Category: Heart Health

Young woman sleeping on a bed

Can’t sleep? It might be making you sick

Categories: Heart Health  /  News

Can’t get a good night sleep? You’re not alone. Several problems can contribute to poor sleep, but snoring is one of the most common and obvious – if not for the snorer, then for the spouse. Snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the sleeper’s airway is temporarily blocked, causing the sleeper to gasp for air multiple times a night. Airways can be blocked by the tissues of the soft palate or the tonsils, or sometimes by fat in the neck. The sleeper often is not aware they’re waking up, but may feel sleepy or …Read More >

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Smiling senior woman swimmers in pool

Remember the moon landing? Then you REALLY need some exercise

Categories: Heart Health  /  News

Exercise. Love it or hate it, it’s been described by experts as the closest thing we have to a miracle drug — with so many health benefits confirmed by research that there’s no question that all of us should be working out in some form or another. That includes older adults. Regular exercise is especially important as we age. It improves heart health, maintains a healthy weight, keeps joints flexible and helps improve balance to reduce the risk of falls. But the benefits go beyond even that.  One study found that adults 75 years and older who exercised lived longer than those …Read More >

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Angry young man, blowing steam coming out of ears, about to have nervous atomic breakdown. Negative human emotions, facial expressions, feelings, attitude

Tamping down a hot temper

Categories: Heart Health  /  News

We’ve all felt it — an anger that begins to bubble up inside us during an argument, after a broken promise, or maybe as a result of someone’s rude or thoughtless words or actions. The problem is if anger occurs frequently or intensifies into rage. In those cases, experts say, you might take a few deep breaths and consider a few tips to keep that temper under control. Otherwise, you could be damaging your health. Is it an underlying illness? Frequent feelings of aggression might stem from post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, or some other illness. If you suspect that …Read More >

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06/10/2008 133630 -- San Antonio, TX..

A safer way to repair hearts and reduce the risk of kidney damage

Categories: Heart Health  /  News  /  Surgery  /  Technology

The ability of doctors to thread catheters and stents through blood vessels has transformed medicine — often providing an alternative to big incisions and long recovery times. More than a million catheterizations to repair the heart and its vessels are performed in the United States each year. But for some patients with kidney disease, those catheter procedures come with a big asterisk. Contrast dye, used to allow doctors to see blockages and other problems, can be toxic. Healthy kidneys can flush the dye out of the body quickly after a procedure. But for patients with poorly functioning kidneys, the dye …Read More >

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A new option for a fluttering heart

Categories: Heart Health  /  News

Atrial fibrillation is a fairly common problem affecting the heart’s rhythm. An estimated 6 million Americans have it. It’s also a major risk factor for stroke. Medication can help many with atrial fibrillation. But for others, a new procedure called Watchman offers an alternative. It creates a physical barrier that catches clots and prevents them from traveling to the brain. Dr. Manoj Panday, a cardiologist and head of cardiac electrophysiology at UT Health San Antonio, performs the procedure at University Hospital. He told KENS TV that most patients who undergo the procedure are able to stop taking blood-thinning drugs, which …Read More >

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Ganging up on high blood pressure

Categories: Diabetes  /  Heart Health  /  News  /  Research

High blood pressure affects a third of U.S. adults. It’s undertreated and hard to manage. But a new team approach underway at University Health System clinics is showing promising results. When high blood pressure isn’t controlled, it can contribute to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and diabetes complications. Typically, in most settings, treatment involves a brief chat with a physician, followed by a prescription for a hypertension medicine. Controlling blood pressure, however, is more successful when a number of factors are addressed. The team approach being studied at University Health System involves getting the physician a little help. That includes …Read More >

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05/31/2010 195105 -- San Antonio, TX..University Hospital - Living Proof TV and Print Ad Campaign - 2011..Cath Lab - Dr. S. Hinan Ahmed M.D

Pinpointing the source of heart disease

Categories: Heart Health  /  News

When Antonio Vargas became too weak to do the things he enjoyed, his daughter Mimi Cruz brought him in for care. Doctors at the Heart and Vascular Institute at University Health System threaded a catheter to the vessels leading to his heart and found blockage in multiple vessels. They treated him with medication until he became strong enough to undergo a second procedure to open a vessel and implant a stent. Cardiac catheterization is an important diagnostic tool in determining heart disease. Mr. Vargas’s story, one in a series of stories that make up the Real Men Wear Gowns campaign, …Read More >

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UHS_NICUIII Babies

A simple test to detect heart problems in babies

Categories: Children's Health  /  Heart Health  /  News  /  Pregnancy

The idea was that a simple, noninvasive test could detect undiagnosed heart problems in healthy looking newborns before they leave the hospital. Dr. Alice Gong, a neonatologist at University Hospital and professor of pediatrics at UT Health San Antonio, was at the forefront of pushing for Texas hospitals to perform the test, called pulse oximetry, which measures the oxygen level in blood. A state law made the test mandatory for hospitals that deliver babies. And new study published this month in the American Journal of Perinatology confirmed the test is valuable. It looked at an early group of 11,322 babies …Read More >

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Making a lifesaving operation even safer

Categories: Children's Health  /  Heart Health  /  News  /  rehabilitation

It is one of modern medicine’s great advances — the ability of surgeons to repair congenital heart defects in very young patients.  Over the years, both surgical techniques and technology have improved so that these very sick kids are surviving and living long, productive lives. Dr. Andrew Meyer wants to make that surgery even safer. Dr. Meyer, a pediatric critical care specialist who also is a biomedical engineer, is taking aim at a complication that can arise when some patients are hooked up to heart-lung bypass machines — the devices that make open heart surgery possible. In a small percentage …Read More >

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Fixing a faulty valve

Categories: Heart Health  /  News  /  rehabilitation  /  Surgery

Healthy hearts need healthy valves. But when those valves start to malfunction, it can cause symptoms that may not lead people to think of the correct cause. “People tend to think that this is old age and they don’t get it checked out,” said Dr. Edward Sako, professor of cardiothoracic surgery at UT Health San Antonio who practices at University Health System. “The patient may feel fine.” Dr. Sako said people face two common problems with their heart valves. One is stenosis, or narrowing, where the valve doesn’t open well. The other is regurgitation, where it doesn’t close well. It …Read More >

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