Posts in "heart-and-vascular-care/"

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The squeeze on blood pressure

Written by Heart and Vascular Team on 8/19/2015 6:00:00 AM

Blood pressure checkThere’s no better time than the present to take control of your heart health. A principal way to maintain a healthy heart is through blood pressure management. 

Blood pressure is measured by determining the force that your heart pumps blood through your body. The size and flexibility of your arteries also affects your blood pressure numbers.

The current standard for a healthy blood pressure is 120/80 mmHG (read as “120 over 80”). Systolic pressure (the top number) is the maximum pressure exerted when the heart contracts. continue reading ...

Guidelines for healthy sodium intake

Written by Wellspring Pharmacy on 2/15/2015 10:30:00 AM

Reviewed by Kathleen Haynes, PharmD at Wellspring Pharmacy.

Limit sodium intake to 2,300 mg per daySalt (a.k.a sodium) is an important part of a well-balanced diet, and is essential in small amounts. 

Sodium helps your body function properly by helping maintain the correct balance of fluids in your body, assisting in transmitting nerve impulses, and influencing the contraction and relaxation of muscles. But too much sodium in a diet can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. continue reading ...

Marriage and heart health

Written by Heart and Vascular Team on 7/13/2014 6:00:00 AM

Marriage and heart diseaseCould the affairs of the heart actually affect heart health? A recent study out of the University of Pittsburg suggests that the health of social relationships may be linked to personal health, including heart disease.

The study included 281 healthy, employed, middle-aged adults who were married or living with a partner with whom they were in a serious relationship. Their interactions were monitored hourly over the course of four days, with the partners rating their interactions as positive or negative. Carotid artery thickness was also measured. continue reading ...

A gene mutation could prevent against heart attack

Written by Heart and Vascular Team on 6/23/2014 10:30:00 AM

About 720,000 Americans experience heart attacks each year. But findings in a new study could help reduce that number.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week found that people who had one of four specific mutations (or gene changes) within the APOC3 gene had lower levels of triglycerides, higher levels of HDL cholesterol ('good' cholesterol), and an approximately 40 percent lower risk of heart disease and heart attacks.

"APOC3 normally has two functions: it inhibits an enzyme that increases the amount of “bad' cholesterol in the blood, and it slows down the clearance of cholesterol from a person’s blood," said Courtney Eddy, genetic counselor at Community Health Network. "Together, these functions cause a person to have a higher cholesterol level and a higher risk of heart disease and heart attack."continue reading ...

Tags: cardio | Posted in: Heart and Vascular Care

An aspirin a day won't keep the doc away

Written by Heart and Vascular Team on 5/8/2014 7:00:00 PM

In recent years aspirin has become a mainstay for patients with cardiovascular disease. This has led many people to take aspirin as a preventative measure, thinking that taking a daily dose will prevent heart attack. But will they really benefit from taking a daily aspirin?

A newly released FDA consumer report states taking daily aspirin is not necessary for people who do not have history of heart problems.

"Newer studies show that aspirin will not prevent heart attacks or stroke," said Dr. Nanette Oscherwitz, Community Physician Network cardiologist. 

According to Oscherwitz the FDA report also brings to light some of the issues that can occur when taking aspirin without a history of heart disease.

"Taking aspirin unnecessarily can greatly increases the risk of bleeding and potential for increase of ulcers," she said.

Therefore, Oscherwitz encourages patients not to take aspirin as a preventative measure, as there is no proven benefit, and it may actually cause more harm than good.

Should you take aspirin if you have cardiovascular disease?
Most people do benefit from aspirin after they have had a heart attack, but consult with your physician first to determine if it is right for you.

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