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Does Having Diabetes Increase Your Risk of Stroke?

Posted by North Ohio Heart | Ohio Medical Group on Tue, Mar 25, 2014

The findings in a new study indicate that diabetes increases your risk of having a stroke—but only if you’re a woman.

Women represented 60% of stroke deaths in 2010, according to the study. Researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., collected data from nearly 11,000 men and more than 19,000 women. Over the course of seven years, there were 3,000 strokes among the participants.

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Topics: diabetes, stroke, healthy life, risk of stroke

Can Your Doctor Test Your Heart Health By Only Lifting a Finger?

Posted by North Ohio Heart | Ohio Medical Group on Fri, Jan 03, 2014

Remember this catchy little anatomy song from grade school: The knee bone’s connected to the THIGH bone…the thigh bone’s connected to the HIP bone…? Children are taught early on how all the pieces of their body are connected, but recent research suggests that the key to your heart health might be connected to the pulse in your fingertip.

One of the biggest risk factors for heart disease is a hardened aorta. As the aorta stiffens, either due to age or lifestyle, the heart has to work harder, further increasing a patient’s risk of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack. However, many people go years without realizing they have existing cardiovascular problems or the potential for trouble down the line. Testing the stiffness of the aorta is one early indicator doctors can determine and, now, that test may be as easy as lifting a finger.

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Topics: heart disease, heart health, stroke, high blood pressure

New Study Suggests Blood Thinners May Actually Improve Heart Surgery Outcomes

Posted by North Ohio Heart | Ohio Medical Group on Fri, Oct 25, 2013

Blood thinners, or anticoagulants, work to stop clots from forming, which can be instrumental in preventing heart attacks or stroke, especially for high-risk patients. However, the main side effect of taking blood thinners is a potential for excessive bleeding if the blood doesn’t have the ability to clot. So, to most doctors and patients, it has seemed like a no-brainer to stop taking blood thinners before surgery to prevent excessive bleeding. For years, this has been the accepted practice for patients and the recommendation from doctors. Now, a new study suggests the restriction of blood thinners before surgery might not be as obvious as we once thought.

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study this past May that indicated blood thinners might have little effect on surgery outcomes and, surprisingly, certain procedures might actually benefit from the effects of blood thinners. In the case of surgeries that implanted heart-stimulating devices like pacemakers or defibrillators, the blood thinner warfarin (more commonly known as coumodin) was shown to actually reduce the risk of post-surgery bleeding. If further investigations into the study’s claims prove true, the benefits of such a finding would be, as Dr. Kevin R. Campbell put it in this EveryDay Health article, a “game changer.”

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Topics: blood thinners, heart health, stroke, heart attacks

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Posted by North Ohio Heart | Ohio Medical Group on Wed, Jul 10, 2013

A lot of poems and popular love songs have lyrics that speak of someone's heart skipping a beat or starting to flutter when they see the object of their affection. These feelings are okay if they are temporary and the result of feeling of love. It is, however, a little more serious if you notice this happening on a regular basis. If you are one of over 2.5 million Americans that have Atrial Fibrillation, you should know that this condition could lead to heart failure, blood clots and an increased risk for stroke.

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Topics: heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation

Increasing Fiber Intake Can Reduce Risk of Stroke

Posted by North Ohio Heart | Ohio Medical Group on Thu, May 30, 2013

You may have heard plenty about the need to eat enough fiber but you may not have connected fiber consumption to maintaining a healthy heart. CardioSmart.org reported on a recent study that demonstrated how increasing fiber intake could reduce a person's risk of stroke. We already know that consuming a diet rich in fiber can lower cholesterol, help with digestion and weight control, and assist with maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, so the fact that it reduces the risk of stroke is an added benefit.

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Topics: heart health, stroke, healthy eating

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