Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

The incidence of erectile dysfunction increases with age. Hardening of the arteries and blockage within the arteries is the most common cause of erection problems. Very often, blockage of the arteries of the penis occurs with blockage of the coro Also referred to as impotence. The inability to achieve or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. Involves blockages of the lower aorta as well as the arteries in the pelvis coming off the aorta, including the iliac arteries. It is characterized...

Pregnancy in the Woman with Heart Disease

Before becoming pregnant, a woman may have a congenital heart defect or acquired heart disease. Many congenital defects can now be surgically repaired in infancy, and the first generation of these patients has only recently reached childbear-ing age. They represent a new kind of patient for obstetricians and cardiologists. Acquired heart disease in pregnant women includes primarily rheumatic disease involving heart valves, heart failure, and coronary artery disease. Because many women are now...

Nutrition for a Healthy Heart

Bethea, M.D., F.A.C.S. Clinical Professor of Surgery Tulane University School of Medicine Chief of Thoracic Surgery Memorial Medical Center-Baptist Campus New Orleans, Louisiana A hormone produced in the pancreas that promotes the use of glucose by the cells and protein formation. Glucose is a simple sugar derived from digested starches, more complex sugars, and other foods. Insulin is also responsible for the formation and storage of fats (lipids). any appreciable amount, only a...

How Does Alcohol Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

We have identified many of the biologic and physiologic effects of wine and alcohol that relate to protection against CAD. Alcohol affects blood lipids it increases HDL-cholesterol, the good cholesterol that lowers the risk of heart disease. Alcohol also tends to slightly decrease LDL-cholesterol, the bad cholesterol that increases atherosclerosis. Thus, individuals who have consumed moderate amounts of alcohol for most of their adult years tend to have less atherosclerosis. Alcohol also...

Cant We Just Eat a Healthy Diet to Prevent Heart Disease

Some physicians argue that we do not have to use alcohol to prevent CAD because we know other ways (changes in lifestyle habits) that will prevent heart disease lose weight and change your diet. But they do not often appreciate how difficult it is for someone to lose 10 to 20 pounds (and keep it off) or how difficult it is for people to permanently adopt a very low-fat and low-cholesterol diet. Further, our data suggest that the moderate use of alcohol reduces the risk of CAD to a greater...

Heart Attack Myocardial Infarction

Although angina doesn't necessarily mean you are about to have a heart attack, any change in your condition should be acted upon quickly. Typical signals of an impending heart attack include angina that is more severe or lasts longer than a few minutes. The chest discomfort associated with a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, may last for several hours (longer than a usual angina episode) and may not respond to nitroglycerin tablets, or even intravenous nitroglycerin at the hospital. Heart...

Heart Attack and Heart Failure

The medical term for heart attack is myocardial infarction. During a heart attack, a portion of the heart muscle dies. Patients usually survive small heart attacks. If the heart attack involves a significant portion of the heart, however, the victim will usually die due to arrhythmias during the beginning of the heart attack. In the event a patient survives a large heart attack, a considerable portion of heart muscle will turn into scar tissue and no longer contract. This can lead to heart...

Coronary Artery Disease and Viagra

As male patients get older, the chance of developing coronary disease increases. The incidence of erectile dysfunction or impotence also increases with aging. Recently, a new medication called Viagra has become available to treat erectile dysfunction. Although effective, it should not be used with certain heart medications. Those of us who specialize in heart disease receive many questions regarding Viagra and sometimes questions on other treatment options for impotence from patients who...

Formal Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs after Heart Surgery or Heart Attacks

Some cardiologists feel strongly that all patients should be enrolled in a formal rehabilitation program. These programs typically last six to twelve weeks after heart surgery or heart attacks. Other cardiologists feel that the need to enter a formal cardiac rehabilitation program should be more individualized, and not all patients, particularly those that are already quite active, need to be enrolled. These programs are typically located at a hospital, community center, or rehabilitation...

Myocardial infarction See heart attack or MI

Myocarditis An inflammation of the heart muscle. myxoid degeneration Degeneration of the middle layer of tissue in blood vessels and heart valves. neonate A newborn child within the first few weeks of life. nitroglycerin A drug used to dilate coronary arteries so more oxygenated blood can reach the heart muscle. This drug is generally used by patients with atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. occlusion Narrowing or blockage of a blood vessel. open heart surgery Heart operations in which the...

