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BPS in Plastics May Cause Heart Arrhythmia

BPS in Plastics May Cause Heart Arrhythmia

New research shows that BPS in plastics may cause heart arrhythmia.

BPA, a chemical compound used in the manufacture of plastics, was linked to neurological problems, cancer, heart problems, and fertility issues in numerous studies. Because of the studies, manufacturers started using an alternative – BPS.

Soon, BPA-free labels started popping up on bottles and food containers to show the public they were safe. But it turns out that BPS may not be so safe of an alternative after all.

An initial study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that female rats that were exposed to BPS ended up having heart arrhythmia, among other issues. Though research has yet to be undertaken in humans, the level of BPS the rats were exposed to were similar to the levels humans would be exposed to.

Concerned experts from various health organizations, including the Cleveland Clinic, are advising people to use caution. While more research needs to be done, it may be best to ditch the plastic bottles and containers and use stainless steel water bottles and ceramic or glass containers for food storage.

Living with a Sense of Purpose is Good for Your Heart

Living with a Sense of Purpose is Good for Your Heart

Living with a sense of purpose is good for your heart and may lower your risk for early death, heart attack, and stroke according to an article in the U.S. News and World Report. The article discussed preliminary findings of a research team at the American Heart Association who looked into 10 studies on the link between positive emotions and overall health. While the research hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet, the early news is quite positive – those with a strong sense of purpose had reduced risk of death and cardiovascular disease.

Compared to people with a low sense of purpose, those with a high sense of purpose had a 23 percent reduce risk of death from any cause. Those with a strong sense of purpose had a 19 percent reduced risk for cardiovascular reasons, such as heart attack and stroke.

Dr. Randy Cohen, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospitals in New York City who authored the study, said the findings suggest that “psychological health and well-being are important components of physical health.” He didn’t go as far to say that there was a direct cause-and-effect relationship between them.

Having a sense of purpose involves contributing to society and individuals as opposed to having fun, which is fleeting. It also builds connections with others to create meaningful relationships.

Looking for ways to contribute? Look through the following links and find an organization where you can help fulfill your sense of purpose. It just may be the thing your heart needs.

Volunteer Match

Do Something

Good Search

Stress and Depression Increase Risk of Death in Heart Disease Patients

Stress and Depression Increase Risk of Death in Heart Disease Patients

Stress and depression increase risk of death in heart disease patients by 48% according to new research. Researchers suggest that stress and depression together created a “perfect storm” for patients with coronary heart disease.

Coronary heart disease is a disease in which plaque builds up in the coronary arteries. Over time, the arteries could become narrowed and restrict blood flow to the heart. When blood to your heart is reduced or blocked, angina or heart attack can occur.

While previous studies have examined how stress and depression separately impact health negatively, this six-year study looked at patients with coronary heart disease who experienced both stress and depression together.

Patients with coronary heart disease were visited at home and questioned about stress and depression in their lives.  Around 6% of the patients in the study reported both high levels of stress and depression.

Though there was no increased risk of heart attack or death if patients experienced either stress or depression separately, if you have coronary heart disease it’s imperative to reduce your stress and manage your depression. Talk to a health care professional to get the help you need.

Amputations Reduced for Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Amputations Reduced for Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Amputations Reduced for Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Research presented at the International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy showed that patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) who face amputation of their foot or leg can have their limb saved by improving the blood flow through a minimally invasive procedure to clear blocked arteries.

The key to reducing amputations is education, according to the doctor who led the study. Doctors who treat high risk patients, such as those with diabetes or kidney failure, should refer patients to doctors who are endovascular specialists.

Amputation rates dropped 79% for patients tested and treated in a limb salvage program as part of the study. Patients underwent an angiogram, and if blockages were found they had a procedure to clear the blockages and restore circulation, such as angioplasty or atherectomy.

Approximately 8 million people in the United States have peripheral arterial disease, according to the CDC. And it affects men and women equally.

Several risk factors contribute to peripheral arterial disease. They include:

High Blood Pressure
High Cholesterol
Age (Persons Over the Age of 60 are at higher risk)

Common symptoms of peripheral arterial disease include:

Leg or foot pain
Pain while walking
Leg or foot that is cool to the touch
Absent pulses
Non-healing wounds or ulcers
Cold or numb toes

If you have any of these symptoms you should consult your doctor. Peripheral arterial disease can be treated, but not without proper detection.

A Positive Attitude is Beneficial for Heart Patients

A Positive Attitude is Beneficial for Heart Patients

A Positive Attitude is Beneficial for Heart Patients

We all have heard about the benefits of a positive attitude, but new research shows that having a positive attitude helps patients who suffer a heart attack or unstable angina. Optimistic people are more likely to heed their doctor’s advice when it comes to lifestyle changes to protect their heart – and their health. They were more likely to eliminate unhealthy behaviors like smoking and poor eating.

85% of optimistic patients had stopped smoking within a year, while half of the patients in the pessimistic group were still smoking, the study found. Similarly, 40% of the optimists were consuming five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day, compared to 20% of the pessimistic patients.

This study shows the impact a positive attitude can have on your heart health.

Work with your doctor on incorporating healthier lifestyle habits into your daily routine. Stopping smoking, eating healthier, and losing weight are great places to start.

In addition to your doctor, you’ll find resources to quit smoking on the American Lung Association website.

For ideas on what to include in a heart-healthy diet, download our free eBook “8 Heart-Healthy Recipes That Taste Great Too”.

Weight Loss Helps Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

Weight Loss Helps Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation, also known as AF or A-fib, is an abnormal heartbeat characterized by a rapid or irregular heartbeat. It is the most common type of arrhythmia that affects 2.5 million people in the United States. It is frequently caused by hypertension or valvular heart disease and is often treated with medications or cardioversion. But, a new study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Session had some great news for those with atrial fibrillation – it showed weight loss helps patients with atrial fibrillation.

