Endurance exercise and the heart — a mention in the New Yorker

Do you exercise a lot? Have you been at it for years? Are you the type that rides around the neighborhood to make a 98-mile ride into a century? Do you get squeamish if you can’t exercise for 24 hours? Are you curious about that beautiful machine in your chest? You know, the rhythmic coordinated […]

Alcohol and the risk of atrial fibrillation — it’s different than you may think

Life overflows with choices. And consequences. You can choose to smoke and then not be surprised to die a difficult death from cancer. You can choose to eat more calories than you burn and then buy bigger belts. You can choose to “need” more stuff and then, surely, remain unfulfilled. The more we learn about […]

US healthcare, wait times and the truth…

It’s time for another post on truth and healthcare. (This almost sounds like a good series.) I’ve recently written that the VA healthcare system represents the truth—and that Americans should get over the Pollyanna view that triage, wait lists, and taking care of increasing numbers of increasingly sick patients can be managed with magic. The […]

CardioStim 2014 Recap

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CardioStim is the name given to the biennial gathering of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) in the Mediterranean resort city of Nice, France. This was my first (ever) trip to France. As most of you know, I write an electrophysiology column (blog) called Trials and Fibrillations over at theHeart.org, which is now called Medscape […]

Exercise, over-indulgence and atrial fibrillation — seeing the obvious

If you like thinking and writing, few topics are better than the excess exercise and heart disease story. Indeed it is a matter for the curious. Two studies published last week in the British journal Heart addressed the relationship of exercise and heart disease. (See references below.) Although these studies garnered mainstream media attention they […]

2014 Heart Rhythm Society Sessions — My massive recap:

Hey Everyone, I recently returned from the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in San Francisco. I attended the meeting as both a physician-journalist-columnist for theHeart.org and as a practicing electrophysiologist. As it so often is with international meetings, I returned energized and rejuvenated about the practice of medicine. Medical meetings are great this way. It’s quite […]

Atrial fibrillation and philosophy…

Patterns. As a doctor, you learn to see patterns. Biologists call the patterns of organisms phenotype–as opposed to genotype, the genetic makeup. For twenty years, I have observed the phenotypes (patterns) of people afflicted with AF, and have come to believe, and data are beginning to confirm, that the disease doesn’t just happen. It’s not […]

New post on Medscape/Cardiology: My take of the 2014 Atrial Fibrillation treatment guidelines

Atrial fibrillation affects millions of patients, and its incidence and prevalence are on the rise. It’s a peculiar disease in that it affects people so differently. When populations are studied, AF associates with higher rates of stroke, heart failure and death. But patients aren’t populations. In recent years, the treatment options for this pesky disease […]

How successful is AF ablation?

Let’s talk about success. At first glance, knowing whether a medical or surgical intervention achieves success seems quite simple. An antibiotic clears an infection–or it does not. A surgery removes a tumor with clean margins–or it does not. An angioplasty and stent open an artery during a heart attack–or it does not. In the case […]

Atrial fibrillation features prominently in Rich Peverley collapse

Professional hockey player Rich Peverley gave a news conference today in which he and his medical team announced surprising details about his heart condition. We learned that atrial fibrillation and its treatment featured prominently in his collapse during a game earlier this week. “A flare-up last week led Peverley to skip a road game, and […]

My Social Media Talk at the 2014 Western AF (atrial fibrillation) symposium

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 How can social media improve AF patient and provider interaction? It was an honor to speak at the seventh annual Western AF symposium this past weekend in Park City Utah. Once in the shadow of the Boston AF symposium, Dr. Nassir Marrouche (@nmarrouche) and his colleagues at the University of Utah have elevated Western AF […]