The best fish to eat for heart health

Keep up with fish dinners, even after Lent

fish-vegetables

Oily fish, such as salmon, has the highest amounts of omega-3, or good fats.

Friday night fish fries may end after Lent, but that doesn’t mean your commitment to eating fish on Fridays has to stop …

The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish per week (particularly fatty, or oily, fish) to reduce the risk of death from heart disease and stroke. So why not continue a good thing by keeping fish on your Friday menu?

And, remember, the best fish to eat for heart health is oily fish. Here’s why:

While all fish provide protein and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon and other oily fish — sardines, tuna, mackerel, bluefish, rainbow trout and herring — have the highest amounts. These “good fats” benefit the hearts of healthy people, and those who have, or are at high risk for, cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias), which can lead to sudden death. Omega-3 fatty acids also decrease triglyceride levels, slow growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque and lower blood pressure. Continue reading

Schedule your vein treatment consultation now

Almost time to replace those long pants and warm socks with summer shorts and sandals

Vein treatment consultation - bare legs

Schedule your vein treatment consultation now to get your legs ready for summer.

This is the time of year when long pants and warm socks are replaced with summer shorts and sandals. It is also the time of year when many patients come to the University of Michigan Vein Centers for a vein treatment consultation, wanting to know what they can do to get their legs looking and feeling great. Often, they are concerned with the appearance of spider and varicose veins, which impact more than 30 million adults in the United States.

The key is to schedule your vein treatment consultation a few months in advance, as some treatment options require follow-up and/or time to heal.

A visit to the University of Michigan Livonia Vein Center usually begins with an exam by one of our experienced providers, who will gather information about your vein health and share information about caring for your legs. In some cases, an ultrasound study of your legs may be necessary. Then, a personalized treatment plan is designed specifically for you.

New varicose vein treatment on the horizon

Varithena® is recently FDA-approved for foam sclerotherapy and has been shown to improve the symptoms and appearance of varicose veins. This treatment — a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure that features injecting the varicose vein — is expected to be available this summer. Continue reading

Health apps for your smartphone

Track your BMI & medications, check your heart rate

woman-smart-phone

Smartphone apps let you track heart rate, blood pressure, meds/doses and BMI.

Fifty-eight percent of American adults today own a smartphone, according to a recent study by Pew Research Center. This means more than half the U.S. adult population is equipped to monitor vital health numbers and track medications via health apps designed for smartphones.

The healthcare professionals at the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center Mardigian Wellness Resource Center included the following on their list of health apps for your smartphone compiled to help patients and families improve cardiovascular health. Continue reading

Is drinking alcohol good for your heart?

Moderation is key - but what is one drink?

cocktailDrinking alcohol in moderation, along with an overall healthy lifestyle, is acceptable for most individuals. However, non-drinkers should not start drinking based on this information. Too much alcohol can cause direct damage to heart cells as well as nutritional and vitamin deficiencies. In addition, drinking alcohol can lead to alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, breast cancer, suicide and accidents, so moderation is critical.

Is drinking alcohol good for your heart? Although drinking one glass of red wine a day is marketed as beneficial to the heart, there is no conclusive research or studies that support this claim. Some people believe that red wine is better than other types of alcohol, but the evidence is lacking.

Ongoing studies are examining the potential benefits of components in red wine such as flavonoids and other antioxidants (the same antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables) in reducing heart disease risk, but no direct comparison trials have been done to determine the specific effect of wine or other alcohol on the risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Continue reading

Walk for heart health!

Today is National Walking Day

If you find yourself sitting at a desk all day, you’re not alone. In fact, sedentary jobs have increased 83 percent since 1950, according to the American Heart Association, with physically active jobs nowWalking Couple-320x320 making up only 25 percent of the workforce.

Especially if your job has you confined to a desk, it’s important to find time during the course of your day to get up and get moving. You can get started by doing something that’s low risk and easy: WALK for heart health!

Picking up the pace

According to the AHA, walking can help keep you fit, enhance your immune system and reduce your risk of serious diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more. Moderate exercise, including brisk walking for as little as 30 minutes a day, can help:

  • Lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. In fact, becoming more active can lower your blood pressure by as much as 4 to 9 mm Hg — the same reduction in blood pressure delivered by some antihypertensive medications. Physical activity can also boost your levels of good cholesterol. Continue reading

Why health care equity is important at the Frankel CVC

LetsConnect_Facebook_403x403I have had a personal interest in health care equity and inclusion for a very long time, which explains why I am so excited about “Talk Health Care Equity,” the new campaign developed by Carmen R. Green, M.D., and the Office for Health Equity and Inclusion. It invites people everywhere to share their thoughts about the phrase “health care equity.” Having our patients, families, faculty, staff and students participate is important because in our own health system, we can’t know to what extent we are providing good care unless we ask those we serve.  And listening to the people who receive our care is essential to creating the ideal patient and family-centered care experience.

Creating the patient and family-centered care experience

Since the Frankel CVC opened in 2007, the directors Kim A. Continue reading