Heart Disease

Recently Answered

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    ABenjamin K. Yang, MD, Cardiology, answered on behalf of Sky Ridge Medical Center
    Genetics, or your family history, plays an important role in the development of coronary artery disease. Family history refers to first-degree relatives -- parents, siblings and children. The age at which family members developed coronary artery disease is important to know. Risk is increased if coronary artery disease or heart attack occurred before age 55 for a man or age 65 or before menopause for a woman.

    Sometimes, high cholesterol can also be due to genetic factors, which can lead to an earlier or more aggressive development of coronary artery disease
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    ABenjamin K. Yang, MD, Cardiology, answered on behalf of Sky Ridge Medical Center
    Doctors hope that every coronary stent that they put in will last forever, and generally a lot of them do. Current technology includes a stent with drug coating on it, which helps to prevent reblockage within the stent while the artery is healing.

    There have been very low reblockage issues with stent placement. Trials have shown that there is a reblockage rate of around 5% after two to five years. For certain stents, that rate seems to plateau off. For other stents, the rate still seems to climb every year; however, the latest generation of stents has lower reblockage rates.
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    ABarry L. Molk, MD, Cardiology, answered on behalf of Sky Ridge Medical Center
    In peripheral arterial disease (PAD) there is a buildup of cholesterol and plaque in the arteries. The narrowed arteries prevent blood from getting to the muscle of the leg, and the muscle then has difficulty performing when it's being asked to do some activity and not getting enough fuel. The leg hurts and becomes weak.

    It's important to know that PAD is not limited to the peripheral arteries. Plaque buildup is also present in the coronary arteries. Therefore, people who have PAD (or think they may have it) should be evaluated for high cholesterol and coronary artery disease.
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    ABarry L. Molk, MD, Cardiology, answered on behalf of Sky Ridge Medical Center
    Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when narrowing or blockage in the arteries limits blood flow to your limbs. In general, when the legs don’t get enough blood because of blocked arteries, they hurt. The pain associated with PAD is almost always related to walking. People who get leg cramps at night do not have PAD, but the cramping pain that people get at night is the same pain that PAD produces when you’re walking.

    PAD is often considered a disease in the legs, but it also includes disease of the arteries going to the brain and the carotid arteries.
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    Even with improved treatments, many people with a congenital heart defect (CHD) are not cured, even if their heart defect has been repaired. People with a CHD can develop other health problems over time, depending on their specific heart defect, the number of heart defects they have and the severity of their heart defect. Some of these health problems that might develop include irregular heart beat (arrhythmias), increased risk of infection in the heart muscle (infective endocarditis) or weakness in the heart. People with a CHD need routine checkups with a cardiologist (heart doctor) to stay as healthy as possible.

    The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.
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    ADonnica Moore, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered
    Moore_WhatDoCRPTestLevelsIndicate_022014.mov
    There are specific guidelines for results of the C-reactive protein (CRP) test, which reflects inflammation related to heart disease risk. Watch women's health specialist Donnica Moore, MD, discuss what the test levels indicate with regard to risk.
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    AJonathan Fialkow, MD, Cardiology, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
    Getting too much added sugar in your diet can jeopardize your health, and can even increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. A study found that those who absorbed 17% to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared with those who consumed 8% of their calories from added sugar. The risk was more than double for those who consumed 21% or more of their calories from added sugar.
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    ARobin Miller, MD, Integrative Medicine, answered
    Is dark chocolate good for the heart?
    Dark chocolate is good for the heart whether it’s packed with antioxidants or not. Watch Robin Miller, MD, explain how it benefits the heart and what else chocolate can do for you.
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    Incorporating a blood conservation strategy (BCS) during aortic valve replacement (AVR) can reduce the likelihood of transfusion-related complications.

    Researchers examined the impact of a BCS on surgical outcomes following AVR. Implementation of blood conservation strategies can be safely completed for people who have had AVR while helping to limit unnecessary transfusion, avoiding transfusion-associated complications and decreasing costs.

    The researchers tried to determine if BCS had an impact on morbidity, mortality or blood product utilization. They found no difference in mortality or major complications between people undergoing AVR before and after BCS implementation; however, major complications (renal failure, respiratory failure, sepsis or death) occurred more frequently in people who received two or more units of red blood cells. Gastrointestinal complications, renal failure requiring dialysis and respiratory failure were also more common among people receiving two or more units of red blood cells.

    While some people do require transfusion for a safe operation, transfusions can be limited without causing harm to the person.
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    Researchers collected data from 2,254 people aged 80 years and older who underwent transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) between January 2010 and October 2011. People were divided into three categories based on age: 80-84 years (867 people), 85-89 years (1,064 people) and ≥90 years (349 people). High procedural success was achieved in every age group (97.8%, 96.3%, and 97.1%, respectively). Both length of hospital stay and time in the intensive care unit were similar in all groups.

    The cumulative mortality rates for the entire study population were 9.9% at 30-days and 23.8% at one-year post-surgery. Mortality rates at one-year were higher among people in the 85-89 and ≥90 year age groups, compared with the mortality rate in people in the 80-84 year age group (26.1%, 27.7%, and 19.8%, respectively). TAVI may therefore be a good therapeutic option even in elderly people.