Category Archives: Health Articles

Let’s Talk About Sex

One of my patients recently asked me whether men or women fare worse when it comes to heart disease. My reply was, “It depends on which heart disease you are talking about.” Indeed, there are many different kinds of heart conditions and some do have sex-specific differences in demographics, prognosis, and treatment. I have been practicing clinical cardiac electrophysiology in Jacksonville area for more than 10 years. In this sub-specialty of cardiology, the main focus is managing patients with various types of electrical (rhythm) disorders. I would like to take this opportunity to summarize some important differences between women and men with respect to both the normal (physiologic) and abnormal (pathophysiologic) conditions of heart rhythm.
Women as a group have a slightly faster resting heart rate compared to men across all age groups. In addition, the time needed for heart cells to repolarize (electrically relax) after each heartbeat is slightly longer (by several milliseconds) in women than in men. This has an important implication with respect to an increased tendency for certain type of potentially life-threatening arrhythmia (rhythm disturbance) to affect women (discussed later). These and other subtle differences in electrical parameters are known to be the effect of female hormone estrogen. Male hormone testosterone has an opposite effect. I have described below several common arrhythmia conditions that I have encountered in my clinical practice that have distinct gender difference in prevalence.

 

Click here to learn more from Dr. Robert Kim.

What You Need to Know Varicose Vein Treatment

Varicose vein treatment, also known as endovenous ablation, uses radiofrequency or laser energy to cauterize and close varicose veins in the legs. It may be used for cosmetic purposes, but it is most commonly used to help ease varicose vein related symptoms such as aching, swelling, skin irritation, discoloration or inflammation. Endovenous ablation is safe, less invasive than conventional surgery, and leaves virtually no scars. In addition to that, sclerotherapy. Is also available to treat such abnormality, in which the vein is injected with a sclerosing agent or other substances that causesthe veins to scar and close. The scar tissue is absorbed by the body over time.

Our center is proud to be one of the first centers in the area that uses the most advanced technology of VenaSeal, The VenaSeal™ closure system is the only nontumescent, non-thermal, non-sclerosant procedure that uses a proprietary medical adhesive delivered endovenously to close the vein. This unique approach eliminates the risk of nerve injury when treating the small saphenous vein, which is a risk sometimes associated with certain thermal-based procedures.1 Clinical studies have demonstrated that the procedure is safe and effective.1-4 The procedure is administered without the use of tumescent anesthesia, avoiding patient discomfort associated with multiple needle sticks and the tissue damage that can be caused by the thermal or laser therapy.

Varicose veins are abnormally large veins commonly seen in the legs. Normally, blood circulates from the heart to the legs via arteries and back to the heart through veins. Veins contain one-way valves which allow blood to return from the legs against gravity. If the valves leak, blood pools in the veins, and they can become enlarged or varicose.

Endovenous ablation is an imageguided, minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins. It uses radiofrequency or laser energy to cauterize (burn) and close the abnormal veins leading to varicose veins. Now a days, Insurance covers varicose vein ablation because of the considerable discomfort this condition can cause, and because of the condition’s link to more chronic and serious venous conditions. In addition to the very high prevalence of this disease among men and women equally, it has been shown to cause significant discomfort and disability related to pain, inability to stand for long period of time and the lost working days as a consequence.

 

Click here to learn more about Varicose Vein Treatment from Dr. Bisharat.

Crudité Vegetable Wreath with Ranch Dip

Crudité Vegetable Wreath with Ranch DipTake your veggies and dip to the next level with this colorful crudité wreath. This vegetable appetizer is a stunner with white cauliflower, red tomatoes and green broccoli, green beans, snap peas, kale and Brussels sprouts. It’s also a delicious way to start your celebration with veggies (which there are rarely enough of at parties and holidays). The homemade ranch dip, which uses nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, takes just a few minutes to make, or you can use a healthy store-bought dip.

Recipe courtesy of EatingWell.

Prep time: 25 min

Ready in: 25 min

Yield: 28 servings

Continue reading

Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes

Ashchi Heart & Vascular Center Photo

The following statistics speak loud and clear that there is a strong correlation between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes.

  • At least 68 percent of people age 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease; and 16% die of stroke.
  • Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes.
  • The American Heart Association considers diabetes to be one of the seven major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Continue reading

Cardiovascular Disease and Breast Cancer

Ashchi Heart & Vascular Center PhotoCardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of mortality in women, yet many people perceive breast cancer to be the number one threat to women’s health. CVD and breast cancer have several overlapping risk factors, such as obesity and smoking.

 

Additionally, current breast cancer treatments can have a negative impact on cardiovascular health (eg, left ventricular dysfunction, accelerated CVD), and for women with pre-existing CVD, this might influence cancer treatment decisions by both the patient and the provider. Improvements in early detection and treatment of breast cancer have led to an increasing number of breast cancer survivors who are at risk of long-term cardiac complications from cancer treatments. For older women, CVD poses a greater mortality threat than breast cancer itself.

Ashchi Heart & Vascular Center has cardiology experts on staff who specialize in managing, diagnosing and treating CVD. We use the latest technology and techniques to deliver the highest quality, patient-centric care. We also welcome patients seeking second opinions on their treatment options.For more information about the link between CVD and breast cancer email us today.

Source American Heart Association

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Ashchi Heart & Vascular Center PhotoChronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a common cause of leg pain and swelling, and is commonly associated with varicose veins. It occurs when the valves of the veins do not function properly, and the circulation of blood in the leg veins is impaired. CVI may affect up to 20 percent of adults. CVI can be caused by damaged valves in the veins or vein blockage. Both may be a result of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots in the deep veins of the legs. If a clot forms in the superficial veins, there is a very low risk of DVT occurring.
Over time, CVI may result in varicose veins, swelling and discoloration of the legs, itching and the development of ulcers near the ankles. Vein problems are among the most common chronic conditions in North America. In fact, more people lose work time from vein disorders than from artery disease. By the age of 50, nearly 40 percent of women and 20 percent of men have significant leg vein problems. Spider veins occur much more frequently in women. It is estimated that at least 20 to 25 million Americans have varicose vein.
Continue reading to learn more about CVI.

8 Tips for a Heart Healthy Diet

Ashchi Heart & Vascular Center PhotoAlthough you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are eight heart-healthy diet tips. Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you’ll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.

Continue reading

Stressed Out?

Ashchi Heart & Vascular Center Photo

Everyone feels stress in different ways and reacts to it in different ways. How much stress you experience and how you react to it can lead to a wide variety of health problems — and that’s why it’s critical to know what you can do about it. Stress can affect behaviors and factors that increase heart disease risk: high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity and overeating. Some people may choose to drink too much alcohol or smoke cigarettes to “manage” their chronic stress, however these habits can increase blood pressure and may damage artery walls.

A stressful situation sets off a chain of events. Your body releases adrenaline, a hormone that temporarily causes your breathing and heart rate to speed up and your blood pressure to rise. These reactions prepare you to deal with the situation — the “fight or flight” response.

When stress is constant, your body remains in high gear off and on for days or weeks at a time. Chronic stress may cause some people to drink too much alcohol which can increase your blood pressure and may damage the artery walls.

If you feel like stress is impacting your heart health please call us today at (904) 222-6656.

Courtesy of American Heart Association.

Skip to content