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New Guidelines Redefine High Blood Pressure

December 28, 2017

BP BLOG POST 12.28.17We’ve all been there – sitting in the doctor’s office lobby waiting to be called back for your appointment. Before you see your provider, you go through a series of small tests to check your vital signs: height, weight, temperature, and most importantly, blood pressure. Although it may seem like just another mundane aspect of your appointment, checking your blood pressure is actually one of the most important steps in detecting hypertension – especially with the new guidelines that redefine the starting point of high blood pressure.  Continue reading “New Guidelines Redefine High Blood Pressure” »

Lowering Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

September 29, 2016

sssl8967By Lauren Dimitrov, MPH, RDN, LDN

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the number one killer in the U.S. Lifestyle modification is a critical component of health promotion and CVD risk reduction, both prior to or in conjunction with the use of cholesterol-lowering drug therapies. Lifestyle modification includes a heart healthy diet, weight management, increased physical activity, and smoking cessation. This article will focus on some key components of a heart healthy diet. Continue reading “Lowering Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease” »

Our New Go-To Heart Healthy Food: Avocado

February 11, 2016

In honor of Heaunnamedrt Month, we’ll be talking about one of our favorite heart-healthy fruit, avocado. What makes avocado so good? First and most importantly, the taste is heavenly. Avocado is often referred to as a healthy fat. We know it may seem strange to refer to fat as healthy but bear with us for a moment. Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats help lower your cholesterol which lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke. Avocados are also full of fiber, another heart loving nutrient that lowers the risk for cardiovascular diseases. We haven’t even gotten to all of the vitamins and minerals in avocados that (yet again) lower your risk for cardiovascular diseases.  Continue reading “Our New Go-To Heart Healthy Food: Avocado” »

Q&A with Licensed Massage Therapist, Wendy Norman

September 8, 2015

The heart health benefits of massage therapy  

massage therapyIn addition to being a Medical Assistant at First Coast Cardiovascular, Wendy is also a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT). With over two decades of experience in the medical field, Wendy decided to become an LMT to learn healing techniques that would benefit the mind, body and soul. She encourages incorporating massage therapy as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Who should consider receiving massage therapy?
Everybody – we are all busy and under so much stress. In the world we live in today where it is always go-go, we don’t take enough time to relax. When we relax, our bodies heal. Continue reading “Q&A with Licensed Massage Therapist, Wendy Norman” »

Group Therapy Can Help PAD Patients Get More Exercise

June 16, 2015

PAD group therapy Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a condition where clogged arteries reduce blood flow to the legs, and it affects 12 million Americans over the age of 65 every year. For these patients, staying active and physically fit is key to preserving their independence and carrying out their daily activities, but the obstacles to taking a walk or going to the gym alone can feel insurmountable.

However, there is hope: new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that group therapy can help PAD patients regain their mobility or prevent the loss of mobility in the first place. In the study, patients who joined an exercise group which encouraged in-home walking and reminded them via phone calls saw improvements. Continue reading “Group Therapy Can Help PAD Patients Get More Exercise” »

[INFOGRAPHIC:] History of Heart Failure in America

June 3, 2015

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. 5.1 million people in the US suffer from this condition, and even with daily self-monitoring, 50% of patients will be readmitted to the hospital within just 6 months. In addition to the medical and physical costs, there are also financial affects – the cost of heart failure in the US was $31 billion in 2012, and could jump to $70 billion by 2030, costing each US taxpayer $244 per year.

Images provided courtesy of St. Jude Medical, Inc.

Images provided courtesy of St. Jude Medical, Inc.

This infographic from St. Jude Medical describes the medical and financial costs of heart failure in the United States and discusses treatments, including the new CardioMEMS Heart Failure (HF) System. Click on the image at right to see the full infographic.

Continue reading “[INFOGRAPHIC:] History of Heart Failure in America” »

Dr. Omer Zuberi Becomes First Physician in Northeast Florida to Offer Patients a New Heart Failure Monitoring Solution

May 28, 2015


Image provided courtesy of St. Jude Medical, Inc.

(Jacksonville, FL – May 28, 2015) – We are proud to announce Dr. Omer Zuberi, Interventional Cardiologist, is the first physician in Northeast Florida to implant the CardioMEMS Heart Failure (HF) System. The CardioMEMS HF System is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure. Continue reading “Dr. Omer Zuberi Becomes First Physician in Northeast Florida to Offer Patients a New Heart Failure Monitoring Solution” »

TAVR: A New Surgery for At-Risk Cardiac Patients

May 21, 2015

Dr. Vaqar AliA cutting-edge, lifesaving heart procedure now offers hope to patients with a diseased aortic valve. We are excited to announce that Dr. Vaqar Ali, Vice President of First Coast Cardiovascular Institute, is part of a team of surgeons and cardiologists performing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) surgery in Northeast Florida. Continue reading “TAVR: A New Surgery for At-Risk Cardiac Patients” »

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

May 15, 2014

These days, we all move fast. Between work, soccer practice, laundry and cooking meals, it’s difficult to find time for yourself or even stop to recognize when your body is trying to deliver you a message. The warning signs before a heart attack are clear and it’s important to stop, take a breath, and recognize the dangers before it’s too late.

Although some heart attacks are sudden, there are subtle hints that can lead up to them as well.  Here’s what to look for before a heart attack.

  • Discomfort in the chest – Some patients feel a discomfort in the center of the chest that can last up to a few minutes at a time. That discomfort can go and come back multiple times a day. The discomfort can often feel like a pressure, fullness or squeezing in the chest.
  • Pain in the upper areas of the body – Patients have often felt pain in other areas of the body, including pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Fatigue – Exhaustion is especially common in women and may start months before a heart attack.
  • Shortness of breath – Patients may feel a shortness of breath that may be accompanied with chest pain.
  • Unusual Sweating – Sweating more than usual can be another sign of a heart attack, especially if you’re sweating when you’re sedentary or asleep.

Warning signs in Women

Women may experience different warning signs prior to a heart attack. Men and women can experience chest pain, but women may have a heart attack without chest pressure. Instead, they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, lightheadedness or fainting, dizziness, upper back pressure or severe fatigue.

The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body. If you think there may be something wrong, contact your specialist at First Coast Cardiovascular Institute to schedule an appointment.

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