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Heart & Vascular
Real Patients, Real Stories: Emory Provides Less-Invasive Lifesaving Heart Surgery Option for 95 Year Old
Feb 18, 2019 By Emory Heart & Vascular Center

Feeling lightheaded at his home in South Carolina, Ed Iler, 95, was rushed by paramedics to the nearest hospital emergency room. He complained of chest pain and was told by his doctor he had a heart murmur. “I’m 95 years of age and I have never been told that before,” said Iler, an active member of his community who enjoys gardening, hiking and spending time with family and friends. The following week, he was experiencing more chest discomfort and shortness of breath. He was rushed to the hospital where they discovered a leaky mitral valve. This meant the mitral valve of the heart wasn’t closing properly. The abnormal blood flow signals the heart to pump harder, which causes stress on the body. Although the examining cardiologist in South Carolina felt he was strong and healthy enough to have surgery, he was concerned that open heart surgery might be too much for a [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Dark Chocolate: The Heart Healthy Gift for Your Valentine
Feb 14, 2019 By Dr. Jason Reingold

For Valentine’s Day, go ahead and give your sweetheart some dark chocolate this year ... to consume in moderation. In past years, more research has suggested a beneficial link between higher levels of chocolate consumption and the reduction of the risk of cardiovascular events. In one study, participants with the highest levels of chocolate intake had a 37 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29 percent reduction in stroke compared with participants who consumed the lowest levels of chocolate. The secret behind chocolate’s beneficial effects on the heart is the effect of powerful micronutrients - flavonoids and phenols found naturally in the cocoa bean. These compounds function like antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables where free radicals are neutralized and destroyed, helping the body resist damage to cells. For example, flavanols help keep LDL [...]

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Heart & Vascular
The Link Between Lupus and Heart Disease
May 9, 2018 By Dr. Ijeoma Isiadinso

Lupus has been called a cruel and mysterious disease. An autoimmune disorder that occurs when the immune system that’s supposed to protect your body attacks it instead. Its causes are unknown and no two cases are alike. Attacking different parts of the body, lupus causes joint pain, rash, fatigue, and fever. It’s estimated that 1 in 2,000 people in the U.S. have it, yet most people with lupus don’t look sick. While lupus can strike anyone, 90 percent of the people living with lupus are female. It occurs 2 to 3 times more frequently among women of African, Hispanic or Asian descent than among Caucasian women.

World Lupus Day May 10th

Because so few people have heard of lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE), organizations around the globe joined together to create World Lupus Day. Each year since 2004, activities on May 10th focus on increasing public awareness [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Can I Inherit Varicose Veins?
Mar 16, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

vein_ 7-29Varicose veins are large, abnormal blood vessels visible on the skin surface. They almost always affect the legs and often appear as bulging, twisted blue veins. Many theories exist for why varicosities occur in veins, but the consensus is that weak vein walls and valves are the main cause. Inside your larger veins are valves that allow blood to flow toward the heart, but, open to prevent backward flow of blood toward the feet (reflux). If the valves don't function properly, excess blood will remain in the veins, raising the pressure and causing them to swell and distend. Some veins will enlarge enough to weaken the walls and become varicose. Though rarely dangerous, varicose veins can often cause symptoms of aching, weakness or heaviness.

The Role of Genetics

Heredity is one of the most important risk factors for developing varicose veins and spider veins. Your risk of [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Your Heart Questions Answered by the Women's Heart Center - pt 2
Mar 13, 2018 By Emory Women's Heart Center

Heart Failure Live Chat 7/25/17Thank you for your patience and for your participation in American Heart Month! We received so many great questions, it took us a while to get through them all. We hope you find our Part 2 answers helpful. Thank you to our Emory Women's Heart Center experts  Dr. Alexis CutchinsDr. M Carolina GongoraDr. Gina LundbergDr. Susmita Parashar, and Stacy Jaskwhich for answering these submitted questions. Review Part 1 questions and answers here! What are the signs of heart disease? Are there any silent signs?  Signs of heart disease may include the ones we would typically think about:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • palpitations
Some other signs of heart disease that may not be as distinguishable (or considered silent as they are not recognized as a heart problem) could be:
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • sweating or flushing
  • neck pain
  • jaw pain
  • back

