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Three calculators are available to help individuals with diabetes
gauge their odds of having a heart attack over the next ten
Framingham risk calculator is an all-purpose tool for
people with and without diabetes.
Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study has developed a
cardiovascular risk calculator specifically for people with
diabetes. Created for doctors and researchers, it must be
downloaded and installed.
Interested in learning how to do (or brushing up on)
cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated
external defibrillator? The
American Heart Association's Web site can pinpoint a class
near you. You can also call the AHA at 800-242-8721 (toll free)
or the American Red Cross at 202-303-4498.
Four states currently publish reports cards for individual
The state's Executive Office of Health and Human Services reports
on nine different
operations. Heart-related reports that include volume or
report cards are available for abdominal aortic aneurysm,
coronary artery bypass
grafting, and percutaneous coronary
Cardiac Surgery in New Jersey offers report cards on the
state's cardiac surgeons and hospitals. The state's Department of
Health and Senior Services Consumer
Reports and Resources Web site offers information about
doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and HMOs.
A few states have begun to compile data on the success rates of
cardiac surgeons, but the information may be outdated or
otherwise inaccurate. One suggestion is to choose a doctor who
regularly performs the surgery you need and has done it many
An excess of aldosterone, a hormone produced by the adrenal
glands, causes hypertension in some people. Treatment depends on
whether one gland or both is affected.
Some research suggests that cholesterol-lowering statins may help
prevent narrowing or hardening of the aortic valve, but there is
not enough evidence to indicate you should start taking a statin
if you are not taking one already.
Depression can often develop as a result of a heart attack or
cardiac surgery, and has more serious effects on heart health and
overall health than depression that was present before a heart
Research found that people who have a home defibrillator for use
in case of a cardiac emergency tended to forget how to use the
device over time. If you have such a device, it is vital to know
how to use it and to maintain this knowledge.
Two drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease have been found to
cause heart valve leakage. If you take one of these medications,
you should ask your doctor about switching to a safer one. If no
other drug is effective, watch for signs of valve trouble.
The American Heart Association has launched a web site to help
people track their eating habits and exercise, and offers tips
and encouragement toward living a healthier life.
If you drink tea, taking it with milk seems to negate any
positive effect from the antioxidants it contains. However, there
is still no definite evidence that tea can protect you from heart
I know that exercise is good for my heart, which is one reason
why I took up long-distance running. But I have heard that
marathon running damages the heart. Is that true?
My doctor put me on a statin and told me to take it after dinner.
I would rather take it with breakfast. Does it matter?