Yale Medicine (April 29, 2023) – The aorta is a complex organ responsible for carrying blood to all organs and tissues in the body. Many disease conditions with catastrophic complications are associated with aortic pathologies, including aneurysm disease, aortic dissection, aortic ulcer and hematoma.
Care of patients with aortic diseases remains highly complex and requires the combined expertise of a multidisciplinary team of cardiovascular surgeons, neurologists, cardiac anesthesiologists, vascular surgeons, and specialized advanced practice providers.
Exercise controls weight. Exercise can help control your weight, prevent excess weight gain or maintain weight loss. When you take part in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.
Exercise improves mood. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious. You also may feel better about your appearance when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
Exercise boosts energy. Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.
Exercise promotes better sleep. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, get better sleep and deepen your sleep.
Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life. Regular physical activity can improve energy levels and increase your confidence about your physical appearance, which may boost your sex life. Regular physical activity may enhance arousal for women, and men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than men who don’t exercise.
Exercise can be fun and social. Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable. Exercise gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply take part in activities that make you happy. Physical activity also can help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting.
Frequent exercise is robustly associated with a decrease in cardiovascular mortality as well as the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Physically active individuals have lower blood pressure, higher insulin sensitivity, and a more favorable plasma lipoprotein profile. Animal models of exercise show that repeated physical activity suppresses atherogenesis and increases the availability of vasodilatory mediators such as nitric oxide.
Exercise has also been found to have beneficial effects on the heart. Acutely, exercise increases cardiac output and blood pressure, but individuals adapted to exercise show lower resting heart rate and cardiac hypertrophy.
Lp(a), pronounced “L-P little A” is like LDL cholesterol, but stickier, which can speed up narrowing of your arteries. If you have too much Lp(a), you have a higher chance of clogged arteries, heart attack, stroke, and heart valve problems.
UC Davis Health (February 22, 2023) – Dr. Jeffrey Southard, a cardiologist at UC Davis Medical Center, explains minimally invasive procedures for structural heart disease, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), left atrial appendage occlusion, and transcatheter management of mitral and tricuspid valve disease.
Video timeline: 0:00 Introduction 0:21 Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) 4:39 Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion 7:00 Transcatheter Management of Mitral and Tricuspid Valve Disease
Mayo Clinic – Chest discomfort and pain account for more than 6.5 million emergency department visits in the U.S. each year. Discomfort can be the first sign of a serious heart event or a symptom of other medical conditions. Dr. Regis Fernandes, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, says people should seek medical care at the first sign of chest pain.
A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a weak spot in the aorta, the main pipeline for blood from the heart to the body. The weak spot has the potential to dissect or rupture, cutting off the supply of life-sustaining blood to the rest of the body. Thoracic aortic aneurysms are often harder to detect and diagnose compared to the more common abdominal aortic aneurysms.
The aorta begins deep in the heart. It emerges from the top of the powerful left ventricle, curves up and over the heart in a gentle arch, then descends into the chest and through the muscular diaphragm into the abdomen (see “Thoracic aorta”). It ends around the belly button, where it splits into two smaller arteries, one for each leg.
From start to end, arteries branch off to nourish the heart, brain, arms, kidneys, liver, stomach, intestines, and every other part of the body. The stretch of the aorta from its start in the heart to the top of the diaphragm is called the thoracic aorta; the section below the diaphragm is the abdominal aorta.
Some aneurysms are relatively harmless. Others can lead to the catastrophic problems known as dissection or rupture. For now, size is the best and only guide to the health threat posed by an aneurysm.
Dissection. The most common consequence of an aortic aneurysm, dissection occurs when a tear develops in the inner lining of the aortic wall. The inner and outer layers peel apart, creating an extra channel for blood inside the aorta. It may do no harm, or it may allow blood to bypass the outflow to certain organs or tissues, leaving them without a blood supply. This can cause a heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, and other problems.
Rupture. A break in all three layers of the aortic wall is termed a rupture. Blood pours from the aorta into the chest. This massive internal bleeding can quickly lead to shock and death.
“The likelihood of needing a pacemaker increases with age,” says Dr. Sunil Kapur, a cardiologist at the Heart and Vascular Center at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “The good news is that today’s pacemakers have evolved from fixing irregular heartbeats to helping the heart maintain its normal function, which allows many men with certain heart conditions to stay active longer.”
A pacemaker monitors the heart’s rhythm and, when necessary, generates a painless electrical impulse that triggers a heartbeat.
The most common use for a pacemaker is when the heart beats too slowly or pauses, which triggers dizziness, shortness of breath, or fainting. (You should see your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms.) A pacemaker also can help your heart chambers beat in sync and improve blood flow if your heart isn’t pumping enough blood. In some cases, a pacemaker may be needed to treat a heartbeat that is too fast or irregular.
These issues can stem from problems with the heart’s electrical signaling, a heart defect, an enlarged or thick heart muscle, heart failure, or a heart attack.
Several tests can help your doctor determine if you need a pacemaker: an electrocardiogram, which measures the heart’s electrical activity; Holter monitoring, in which you wear a small device to track your heart’s rhythm; or an echocardiogram, which uses sound waves to produce images showing your heart’s size, structure, and motion.
If you’ve had a heart attack or stroke: Taking a low-dose aspirin a day is an important part of your treatment. It can help you prevent another heart attack or stroke.
If you haven’t had a heart attack or stroke: Taking an aspirin a day may prevent heart attack or stroke, but it can also cause bleeding. Talk with your health care team about the risks and benefits of aspirin for you. In general, don’t take a daily aspirin if you are 60 or older and don’t have heart disease.