Heart disease is the Nation’s #1 killer, but the death rate is declining thanks to progress in prevention and treatment.
Research shows that 80 percent of coronary heart disease is preventable. A good way to do this is to follow a heart healthy diet and evidence is showing that the The Mediterranean Diet is the way to go. A recent study found this diet cut recent heart disease risk 35 percent in 780 firefighters.
Elderly people with aortic stenosis used to have to undergo open-heart surgery to get a new valve but now there’s transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVI. This innovation uses a procedure to implant a new valve that takes over the function of the old, ailing one using only minimally invasive surgery.
A tiny new pacemaker could someday replace the kind millions of people now use. This new type, which is a fraction of the size, is placed directly into the heart without surgery. It also has no leads, so there is less chance of infection, and people wearing it won’t have to worry about it becoming dislodged or needing surgery to replace the battery.
There’s even good news for people with serious congestive heart failure. The left ventricular assist devices, which take over the beating function of the heart, can help them. Just a few years ago, these were devices like the kind Dick Cheney wore in a vest before his heart was replaced. Not only was it bulky but also the open-heart surgery needed to implant it nearly killed him, he has written. Nowadays, a new, smaller LVAD, called an “Impeller LVAD,” is used and it is delivered to the heart without surgery, using a catheter.
Dr. Chauncey Crandall is author of the #1 Amazon bestseller “The Simple Heart Cure.”