Women’s heart health: your questions answered

Michelle Carlson, MD & Jill Jordan, PA-C, , MMS, RD

Think men and women are just the same?  No, I didn’t think so.  But when it comes to heart disease, much of what the medical community talks about is focused on men’s heart health.  So on the Healthy Matters radio broadcast last Sunday, we focused on women’s heart health.

I was joined in the WCCO studios by two women whose careers are focused on caring for hearts.  They are Dr. Michelle Carlson, a cardiologist, and Jill Jordan, a Certified Physician Assistant with clinical practice in Cardiology.  Not only are these two really knowledgeable about cardiology in general, they are particularly tuned into the health of women.  Not only that, they do cool work with cancer and heart disease.   And I can personally vouch that they are approachable providers with a good listening ear and wise advice for their patients.

Three things you can do to learn more:

  • Listen to the podcast of the Women’s Heart Health show by clicking the logo here. It is Healthy Mattes Show #482, April 8, 2018

  • Click Dr. Carlson and Jill Jordan’s pictures here for their bio and contact information, or go to the Heart Center at Hennepin Healthcare to learn more and including info on making appointments.
Michelle Carlson, MD
Jill Jordan, MMS, PA-C, RD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Read on for brief and informative answers to listener questions that we did not have time for on the radio broadcast.  Heart attack, jaw pain, ischemia, family history, varicose veins, valves, exercise, diet, yoga.  It’s all here!  The responses are directly from Dr. Carlson and Jill Jordan.  Don’t miss the last question (scroll down!) about heart disease and cancer.   Pictures and links, too!

Continue reading “Women’s heart health: your questions answered”

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New blood pressure guidelines: 130 is the new 140

Dr. Marty Stillman reassures me about my blood pressure

For many years I have been telling listeners and patients that “one-third of you have high blood pressure and many of you don’t know it.”  Turns out I need to update that to “nearly one-half of you have high blood pressure and many of you don’t know it.”

That is because the American College of Cardiology / American Heart Association guidelines for hypertension – high blood pressure – were recently updated.  Like any good scientific process, the guidelines change as our knowledge of the science changes.  That is exactly what occurred this past month.

I mentioned all this on the most recent Healthy Matters radio broadcast.  I started the show off with this information, all of which you can listen to on the podcast by clicking Healthy Matters show #463, November 19,2017.

Your doctor may be . . . should be . . .  talking about this with you at some future visit.  In this post I’ll try to break the new guidelines down for you a bit.  If you read on, you’ll find:

  • New 2017 blood pressure guidelines
  • Bad effects of high blood pressure
  • A word about garden hoses and metal pipes.  Huh?
  • How to measure your own blood pressure.
  • Treatments for high blood pressure.
  • Tips about healthy living.

Let’s get to it.

Continue reading “New blood pressure guidelines: 130 is the new 140”

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Aspirin: should you take it?

aspirinThere was a big development in health care news this week.  The buzz is all about the latest guidelines on aspirin since our friends at the US Preventive Services Task Force updated the recommendations.  It came out in the Annals of Internal Medicine just this week on April 12, 2016.  Talk about “hot off the presses” reporting, eh?  This post is going to decipher the guidelines on who should take a daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks, stroke, and now even colon cancer.  I think this is one of the most important topics I’ve covered yet.

Consider the humble aspirin

  • Descendant of willow bark
  • Invented during the reign of Queen Victoria
  • Known to doctors and nerdy people (that may be redundant) as acetylsalicylic acid (aka ASA to prescription-writers)
  • Introduced by Bayer in 1899 as a powder to treat rheumatic conditions like gout
  • Has been used for centuries (maybe without knowing why) as a pain reliever
  • Almost certainly reduces risk of heart attacks , strokes, and colon cancer.  Possibly reduces risks of esophageal, breast, ovarian, and maybe some other cancers as well.

Should I take an aspirin?

I should note that I’m going to stick to people who have NOT had a heart attack or stroke.   Those people certainly need some kind of anti-platelet treatment and aspirin is one of the best choices for many reasons and may be helpful for secondary prevention of future problems.  Here we are referring to primary prevention which means trying to prevent heart attack and stroke (and we can add colorectal cancer) in people who have never had these conditions.

So let’s get to it.  What do the new guidelines say? Continue reading “Aspirin: should you take it?”

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