentaries and poignant narratives. By many measures, including transplants, Baylor Scott & White Health is one of the nation’s leaders in healing …





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Popular heartburn medications associated with stroke: Should you be concerned?

Heartburn can be a pain, especially following the holiday season. To find relief, millions of Americans have relied on a class of drugs called Protein Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)—medications that bind to stomach cells to reduce acid, often associated with conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and ulcers. But a new study casts doubt on …





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A physician trained in space medicine brings skills to wound care

As far back as she can remember, Laurie Aten, MD, wanted to be part of the space program. Instead, she pursued a career in medicine. Then opportunity knocked. After practicing family medicine for four years, Dr. Aten applied for a residency in aerospace medicine at Wright State University in Ohio. “I decided if I was …





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