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Celebrating the season to be merry with too much alcohol can put your heart health at risk.

Overindulging in alcohol can result in an irregular heartbeat, according to Wayne Leimbach, M.D., medical director of Oklahoma Heart Institute.

“Too much alcohol intake can trigger a holiday heart event,” said Leimbach. “Holiday heart attacks are heart rhythm disturbances often triggered by excessive alcohol intake. Some can be lethal, but more commonly, many can change your holiday plans to a stay at the hospital.”

Leimbach encourages individuals to keep their alcohol intake to... Read More »

It may be the most wonderful time of the year – but not always for your heart.

“The holidays are a time for being with our families and a time of joy for many,” said Wayne Leimbach, M.D., medical director of Oklahoma Heart Institute. “But, because of the stress, fatigue and frequent overindulgence, the holiday season can also trigger heart attacks.”

Studies suggest more cardiac emergencies happen during the winter holiday season (December and January).

There are a few things you can do to minimize your risk of holiday heart attack, according to Leimbach.

“... Read More »

Millions of Americans have diabetes and yet are unaware of their condition. However, that was not the case for Oklahoma native Robert Amey who had two siblings suffer from this condition.

“I’m the oldest of six children and two were diabetic,” Amey said. “I lost both of them.”

Amey’s youngest brother was born with both diabetes and epilepsy; complications eventually resulted in his death as a young man. His other brother was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes early in his adulthood.

“He didn't really take care of himself like he should,” said Amey. “One day he took an... Read More »

Deciding to change is hard. It’s even harder to make that decision, stick with it and improve your life.

Oklahoma native Wanda Vogel, 68, knew how hard it can be to change your path. She had the warning of prediabetes and a registered dietitian daughter pushing her to change, but none of that was enough to break the cycle of failed attempts to enact positive change. It wasn’t until a referral to an Oklahoma Heart Institute endocrinologist and a call from the comprehensive diabetes program staff that Vogel decided this was her chance.

“It was the first day they were open and I... Read More »

Sandra Tinker was in her mid-40s when she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

“It was a surprise, although I knew it ran on both sides of my family,” Tinker said. “I just never thought about it.”

Prior to her diagnosis, Tinker was always tired and had little energy.

“I wanted to sleep all of the time,” Tinker said. “My doctor took a blood sugar test and that’s when I learned I was diabetic.”

Following her diagnosis, Tinker continued to receive care from her primary care provider, until she sought out an endocrinologist in the Tulsa area.

Tinker felt the... Read More »

Not all, but most.   Highly processed foods can be manufactured with ingredients that are not typically used in cooking. Packaged foods can also be loaded with high amounts of sodium, sugar and fat.   Susannah McCabe, registered dietitian with Oklahoma Heart Institute, speaks to the negative impact packaged or processed foods have on our bodies.   “Processed foods can contain high contents of added sodium, sugars and some may contain partially hydrogenated oils,” McCabe said.    Hydrogenation is a process in which a liquid unsaturated fat is turned into a solid fat by adding hydrogen. The... Read More »

Kathleen Marshall is always on the go.

“I get up in the morning, hit the ground running and I go all day long,” Marshall said.

The 68-year-old stays busy navigating life with her three children, five grandchildren and a booming business, Kathleen’s Kids, to run.

Marshall also regularly attends ballroom dance and tai chi classes.

Even the busiest of days have never fully masked Marshall’s underlying condition of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).

“I had a heart cath years ago when they discovered I had AFib,”... Read More »

It’s that simple. Following a heart-healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AFib). Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

We know that older age increases the risk of developing atrial fibrillation — but that’s not all. Other major contributing factors include heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and heavy drinking.

Adopting the following healthy habits can help lower your risk for not only AFib, but also for all types of heart... Read More »

Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, can happen to anyone. But can it be passed down from a family member? The answer is yes.

Having a family member with AFib increases your chances of being diagnosed. Atrial fibrillation that is inherited is called familial atrial fibrillation.

Although the exact incidence of an inherited abnormality of the heart’s normal rhythm is unknown, recent studies suggest that up to 30 percent of people with AFib have a relative with the condition.

The likelihood of AFib increases with age, as well as for individuals with heart disease,... Read More »

The answer is no, but let’s start by explaining the connection between atrial fibrillation and stroke.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is generally not a life-threatening condition, but it can lead to serious medical complications, such as stroke. An irregular heart rhythm allows blood to pool in the heart, which can cause clots to form.

According to experts, AFib patients are nearly five times more likely to suffer a stroke than those without the condition.

Back to aspirin — based on several large studies and the 2014 American Heart Association guidelines, staff at... Read More »