Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in American, carrying a heavier death toll than smoking and cancer. It’s been said, time and time again, how important it is to take care of your heart, and recent studies have shown that the message has begun to sink in.
However, despite the decline in heart-related illnesses and deaths that have been achieved thus far, heart disease still hold that top spot in annual fatalities. For those who have yet to make the change, these sobering statistics and facts might change their minds the next time they want to forgo their heart health.
Here are some of the statistics concerning heart disease:
- About 600,000 people die from heart disease in America annually
- One in every four of those deaths is caused by cardiovascular complications
- About 720,000 Americans suffer a heart attack every year, about 515,000 of these victims are first time sufferers, while the rest have previously experienced one or more heart-related events
- Coronary heart disease alone costs America about $108.9 billion a year–take into account the medications, health care services, and lost productivity; after a while, it all adds up
After examining the statistics, it’s not hard to see how heart disease affects more than direct sufferers. Billions of dollars are spent annually to treat coronary heart disease, and it’s only going to increase as the number of seniors requiring care increases.
Heart attacks alone are a serious problem, and it’s surprising how few know how to recognize the major symptoms of a heart attack–other than a pain in the left arm. During a survey taken in 2005, only 27 percent of respondents were aware of all the major symptoms associated with a heart attack before they called 9-1-1. Combined with the statistic that 47 percent of all sudden cardiac deaths occur outside a hospital suggests that people aren’t responding to the early warning signs. Major signs of a heart attack include chest pain; upper body pain or discomfort, especially in the arms, back, neck, jaw, and upper stomach; shortness of breath; and cold sweats. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you or someone around you experiences these symptoms.
To learn how you can adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle, and our cardiac monitoring services and products, contact Medicomp, Inc. today! Also, share this post and help to educate others about heart disease.
Arrhythmias refer to a change in the heart’s regular rhythm. It can feel like your heart suddenly speeds up, slows down or stops, or simply beats in a strange, abnormal rhythm. Almost everyone has felt this irregularity at least once in their lifetime. Arrhythmias are extremely common, especially as you get older, and in most cases, they’re nothing to be worried about. Millions of people experience arrhythmias annually. However, on rare occasions, arrhythmias can indicate something severely wrong with the heart.
Symptoms of arrhythmias present themselves on a broad range from barely noticeable to heart failure. Premature beats are called palpitations, and a rapid succession of these can often feel like a fluttering sensation in your chest or neck. If an arrhythmia lasts long enough, you will begin to notice a wider range of serious symptoms including:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden cardiac arrest
It’s important to understand how arrhythmias present themselves and talk to a doctor if you are worried about an arrhythmia experience.
If your doctor shares your concern, they may give you a cardiac monitor to record your heart’s activities. Although there are different types, cardiac monitors are generally small battery operated recorders that you wear around your chest or waist. While you go about your daily activities, the monitor records the electric activity in your heart. You will also be instructed to keep a journal of your activities so your doctor has something to reference when your heart shows different levels of stress. After the recording time, the doctor will review the results and let you know if there is anything wrong and if there are any other actions that need to be taken.
To learn more about arrhythmia monitoring and the devices used to record them, take a look at the Medicomp, Inc. blog today!
People experiencing symptoms of a possible heart problem are usually prescribed a monitoring device to capture on record the heart’s activities during the problematic events. These events can include heart palpitations and fainting spells. The type of device prescribed depends on the prominent symptoms and the amount of time it would take to get an accurate recording of a pattern for these symptoms.
There are four types of cardiac monitoring devices:
- Holter Device. This is the most common recording device as it is usually only used during a 24-72 hour period to detect arrhythmias. During this time the patient goes about their daily activities while wearing the device. These devices are small and easily worn on the chest or waist while the electrodes are placed on specific parts of the chest. During the recording time, patients are asked to keep a detailed log of their activities for their doctor to reference while going through the recording at a later date.
- Event Recorder. These devices are worn up to 30 days at a time, but do not record during that entire period. Instead, these devices are activated by the patient when they feel an event occurring or when a symptom is present. Once the event is recorded it is returned to the doctor for evaluation.
- Mobile Cardiac Telemetry Monitors. These devices record and automatically send information to the physician via cellphone signal in case of an emergency. This is particularly helpful for catching events like fainting spells.
- Implantable Cardiac Monitors. A fairly new type of monitor, these monitors are placed under the skin and have a battery life of about 3 years. These are generally used to catch the most infrequent of episodes, especially ones that are missed by the other types of monitors.
Technology has come a long way to bring this level of convenience and accuracy in cardiac event monitoring.
To learn more about the different types of cardiac monitoring services and products and their history check out the Medicomp Inc. blogs today!
People suffering certain heart conditions or people at risk of suffering heart disease after events like surgery are often given a Holter monitor by their doctor. Holter monitors are small electronic devices that patients take home with them for a 24-72 hour period. During this time, they go about their daily activities while the device records the electrical signals of their heart.
