The CVC HeartBeat: All the latest information about heart health and wellness from the experts at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, nationally ranked for heart care by U.S. News & World Report. To make an appointment, call us at 1-888-287-1082.
Stressed? Overwhelmed? Welcome to the holiday season! If you’re besieged with unending to-do lists, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to know how to deal with holiday stress, but remember–it’s normal. And it’s how you handle the stress that counts.
Long-term stress, often exacerbated by the holidays, can result in conditions that lead to heart attack, including:
When the snow starts piling up in the driveway, many of the people who pick up their shovels and head outside are putting themselves at risk for an adverse cardiac event. These include heart attacks, where a blockage cuts off the heart’s blood supply leading to tissue damage, and cardiac arrest, when the heart beats irregularly and then stops.
Men are more at risk than women but certain people with health problems have higher risk than others for a cardiac event. These include anyone who is:
in poor physical condition
has a history of heart disease, including heart attacks, heart failure and stroke
In addition to providing holiday cheer, alcohol also affects the vascular system by dilating the blood vessels, leading to dizziness. Drinking in moderation helps keep you and your heart healthy.
You’re out with friends enjoying a few holiday cocktails when you suddenly feel lightheaded and need to sit down. You might not realize it, but you’re experiencing the effects of alcohol on your vascular system.
In addition to being a depressant, alcohol dilates the blood vessels. So, when you’re standing at a party or social setting, blood often pools in the vessels in your feet instead of being pumped back to the heart.
The result can be feelings of lightheadedness, nausea and over-heating (known as pre-syncope), which are exacerbated by alcohol. To prevent these symptoms and enjoy heart-healthy holiday drinking, minimize alcohol intake and move around to encourage blood flow to the heart, thus reducing the chances of passing out entirely.
It started with a simple patient question asked years ago: “Could someone use my pacemaker after I die?” The question was met with exploration and now a mission to provide recycled pacemakers to patients across the globe.
U-M team implants new pacemakers during medical mission to Ghana.
Small, reliable and easily held in the palm of a hand, the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center’s Project My Heart Your Heart hopes to bring recycled pacemakers within reach of those in developing countries as a novel way of treating heart disease.
“This type of activity already goes on on a small scale,” says Dr.Thomas Crawford, a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan.
“Doctors will literally reprocess pacemakers themselves and then take them in a suitcase and go on medical missions for a week or two to re-implant devices. The difference in our program is that we want to develop a standardized protocol that can be followed by any other charity that wants to do this,” he explained. Continue reading →
It took a dramatic health scare for Bob Lee to grasp the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle. After the shock of serious heart disease diagnosis (blockages in four arteries and a rare condition known as anomalous left artery) and necessary surgery, Bob was left with one overriding conviction: “I never want to find myself in this situation again.”
Among other revelations, his experience made him realize this: “You can’t control your gene pool, but you can control other aspects of your life that will lead to better health.” Bob shares his story here.