This study was the first to track the long term affects of weight loss in patients with atrial fibrillation. 45% of patients who lost 10% or more of their body weight and kept it off for four years were able to achieve freedom from their atrial fibrillation symptoms without having to have surgery or take medications.

Those who lost 10% or more of their body weight were six times more likely to achieve long-term freedom from atrial fibrillation as compared to those who didn’t lose weight. Those who lost the most weight showed marked reductions in atrial fibrillation burden and severity. Even those with a 3-9% reduction in body weight saw benefits.

If left untreated atrial fibrillation can lead to stroke or heart failure and it doubles your risk of death. Taking action now can help you live a longer and healthier life.

Our cardiologists have successfully treated patients with atrial fibrillation, and other arrhythmias, for over 25 years.

3 Reasons to Use MyChart


3 Reasons to Use MyChart. 

If you aren’t already using MyChart you should be. MyChart, which is a free service, allows you to access to your medical information, manage your appointments, and stay in touch with your doctor. It helps you to stay on top of your health care.

Did you know with MyChart you can:

View your medical information online

  • View your medical history, including medications, immunizations and allergies.
  • Receive test results online – no waiting for a phone call or letter.
  • Review your doctor’s instructions.

Stay in touch with your doctor

  • Request a prescription refill online.
  • Communication with your doctor is as easy as sending an email message – but far more secure.

Manage your appointments

  • Request an appointment online.
  • Receive appointment reminders.
  • View a record of your past appointments.

Next time you’re in for a visit, ask your provider for more information. We’ll be happy to help you. When you check out you’ll receive a MyChart Access Code along with your paperwork. This code will allow you to create a log in so you can start managing your account.

You can also set up an account by visiting the MyChart website. Signup today!

Dr. Brian Nelson Appeared on “Real Milwaukee” for American Heart Month

Brian Nelson MD

In recognition of American Heart Month, Dr. Brian Nelson appeared on the Fox 6 show, “Real Milwaukee.” Click to watch Dr. Nelson’s appearance.

Dr. Nelson quizzed the hosts on heart health and expanded on the correct answer. He talked about aspects of a heart-healthy lifestyle and proper diet.

Here are the questions from the show. How would you answer?

True or False. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women in the United States.

True or False. Heart disease is entirely heredity.

True or False. Drinking alcohol every day, but not a lot, is good for my heart.

Click the link above to watch Dr. Nelson’s appearance and find out the answers.

Dr. Nelson is a heart and vascular expert with over 22 years of experience as a cardiologist in the Milwaukee area. He is board certified in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology.

Lori Emmert from All Good Healthy Fast Food prepared Quinoa and Vegetables, the recipe they donated for our eBook “8 Heart-Healthy Recipes That Taste Great Too.”

What 4 Presidents Can Teach Us About Heart Disease

4 Presidents and Heart Disease

The President of the United States has often been called the most powerful person in the world, but that doesn’t make them immune to heart disease. Heart disease can affect everyone, no matter who they are.

We can learn a lot by examining four of our Presidents who suffered from cardiovascular disease. We need to be mindful of our health and take the necessary steps to maintain good health.

Here’s what 4 Presidents can teach us about heart disease:

Grover Cleveland was the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms. He served from 1885-1889 and 1893-1897. Cleveland suffered throughout his life with obesity and died of a heart attack at the age of 71 in 1908.

William Taft served as President from 1909-1913. He is known for being our most obese President. He stood 5’11” and weighed close to 340 lbs at the end of his Presidency. A year after leaving office he lost 80 lbs by eating a proper diet. His blood pressure dropped considerably because of his weight loss. Many experts also say this extended his life. He later went on to serve in the Supreme Court from 1921-1930. Taft died of cardiovascular disease in 1930 at the age of 72.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was a decorated World War II hero and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces. He began smoking two to three packs of cigarettes a day while at West Point, which he continued to do until poor health affected him as President. He was also a regular drinker. Eisenhower served as President from 1953-1961. From 1955 until his death in 1969 he suffered seven heart attacks and a stroke.

Bill Clinton served as President from 1993-2001. He suffered from obesity and in 2004 had quadruple bypass surgery.  In 2010 he complained of chest pains and had two coronary stents placed in his heart. He has since adopted a vegan diet to maintain a healthy weight.

Here are the lessons we can take away from these 4 Presidents to reduce our risk of heart disease:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get plenty of physical activity
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce alcohol consumption

We can use the example from past Presidents as a reminder, that heart disease can affect everybody. By taking measures to change our habits, we can impact our health and reduce our risks for heart disease.

Dr. Brian Nelson to Appear on “Real Milwaukee” February 26th

Brian Nelson MD

In recognition of American Heart Month, Dr. Brian Nelson, cardiologist at the Waukesha Heart Institute, will appear on the Fox 6 morning show, “Real Milwaukee” on Thursday February 26th. “Real Milwaukee” airs from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Monday through Friday.

On the show, Dr. Nelson will quiz the hosts on heart heart, discuss aspects of a heart-healthy lifestyle and diet, and talk about our eBook, “8 Heart-Healthy Recipes That Taste Great Too.”

All Good Healthy Fast Food will be preparing their recipe, Quinoa and Vegetables, from the eBook on the show as well.

Dr. Nelson is a heart and vascular expert with over 22 years of experience as a cardiologist in the Milwaukee area. He is board certified in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology.

“Real Milwaukee” has been keeping it real on Fox 6 since 2010. Click to find out more about the show.

Don’t forget to tune in February 26th at 9:00 a.m. to catch the heart-healthy segment with Dr. Nelson.