5 ways smoking hurts your heart


University of Michigan cardiologist Dr. G. Michael Deeb wants his patients to know something: Nicotine is toxic not only to the lungs but also to the heart. “When most patients think of the dangers of smoking, they think about the lungs,” says Dr. Deeb. “But cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in Michigan, and smoking is accelerating the problem.”

According to the American Heart Association, as many as 30 percent of all coronary heart disease deaths in the United States each year are attributable to cigarette smoking, and the more you smoke, the greater your risk. But even people who smoke fewer than five cigarettes a day can have early signs of cardiovascular disease. Continue reading

PAD patient is walking with purpose

September is PAD Awareness Month

PAD walk Blog

PAD patient Keith Molin participated in the 2014 Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk. He’ll be sitting this year’s walk out due to a broken foot, but says he is there in spirit.

Keith Molin won’t be walking in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk this year as he intended, but not because of his peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or any heart-related issues. This year, a broken bone in his foot is preventing him from participating, as he did last year.

He’ll be there in spirit, however, happy to be able to even consider the walk after a significant heart issue was diagnosed by U-M cardiologist Dr. Michael Shea.

This past July 26 marked the two-year anniversary of Keith’s “routine” annual visit to Dr. Shea. The appointment, however, turned out to be anything but routine. The exam detected a heart murmur caused by a defective aortic valve. Keith’s only option was surgery to replace the valve. Continue reading

Top 5 Takeaways on Diseases of the Aorta and Veins

Dr. Dawn Coleman shares information from Mini Med School presentation

mini_med_school_cardiovascular_graphic diseases blogLeading U-M Frankel CVC researchers and physicians are advancing knowledge, finding new treatments and applying new technologies. Each week one of them shared his or her expertise in a six-week Mini Med School community education program focused on cardiovascular topics.

Here are the Top 5 Takeaways from Dr. Dawn Coleman’s Mini Med School presentation on Diseases of the Aorta and Veins:

1. Surgery for AAA is a solid option

Open surgical repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remains a durable option for patients; endovascular measures with stent graft technology continue to evolve, offering expanded indications for use with complex anatomy and a lower risk of early death and major complication. Continue reading

Eighty-seven-year-old shares her experience with peripheral arterial disease

Maxine Kilkoin is walking proud

Maxine Kilkoin blog

Despite PAD, Maxine Kilkoin enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her granddaughter.

An artificial limb hasn’t slowed Maxine Kilkoin down. In fact, she’s doing more today than ever, thanks to the treatment she received at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center. The 87-year-old says the doctors at U-M helped her keep her leg for five years after her prior physician recommended it be removed due to peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

PAD is a condition, or set of conditions, caused by the blockage or narrowing of the body’s large peripheral arteries. Lack of proper blood flow to the legs is very common in this condition. An estimated one in 20 Americans over the age of 50 has PAD and between 12 and 20 percent of Americans age 65 and older suffers from the disease. Continue reading

Yoga and peripheral artery disease

New pilot program aims to treat PAD by increasing circulation

woman-yoga-poseThe number of adults with peripheral artery disease (PAD) is expected to increase significantly over the next several decades as the American population ages.

PAD is a disease of the peripheral arteries, most commonly in the pelvis and legs. In cases of PAD, plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs and limbs. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries, limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body. Peripheral arterial disease normally affects the arteries in the legs, but it also can affect the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys and stomach.

People with peripheral arterial disease have four to five times more risk of heart attack or stroke and, when left untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and amputation.

Continue reading