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In an Ask the Doctor item about quitting smoking in the May
2010 Harvard Heart Letter, we invited readers to
share their stories of how they quit smoking. We received a number
of interesting and witty ways to help stop this serious addiction.
Kuna ST, Maislin G, Hin S, Hartwig K, Hachadoorian R, Hurley S,
Gupta R, Atwood CW. Non-inferiority of functional outcome in
ambulatory management of obstructive sleep apnea. Presentation at
the 2010 American Thoracic Society Annual Conference in New
Sunwoo B, Kuna ST. Ambulatory management of patients with sleep
apnea: is there a place for portable monitor testing?
Clinics in Chest Medicine 2010; 31:299-308.
Epstein LJ, Kristo D, Strollo PJ, Jr., et al. Clinical guideline
for the evaluation, management and long-term care of obstructive
sleep apnea in adults.
Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 2009; 5:263-76.
The term "heart attack" encompasses a number of conditions that
vary in severity and treatment approach. Here is a guide to the
names that doctors give to different types of heart attacks.
Diagnosing sleep apnea typically requires an overnight stay in a
hospital or sleep lab, but the development of portable monitors
opened the door to diagnosing sleep apnea at home. If you ask
your doctor about doing it at home, and it is appropriate for
you, your doctor may loan you a kit or order one for you. The big
advantage of a home sleep test is its convenience however; there
are several disadvantages, too.
Research examining the dangers of inactivity suggests that those
who are not currently physically active are likely to benefit
from even a small amount of activity or exercise. This includes
going out for a walk, working in the garden, or standing while
you read, watch television, or work.
The evolving understanding of the different types of fats in foods has changed the perception of saturated fat. Eaten in moderation, it is a useful part of the diet and is unlikely to affect cardiovascular health.
Guidelines for whether or not people with diabetes should take a
daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks have been revised based on
The challenges of maintaining a medication regimen for a long
period of time are compounded by diminishing belief in their
Brief reports on migraines and stroke risk, HDL's potential role
in lowering cancer risk, unhealthy food ads on TV, and the
benefits of defibrillators in public places.
Readers offer suggestions and strategies for quitting smoking.
Your article on mitral valve surgery didn't mention how often
someone like me - with mild regurgitation from a leaky mitral
valve but no symptoms - should have his or her valve checked. Are
there any standards for this?
After a heart attack 15 years ago, my doctor put me on 200
milligrams of amiodarone daily to halt episodes of ventricular
tachycardia. I started a vigorous exercise program that has
gradually improved my ejection fraction from 35% to 55%. Three
years ago, I started cutting back on amiodarone because of side
effects. My latest electrocardiogram showed no signs of
ventricular tachycardia, and my doctor wants me to stop taking
amiodarone. That worries me. Any thoughts on what I should do?