Q: What can you tell me about mechanical heart assist devices? Are these devices a practical option for treating heart failure?
I read in the news recently about a blood test involving C-reactive protein that can predict your risk of heart disease. How does this test differ from cholesterol screening? Should I ask my doctor to give me this test when I go for my next physical?
Q: “I have an arrhythmia that sometimes causes palpitations when I'm physically active. Is this dangerous? Should I stop exercising?”
Q: First, fat was bad. Then some fat was good and some was bad. Now we’ve got trans fats to worry about. It’s getting so complicated! Please explain the differences between fats and what I need to know about them.
Q: “How do different kinds of caffeine (coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks) affect the cardiovascular system?”
Answer from Ty Gluckman, M.D., cardiologist, Providence St. Vincent Heart Clinic-Cardiology:
Q: "My 14-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with tachycardia. Both her pediatrician and a specialist have told us that her tachycardia is not dangerous. However, when I hear reports of young people dying of heart arrhythmias, I become frightened all over again. How can I reassure myself that this is not dangerous?"
"I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure. I'd like to lower it without medications, if I can. What are the best non-drug ways to reduce blood pressure? Is it possible to do this without popping pills?"
Q: A new study published in March says that drinking one sugar-sweetened beverage per day can increase the risk of coronary artery disease by 20 percent. I’m concerned about my heart risks – should I give up soda?
Q: A friend forwarded an email to me about what to do if you're alone and you think you're having a heart attack. It says that coughing hard will squeeze the heart and keep the blood flowing until you can get help. It also says that women may experience strange symptoms, like a pain in the jaw, instead of chest pain. Is any of this true? Answer provided by Suzanne M. Hall, M.D., FACC, medical director of Providence Women and Heart Disease Program at Providence Heart and Vascular Institute, and cardiologist with Columbia Cardiology Associates.
A tool developed by Providence allows specialists to pinpoint if stenting or medical therapy is the best course of treatment for patients with coronary artery disease.
The digital marketplace now offers an abundance of health and diet management tools, from websites to monitor your weight to smart phone apps that allow you to take a picture of your food and get an instant calorie count.
For older men and those with a history of cardiovascular disease, popular testosterone therapies may bring more risk than reward. – Naji Hamdan, M.D., cardiologist
If you are scheduled for cardiac catheterization, please review our brochure to prepare for your procedure.
This tool and video are designed to help patients who have heart failure track their health daily using a convenient color-coded chart.
In this guide, you will find important information that will help you better understand what to expect while you are at the hospital and what to expect when you return home following open heart surgery and/or a heart attack.
This book contains helpful information and tips for those who are at risk of developing or who already have heart failure. We hope this book aids your comfort and healing by teaching you how to manage this condition. Your physician and cardiac team are available to assist if you need help or have questions about the appropriateness of this book for you.
Pulse oximetry newborn screening can identify some infants with a heart defect before they show symptoms. Once identified, babies can be seen by cardiologists and can receive specialized care and treatment.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can be found in all parts of your body. It aids in the production of cell membranes, some hormones, and vitamin D. The cholesterol in your blood comes from two sources: the foods you eat and your liver. However, your liver makes all of the cholesterol your body needs.
A study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation confirms what I’ve learned from my own heart patients over many years: People with positive attitudes and a can-do approach to exercise enjoy healthier hearts and longer lives.
The latest recipes are conveniently available for download from this page, or by obtaining a free copy of the Northwest Guide to Heart-Healthy Living.
James Beckerman, M.D., explains how competitive players or weekend warriors can now receive cardiac screenings at Providence Sports Care Center at Providence Park.
Everyone gets motivated to get more active when the summer sun comes out. Before you get started, make sure you’re setting yourself up for success and preventing injury by considering these tips from our experts.
Answers provided by Tony Furnary, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.
One of the keys to avoiding heart disease could be sitting right on your dinner plate. Throughout February, Providence experts will dish out great advice on how to protect your heart – join them at our Get the Dish on Heart Health forums. Here is a quick taste of what you’ll learn from cardiologist Alicia Ross, M.D., and dietitian Kimra Hawk, RD, LD.
Do you routinely bypass breakfast in the morning? Your heart might like you to reconsider.
A large-scale study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from coronary heart disease than those who ate breakfast.
The prevalence of peripheral artery disease is climbing worldwide, but early diagnosis and medical management can lower morbidity and mortality. – Alejandro Perez, M.D., FSVM, RPVI, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute
When your heart tells you that something’s wrong, listen. By Steven Reinhart, M.D., cardiologist, medical director of quality for Providence Heart and Vascular Institute, and medical director of the Coronary Care Unit at Providence Portland Medical Center
Providence cardiologists performed Oregon’s first mitral clip valve repair, treating a patient too fragile for heart surgery.
Lifestyle changes that will help you reduce your chance of heart attack or stroke.
If you smoke, one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health is to quit smoking. Providence Health & Services supports you in this effort. The resources below can help you stop smoking for good.
To determine the number of calories and fat grams you need to consume each day in order to lose or gain weight, consult your physician or a registered dietitian. To maintain your current weight, follow the formula below.
If you are trying to make heart-healthy changes to your lifestyle and diet, it is helpful to know some basics about nutrition – starting with the components of food.
Regular, aerobic physical activity increases a person’s capacity for exercise and plays a role in prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Aerobic exercise may also help to lower blood pressure.
Determining how much you should weigh is not a simple matter of looking at an insurance height-weight chart, but includes considering the amount of bone, muscle, and fat in your body's composition. The amount of fat is the critical measurement.
What health risks are associated with physical inactivity? Lack of physical activity has clearly been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Facts about smoking and cardiovascular disease:
Following are common questions about the relationship of nutrition to heart health, answered by Valerie Edwards, MS, RD, LD, outpatient nutrition therapist, Providence Nutrition Services.
Repeat lipid testing is out; greater emphasis on atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk is in. We examine the new guidelines as well as the controversial risk calculator. – David Schroeder, M.D., cardiologist
The significance of the Kleenex boxes placed on every tabletop isn’t apparent at first. But 15 minutes into this lunchtime gathering of doctors, nurses and a host of other health care workers, the reason becomes clear.
The ABSORB III trial is testing a bioresorbable scaffold that may become the next generation of vascular stents. – Ethan C. Korngold, M.D., medical director, cardiovascular research
American College of Cardiology website that includes resources for care providers.
Choose from our wide selection of delicious heart healthy recipes recommended by Dr. James Beckerman, Providence Cardiologist, and author of "The Flex Diet: Design-Your-Own Weight Loss Plan".
Smart CHOICES for Health is a unique book that takes a powerful, non-dieting approach to weight management. Through reflections and hands-on activities, you’ll develop new skills for eating healthier, being more active and dealing with the emotional issues that surround weight and food.
What you choose to eat affects your chances of developing high blood pressure, or hypertension (the medical term). Recent studies show that blood pressure can be lowered by following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan—and by eating less salt, also called sodium.