bridgewater-slash-raritan

HeartBeats

September 16, 2022

As we say goodbye to the scorching summer of 2022, it is worth noting that heat records have been broken across the globe. Unprecedented heat waves have hit the US, Europe, England and China. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration July 2022 was the third hottest July on ...

Read more »

Summer has arrived. It is time for all of those fun summer activities: golf, tennis, hiking, swimming, kayaking and sitting on the beach. Unfortunately, summer poses some unique risks for the heart patient. How does the heat affect the heart? Is vacationing good for cardiac health? If so, what type ...

Read more »

The aortic valve is a three-leaflet valve situated between the left ventricle (the main pumping chamber of the heart) and the aorta (the main artery leading from the heart). When the left ventricle contracts to send blood to the body, the aortic valve opens to allow the blood to flow out. After the ...

Read more »

As the rain in April turns into the beautiful trees, shrubs, grass and flowers of May, we can see that green is good!  As we sit gazing out of our window at the marvelous greenery, we wonder, “Is it better to exercise indoors in a gym or outdoors in nature? How else is green good for health?” The ...

Read more »

Let’s evaluate the cardiovascular risk for three hypothetical scenarios.  A 50-year-old office worker who, prior to the pandemic, was not overweight and had normal cholesterol levels. He has no family history for heart disease. During the pandemic, he worked from home, stopped exercising, did ...

Read more »

A 65-year-old woman is seeing her cardiologist for follow up of an elevated heart artery calcium score on CT scan.  They discuss various treatment options including starting a statin. She asks, “Should I continue to take my Vitamin D and calcium supplements since there is higher than normal calcium ...

Read more »

William Shakespeare once said, “The eyes are the window to your soul.” This is poetic and philosophical, but can the eyes be more practical and be a window on the heart as well? A cataract is a common eye disorder that occurs as people get older. Are cataracts associated with heart disease or a ...

Read more »

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker How easy for those who do not bulge, to not overindulge - Ogden Nash Ogden Nash was a famous American poet and humorist.  Unfortunately the NASH to be discussed in this column is not as well known and certainly is not humorous.  NASH (or ...

Read more »

Unlike Shakespeare, medical recommendations are not timeless. A medication may presently be prescribed for a given condition, but if new information comes out casting doubt on it’s effectiveness, then it may fall out of favor. The use of aspirin in the primary prevention of heart disease is the ...

Read more »

In September 2021, the United States surpassed 700,000 deaths due to COVID-19. This is certainly an enormous and tragic loss of life, but it is significant for another reason.  The US now has more deaths from COVID-19 than it did during the 1918 influenza pandemic (675,000).  While COVID-19 has ...

Read more »

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11 2001 shocked the nation, causing deep and lasting psychological and physiological effects.  Over the ensuing twenty years, numerous health problems have been described in the survivors of the attacks as well as the rescue ...

Read more »

Labor Day marks the traditional end to summer. Families and friends will celebrate the holiday by getting together, barbequing and having a few cocktails. How many of those holiday revelers will end up in the hospital the following week with atrial fibrillation (Afib) and Holiday Heart ...

Read more »

The Olympic torch will finally be lit for the 2020 Olympics next week in Tokyo! More than 11,000 athletes will compete in 339 events representing 33 different sports. Before the Opening Ceremony begins, we will explore which sport is the best type of exercise.  Six different Olympic sports, tennis, ...

Read more »

The thumb is a remarkable appendage.  By allowing us to grasp objects, to use tools, to write, the thumb has helped us evolve above and beyond all other animal species. Can the thumb also be useful in helping us detect an enlarged aorta?  The aorta is the main artery of the body. It arises from ...

Read more »

Plato and a platypus walk into a bar... This isn’t the start of some highbrow joke, but the title of a book by Harvard trained philosophers Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein. In the book the authors plausibly spell out how jokes and humor can explain all of philosophy. Jokes and philosophical ...

