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From a presentation by Nathan Almeida, MD, FACC, FACP Pee Dee Cardiology

Age, Gender, Heredity.  These account for 20 percent of the heart disease that you CANNOT control. Don’t feel helpless, though.  The list of risk factors for heart disease and stroke that can be changed by your individual choices and actions are: 

If You Are Having a Heart Attack…!

Posted on in Heart Health

From a presentation by Nathan Almeida, MD, FACC, FACP Pee Dee Cardiology

If you think you’re having a heart attack, STOP READING and CALL 911. However, if you  have heart problems or know someone who does, learn the signs and know what to do. Here is a list of heart attack signs and symptoms:

Women, Stroke Risks and Pregnancy

Posted on in Heart Health

Medically Reviewed by Timothy Hagen, DO

New guidelines on managing stroke risk in pregnant women have sparked a minor controversy between the American Heart Association and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.  One very positive outcome of this skirmish is greater awareness among women about their unique risks and symptoms for stroke.

What Happens After A Heart Attack

Posted on in Heart Health

Medically reviewed by Anil Om, MD

What You Want to Know. If you’re reading this, it’s likely you or a relative recently had a heart attack. We are going to discuss what to expect after that rush to the hospital, treatment and stabilization.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Anil Om

One half of African-American women will die of heart disease or stroke.

Medically reviewed by Rajesh Malik, MD

Flutter.  Fibrillation. Tachycardia.

Medically reviewed by Alan Blaker, MD

“The heart and blood vessels comprise an extraordinarily complex system,” says McLeod Cardiologist Alan Blaker, MD.  “As a result, a large team of very focused specialists stands ready to diagnosis and treat cardiovascular issues. There are so many specialties, a patient can be confused.” Here’s a quick overview of some of the specialists you may see and a description of their role:

Cardiac Stress Test. You May Need One.

Posted on in Heart Health

Medically reviewed by Dr. Amit Pande

If you have ever run on a treadmill at your fitness center, you’ll have a good idea of your role in a cardiac stress test.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Nathan Almeida

Popular Painkillers Raise Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke...“Ouch?! That muscle hurts!  Wow, my joints ache!” It’s nearly a reflex reaction for many of us to automatically reach for some ibuprofen or similar medication when aches and pains arise.  As we grow older, daily doses tend to become a fact of life.  But we need to be careful.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Mark Fox

Congestive Heart Failure is the medical description of a heart that is slowly losing its ability to pump blood throughout the body. Thanks to medical advances more and more patients are surviving until they are in “late-stage heart failure” when they may experience pain, anxiety and have trouble breathing. Unlike cancer – where the patient seems to have a steady decline – in Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) a patient’s decline may be marked by a series of incidents, where the heart staggers, then rallies.  During this decline, more than 75% of CHF patients report not only pain and difficulty in breathing, but also fatigue, depression and accumulation of liquid in the body (edema).

Medically reviewed by Dr. Alan Blaker

Testosterone is a powerful hormone. It makes voices deep, grows beards and helps develop muscle mass. It might also help protect men against heart problems.  MIGHT is the key word.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Leask

Americans love numbers.  We rate baseball players with a range of statistics. We rank golfers.  We grade ourselves on everything from academics to attractiveness (“He’s a 9 out of 10.”) Another set of numbers important to everyone are how much things we do (or don’t do) increases our risk of heart disease – 200% (2x) to 600% (6x). “It’s good to know how your lifestyle is affecting the possibility that you will suffer heart disease or die of a heart attack,” says McLeod Cardiologist Gavin Leask, MD.  "The following list shows you which actions (or lack of) increase your heart risk.”

Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael Carmichael

Success, A Blend of Skilled Surgeons & Technological Developments. In 2014, a person with a faulty heart valve can have it replaced and expect extraordinarily low operative mortality rates and minimal complications. Today’s positive reality represents decades of research and refined surgical skills. 1960s - MECHANICAL VALVES. The first aortic valve replacement occurred in 1960, using a mechanical valve that was essentially a ball loosely fit inside a ring. It was soon replaced by a valve using a disk that tilted open and closed.  Eventually, a valve was developed with two leaflets. Leaf versions of the mechanical valve can last a long time but the patient must take medication to prevent blood from thickening and clotting the valve opening. 

Medically Reviewed by Evans Holland, MD

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) describes a gradual weakening of the heart over time.  As it weakens, the body tries to compensate.  With the weakening, the heart may have to pump faster to maintain the blood pressure.  Blood and oxygen are diverted from some parts of the body, such as muscles, to keep organs working.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Gabor Winkler

Lack of blood flow in your leg can lead to amputation. Now is the time to take action to prevent this tragedy. The general condition of blocked arteries in the legs and arms is Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).  


Medically Reviewed by Timothy Hagen DO May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Stroke is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing on average 1 American every 4 minutes.There are a number of risks that can lead to a stroke. Among those risks are smoking, migraines, high blood pressure, and oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. Another key risk factor is an irregular heartbeat called Atrial Fibrillation. In addition to heart palpitations, and dizziness, Afib can open the door to a crippling or fatal stroke.  McLeod Neurologist Dr. Timothy Hagen describes the problem.


Medically Reviewed by Timothy Hagen, DO
May is National Stroke Awareness Month.  Stroke is the leading cause of death and long-term disability in the United States.  For a number of reasons, more women suffer this “heart attack of the brain” than men.  A number of issues – such as migraine headaches with auras, smoking, hormone therapy, preeclampsia during pregnancy, age and family history – can put a woman at increased risk of stroke.  High blood pressure is both a risk of stroke and a sign to watch for. “Blood Pressure is the number one risk factor that a person can do something about,” says McLeod Neurologist Dr. Timothy Hagen. To help you, he explains the right technique to track your blood pressure at home.

Stroke. You Could Die…or….

Posted on in Heart Health

May is National Stroke Awareness Month Tips on Lowering Your Risk of Long-Term Disability
Medically Reviewed by Timothy Hagen, DO

Stroke is the leading cause of death in the United States – with more women suffering a stroke than men, thanks to risk factors, such as migraines, hormone therapy and oral contraceptives. Death from stroke is tragic. Yet, stroke “survivors” can take months to recover from the disabilities. And up to 30% of the stroke survivors never recover.

Cut Your Risk of a Stroke

Posted on in Heart Health

May is National Stroke Awareness Month  Medically Reviewed by Nicolette Naso, MD

All of a sudden you feel dizzy. You try to talk, but it doesn’t come out right. Your leg (or arm or face) feels weak and numb. A splitting headache hits you out of the blue.  Your vision blurs. The symptoms of a stroke seem simple and straightforward.  However, a survey by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that only 38% of people could correctly identify all 5 symptoms of stroke. If these appear SUDDENLY, call 911 immediately. Stroke is the leading cause of death and long-term disability in the US. 

Unique Heart Risks for Women

Posted on in Heart Health

Medically Reviewed by Alan Blaker, MD

Not only do heart attacks in women exhibit with symptoms different from men, but women are different from men in the way some risk factors affect them. “Most coronary heart disease risk factors affect men as well as women,” says McLeod Cardiologist Alan Blaker, MD. “Three risks unique to women are related to birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause.”

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