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Heart Health

The truth about 6 popular “heart health” supplements

If you’re looking to improve your heart health or manage a condition like heart disease or high cholesterol, you may have come across supplements claiming to improve heart health. But do these supplements really work as they claim? Here’s what you need to know about the most common dietary supplements used for heart health. Food …

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What to expect in the cath lab and how to prepare for your procedure

Getting scheduled for a medical procedure can create some anxiety in the best of us. No matter how many times a hospital team has done the procedure, it’s new to you—and new means unknown. “We see this often where cath lab procedures are concerned,” said Robert Jay Widmer, MD, PhD, interventional cardiologist on the medical …

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20-year-old runner experiences “sudden death,” saved by neighbors doing CPR

It started off as a normal Sunday like any other for 20-year-old Landon Wyrick. After church, lunch and some errands, he went for a run. For years, running has been his way to stay active after high school. He knew he had a minor heart rhythm condition known as supraventricular tachycardia, or SVT, but it …

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Does dietary cholesterol matter? A cardiologist’s perspective on diet and heart health

Most people know that too much cholesterol is bad for the heart. But that’s where understanding stops, and confusion about food sets in—the relationship between dietary cholesterol intake and heart health isn’t as simple as it may seem. Logic may tell us we should eliminate dietary cholesterol so that it doesn’t increase our low-density lipoprotein …

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Triglycerides: What your levels mean and how to lower them

You already know you need to have your cholesterol checked regularly—that’s common knowledge. But you may need to know your triglyceride numbers, too. According to Catherine McNeal, MD, an internist on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple, a high triglyceride count can be a marker for a lifestyle that …

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Chest pain? You might need a cardiac CT scan

Nearly 6.5 million people visit America’s emergency rooms each year for chest pain. Additional millions of people seek out cardiologists to evaluate their chest pain, concerned they may be at risk for heart disease. If that’s you, it’s important to know what to expect when you do see a cardiologist or undergo evaluation for chest …

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My smartwatch EKG says I have an irregular heartbeat. Now what?

Every day, I’m amazed at how many of my patients own smartwatches or wearable devices. In fact, a recent study by Pew Research found approximately one in five Americans owns and wears a smartwatch. That translates to 66.5 million people. Young and old alike are wearing them for different reasons. In my practice, I’ve seen …

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LAAO procedure for AFib: An alternative to blood thinners

If you’ve been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib), your doctor may have mentioned the Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) procedure. An alternative to blood thinners, this minimally invasive treatment option is helping many people get back to living a happy, healthy, active life—unrestricted by many of the worries that often come with AFib. Let’s walk …

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Living with heart failure: When to consider advanced care

Your home has many systems that keep it running smoothly, such as electrical, mechanical, structural, chemical and plumbing—and the same holds true for your heart. When all your heart’s systems are running as they should, it functions normally. But when one or more of these systems isn’t working correctly, it can lead to many different …

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Why is hypertension (aka high blood pressure) dangerous?

You’ve heard of hypertension and you get your blood pressure checked regularly at your doctor’s visits, but what is high blood pressure, and why is it worrisome? Here’s what you need to know, especially if you have a history of high blood pressure. “Your heart is a muscle—but it’s not like the other muscles in …

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