Category Archives: Heart Disease

Evaluating The Cause Of Syncope

If you have had an episode of syncope (a transient loss of consciousness also referred to as fainting), it is important for you and your doctor to figure out what caused the episode. There are many potential causes of syncope, and unless your doctor approaches the diagnosis in a systematic way, things can get confusing…

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Restless Leg Syndrome and Cardiac Risk

One common condition we don’t usually think about when we assess our risk of cardiovascular disease is restless leg syndrome. This may be an oversight since it turns out that there is indeed an association between restless leg syndrome and heart disease. Overview Restless leg syndrome is a fairly common condition that affects people when…

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Cardiac Risk With Azithromycin (Zithromax Z-Pack)

In March 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about potential cardiac problems with the antibiotic azithromycin. The warning indicated that some people may have an increased risk of sudden death when taking this drug, especially people with certain kinds of heart disease. The FDA warning led to widespread media coverage, and given the popularity…

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Can Opioids Cause Heart Problems?

Opioids (or opiates) are a class of drugs that are either made from the opium poppy or are artificially synthesized to function like these “natural” opioids. Opioids work by binding to specific protein receptors in the brain and spinal cord, significantly diminishing the pain signals being sent to the brain and dampening the perception of…

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What To Do When Your CRP Is High

Has your doctor measured your C-reactive protein (CRP) level, and found it to be elevated? This is an increasingly common situation, despite the fact that most experts, including the United States Preventive Services Task Force, do not recommend routinely measuring CRP levels. (Read here about when CRP actually should be measured.) CRP is a nonspecific biomarker…

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Cardiac Risk With COX-2 and NSAID Drugs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most commonly used medications in the world. They are effective in reducing inflammation and pain and are readily available both by prescription and over the counter. However, many of these drugs are now known to increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, including acute coronary syndrome (ACS), heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and…

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How Does Thyroid Disease Affect the Heart?

Disease of the thyroid gland often produces heart problems. One of the most important reasons to diagnose and treat thyroid disease is to prevent the cardiac conditions that can result from it. By producing just the right amount of thyroid hormone, the thyroid helps to regulate your body’s metabolism—most importantly, how much oxygen and energy…

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High-Risk Drinking and Heart Problems

If you drink more than the recommended guidelines for low-risk alcohol consumption, you are not only placing yourself at risk for developing an alcohol use disorder, but you are also significantly increasing your risk of a variety of cardiovascular problems. There is a massive amount of scientific research that indicates an increased risk for heart…

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An Overview of Constrictive Pericarditis

Constrictive pericarditis is a chronic condition in which the pericardium (the membrane-like sac that encloses the heart), becomes stiffened and inelastic. As a result, cardiac function deteriorates. This condition, which thankfully is quite uncommon, always has serious consequences. Unfortunately, constrictive pericarditis can “hide” from detection for a long time. The symptoms it produces can develop…

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Heart Disease, Obesity, and Weight Loss: What to Know

Your weight and your risk for heart disease are connected. But that doesn’t mean being overweight guarantees that you’ll have heart problems. There are ways to reduce your risk for a cardiac event and weight loss may be one of them. But first it’s important to learn the facts about heart disease and weight loss.…

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TMAO Is a New ‘Gut’ Player in Heart Disease

Most doctors used to advise watching how often you eat meat, eggs, and high-fat dairy products due to the elevated levels of saturated fat and cholesterol they contain. Consuming saturated fat can raise levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol and the type implicated in increasing one’s risk of cardiovascular disease and its outcomes, like…

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