Category Archives: Heart Disease

February is a good time to consider what you can do to stay heart-healthy

The Director of Mount Sinai Heart, Dr. Valentin Fuster is a cardiologist with four decades of experience. This column is first in a series for American Heart Month.


The drugstores are brimming with heart-shaped chocolate boxes, but February is also American Heart Month — a good time for stepping back to assess what you can do to keep your heart healthy. “Cardiovascular disease is a term for diseases of the heart as well as of the arteries and veins that supply the organs with blood,” says Fuster. “Overall, cardiovascular disease is an acquired disease that results from factors like high blood pressure and cigarette smoking — which means that it’s also largely preventable.”

While genetics do play a role in every aspect of heart disease, the vast majority of cases are due to risk factors that respond to lifestyle modifications. “There are six fundamental risk factors: high blood pressure and obesity, cholesterol and diabetes, and being a smoker and being sedentary,” says Fuster. “We break these down into categories: mechanical, chemical, and behavioral risk factors.”

Three major shifts are happening in the way doctors think about heart health. “We’re trying to shift the emphasis from negative to positive, from preventing disease to promoting health — not only is treatment much more expensive, but promoting health helps people live longer and enjoy a better quality of life,” says Fuster. “The other things that are changing are a movement toward recognizing that the heart and the brain respond to the same risk factors, and an increasing use of the technologies of imaging and genetics to reduce cardiovascular disease.”


One of the reasons that cardiovascular disease can be so dangerous is that it can develop silently. “Often, there are no visible warning signs of the risk factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease,” says Fuster. “You don’t see high cholesterol, you don’t see high blood pressure — which is one of the reasons that we still recommend annual checkups. Because routine health screening can detect asymptomatic conditions like high blood pressure or cholesterol.”

For many people, the first red flag is a major cardiac event. “Some people have no symptoms until a heart attack, stroke, or cardiac arrest,” says Fuster. “These are the three most important events that can take place, and they can be fatal — which is one of the reasons that we want to identify patients at risk instead of waiting for symptoms.”

Some patients do experience symptoms . “Cardiovascular disease can affect your quality of life, causing shortness of breath and chest pain with exertion,” says Fuster. “Patients who have had a stroke can have one part of the body paralyzed or partially paralyzed.”


Identifying and treating the risk factors is a crucial first step toward promoting heart health. “The first thing we do is try to address the risk factors,” says Fuster. “This can entail lifestyle modifications and possibly medications.”

There are some basic principles of living a heart healthy lifestyle. “One thing everyone has to do is some moderate exercise, 3-5 days a week, 30 minutes a day,” says Fuster. “If you’re a smoker, you know exactly what you have to do: quit. I recommend leaving home with one cigarette less in your pocket and cutting back slowly over time.” He recommends a similar approach with weight loss, and advises patients to aim for one pound a week.

The good news is that treatments are available for just about everything that can go wrong with the heart. “If you have had a heart attack, we have drugs that can make the heart work better,” says Fuster. “If one of the valves of the heart is leaking, we have surgery for that.”

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for heart health. “Every patient is different, and the patient has to know that his or her case is individual,” says Fuster. “When it comes to making lifestyle modifications, it’s a personal decision, and it’s not easy. It takes commitment to make these changes.”

Read the full article via February is American Heart Month – NY Daily News.

Being a #marathonrunner and #workingmom didn’t exclude Julie from #heartdisease

Marathon runner and working mom Julie Manning was always on the go, until she delivered her second son during a routine C-section.

She felt ill. Her arms shook. When Julie, a pediatric cardiac nurse practitioner, checked the heart monitor, she knew something was wrong.

In fact, her heart wasn’t beating properly. Her baby was fine, but after hours in the recovery room and some tests, the cardiologist was worried about a family history of cardiomyopathy.

Julie couldn’t even hold her baby because of all the tests she needed.

“She wanted me on the cardiac floor, and I just wanted to be with my baby,” Julie says. “We compromised that I would stay with the baby as long as I alerted someone if anything felt wrong. I also wore a mobile cardiac device, which allowed the telemetry unit on a different hospital floor to monitor my heart.”

Julie also promised to follow up with the cardiologist six weeks later. Soon she got a diagnosis that changed her life.

“I knew when the doctor called me herself right after my appointment that I was in for some bad news,” Julie says.

Her heart was operating at only half its normal blood volume, which explained Julie’s dizziness and shortness of breath after her son was born. The doctor recommended several medications. After being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, she went to see an electrophysiologist who recommended an ablation for her ventricular arrhythmia.

But Julie’s heart had so many troubled spots, the surgeon couldn’t safely perform the procedure.  Her heart stopped while in surgery, and doctors had to shock her twice to bring her back to life.

For the first time since her ordeal began, Julie began to have doubts and slipped into a depression.

“Having to be shocked was a big turning point for me,” she says. “I’m a pediatric cardiac nurse practitioner, and I know what it means when they have to do that — not once, but twice.”

Read the full story about Being a #marathonrunner and #workingmom didn’t exclude Julie from #heartdisease via Julie Manning’s Story – Go Red For Women.

Women With Diabetes Face Greater Risk of Heart Disease

Margaret ChanType 2 diabetes substantially increases the risk for heart disease, but a large review of studies has found that women with diabetes are at much higher risk than men.

The meta-analysis, published in Diabetologia, included 64 studies with 858,507 subjects and 28,203 heart attacks and other coronary events.

The studies adjusted for various other cardiovascular risk factors, including age, blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking and body mass index. But when considering diabetes as an independent risk, they found that compared with diabetic men, diabetic women were at a 44 percent higher risk for both fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events.

The reasons remain unclear, but the study’s lead author, Sanne A. E. Peters, an epidemiologist at University Medical Center Utrecht, suggested that the finding was not because of differences in treatment or physiological differences between the sexes in the effects of diabetes. Rather, it may be a result of the more severe deterioration of women before the onset of diabetes.

via Women With Diabetes Face Greater Heart Risks Than Men –

These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack

Despite what you may believe, heart attacks rarely happen “out of the blue.”

In fact, your body may be trying to warn you of an impending heart attack for days, weeks, perhaps even a month or two before it occurs. Unfortunately, by the time you actually recognize you’re suffering a heart attack, it could be too late to prevent death or debilitating heart damage.

So-called silent heart attacks, with signs and symptoms that are mild or seem unrelated to the heart, have long concerned cardiovascular expert Dr. Chauncey Crandall. So Dr. Crandall recently created a special free video presentation about the four most sinister warning signs to watch for.

Statistics show a clear link between a delay in heart attack treatment and death or disability. That’s why it’s essential to know exactly what your heart is trying to tell you with warning signs like those discussed in Dr. Crandall’s video.

Although developed as an educational tool, this video rapidly went viral, surpassing 5 million viewers in just a few months.

Newsmax Health Publisher Travis Davis attributes the viral sensation to the fact that the content hits close to home for many Americans, especially because heart disease is America’s #1 killer. In fact, in the U.S. alone, nearly 1 million people suffer their first heart attack each year.

Dr. Crandall, chief of the cardiac transplant program at the renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Palm Beach, Florida, practices on the front lines of interventional, vascular, and transplant cardiology.

via These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack.

Reverse Cardiovascular damage with Nitric Oxide

Heart Disease is the Biggest Killer in the World!

Reverse Cardiovascular damage with Nitric Oxide
Heart Disease is the Biggest Killer in the World!

Yes thats right Heart Disease is the Biggest Killer in the World! Most people believe its Cancer but it’s not, it’s Heart Disease.


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These clips were taken from an hour long interview. Click on the image to play the clip