Holter monitors look for:
- Arrhythmias that occur intermittently or during certain daily activities
- Symptoms of possible heart disease such as chest pain and fainting
- Patterns of low blood flow indicating a weak artery
- Signs that indicate the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of treatment–from medication or a pacemaker
Basically, Holter monitors try to catch things that may not present themselves during a visit to the doctor’s office, especially if they only occur during certain activities like working out at the gym.
Patients shouldn’t expect much from a Holter monitoring session. They will be in possession of a small battery operated tape recorder that will be wrapped around the waist or chest and hooked up to monitors that are placed on specific areas of the chest. Once everything is set up, they will go about their regular activities until they return the device to their doctor. After the patient’s allotted time is up, the doctor will compare the readings from the monitor with the activities done at the time to determine if there is anything wrong.
While wearing the monitor, patients should:
- Be thorough in their journal entries to ensure accuracy
- Position themselves while they sleep to avoid pulling the electrodes off
- Wear loose fitting clothing that will not rub on the electrodes
After the session is complete, the doctor will let them know the results and what, if any, further action needs to be taken.
To learn more about Holter monitoring devices, contact Medicomp Inc. today. Have you ever worn a Holter Monitor? What advice would you give first time wearers? Share this post and your experience. We’d love to share it with our followers.
Annually, heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. Doctors and health care professionals have emphasized the importance of making lifestyle changes to decrease the risks of heart attacks and strokes. The online journal, Circulation,published an article recently that gives these professionals reason to celebrate. According to the article, a study shows that healthy lifestyle changes and increased awareness efforts have drastically decreased the amount of people hospitalized with heart problems.
This study comes from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. Researchers collected the medical data on over 34 million Medicaid-covered patients between 1999 and 2011. The findings show that the number of hospital visits for heart attacks dropped by nearly 38%, and that the improvements in the quality of care for patients has decreased the risk of death from heart attacks by 20%. The results are staggering. Lead researcher Dr. Harlan Krumholz commented on the results saying:
“They really show that we have begun to reverse this epidemic of heart disease and stroke. No one thought this kind of progress was possible in this short period of time. There is a path to reverse epidemics borne of lifestyle rather than from infectious causes.”
Heart disease may be declining but that will not stop the efforts of health officials to spread awareness and emphasize the importance of lifestyle changes that take care of the heart. There are still people who smoke, eat fast food as a staple to their diets, and forego exercise to entertain themselves inside their homes. However, the results show that America is on the right track, hopefully there will be another drop in the percent of those hospitalized for heart problems in the years to come.
To learn more about heart disease and the steps you can take to decrease your chances of contracting one, browse through the Medicomp Inc. blogs today. Medicomp offers flexible ambulatory cardiac monitoring to meet the changing needs of your practice. Medicomp is led by a physician, and he utilizes his medical experience in cardiology to guide the company with a doctor´s perspective in caring for patients.
Share this post and let everyone know of the great strides our nation as taken in the battle to prevent heart disease. Also, share your lifestyle changes that help to keep your heart pumping at peak performance.
High levels of sodium have been linked to increased blood pressure that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. However, health organizations and universities the world over continue to study the relationshipbetween sodium levels and heart health. The New England Journal of Medicine recently published the results of three studies looking at the correlation between sodium and blood pressure. Researchers determined that previous studies that concluded a link between sodium levels and heart disease should be examined further.
Dr. Andrew Mente and his colleagues from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, examined therelationship between blood pressure and the level of excretion of sodium through urine. Results of the study showed that 3-6 grams of sodium intake per day was associated with lower risks for heart disease than consuming more or less than 3-6 grams a day.
From the same university, Dr. Martin O’Donnell and his colleagues did a similar study. They examined the intake and excretion of sodium and how it relates to heart disease. Contrary to the results of the first study, Dr. O’Donnell found that excretion of 5 grams and above per day was associated with a greater chance of heart disease. In addition, it associated a modest connection between heart disease and 3-5 grams of sodium excretion per day, and no significant connection between heart disease and 3 grams or less of sodium excretion per day.
The last study conducted by Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian and his colleagues at Tufts University in Boston examined data taken from surveys on sodium intake determined by excretion and diet from 66 countries. The results of this study associated the death of 1.65 million from heart disease in 2010 with sodium intake above 2 grams per day.
To sum it all up, the exact relation between sodium intake and heart disease is more complicated than previously thought–all the studies present contradictory results to each other. Researchers understand that there is a need for high-quality evidence to describe the correlation between low and high sodium diets and heart disease before any solid conclusions can be drawn.
To learn more about how foods can affect your heart health, as well as more about our products such as a telemetry unit or Holter monitor, contact the professionals at Medicomp Inc. today. What do you think is a healthy sodium intake? How do you regulate the amount of sodium in your diet? Share this post and join the conversation.
The heart is a powerful organ that is responsible for pumping blood throughout our bodies, without rest, for our entire lives. Despite how important and hard working it is, many people do not take extra steps in their daily routine to make sure they are taking care of their hearts. The American lifestyle habits of eating fast food, frequent stationary activities, and stressful work environments all damage and stress the heart. We may not notice these effects on a daily basis, but the damage and stress builds up until it shows itself through a heart attack or stroke.
