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Heart Health

Heart disease runs in my family. What does that mean for me?

Recently, a man visited his doctor with complaints of chest pain and shortness of breath. “Does heart disease run in your family?” his doctor asked. “Doc,” the man replied, “No one runs in my family!” We may have a good chuckle about that one. But it’s true that a common question your doctors will ask …

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How TED hose help prevent blood clots

Those tight white knee-highs or hose your doctor may prescribe during a hospital stay may not make a fashion statement, but TED hose are often a must-have accessory for your health. TED hose are specially designed knee-high, thigh-high or waist-high stockings that help prevent blood clots and swelling in your legs. The acronym TED stands …

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How controlling AFib can help you prevent a stroke

It accounts for more than a quarter of all ischemic, or clot-related strokes. It increases your risk of having such a stroke fivefold. And, maybe most shockingly, for many people, having a stroke is the first time they learn they may be experiencing it. It’s a cardiac condition called atrial fibrillation, commonly referred to as …

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17 causes of chest pain (other than a heart attack)

Chest pains are the second-highest reason adults visit the emergency department. And it makes sense why—chest pain can signify one of the most serious conditions: a heart attack. Yes, heart attacks are serious and pervasive. But I’ve found that most often, people experiencing chest pain are not having a heart attack. Allow me to share …

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How exercise can improve your blood pressure

If you have it, this article concerns your least favorite subject. The ever-looming elephant in many of our rooms—high blood pressure. The medical condition known as high blood pressure (HBP), or hypertension, is simply when the long-term force of blood against one’s artery walls is consistently too high. Commonly referred to as the silent killer, …

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The heart disease risk factor you probably haven’t heard of: Lipoprotein (a)

True or false? If you’ve eaten “heart-healthy” your whole life and exercise daily, you’re not at any risk for a heart attack. The answer: False.   A few years ago, Bob Harper, a trainer from reality TV show “The Biggest Loser,” had a heart attack at 52 years old. But how? Wasn’t he healthy and active? Turns out, right under his nose—and the noses of many others—another powerful …

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What if we could stop heart problems before they start? With preventive cardiology, we can

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in both men and women in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 36 seconds, an American dies from cardiovascular disease. But lifestyle modifications, like diet and exercise, can make a world of a difference in reducing your risk for heart …

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Too much of a good thing? Competitive athletes face higher risk of irregular heartbeat

Every two years, we watch world-class athletes compete in the Olympic Games. These superb competitors are at the top of their game physically. They are role models for competitive athletes who dedicate themselves to intensive exercise to achieve personal fitness highs. They appear to be the epitome of health—but looks can sometimes be deceiving. Conventional …

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The alarming heart disease crisis facing the South Asian community

It’s well known that heart disease is a major health issue across the U.S. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death for all Americans. But you may be surprised to learn that South Asians are more likely to die of heart disease when compared to other ethnic groups. The high prevalence of heart disease …

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How electrophysiology has revolutionized care for heart rhythm disorders

Many patients diagnosed with arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) are referred to an electrophysiologist for evaluation and treatment. You may find yourself asking, “What is an electrophysiologist and what do they do?” As an EP—the term commonly used to refer to electrophysiology—I often find myself describing my specialty to patients and explaining to them how I might …

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