Read more »

Lipoprotein (a) or Lp(a), pronounced “El Pee Little a”, is a lipid particle that is associated with plaque in the heart arteries, heart attack and cardiac death. What is Lp(a), what is its link to heart disease and how is it treated? Lp(a) was discovered in 1963, but has been largely forgotten ...

Read more »

Over the past several months, the news has been reporting about a shadowy figure named “Q”, who has promulgated many baseless and false theories over a wide range of subjects, mostly about politicians and elections. Similarly, the body has a shadowy “Q”, coenzyme Q, which is ubiquitous and is ...

Read more »

It's a warm summer evening in ancient Athens. Archimedes is sitting in the agora and notices redness, swelling and pain in his big toe after drinking a kylix of wine. He goes to the market and is given an herb by a local farmer. After taking the herb, his big toe starts to feel better. He runs ...

Read more »

The holidays are over. The gifts have been unwrapped. The decorations are down. The holiday ham has been cooked and eaten. Now that it’s a new year, it’s time to examine whether that ham is healthy or not. For years, a cornerstone of teaching in medical school, and in cardiology training ...

Read more »

Has something been needling you the past year? Has something been jabbing at your brain? Has something pricked the bubble of your hopes and dreams for 2020? Of course! It’s COVID 19! Now, finally, there may be light at the end of the tunnel with the coronavirus vaccine. How does the new vaccine ...

Read more »

The big news in this month's election is not the contested presidential race. It's not undecided Senate seats. The big news is that New Jersey voted to legalize recreational marijuana use! Is this a recreational activity that is good, or even safe, for those with heart disease or risks for heart ...

Read more »

Mediterranean, Pesco-Mediterranean, Keto, Paleo, Atkins, DASH, vegetarian, lacto- vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian, vegan. There are a staggering number of diets, but which one is right? Each has their proponents and their opponents. All of these diets tout weight loss, cholesterol lowering, prevention ...

Read more »

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues around the globe, the world’s researchers learn more and more about the virus, some of which is quite surprising.  With the nonstop media reporting about coronavirus, it is sometimes difficult to separate what is true about the disease and what is not.  Let’s ...

Read more »

“Drink no liquid that isn’t at least a thousand years old (wine, water, coffee). Eat nothing invented by humans,” opines the polymath and philosopher Nicholas Taleb.  The idea is that if a beverage has been around for many years, it is likely healthy and will be drunk for another thousand years. On ...

Read more »

As the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, continues to spread and as the illness it causes, COVID-19, runs rampant, what can you do to stay safe? How does the virus spread? How can you avoid a superspreader? Should you wear a mask and, if so, which one? Should you go for antibody testing? The coronavirus ...

Read more »

It is not cholera. It is not a love story set in uncertain times in the Caribbean. It is a real pandemic. The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, causes a unique illness with many manifestations called COVID-19.  Older patients and those with pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure ...

Read more »

The olive tree, with its ancient roots, is strongly identified with a region and a cuisine. More than just a tree, it has come to symbolize peace, wisdom, persistence, longevity, healing, prosperity, stability, friendship, victory and tranquility.  Why is such importance attributed to this dusty, ...

Read more »

What do people who live a long life have in common? First, it helps to have good genes. Beyond that there are several recurring themes and three lifestyle pillars that are found in cultures with many nonagenarians and centenarians. The first two are exercise and diet. The third pillar is social ...

Read more »

Waterfalls are a wonder of nature. They are often the prizes found after a long hike through the woods. Waterfalls are a worldwide phenomenon. However, the number of waterfalls are not easy to determine due to differing definitions; California is estimated to have as many as 400. The world’s ...

Read more »

At the dawn of a new decade, what is the best way to assess a person’s risk for atherosclerosis (plaque in the heart arteries)? There are many different tools to choose from including several risk calculators, blood tests (for example C reactive protein) and imaging tests (such as stress tests or ...

Read more »