Maintaining a healthy heart is easy as long as you take the time to give your heart what it needs. Junk foods and fast foods introduce foreign materials into the body, which activate the natural inflammatory response of your blood vessels. Prolonged inflammation can scar the tissues or cause blood clots to form in the constricted vessels. The simple solution is to eat healthy foods. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are particularly helpful in reducing the presence of bad cholesterol and fat in the blood. For many Americans, healthy food is harder to access because it costs more than fast food. However, making the choice is vital to living a long and happy life.
Desk jobs and digital entertainment have us sitting around for hours on end on a daily basis. The heart is made up of powerful muscles, and like all muscles regular exercise is important to keep it healthy and strong. Doctors recommend doing cardio exercises for about 30-60 minutes a day, 3 days a week to maintain a healthy heart. In addition to relieving stress on the heart, it can be a fun and relaxing way to relieve stress on your brain. It may be tough to find the time, but you owe it to yourself to make the time.
Eating healthy and working out are two simple changes everyone should make to increase the strength of their heart and decrease the chances of heart disease. Heart disease is still the number one killer of Americans, but studies show that lifestyle changes have decreased this annual rate over the years. It’s up to you to become part of this positive statistic.
To find out more about how to maintain a healthy heart and cardiac monitoring, check out Medicomp Inc.’s blogs today. What post-work exercises are you committed to? Share this post and let us know how you fit exercise into your busy, daily life.
Food is the fuel that powers our bodies on a daily basis. Choosing the right foods is important to maintaining a healthy body, especially when it comes to our hearts. Adding a couple of specific foods to your diet can drastically reduce your chances of suffering heart disease.
- Oatmeal. Diets high in soluble fiber reduce the amount of LDL, or bad, cholesterol from being absorbed into our blood. Steel-cut oats are a fantastic source of soluble fiber.
- Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to lower the triglyceride levels in your blood which lowers your chances of suffering from heart disease. Salmon, herring, tuna, and sturgeon are all great examples of fish that are packed with Omega-3s.
- Nuts. In addition to being good sources of protein, nuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are essentially the good fats that reduce the levels of bad fats in your blood and provide nutrients that your body can’t produce naturally.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Just like nuts, extra-virgin olive oil is a fantastic source of monounsaturated fats.
- Berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries help reduce inflammation in our blood vessels. Inflammation is caused when unfamiliar materials, often found in junk foods, enter the bloodstream and set off the body’s natural inflammatory response. Continued inflammation can cause stress and scarring in our blood vessels, so berries are an important addition to daily diet.
- Beans. Studies show that people who consume beans on a regular basis have a significantly lower risk of heart disease than people who do not.
- Green Veggies. Broccoli, kale, and spinach have similar anti-inflammatory effects on our blood vessels as berries do.
They may not be our favorite foods, but adding these foods to our regular diet is something simple we can do to improve our heart health. The heart is meant to last us a lifetime, and it’s important we give it what it needs.
To learn more about arrhythmia and cardiac monitoring, continue to browse our blogs. What other dietary foods help to increase heart health? Share this post and tell us what you eat to maintain your heart.
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Three weeks following conception, a baby’s heart will start to develop. A week later, that little heart is pumping blood to the rest of the developing organs. From that day forward and for the rest of that baby’s life, that heart will continue to beat, pumping blood through the body without a moment of rest.
It goes without saying that your heart’s health is always important to maintain. However, as we age our bodies and our lives change, so the steps we take to maintain a healthy heart must change as well.
As early as the age of 20, there are a few habits and steps you can take to keep your heart working at its best. A good first step is to check your family’s health records for a history of heart disease. Knowing that your family is susceptible to heart disease early on in life will allow you to take certain measures that can help reduce your chances of encountering similar problems. Learning to drink in moderation is also important. Enjoying alcohol is fine, but you should limit your consumption early to avoid stressing your heart in the future. Women should talk to their doctors about their options for birth control to weigh the risks for heart disease and stroke. Some oral contraceptives can raise blood pressure, and it’s important for women to understand the risks before committing to these products.
Once you reach your 30s and 40s, you will probably juggle work, a social life, and a family, but you still need to squeeze heart health into your daily routine. Keep your personal health a priority. This means taking time to relax and getting plenty of sleep. Not having enough time to do so is not an excuse, health for yourself and other should always be your top priority.
At the age of 50 and beyond, your body stops working the way it used to. Make sure you keep your doctor informed of all the bodily changes that you’re experiencing and ask them to educate you on the steps that need to be taken to keep your heart functioning at its best. Regular cardiac monitoring is important to ensure that your heart is working at its best. Even if there are no prevalent problems showing on the outside, your body’s internal functions could be gradually debilitating.
To learn more about cardiac monitoring, visit the Medicomp Inc. website today. Share this post and help educate your family and friends of the importance of heart health. Whether young or old, heart health should be a primary concern and top priority.