You may think the most common single cause of death in the United States is heart attack. Or cancer. Or stroke. But it’s actually sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). This runaway problem with the heart’s electrical system is fatal 95 percent of the time.
Researchers suspect sleep apnea causes abnormal heart rhythms, which lead to sudden cardiac death.
Not all enlarged hearts are life threatening. Sometimes they’re a harmless effect of athletic training, known as “athlete’s heart.” Sports cardiology experts can tell the difference.
Beta-blockers are some of the most effective medications for treating heart failure. While side effects and determining dosage can make their use difficult, abruptly stopping them is dangerous.
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If you’re an athlete, there’s one muscle that can become too big: your heart. Sure, it sounds counterintuitive. The purpose of training, after all, is to grow and strengthen your muscles. Doesn’t a strong heart fuel athletic performance? In most cases, yes. In general, it’s completely normal and healthy for your heart to adapt to … Read More
Do you wonder why some smokers develop heart disease, but others don’t? Or how someone who thrives on burgers and fries can live to be 90, when a vegetarian has a heart attack at 40? The answer may be in the genes. And the fact is, we are only beginning to understand how they affect … Read More
It’s your physical and your doctor is coming at you with a cold stethoscope, ready to listen to your heart. But what does your heart have to say? Potentially, a lot. Comprised of four chambers and four valves, one of the heart’s most important jobs is to keep blood flowing in one direction. The valves … Read More
Back to school time means back to sports. Before training begins you will often be required to complete a pre-participation athletic screening. Generally, this involves filling out a form that asks you questions about your medical history and your family’s. For most athletes, the screening stops there. However, when a physician feels that an athlete’s … Read More
Sometimes the first symptom of the heart muscle disease hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is sudden cardiac death, and some of its most tragic victims are teenagers and young adults. HCM is a complex disease and it affects vastly different groups of people. HCM prevention and treatment save lives, but only if screening identifies those at risk. … Read More
Sudden cardiac arrest often occurs without prior symptoms and it results in as many as 325,000 deaths a year in the United States. Only 3 to 10 percent of people who experience sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting survive. Today, advances in technology and treatment give hope to those at risk. Using implantable cardioverter … Read More