HbA1c and Diabetes – Glycated Hemoglobin (A1c) Explained

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Diabetes and its complications remain a major cause of early disease and death worldwide. The diagnosis of diabetes is to a large extent based on detecting elevated levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a laboratory measure frequently used for this purpose. The test is also useful to monitor treatment in patients with established […]

Heart Palpitations

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Have you ever experienced or sensed your heartbeat? Although such a feeling is usually completely normal, it may be unpleasant. For instance, people often describe hard beats, fast beats, irregular beats, skipped beats, fluttering, “flip-flopping” or a pounding sensation in the chest or neck. Palpitations are defined as an unpleasant awareness of heart muscle contractions in the […]

Triglycerides and Heart Disease – An Update

Triglycerides and Heart Disease

As we grow older, we become more and more likely to develop heart disease.  Obviously, we don’t think about it much in our twenties and thirties unless we’ve seen a close family member or a friend being hit by a heart attack or stroke. But, ultimately, most of realize that we should care. Since cardiovascular disease is […]

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

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Recently, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the leading cause of chronic liver disease in the United States and other Western countries. The prevalence of the disorder is estimated to be as high as 30% in the general population (1). With obesity being an important risk factor and due to the aging of the population, the […]

Diet and Heart Health – The Dawn of a New Era

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The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are due to be published later this year. The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) released February 23 this year suggested that we may see important changes of direction in certain areas. Since the publication of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines important scientific data has emerged […]

Atrial Fibrillation

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Arrhythmia is a term that is used to describe disorders of heart rhythm. It may be an irregular rhythm, or rapid or slow beating of the heart. Although most arrhythmias are completely innocent, some may need medical attention and a few are life threatening. The term palpitations describes an awareness of heart muscle contractions in the chest. These […]

Does Sugar Cause Heart Disease?

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Growing up and living with the diet-heart hypothesis through my professional career has been a remarkable experience. I was lucky. My mentors were great. I went to all the big cardiology conferences. I read the best books and I learned from the great masters. Early on, I was taught the fairly well established relationship between blood cholesterol and coronary heart disease. […]

Statins for Women – Statistical Acrobatics

Simple Diet Tips

When to prescribe statin therapy for people without established cardiovascular disease is a hotly debated issue among medical doctors. Recent clinical guidelines have recommended extending the use of these drugs to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease. Recommendations on statin use are to a large extent based on meta-analyses on data from randomized controlled trials, either comparing statins to placebo […]

Alzheimer’s Disease and Obesity – The Black Swan

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The science of Alzheimer’s disease has come a long way since 1906, when Alois Alzheimer first described the key features of the disease. Alzheimer, who was a German neurologist and psychiatrist, noticed abnormal deposits in the brain of a 51-year old woman who had dementia. It was later confirmed that patients with Alzheimer’s disease often have brain abnormalities […]

Eggs, Heart Disease and Diabetes – Dreams of an Omelette

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It was early Sunday morning. Mr. Mason watched his wife across the kitchen table. She appeared deeply engaged in the daily crossword puzzle. He swallowed his three diabetes pills with a large sip of orange juice. There was a momentary sparkle of light, a glint of sunshine through the clouds. He would give it another try. “I’m told that a highly prestigious […]

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

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“And on the box sat a fat and red-faced boy in a state of somnolence.” In his novel, The Pickwick Papers, published 1836,  English writer Charles Dickens writes about Joe, a fat red-faced boy who suffered from severe daytime sleepiness. “Sleep!” said the old gentleman, ‘he’s always asleep. Goes on errands fast asleep, and snores […]

Jogging – Does It Prolong Life?

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Since the 1970’s jogging has become an increasingly popular form of exercise. Jogging means running at a gentle pace. Going at a pace of less than 6 miles per hour (10 km per hour) is usually defined as jogging, while running is defined as anything faster than 6 miles per hour. There are many reasons why […]

Statins and Diabetes – Time to Let the Cat out of the Bag

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Recently, concerns have been raised about the increased risk of diabetes associated with statin therapy. However, it has been pointed out that the risk of diabetes is low in absolute terms and when compared with the reduction in cardiovascular events achieved by treatment. In other words, the potential benefits to health are believed to outweigh potential […]

Health Benefits of Coffee – The Scientific Evidence

Health Benefits of Coffee - The Scientific Evidence

It’s been almost forty years since Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris sang about the guy who left his gypsy girl for a journey “to the valley below”. His final cup of coffee became a classic. One more cup of coffee for the road One more cup of coffee ‘fore I go To the valley below – Bob Dylan 1976 Coffee, second […]