When Elaine Curtis lost her son in November of 2012, her daughter says the overwhelming grief took a tool on her mother’s health. “She just kept getting sicker and sicker,” says Karen Wright. “We were to the point we were discussing if she could live in her house.” Elaine was experiencing difficulty breathing and it appeared her health was failing.

“Then we went to see Dr. Muhammad,” recalls Karen. “He told her there was a new procedure that could be done. Mother and I were excited. We wanted to do anything we could do!” 

At 91, Elaine admits she was trying to live as... Read More »

As the doors of the elevator open on the second floor of the Bell II building, where Hillcrest Exercise and Lifestyle Programs is located, Carol Lambert carries a platter of fruit and a heart of gratitude as she encounters familiar faces. She is returning for her normal workout at 4:00 p.m. and greeted by Supervisor Chris Bousum and others, who welcome her with hugs and words of encouragement. On this day, at this time, Carol celebrates a special milestone with the people who understand it as much as she does. “At about 4 o’clock on Sunday two years ago, I drove to the minor emergency... Read More »

How many times a day do you stop to think about your heart? Are you thankful for the 72 beats per minute, 100,000 beats a day or 38 million beats each year? Or, do you only stop to think about your heart when you notice it missed a beat? For many of us, the organ with the sole job of pumping would greatly benefit from us putting a little more thought into how our actions are impacting our heart health. Here are hidden ways you may be hurting your heart health and not realize it.

Skipping Breakfast

Do you find yourself hitting the snooze button then racing to get out the door on time... Read More »

The U.S. Surgeon General recently announced that unless tobacco use rates fall, more than 5.6 million children in the United States will die early. Calling for a “tobacco-free generation” Surgeon General Dr Boris Lushniak released the first report in more than a decade to get the country talking about the leading cause of preventable death in our nation. However, as we know, you don’t have to be the smoker to impact your health.

Did you know? 

Exposure to secondhand smoke increases your risk of stroke by 20 to 30 percent and by as much as 42 percent if your spouse is a... Read More »

Resistant hypertension is defined as blood pressure that remains above a goal target when at least 3 medication therapies, including a diuretic, fail to control the blood pressure. This affects an estimated 13 %of the population with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. For those with sleep apnea, in addition to resistant hypertension, a new study finds patients who were treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) experienced a drop in blood pressure levels.

Lead researcher of the study, Dr. Miguel-Angel Martinez-Garcia, Polytechnic University Hospital in... Read More »

Today we are taking you inside the heart catheritization lab at Oklahoma Heart Institute for a balloon valvuloplasty procedure to determine valve sizing prior to TAVR.


New recommendations were announced Tuesday by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. They say an estimated 31 percent of Americans could benefit from the use of statin drugs. That figure is more than double the current percentage (15 percent) of Americans taking these medications to lower their cholesterol. The recommendation, which is based on a four-year review of data, aims to simplify the multi-process evaluation for people who should be taking statins.

Oklahoma Heart Institute cardiologist Dr. Raj Chandwaney explains why these new... Read More »

Director of the cardiac CT program at Oklahoma Heart Institute Dr. Victor Cheng joins us on the blog today to talk about the program and when patients should be referred for a scan. 

Cardiac computed tomographic angiography (CTA) is special CT scan that images the entire heart when heart structures are relatively still. A steady heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute will provide the best possible image quality in most patients. Oklahoma Heart Institute began a dedicated Cardiac CT program in June 2013. This program uses the CTA, which is based on echocardiograms and is... Read More »

Cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. David Sandler joins us today on the blog to talk about heart monitors for arrhythmia patients. 

Patients who experience symptoms such as palpitation or fainting spells are often prescribed monitors in order to catch a potential heart rhythm abnormality. Choosing the proper monitor requires the provider to take a thorough history and have knowledge of potential diagnostic tools.

The most commonly prescribed monitor is a 24-hour, continuously recording device called a Holter monitor (named after its inventor, Norman Jeff Holter). While this... Read More »

There is a new term making its way around the Internet – “Sitting is the new smoking.” If it sounds shocking, it’s meant to, as researchers are taking a long, hard look at how we spend our time and what impact that is having on our health. Just as smoking a little is still smoking, sitting all week is still sitting, even though you also find time to work out. What they have found you may not want to sit down for, so go ahead and stand up.

We sit way too much

According to a 2012 study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity... Read More »