Study: Moderate Drinking Linked to Abnormal Heart Rhythm?

what is moderate drinkingInformation for this post was taken from an article by Amy Nelson at Reuters, published by NBC News.

A study of 30,000 older adults with a history of heart disease, reported by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that one’s chances of a heart arrythmia–also known as an atrial fibrillation (AF)–go up 14% if that person is a moderate drinker.

You can find more information on the study in the NBC News article linked above. But let’s be clear: this study only observed adults with a heart disease history. That was not mentioned in the article’s title. It’s misleading, but it’s standard procedure for a website looking for as many pageviews as possible.

Fact is, it’s been widely accepted for some time that moderate drinking may provide some health benefits for healthy adults. The danger, of course, is that alcohol is a slippery slope. It’s all too easy to overconsume, and it’s similarly easy to form bad drinking habits.

So, the big question: What exactly is moderate drinking?

  • Daily Intake for Men: No more than two drinks per day. One drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
  • Daily Intake for Women: No more than one drink per day.

Researches believe moderate alcohol consumption may help prevent heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and gallstones. A daily drink has its health benefits, so just remember to show off your willpower after you’ve finished it. Overconsumption of alcohol is a leading cause of heart disease and other life-threatening conditions.

Sherman Hospital has performed nearly ten times more open heart procedures than the next three closest hospitals combined. To learn more about one of Chicagoland’s best Heart & Vascular centers, visit

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Study: Every junk food meal damages your arteries!

unhealthy fast foodSource: Science Daily.

Well, this is a bit unsettling. A new study conducted by the University of Montreal found that every single meal of junk food has an adverse effect on the eater’s arteries.

However! There’s some positive news in the study as well. To give the good news, we’ll pass the mic over to Dr. Anil Nigam and his team at the U of Montreal.

“A single junk food meal — composed mainly of saturated fat — is detrimental to the health of the arteries, while no damage occurs after consuming a Mediterranean meal rich in good fats such as mono-and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Dr. Nigam and his team found that after eating the junk food meal, the arteries of the study participants dilated 24% less than they did when in the fasting state. In contrast, the arteries were found to dilate normally and maintain good blood flow after the Mediterranean-type meal.”

The ‘Mediterranean-type meal’ was actually salmon, almonds, and vegetables cooked in olive oil, of which 51% of total calories came from fat (mostly monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats). The Mediterranean diet is something we’re quite fond of at Sherman Health, so much so that we hold a recurring class to discuss its benefits. The next free session meets on Monday, November 12 at 11 a.m. Click here to learn more about it.

This is food for thought at every meal. While fast food is tempting, it appears it negatively affects the body both in the short term and obviously in the long term. Read the Science Daily article for more information on the study.

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Ask the Cardiologist: any limitations for heavy aerobic exercise after heart surgery?

man on treadmillDr. Maciej Malinski is on the medical staff at Sherman Hospital. He has been kind enough to answer some frequently asked questions related to maintaining a healthy heart in his Ask the Cardiologist series. To see all posts Dr. Malinski has written, just type “Ask the Cardiologist” into the search bar on the right.

Question from Khoi: Hello Dr. Malinski. I have just read your Q&A article about AAA and how it relates to Jeff Green of the Boston Celtics. I have also very recently had the surgery done on me at the ascending aorta area.

You mentioned that it is important to watch out for heavy lifting, such as as weight training and any daily physical activities. Are there any limitation for heavy aerobic exercise, such as hard running or even golfing that can be strenuous in the thoracic area? Continue reading

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Rosie O’Donnell Heart Attack a Reminder to Women Everywhere

rosie heart attackHeart disease and heart attack are sometimes considered male problems, but as Rosie O’Donnell’s recent heart attack shows, that is a dangerous misconception. While it’s true heart disease kills more American men than it does American women, it’s far and away the #1 cause of death among women.

In an article from NBC’s Today, O’donnell “urged women to learn more about the symptoms of heart attacks, which kill some 200,000 women a year in the United States alone.” Ladies, do you know what you need to know about the signs of heart attack? It could very well save your life. Continue reading

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Heart Healthy Recipe: Whole Wheat Pasta with Broccolini and Feta

Thanks to Food Network for this great recipe.

Heart Healthy Recipe Whole Wheat PastaWhat better way to plan a dinner than with a delicious bowl of pasta? How about a dinner with a delicious and heart healthy bowl of pasta? That’s right up our alley!

This whole wheat pasta with broccolini and feta is a filling dish with plenty of zesty flavor. Easy to prepare, good for you, and delicious. The heart healthy recipe is below. Continue reading

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Ask the Cardiologist: Is anticoagulant medication required after v-fib?

cardiologist Dr. Maciej Malinski is on the medical staff at Sherman Hospital. He has been kind enough to answer some frequently asked questions related to maintaining a healthy heart in his Ask the Cardiologist series. To see all posts Dr. Malinski has written, just type “Ask the Cardiologist” into the search bar on the right.

“Is anticoagulant medication required after ventricular fibrillation? What are aftermath effects of both atrial and ventricular fibrillation and the difference between them?”

I will answer the second part of your question first. Atrial fibrillation (AF) and ventricular fibrillation (VF) are different heart rhythms caused by different factors, and with different consequences. To learn about difference between atrial fibrillation (AF) and ventricular fibrillation (VF) I would refer you to my earlier post from April 2011. Continue reading

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What is PVD? How do I know if I have it?

There are just 10 seats remaining for tonight’s lecture at the Centre of Elgin, “What is PVD? How do I know if I have it?”

PVD, or peripheral vascular disease, is something 5% of people over age 50 are believed to suffer from. Peripheral vascular disease is the most common disease of the arteries and is caused by build-up of fatty material within the vessels. Many people live with this disease daily, and when untreated it can result in loss of limbs, stroke, severely limited mobility, and even death. The event at the Centre of Elgin (100 Symphony Way, right by the Fox River) is at 6 p.m. tonight. It will cover PVD signs, symptoms, and risk factors for the disease.

Dr. Raminder Singh and Dr. Maciej Malinski (of Ask the Cardiologist fame) will be answering questions and providing valuable information regarding peripheral vascular disease.

The lecture is free to attend. Simply click here to reserve your seat or email with any questions or comments.

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