STAT_Logo Like more than half of older men, I take a cholesterol-lowering medication called a statin. Sometimes that seems a bit strange, because I don’t have high cholesterol. My doctor prescribed it based on a formula that largely hinges on age and sex. I’m 71 and male. Those two factors alone put me in the high-risk category for ...

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California is often perceived as a state where healthy habits abound — with a yoga studio on every block and kale salads on every plate. Unfortunately, I know in my daily practice as a cardiologist that this is far from the truth and that diseases due to poor diet and lifestyle are abundant here in sunny California. As a cardiologist, I’m especially concerned that California isn’t very heart healthy: Just like ...

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Every day, as we care for our patients, we are placed in a unique position, where we are armed with the world of literature, randomized controlled trials, society recommendations, national screening and practice guidelines, and more, working to prompt us to try and do what's best for each patient in a vast array of clinical situations. And patients come to us armed ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 52-year-old woman is evaluated during a follow-up visit. She was discharged from the hospital 3 weeks ago following a small non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction treated with drug-eluting stent placement in the right coronary artery. An echocardiogram obtained during hospitalization showed normal left ventricular function and normal valvular function. Her ...

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Back in the 70s, Dr. Denton A. Cooley would do eight or so heart operations a day often on babies and children with heart defects. One day, he operated on four babies. Three of them died. It was around eight o'clock at night, and as Dr. Cooley walked down the hall with his team, he said, "Today was a bad day, but ...

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There is no better place to watch science in action than in the world of medicine. It was discovered in the 1930s that blood, in the presence of a certain streptococcus bacteria, did not clot. The agent formed by the bacteria was isolated and eventually called streptokinase, the first "clot-buster." Through the decades, pharmaceutical companies created other similar drugs, but the overall use was still fairly infrequent. The early heart ...

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As medical professionals, one of the most challenging things to do is to motivate a patient to make changes in their lives. We passionately want the best for our patients, and it is sometimes so difficult for us to be able to connect with and inspire them to take the next step on a path to disease prevention and longevity. The solution? Enter Lebron James and Tom Brady. It is no ...

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Sequels generally disappoint. Jason couldn’t match the fear he generated in the original Friday the 13th. The sequel to the “Parachute,” a satirical piece canvassing PubMed for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing parachutes to placebo, matched its brilliance — and even exceeded it, though the margin can’t be confirmed with statistical significance. The “Parachute,” published in BMJ’s Christmas edition, will go ...

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Well, today it happened. I participated in my first code. We were in the telemetry unit (the room where they monitor all the patients who have EKG strips) to ask about a different patient of mine only to find that a patient was coding (lost a life-sustaining heartbeat). With some coaxing from my attending, the other student and I wound our way through the around-20 people standing outside and inside of ...

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For pediatric cardiologists, February, National Heart Month, is a special time. We share health tips in the hospital and talk about heart health with those looking for advice, especially with patients and families impacted by CHD. It’s also a time to look back at what’s worked well in the field, while accelerating advancements for CHD treatment. To start, congenital heart disease, a structural abnormality of the heart or of the blood ...

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