When you sit quietly, your heart slips into the slower, steady pace known as your resting heart rate. A new study suggests that an increase in this rate over time may be a signal of heart trouble ahead.
Your heart rate changes from minute to minute. It depends on whether you are standing up or lying down, moving around or sitting still, stressed or relaxed. Your resting heart rate, though, tends to be stable from day to day. The usual range for resting heart rate is anywhere between 60 and 90 beats per minute. Above 90 is considered high.
Many factors influence resting heart rate. Genes play a role. Aging tends to speed it up. Regular exercise tends to slow it down. (In his prime, champion cyclist Lance Armstrong had a resting heart rate of just 32 beats per minute.) Stress, medications, and medical conditions also influence the heart rate.
In today’s Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from Norway report Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*
Most people assume that their eyes are healthy if their vision is stable, but this is not always the case. Eye doctors look for many different potential diseases and conditions during a comprehensive eye exam, and if you (or your children or loved ones) haven’t had one recently then maybe it’s time to make it a New Year’s resolution for 2012?
One CDC survey suggests that as many as 34.6% of adults over the age of 40 (with moderate to severe visual impairment) believe that they don’t need regular eye exams. This popular misconception may lead to missed diagnoses. Eye doctors look for signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, cataracts, macular degeneration, retinal tears, allergies and infections (among other things) each time they conduct a comprehensive eye exam. The exam offers a lot more than a simple vision check. And this is particularly important for children.
In a recent interview with the president of the American Optometric Association (AOA), Dr. Dori Carlson, I learned the surprising statistic that about 1 in 4 school age children have an undetected or undiagnosed vision problem. School vision screenings, while helpful, still miss more than 75% of these problems. And for those kids who are discovered to have a vision problem during a school screening, upwards of 40% receive no follow up after the diagnosis.
The eyes are more than a “window to the soul” but a window to general physical health. And the good news is that exams are relatively inexpensive and painless – so why not resolve to make them part of your yearly health maintenance routine, starting in 2012? Let’s make 2012 a year for healthy vision!
- For more great information about eye health, please check out my Healthy VisionTM podcast interviews with national eye experts:
Disclosure: Dr. Val Jones is a paid consultant for VISTAKON®, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
- Don’t have an eye doctor? Here’s a helpful database that you can use to locate one near you.
- Can’t afford an eye exam for your child? The InfantSee program (www.InfantSee.org) can match you up with eye care professionals who will perform the exam at no cost to you.
You don’t want this…
When it comes to the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation, it pays to be a boy. Sorry, ladies.
An important question came up on my recent post on AF and stroke.
Why does being female give you an automatic point on CHADS2-VASc? I keep seeing it, but I don’t see why that is.
It doesn’t seem intuitive that female AF patients should have more strokes. Why? AF should equal AF.
But it does matter. When it comes to AF and stroke, women are very different.
Here are three references that support the fact that female gender increases the risk of stroke in AF.
–First: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*
I recently wrote about the incredible sensations that come with vigorous exercise. Perhaps it was the post ride cannabinoid flurry, but it’s possible that I went too far in suggesting that ‘we’ (doctors, patients, the whole of Western Society) default first to pills before healthy living.
Two commentors called me out on this snark. They wrote about valid points.
One comment focused on the fact that her AF medicines were causing side effects that made vigorous exercise difficult. The second objected to my inference that exercise alone could substitute for the many benefits of modern medicine.
To the idea that medicine Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*
There are some patients that keep you humbled. Barbara Tate was one of those patients. With a shopping list of chronic conditions a mile long, she was told she could never carry a baby because she had miscarried two during her early 20’s. She suffered the hammer blows of diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and asthma. And it doesn’t stop there. Tate also had a history of two slipped disks, a cellulitis infection and a non-cancerous tumor on her adrenal gland. In fact she was scheduled to have surgery until she discovered she was pregnant at the age of 43. She was strongly encouraged to terminate the pregnancy because of her multiple medical conditions but she didn’t. Tate viewed her pregnancy as a miracle and for all intent purposes, it was. After age 37, there is a rapid decline in the ability to conceive although not impossible.
Her baby was born three months early and it appears that she was unaware of the classic signs of premature labor. On the day of her child’s birth, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*