his issue of Heart Insight can be rightly considered
as a journey through what we think is the best
information in heart disease today. Let’s start with
stroke. It is easy for people to forget that stroke
is actually a cardiovascular disease. Both ischemic strokes
(caused by clots) and hemorrhagic strokes (caused by leaking or
ruptured arteries in the brain) often have their origin in the heart
and nearly everything we know about preventing heart attacks
applies to strokes as well. Since May is American Stroke Month,
we wanted to not only profile stroke but to share with you a truly remarkable story. Eric
Barr had multiple strokes as a result of an infection that occurred after a heart valve
replacement. This is an unusual complication but it does happen. In the year after nearly
losing his life, Eric, a professor of theatre, not only worked on recovery, but wrote a
one-man show about his experience. And as if that weren’t enough, he also ultimately
performed it. It is a remarkable story that I am certain you will enjoy.
Cholesterol is a constant concern for people with heart disease. In this issue, we
address familial hypercholesterolemia or FH, which is a genetic likelihood of having high LDL
cholesterol. Not everybody with high cholesterol has FH, but everyone with FH has high
cholesterol unless they receive treatment. Learn more about FH in this issue of Heart Insight.
For most people, losing weight is a battle fought at the end of their fork, but
successful weight loss often incorporates multiple strategies. One of those is keeping
a food diary. In “Dear Diary, Today I Ate …,” we share what you need to know to get
started. Hint: Your smartphone is a big help.
“The Ins and Outs of Hospitalization for HF” is the third of a four-part series on heart
failure. In it we share Dr. Kathleen Grady’s insights about the hospitalization experience
for patients and their families with heart failure and how to minimize re-hospitalizations
for HF. Dr. Grady provides important information on how to make the most of any time
one does spend in the hospital and provides tips on how to work with their medical
team to adjust their care plan in support of improving their quality of life.
Lindsay Davis is another story worth sharing. Lindsay had her life in ballet all planned
out and then she had a sudden cardiac arrest in high school. That’s when she was
diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a congenital heart condition. Six
years later she is an advocate for educating high school coaches on how to identify
HCM and potentially prevent student athletes from experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.
Her advocacy is compelling. She is an impressive young woman.
“Life’s Simple 7” is a favorite for our editorial staff; in this issue we provide information
on modest lifestyle and behavior changes that can not only help you live longer but
healthier, too – quality AND quantity. You’ll learn how to limit your saturated fat; that
short bursts of high-intensity exercise may improve Type 2 diabetes; tips for choosing a
blood pressure monitor; and how more aggressive high blood pressure treatment saves
lives. As an added value we link you to a free app designed to get kids moving at least
60 minutes a day.
Be sure to visit our Heart Insight website and check out our new apps for
smartphones and tablets — even your Kindle Fire! Visit the Apple App Store, Google
Play or the Amazon App Store to download the app for your favorite devices.
I am very interested in hearing your thoughts and suggestions, about the new
electronic version and the new features, and about how we can make this magazine
even better. Please email me at
HeartInsight@heart.org or write to Heart Insight, 7272
Greenville Ave., Dallas TX, 75231. You can also follow us on Twitter.
With best wishes for your good health,
CLYDE W. YANCY, M.D., M.S.C., M.A.C.C., F.A.H.A., M.A.C.P.
Editorial Board Chair, Heart Insight
On My Mind
AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION
Alvin L. Royse, J.D., CPA
Chairman of the Board
Mark A. Creager, M.D., F.A.H.A.
Nancy A. Brown
Chief Executive Officer
EDITORIAL BOARD CHAIR
Clyde W. Yancy, M.D., M.S.C., M.A.C.C.,
Chief, Division of Cardiology
Northwestern Univ. Feinberg School of Medicine
EDITORIAL BOARD CO-CHAIR
Michael A. Bettmann, M.D., F.A.H.A.,
Professor Emeritus of Radiology
Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Winston Salem, NC
MEMBERS AT LARGE
Pierre Fayad, M.D., F.A.H.A., F.A.A.N.
Director, Vascular Neurology and Stroke Program
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Kathleen L. Grady, PHD., A.P.N., F.A.H.A., F.A.A.N.
Administrative Director, Center for Heart Failure
Martha Gulati, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A.
Director, Preventive Cardiology and
Women’s Cardiovascular Health
The Ohio State University
Kristie J. Lancaster, PH.D., R.D.
Associate Professor of Nutrition and Food Studies
New York University
New York, NY
Nehal Mehta, M.D., M.S.C.E., F.A.H.A.
Section Chief, Inflammation and
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Robert E. O’Connor, M.D.
Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Virginia Hospital
Ileana Piña, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Chief for Academic Affairs
Montefiore Medical Center
STAFF AND CONSULTANTS:
Senior Manager, Patient Publications
Debi McGill | Editor-in-Chief
Jon Caswell | Lead Editor
Pierce Goetz | Art Director
Advertising Sales | HeartInsight@heart.org