After decades of viewing daily low-dose aspirin as the standard recommendation for preventing cardiovascular disease, it seems the time for change has come. There has been ongoing discussion and study about the value of aspirin for over 30 years in both the treatment and prevention of heart and vascular diseases. For years, doctors prescribed aspirin for … Continue reading Why a healthy lifestyle (not a daily aspirin) is key to preventing heart disease
When we consider the rising prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, the numbers are sobering. Here’s a quick snapshot of Type 2 diabetes in America: 1.5 million people are diagnosed with diabetes every year (90 percent of all diagnoses are Type 2 diabetes) Between 1990 and 2010, the number of Americans with diabetes more than tripled … Continue reading Breakthroughs in the fight against Type 2 diabetes and heart disease
Aortic stenosis has an ominous ring to it, and for good reason. Constricting the body’s most vital artery can diminish your life — and shorten it. But there are more options than ever to relieve the stress on your heart from working overtime to keep your blood pumping. What is aortic stenosis? First, let’s define … Continue reading Aortic stenosis: How it feels when your heart is working overtime
Toward the end of my internal medicine training at Baylor Scott & White and just two months before starting my cardiology fellowship training at the University of Oklahoma, my 29-year-old cousin died of cardiomyopathy a week after giving birth. This was not only devastating, but it also made a huge impression on me. It was … Continue reading Why do women wait longer to get help during a heart attack?
Heart palpitations. Chest pain. Sweating. A strange fluttering sensation in your chest. These are common symptoms of anxiety or a panic attack, but they are also signs of a dangerous heart condition called atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat. Although we all experience moments of heightened stress or excitement — when our hearts seem to “skip … Continue reading Is your heart racing from anxiety or an arrhythmia?
Gary Aspelin has lived a life of wonder and adventure, traveling to almost 40 countries with his wife of over 50 years by his side. After a shocking discovery at his annual physical, Gary was faced with a new kind of adventure — fixing his heart. Gary noticed that while doing yard work, he would … Continue reading How a routine physical detected this man’s dangerous heart blockage
From an early age, your parents probably instilled in you the importance of brushing your teeth. Every day, twice a day, for two minutes. After years of their encouraging (and sometimes nagging), it became a habit like any other. Research suggests there may be some logic to this “twice a day for two minutes” rule … Continue reading Could your toothbrushing habits predict your risk of heart disease?
As a heart surgeon, Baron Hamman, MD, is often the inspirer and encourager for his patients to take better care of their hearts. But something about one patient’s story made him stop and think — was he practicing what he preached? “I saw a little bit of myself in him,” Dr. Hamman said of Dwayne … Continue reading How a patient’s heart attack inspired his heart surgeon to get better
Every day, I get up and make myself a cup of coffee. I used to drink instant, moved on to pods and then ultimately graduated to grinding my own. I drink about 2-3 cups during the day, sometimes more if I’ve been on call the night before. As a cardiologist, I’m asked nearly every week … Continue reading Is coffee good for your heart?
Imagine yourself in this scenario: The fingers on your left hand are numb. There’s pain off and on in your shoulder and neck. Your grip is suddenly weak, almost as if your muscles are wasting away. And yet, the doctors tell you there’s nothing wrong. Eventually, you start to wonder if it might all be … Continue reading Demystifying thoracic outlet syndrome: What you need to know