Major breakthrough in AF ablation

A study published recently in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology will change a way of thinking about the disease atrial fibrillation. And it’s about time. One word describes AF therapy in the past decade: plateau. Ten years have passed and we have no new drugs and no real breakthrough in AF ablation. […]

Public health is on the ballot this Election Day

Credit: High Mark Foundation

The election I am going to watch today is in San Francisco. On the ballot there is Proposition E, an initiative to add a 2-cent tax for every once of sugary beverage. Choose Health SF, a group supporting the tax, estimates it would raise $54 million, which would go towards, get this: “funding active recreation […]

Writing about lifestyle modification — and blaming the patient

I was pleased when the editors of the TheHeart.org reposted my recent essay, Let’s Stop the Unnecessary Treatment of Heart Disease. As of this morning, there are 167 comments. The majority of them were positive, and supportive of lifestyle promotion. Negative comments represented a small minority, but were notable in their vigor, and occasionally reached […]

Let’s stop the unnecessary treatment of heart disease

There are many reasons doctors suffer from burnout and compassion fatigue. One of the least-mentioned of these reasons is that much of what we do is so damn unnecessary. In the US, the land of excess everything, caregivers, especially cardiologists, spend most of our time treating human beings that didn’t need to have disease. Let’s […]

Is this the most important cardiology study of the last decade?

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In recent years, progress in the field of cardiology has been painfully incremental. We have enjoyed small gains–a better ablation catheter and mapping system, a couple of new anti-platelet drugs, maybe better stents, and even the highly touted anticoagulant drugs are within 99% in efficacy and safety of warfarin. Major breakthroughs, though, are non-existent. (And […]

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 […]

The simple reason the medical-home study failed…

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This week, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a comprehensive study that has major health implications. Major because the negative findings should change how Americans think about health and healthcare. Plus, the findings validate a belief this doctor holds as truth. First my belief, then the study. One blog is enough for […]

The CVS tobacco decision is no small thing — Keep the chips and soda please

Yesterday, CVS Caremark announced that its 7600 stores will stop selling tobacco products. Company leadership said that selling tobacco is not consistent with being a health company. This decision, which takes effect in October 2014, will result in 2 billion less revenue. I am no business person, (though, as an observer of humans, I follow […]

Health lessons from Reverend Al Sharpton…

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However you see the Reverend Al Sharpton, one thing is certain: you see less of him now. His Twitter pic tells you he is proud of his 167-pound weight loss. Good for him, he should be. If you care about health, the disappearance of the Sharpton-of-old is worth mention. His story teaches us a lot, […]

Healthy Privilege, Social Fabric, Education — Perspective means a lot.

Perhaps writing about health matters from the perspective of a cardiologist/bike racer is a little like parenting: At times the message seems less than compassionate, even though it’s born out of concern for others, knowledge and a tincture of middle-age experience. The many excellent comments on my recent telomere/heart-health post stirred me to write a […]

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 […]