Tag: Greg Koshkarian

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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What Does a “Family History” Mean?

What Does a “Family History” Mean?

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…

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Tobacco: A Highly Addictive Toxin

Tobacco: A Highly Addictive Toxin

Smoking is the most immediately reversible cause of heart disease.  It acutely activates platelets, which are cell parts in the bloodstream that help form clots.  Within 24 hours of quitting smoking, your blood becomes less “sticky,” lowering the tendency to having a heart attack.  By the same token, though, don’t think that “one cigarette won’t hurt me.”  That could be…

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Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes is such a potent risk factor for heart disease that it is often called a heart disease risk equivalent.  By that, we mean that a person with diabetes with no previous history of coronary heart disease has a future risk of a heart attack or other cardiovascular event similar to a person without diabetes who has already been diagnosed…

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Hypercholesterolemia

Hypercholesterolemia

As I mentioned with hypertension management in my last blog, my patients get frustrated about the moving target for goals in treating hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol).  When I started my medical training in the 1980s, we generally looked at total cholesterol and considered it to be high if it was over 240.  Eventually we learned to look at the different components…

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Hypertension

Hypertension

In my last blog, I discussed the major risk factors for coronary heart disease.  Today I’d like to talk a bit about high blood pressure—which we refer to as hypertension.  Hypertension is one of the major risk factors for coronary heart disease. Furthermore, it is also a risk factor for other cardiovascular problems: heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, and aneurysms,…

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Cardiomyopathy (Part III): When the Heart Muscle is Sick

Cardiomyopathy (Part III): When the Heart Muscle is Sick

In the last two blogs, we have discussed what a cardiomyopathy is, giving particular attention to the categories of dilated and hypertrophic.  This week we’ll complete our review of cardiomyopathies with a look at the restrictive category. While dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathies are defined by anatomic features (an enlarged heart chamber in the first and enlarged walls in the second),…

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Gregory Koshkarian, MD, FACC