FROM OUR EXPERTS
While high cholesterol (either as a high LDL or “bad” cholesterol; or low HDL or “good” cholesterol) certainly contributes to the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, it is not the only contributor. Each year it seems that I have one or two patients that have “no excuse” for having coronary artery disease but they do anyway.
In the same period of time, however, I will see hundreds of patients that have an obvious cause. When doctors see the cause they feel better. When families and patients know the reasons for the disease (have something to blame), they also seem happier. But life doesn’t always work that way. And when it doesn’t, it is sometimes hard to accept therapies that seem to be for diseases that we don’t think that we have.
Some reasons for major blockages that don’t necessarily involve high cholesterol or imbalanced cholesterol numbers include the following partial list:
High blood pressure , ...
Since I knew almost nothing about peripheral arterial disease (PAD) , I jumped at the chance to talk with Dr.
Michael Jaff a few days ago. He is the medical director of the Vascular
Diagnostic Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital and a
specialist in treating PAD . Diabetes often causes it, and it is so often undiagnosed that only about
one-fourth of the eight million people over 40 with PAD who have it know that they have this
complication. PAD develops when
the arteries in our legs become clogged with plaque -- fatty deposits
cholesterol -- and blood flow to the legs becomes blocked or limited.
Because those of us with diabetes have difficulty properly using the
glucose in our food, the buildup of glucose in our blood can cause a
change in our blood
vessels that can lead to these circulation problems.
PAD can also cause chronic
foot ulcers that can lead to amputations among people with diabetes. Those of us who have
diabetes are at greater risk for severe PAD and are...
Baby boomers and seniors can take steps to reduce their chances of having a stroke, the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Strokes occur in 700,000 Americans each year, with nearly 157,000 dying annually from this disorder. In addition, s troke is the leading cause of permanent disability in older people. One of the most important and preventable causes of strokes is carotid artery disease, a condition that leads to a narrowing of the passageway of the arteries in the neck and causes them to become stiff and obstructed. Carotid artery disease results when the carotid arteries that carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your brain become too narrow or obstructed and limit the blood flow to the brain. Patients approaching 55 years-of-age and older, are encouraged to discuss how to control the following risk factors for carotid artery disease with their primary care physician: · Maintain healthy blood pressure · ...
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