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Heart & Vascular
Real Patients, Real Stories: Regulating a Racing Heart
Mar 10, 2018 By admin

Brittany Martin, a children's dance coach, experienced constant adrenaline over the course of a year, leading her to visit Emory University Hospital. "My body was in fight or flight mode all the time," she says. Martin began seeing a doctor in Mcdonough in 2015 for an elevated heart rate. She attributed her heart racing to stress from her dance team at the Platinum Peaches studio in Decatur, Georgia. She was preparing for a competition. Then, one Monday last summer, she felt worse. She became more concerned about the increased headaches, chest pain, and heart palpitations. Her husband drove her to the emergency room, where doctors ran tests to determine if she was experiencing a heart attack. The doctors performed an electrocardiogram and looked for troponin her blood, a sign of damage to the heart muscle. The results showed that everything looked fine. Martin was sent to [...]

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Heart & Vascular
The Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
Mar 7, 2018 By Emory Heart & Vascular Center

legs (1)Though spider veins and varicose veins are both classified as vein disorders, there are some distinct differences between them.

What do They Look Like?

Spider veins are small, wispy, web-like veins on the skin surface, usually less than one millimeter in diameter. They may be purple or red and often appear in clusters or nests, which may look like a bruise. Varicose veins are larger veins, which often have a blue color and generally bulge under the skin. Both types of veins are visible and one of the primary treatment goals is an improvement in cosmetic appearance.

What Causes Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?

Spider veins are usually inherited. Obesity, female hormones and prolonged sitting or standing are also contributing factors. Varicose veins are most often a result of valves that function incorrectly. Normal valves allow blood to flow in only one direction—out of [...]

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Heart & Vascular
The Link Between the Flu and Heart Attack
Mar 3, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

Doctors have discovered a link between heart attacks and the flu. Not only does the flu vaccine help prevent more than a bad cold, it has the potential to lower the chance of having a heart attack for those who are at high risk. "When someone comes into the hospital with a heart attack, it's not uncommon that this individual has had some type of viral illness or process in the recent past," said Dr. Laurence Sperling of Emory Heart & Vascular Center. In one study, participants 35 years and older whom were at risk of a heart attack increased their risk six times within a week of getting the flu. The vaccine may be effective short-term against heart attacks like quitting smoking or taking blood pressure medications. "Every single one of our patients who has heart disease, part of our process is to discuss a flu vaccine. Not just to prevent the flu, but as a means of [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Heart to Heart: Transplant Recipients Celebrate Life
Feb 26, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

Throughout the month of February, we celebrate the heart. For heart transplant patients, they celebrate their heart and the gift of life, throughout the entire year. On February 10, 2018, 64 recipients, including three listed patients awaiting new hearts, attended the 28th Heart-to-Heart Celebration at Emory’s Miller-Ward Alumni House with their families, friends, and Emory staff members. Participants spent time with each other and their health care teams while reminiscing the waits they endured for their new hearts. They also commemorated the selfless donor families that gave the gift of life to someone else during their time of sorrow. “The Emory Heart Transplant Program has completed more than 800 heart transplants to date, but we couldn’t do any of this work without the organ donors and their families who chose to give life to others,” says Andrew Smith, MD, [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Real Patients, Real Stories: Sol Kaslow's Chance to See Restored Patrol Torpedo
Feb 22, 2018 By admin

It took Sol Kaslow five decades to talk about being part of the invasion of Normandy as a young navy signalman on a Patrol Torpedo (PT) boat. "I couldn't handle talking about it," he says. "You live like it just happened." Then, for his 80th birthday, he and his wife, Florence, returned with a tour group to Normandy, where Allied Forces landed on the northern coast of occupied France on June 6, 1944, in a well-planned invasion against Germany. As the tour guide started talking about the assault—which remains the largest amphibious military invasion in history—Kaslow said, "Let me tell it, I was there." Now 92, Kaslow, the only living member of his PT crew that was in the Normandy invasion, plans to be on the world's only restored PT-305 when it launches in New Orleans this spring. It's a chance he wouldn't have had without the transcatheter aortic valve [...]

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