The Latest in Cardiac Care

Cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States. However the number of deaths is decreasing as innovations in the care of cardiac patients is advancing.

Stents coated with medication are among the newest advances in the war against restenosis after angioplasty. These devices may increase success rates for PTCA, reducing the need for later coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. Sirolimus, an anti-rejection agent appears to reduce the growth of cells at the PTCA site. Paclitaxel is used to treat cancer and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, so it works against the growth of abnormal cells at the PTCA site. Results have shown that patient's who received a coated stent have had a 3 – 8% restenosis, compared with 35.4% for patient's who received uncoated stents. Coated stents are not for everyone. Your doctor will decide based on artery size, length and location.

Walking can help you feel good, look good, and live longer. A regular program of walking is great medicine. It can lower blood glucose levles, help weight loss, improve circulation, lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, improve functioning of the heart, and boost energy levels. Walking can have major emotional benefits too. It can releive stress, counter the blues and refresh your mind.

Always warm up and stretch before you begin exercising. These important 5 to 10 minutes prepare your muscles, joints and heart to work hard for you. In addition, stretching loosens your muscles and joints making them less prone to injury. A cooldown with stretching also helps prevent injury. When completing a walk, slow down gradually until your breathing becomes normal, and then stretch for another 5 to 10 minutes.

If you are just starting a walking program start slowly and at your own pace. Walking should be comfortable and safe. Don't beleive in the "no pain no gain" motto. Plan to walk 5 to 10 minutes a few days a week at first and increase gradually. Walking in groups makes it more fun and safer. You should be able to hold a conversation while walking without huffing and puffing. Walking should make you feel good not worn out.

Go and join the 73 million other Americans who are out there walking and have a healthier life!