New post up on Medscape/Cardiology: Ablation versus medicine as an intitial strategy for treating AF

Earlier this month I promised to put together teaching points from the Rich Peverley story. His was an interesting case of  sudden collapse that likely occurred as a result of atrial fibrillation therapy rather than atrial fibrillation itself. This was my original report: Important lessons from the collapse of NHL player Rich Peverley (BTW: It […]

Dear Girl Scouts: It’s time to cut out the cookies

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It happened while I was leaving a grocery store in the southeastern United States. The young girl who asked me if I wanted to buy Girl Scout cookies was strikingly perfect. She was thin, happy, and well spoken. So were her colleagues. The moms, too, were of healthy weight and cheer. It was as if […]

13 things to know about Atrial Fibrillation

Here are 13 things I tell AF patients. I am sorry that you have AF. Welcome to the club, there are many members. (Three million Americans and counting.) I know how it feels. Your fatigue, shortness of breath and uneasiness in the chest are most likely related to your AF. AF may pass without treatment. […]

NSAIDs — Yet another dubious “health” product at CVS

Now that the ‘healthiness’ of products sold at CVS stores is a matter of public discourse, it seems a perfect time to mention the common pain relievers known as Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). It just so happens that two FDA advisory committees are meeting today and tomorrow to discuss the cardiovascular risks of NSAIDs. The […]

Prolonged exercise leads to heart damage — pro/con debate

Dr. Larry Creswell, of the Athlete’s heart blog, just posted an interesting debate from the Journal of Physiology. The question of whether longterm endurance exercise leads to heart damage is a hotly contested issue in cardiology. For those who are curious about this intriguing topic, his links lead to very readable prose. Larry suggests paying […]

Heart health is not about Telomeres…It’s much simpler than that

A recent study on healthy lifestyle changes got me thinking about why heart disease remains the most deadly human disease. A small study of just a few motivated men with low-risk prostate cancer garnered attention because it contained two important key words: Ornish and Telomeres. Everyone knows Dr. Dean Ornish. And most of us know […]

Day 2 ESC — AF ablation and more bike commuting

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Okay, I’m getting the hang of this. The Monday morning and evening commute in Amsterdam is something special. You talk about focus. It requires laser-like focus. You’ve got bikes, narrow lanes, buses, trams, pedestrians and tourists. Still though, traveling 6k by bike took 15 minutes; a cab from the convention center, more than 30. I […]

Heart disease 101: AF and Coronary Artery Disease — related, incidental or both?

There were many good questions raised on my last post. Thanks. One particularly relevant theme concerned the relationship of atrial fibrillation (AF) and coronary artery disease (CAD). There’s a great deal of misunderstanding out there on how these two common disease relate to each other. I thought a few paragraphs might be useful. On the […]

The George W Bush stent case: An incredible teaching opportunity on the basics of heart disease

The wrist artery hardly had time to seal. (Surely it was a radial.) The controversy came that fast. The drumbeat of naysayers seemed to start only minutes after a prideful press release announced that George W Bush had undergone successful cardiac stent placement. The ever-quotable cardiologist from Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Steven Nissen, said, “This is […]

Think twice before getting an injection for low back pain or sciatica

It’s been a while since I did a Cycling Wednesday topic. As I was skimming thorough the Journal of the American Medical Association last night, I came across this review article on spinal injection therapy for low back pain. It was a shocker. Two factors brought my attention to the article: First, almost all the […]