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SGLT-2 Inhibitors: The New Kid on the CHF Block

We have spent a couple blogs discussing heart failure (CHF)—what it is and how we treat it. As time goes on, our armamentarium has expanded.  When I started practicing cardiology over 25 years ago, ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors had recently been found to save lives and prevent progression of CHF in patients with systolic heart failure. They became the first…

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Succeeding with (Heart) Failure

Last week we discussed what it means to have heart failure and how it affects the way we feel. This week we’ll discuss how we treat this condition. Treatment has two main goals: to help people feel better and to help them live longer.  Some of the treatments we use are for one purpose and some for the other—many are good at…

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Heart Failure: Is It As Dire As It Sounds?!

In last week’s blog, I talked about sudden death, a quite terrifying term—and it does refer to a scary and sometimes life-ending event. Another cardiac problem that sounds almost as terrifying is heart failure. Does that mean that the heart has stopped working? Or is it about to stop? What else could that mean? While heart failure is not a benign diagnosis, it is…

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Heart Attack: What Should You Look For?

What exactly does it feel like to have a heart attack? Below is a graphic that depicts what the symptoms men and women can feel when they are experiencing a heart attack (which doctors term a myocardial infarction or “MI”). I’d like to add a few points to that image: The difference in symptoms between men and women should not be taken…

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Coronary Artery Disease: What the “Risk Factors” Place You at Risk For

We have spent the last couple months discussing “cardiac risk factors”: the main things that increase a person’s risk of developing coronary artery disease, also known as coronary heart disease (abbreviated “CAD” and “CHD,” respectively). We now return to consider that disease entity in greater detail. CAD is the process of plaque accumulating in the coronary (heart) arteries (the blood vessels…

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Taking Control of Your Health: Exercise

Last week we discussed how healthy dietary choices can improve your health. This week we’ll turn to another area where you can positively impact your well-being. Exercise is crucial to a healthy lifestyle and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. It has beneficial effects on blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. And there is good evidence that exercise is good for the brain. It is one…

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Taking Control of Your Health: Diet

Most of the recent blogs have addressed risk factors for coronary heart disease—things like hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and smoking. We’ve discussed what you can do to lower those tendencies, but we unfortunately don’t have complete control over them. Even the seemingly simple decision to smoke is not so simple once a person has become addicted to nicotine. But there are a couple…

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Women: Listen to Your Heart

Quick question:  What disease kills the most women every year? Strokes? Lung disease? Alzheimer’s?  Breast cancer?  Lung cancer? Nope, it’s heart disease—in fact, heart disease is more lethal to women than ALL cancers combined. And it kills three times more women each year than either lung disease, stroke or Alzheimer’s. So why do people think of heart disease as a “man’s illness?” There are several answers…

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“Family History”: How Define It

Have you heard the one about how having children runs in families?  It’s true . . . if your parents didn’t have kids, most likely you won’t either. OK, bad joke—but it introduces us to the topic of genetics and how it impacts your cardiac health. How close do you have to be to someone genetically for it to impact your likelihood…

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