Pulsed Field Ablation – A Revolution in Electrophysiology?

The specialty of electrophysiology is one of the most advanced in medicine and is primed for technological disruption by new and exciting therapies and procedures. After all, we are working with the heart’s electrical system rather than the body’s mechanics, as most other specialties do. With that said, the gold standard and potentially curative treatment for Afib and several other arrhythmias is a procedure known as cardiac catheter ablation. It is often more effective than front-line medical therapies, including antiarrhythmics.

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Should Your Blood Pressure Be Taken Lying Down?

Man sitting down taking blood pressure

Recent data¹ presented at the American Heart Association Hypertension Scientific Sessions from a long-term study has shown that there’s always something to learn, even with modern medicine and the technological advances we have enjoyed. This long-term study consisted of about 11,000 patients and began in the late 1980s. The thinking behind this study is that not all cases of high blood pressure will be found when blood pressure readings are taken sitting. Indeed, this was true, with approximately 16% of participants showing high blood pressure while lying down but not while sitting.

The data suggests that a blood pressure reading while patients sit and then lie down could be more valuable in evaluating heart disease risk than blood pressure readings with patients sitting up alone.

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Semaglutide Study on Cardiovascular Disease

Woman holding injection while talking with doctor

With obesity rising in the United States and worldwide, providers and patients seek novel ways to combat the diseases associated with excess weight. People use several methods to lose weight, from fad diets to surgical weight loss, but with almost 75% of the adult population overweight or obese, something needs to change. Our standard measures of healthy and unhealthy weights are based on a somewhat archaic formula known as the body mass index (BMI). Obesity is defined as patients with a BMI greater than 30, while those considered overweight are between 25 and 29.9. The BMI has several limitations discussed in one of our other blogs. However, it is the simplest and best formula we have today.

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Four Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

Man taking blood pressure reading with cuff on couch

There are several reasons why our blood pressure may be elevated. After all, our cardiovascular system responds to several physical and psychological inputs. For example, when you are embarrassed, excited, or nervous, your heart starts beating faster, you may get flushed, and your blood pressure may increase. It’s one of the most common reasons why blood pressure readings at your doctor’s office are almost certainly higher than when you are relaxing at home. Blood pressure is also affected by physical exertion. Your blood pressure will rise when you work out or perform physical activity. It can even temporarily increase when you use the sauna or steam room. In the case of exercise and sauna, blood pressure readings typically drop rapidly after the exertion is over and usually settle below baseline for a decidedly beneficial outcome.

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Cardio and Strength Training: What’s the Difference?

Close up of feet on treadmill at gym

Are you new to your fitness and weight loss journey? Don’t sweat it. Not many people know the actual benefits of cardio and strength training for their bodies and how they work together for optimal fitness. Similarly, where you put your focus can matter in the long run, depending on what goal you’re trying to achieve. Check out some differences below to see what works best for you and how to incorporate both into your daily routine.

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Is Staying Up Late or Waking up Early Better for Your Heart?

Man covering head with pillow next to alarm clock

In modern society, especially in the corporate world, 9 to 5 has fallen out of favor. This has been made worse, somewhat counterintuitively, by the work-at-home movement brought about by Covid-19. While the average American worker typically had the opportunity for a decent work-life balance half a century ago, today, expectations and connectivity have made breaking away from work difficult, if not impossible. Staying late or waking up early or both to work and be productive have become virtues, and the concept of sitting back and relaxing has all but disappeared.

One of the byproducts of this lifestyle is obesity, an excess weight epidemic that has created a true medical emergency, not only here in the US but even abroad. As a follow-up to the weight problem we face, we have seen heart disease rates stay stubbornly high, even though we know the consequences of our actions and have ever better treatments to keep our hearts healthy.

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Do Saunas Help Improve Cardiovascular Health?

two towels and bucket sitting on sauna bench

You may have heard the term biohacking – A seemingly gimmicky phrase. Yet, it has motivated some here in the United States and elsewhere who are genuinely interested in how our actions and what we eat make a difference in our health. Of course, while the long-term goal is to live longer, we must live a healthy life, too. Biohacking aims to crack our biological code and use science for longevity and continued health.

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Can Fast Food Ever Be Good for Your Heart?

assortment of fast food in boxes

As cardiologists, when we speak to a patient and find out that they eat a lot of fast food, the first reaction is often to shudder. After all, fast food is known to be highly processed, high in saturated fat, and often high in sugar, especially sodas and desserts, which are distinctly heart unfriendly. However, many patients either don’t have access to healthy and fresh foods or don’t have the time and use fast food to fill the gap during a very busy or stressful day.

In fact, for some, fast food is the only way to get a meal or two before getting off work and having a proper dinner. So, we’re often asked: Should we skip the meal instead of eating fast food? On the surface, it may be “absolutely, yes!” After all, how bad could skipping a meal be? However, it’s not quite so cut and dried. Skipping a meal can have consequences, most notably consuming far more calories at subsequent meals. Controlling yourself at the next meal isn’t easy if you miss a meal and become ravenous. Further, fast food restaurants (at least some of them) have made significant strides in recent years to offer healthier options and customize some current menu items to make them less unhealthy. Let’s explore!

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Pulse Pressure – Blood Pressure Readings You Need to Know

Man getting blood pressure taken by a nurse

You’ve undoubtedly had a blood pressure reading at virtually every doctor’s visit in memory. There’s good reason for this. As it is scientifically known, hypertension is among the most common metabolic diseases affecting American adults. It occurs when the pressure of the blood flowing through the arteries is elevated, pushing against the arterial walls. When caught and managed early, treatment can slow or prevent the onset of severe cardiovascular diseases. But you’ll probably notice that your blood pressure reading differs within a few days or even over the course of the same day. This is perfectly normal. We all have fluctuations in blood pressure caused by emotions, hormonal surges, physical exercise, or stress.

Further, it’s important to remember that the reading taken at your doctor’s office is probably somewhat, if not significantly, different from what you would see when relaxing at home.

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Understanding the Four Stages of Heart Failure

Many patients often misunderstand the concept of heart failure and believe that with this condition, the heart, as a mechanical pump, has stopped working entirely. However, heart failure is not that at all. Instead, it describes a condition in which the heart’s ability to pump blood around the body is degraded. As such, it is a progressive disorder that may eventually lead to severe disability and death.

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