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Lately when I climb the stairs or get really stressed, my jaw
starts hurting. Is that just an oddity or something I should
If you are healthy, haven’t been diagnosed with heart disease or other cardiovascular disease, and don’t have risk factors for them, aspirin probably isn’t for you. You’ll reap little benefit while exposing yourself to side effects you’d rather stay away from.
Baigent C, Blackwell L, Collins R, et al. Aspirin in the primary
and secondary prevention of vascular disease: collaborative
meta-analysis of individual participant data from randomised
Lancet 2009; 373:1849-60.
De Berardis G, Sacco M, Strippoli GF, et al. Aspirin for primary
prevention of cardiovascular events in people with diabetes:
meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
BMJ 2009; 339:b4531.
Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease?
Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin 2009; 47:122-5.
Eating frozen fruits and vegetables is a good way to boost the
nutritional value of your diet when fresh local produce is not
Off-pump bypass surgery was touted as a better alternative to the
traditional method, but findings show the two types yield similar
results when performed by equally experienced surgeons. If the
off-pump bypass procedure is the one your cardiac surgeon is most
comfortable with, and he or she does it often with an experienced
team, it’s a perfectly fine choice. But there is no compelling
reason to pursue this new procedure, either. For now, the old
standby — which itself was once a revolutionary new technique —
is still the gold standard.
Raynaud's phenomenon is a sudden spasm of the blood vessels in
the hands that blocks blood flow to the skin, causing pain. There
are two main types of Raynaud’s. Secondary Raynaud’s and Primary
Raynaud’s. It isn’t always easy to tell one type from the other.
Your doctor will use your story, symptoms, and some blood and
other tests to make a diagnosis.
Studies have shown that people with heart failure can benefit
from the drug spironolactone, but concerns about possible side
effects may have made some doctors reluctant to prescribe it. It
can sometimes boost potassium levels dangerously high.
Spironolactone also causes breast swelling and tenderness, a
condition called gynecomastia. If you have heart failure and a
weakened left ventricle, ask your doctor if spironolactone is an
option for you.
The FDA has warned doctors that certain stomach-protecting
medications may interfere with the clot-blocking drug Plavix.
Researchers claim that only 8% of Americans are healthy enough to
remain free of cardiovascular disease without the assistance of a
My last echocardiogram showed mild diastolic dysfunction. What
does that mean?
I have had CT scans of my coronary arteries as part of several
annual physicals. They show my arteries have a lot of calcium — I
am now in the 89th percentile for calcium scores. My stress tests
and echocardiograms are normal, so are my blood pressure and
cholesterol, and I feel fine. Should I have an angiogram to
confirm the calcification?
I like sports, and now that I am in my 60s and have had some
trouble with my heart, I mainly enjoy them on television. My
family sees how excited I sometimes get watching a game and they
worry that it is bad for my heart. I think they are going
overboard. Can you tell them to relax so I can enjoy the Super
Bowl in peace?