Alcohol and Breast Cancer

Although many studies have shown that breast cancer rates are higher among heavier drinkers, a number of research reports suggest that only a small increase in risk begins to appear among women who normally consume just one or two drinks per day. This is not found consistently in all studies. At our institute at Boston University, we have completed a study of wine, beer, and spirits as they relate to breast cancer by using data from the Framingham Study that has been Although all alcohol shows...

The Insulin Connection

Until recently, carbohydrates were ignored as a health issue. They are at least as important, and probably more so, than fats in determining weight and cardiovascular fitness. The key to carbohydrates' influence is insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to a carbohydrate-heavy meal. It is impossible to live without it, but it is possible to live much better without too much insulin. Insulin has many actions, but some of the most important affect body fat, cholesterol...

Diabetes

Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease, but it can be controlled through medication. If diabetes is well controlled, the acceleration of atherosclerosis is not as rapid as it is in patients whose diabetes is poorly controlled. Diabetic patients should have regular checkups for signs of heart disease. Also coauthor of the best-selling Sugar Busters Nutrition is often overlooked when discussion turns to the prevention or treatment of health problems today. Obesity, for instance, has become...

Nuclear Perfusion Tests

Another kind of testing uses one of two radioactive agents, thallium or tech- A small amount of a nuclear substance that is used during diagnosis of heart disease to help physicians better see the heart and blood vessels. During MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, radio and magnetic waves are used to obtain very detailed images of the heart from any angle. It is especially helpful in diagnosing congenital heart disease in children and problems with arteries and veins. Prior to the actual...

Patrick M McCarthy MD

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Cleveland, Ohio For decades heart surgeons have opened the left ventricle to reconstruct the damaged heart muscle. This has typically been used for cardiac aneurysms, or areas of scarred heart muscle that bulge out when the heart contracts and cause heart failure, blood clot formation, and heart rhythm problems. In recent years, this operation has been extended beyond classic aneurysms to include patients who have damaged...

What Is the Message

We know that in the United States and in most other industrialized societies, hospitalization and death rates are somewhat lower for people who drink moderately than for individuals with similar characteristics who do not drink. Thus, from the public health point of view, we should not promote messages or laws directed at preventing alcohol abuse that have little effect on abusers but lead mod erate and responsible drinkers to stop drinking. Our health messages should provide scientifically...

Medical Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease

If you develop angina pectoris or what's thought to be an angina equivalent, your physician probably will start with an electrocardiogram. If it's abnormal or in certain cases even if it's normal, your physician may decide to do some form of stress testing. Depending on the results, and sometimes even without testing, your physician may decide to do a type of cardiac catheterization called coronary arteriography, in which catheters are used to inject the coronary arteries with radiopaque dye....

The Heart Lung Machine

From these early operations into the twentieth century, the development of heart surgery did not move very quickly until a single innovation, the heart-lung machine, ushered in the age of modern heart surgery. Before the invention of the heart-lung machine, surgeons confronted a very simple yet seemingly insurmountable problem. If the heart was stopped and opened so the surgeon could see it directly, the patient died. The heart-lung machine finally allowed physicians to stop the beating heart...

Vasovagal Fainting and Dizziness

Vasovagal fainting (neurocardiogenic syncope) is believed to be the most common type of syncope. It is estimated that 3 percent of emergency room visits in the United States are for this type of fainting. Vasovagal technically refers to the effect the vagus nerve has on the blood vessels, but in a broader sense it refers to the effects various nerves have on the heart and blood vessels. The two types of nerves that affect the heart and blood vessels are called sympathetic nerves and...

Common Drugs for

Professor of Medicine and Chief Division of Cardiology Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan James Marsh, M.D. Professor of Medicine and Chief Division of Cardiology Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan Eric Racine, Pharm.D. Coordinator, Clinical Pharmacy Services Harper Hospital, Detroit Medical Center Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan Clinical Assistant Professor of Pharmacy University of Michigan The following list is...