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The holidays are a time of celebration, but for some, it can be very stressful. In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, it’s easy to neglect our own self-care. For those with heart problems, it is an especially sensitive time of year. Research shows that deaths from heart attacks peak during December and January. Possible causes include changes in diet, increased alcohol consumption, cold weather, traveling and family matters.

Don’t let stress get the best of you this holiday season. Keep the following things in mind to stay happy and heart-healthy.

Make a Plan Manage... Read More »

For the first time in 14 years, a new set of blood pressure guidelines have been released by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. Previously, high blood pressure was defined with a reading of 140/90 or higher. Now, individuals with readings of 130 over 80 are considered to have high blood pressure, putting approximately 46% of adults in the United States in the category of hypertension.

Sounds like a lot of people, right? It is. But even with these overwhelming statistics, the hope is to reduce blood pressure levels nationwide using the new... Read More »

As a patient with diabetes, you are at an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which are contributors to cardiovascular disease. Obesity and weight gain are common factors as well, although they can be controlled by following a healthy meal plan and exercise routine.

Watching your fat intake is a major component of managing both heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, reducing your consumption of unhealthy fats, sugary beverages, sweets, and controlling your carb intake can make all the difference. When you are meal planning, be sure to select... Read More »

We recently installed brand new ContextMedia Digital Wallboards in all of our exam rooms throughout Oklahoma Heart Institute. These wallboards allow our providers to utilize media graphics in a dynamic presentation when they talk to their patients. Providers can now show their patients 3D images of problems they have with their heart and what procedures they will be performing so the patient has a better understanding of their condition. “We are very exciting," shares Oklahoma Heart Institute Medical Director, Dr. Wayne Leimbach. "Our patients have thoroughly enjoyed these so far and it... Read More »

Oklahoma Heart Institute nurse manager Whitney Conley, BSN, RN, speaks humbly of her 21 years in nursing. Driven by always doing what is best for patients, Whitney has grown in her career on that singular focus, earning her team national recognition for excellence in patient care. “This is my mission,” she explains of her first job in health care that developed into her passion and career. “I see nursing as my meaning in life.”

It all began when Whitney graduated high school. “I needed a job,” she admits directly. “I worked at a nursing home after graduating high school and was... Read More »

According to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute (NHLBI), approximately one in six, or 40 million Americans, suffer from a sleep disorder. 

Symptoms of certain sleep disorders can include:  

·      Persistent loud snoring

·      Trouble falling asleep

·      Daytime sleepiness

·      Hypertension

·      Restless sleep 

·      Gasping for breath during sleep

Mary Willson, patient access representative for Oklahoma Heart Institute (OHI) Sleep Care, didn’t have a sleep test done for herself until her endocrinologist encouraged... Read More »

Nerve and circulatory damage from high blood sugars and high blood pressure, known as peripheral neuropathy, can affect the feet or hands. This can make feet less able to feel pain, heat or cold or make them more sensitive to pain or touch. Dry or cracking skin and open wounds can become more common and heal less quickly, increasing the risk of becoming infected. If an infection develops and is not treated, removal (amputation) may be required. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower-limb amputation in our country.

For those living with diabetes, daily foot... Read More »

You’ve probably heard that diabetes is a trending epidemic with about one out of every 11 people in the United States diagnosed with diabetes. But let’s focus on our own state - Did you know that nearly one in every four seniors in Oklahoma has been diagnosed with diabetes? This ranks Oklahoma ninth for percentage of adults with diabetes in the nation.

Two very big contributing factors to diabetes are obesity and inactivity. Oklahoma ranks sixth in the U.S. for the percentage of adults who are obese and ranks eighth for the percentage of adults that lack physical activity. These are... Read More »

For many people getting a good night of sleep is seen more as leisure than a necessity. Sleep is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. The health benefits of sleep extend far beyond good heart health.  It is one of the best ways to naturally enhance physical health, brain function, and emotional well-being. Because our bodies depend on sleep to ensure overall wellness, a lack of sleep can create health challenges that affect one’s daily performance and quality of life. 

“Adults should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night,” says Michael Newnam, MD, Director of Sleep... Read More »

“It was a Sunday morning, and I was preparing for service when I started to feel very sick all of the sudden,” Larry Delay recalls of a morning in early March 2015. “I am a pastor and when I started feeling very sick at church, my wife told my daughter-in-law, who is an LPN, to take me to the hospital.” Larry was taken to the closest hospital in South Tulsa where physicians ran several tests on Larry. “They decided to keep me overnight, and the next morning they had me take a nuclear treadmill test. I struggled a little but thought I had done fine but was later told I had failed the test... Read More »