Tag: Greg Koshkarian

Alcohol: Part of a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle?

Alcohol: Part of a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle?

Summer is here and we’re enjoying barbeques—which means beer, lighter wines, along with gin and tonics. So I’d like to tackle a somewhat controversial question: Is alcohol OK to drink? What if you have heart problems? And how much is acceptable? First, I have to point out straightaway that too much alcohol can cause major toxicity to the body—particularly to the liver, the…

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Cardiac Contractility Modulation: The Latest in Device Technology

Cardiac Contractility Modulation: The Latest in Device Technology

We have discussed heart failure and its various treatments over the last few blogs. Last week I delved into a particular class of medications, the so-called SGLT2 inhibitors, which are  the newest “kid on the block” in our pharmacologic armamentarium to help patients with CHF. Even more recently, I became aware of a new technology called “cardiac contractility modulation” or CCM. The device,…

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

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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Cardiac Risk Factors

Cardiac Risk Factors

Happy New Year to everyone. I’ll start out the year with a blog that discusses the most basic of concepts in cardiology: cardiac risk factors. That’s the phrase we use to refer to aspects in a person’s medical history that affect the likelihood of him or her having a heart problem—in particular, the heart problem of coronary heart disease—also known as…

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I initiated this blog early in 2020 in anticipation of starting a new cardiology practice at Pima Heart & Vascular. I had always thought it would be fun to write about topics covering the breadth of problems that arise in the field of cardiovascular medicine and this career transition seemed like a good opportunity to achieve that aim. I hope…

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When “Positive” Turns Out To Be Negative

When “Positive” Turns Out To Be Negative

A couple weeks ago I had a conversation with a patient that surprised her.  Her test result had been incorrect. She is a 68-year old woman who had been having chest pain for the last several months, though the symptoms weren’t necessarily with exertion. I had ordered a stress echocardiogram (see “Services” section of this website for a description of what this…

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Atrial Fibrillation: The “Irregular” Heart Rhythm

Atrial Fibrillation: The “Irregular” Heart Rhythm

Patients often tell me “I was diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm.” But, as we learned in last week’s blog, “irregularity” is a fairly broad category. It may be something benign—and actually normal—like having PACs or PVCs. Or the irregularity can be something that needs to be taken quite seriously, like atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm caused when…

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Succeeding with Heart Failure

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—most are good at…

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Exercise: How Much Is Enough?

Exercise: How Much Is Enough?

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 of the few things that has been proven to lower the risk of developing dementia. But what is the right amount of exercise?  What’s the…

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Taking Control: Diet

Taking Control: 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…

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Gregory Koshkarian, MD, FACC