Healthier Holidays: Finding Balance Amid the Emotional Stress and Overindulgence

Yes, the holidays can be a challenge, says interventional cardiologist Thomas Quinn, M.D. But don’t buy in to the idea that sensible eating and exercise are a lost cause from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. For most folks, there are just a handful of winter days of celebration.

“When you eat and exercise thoughtfully 80 to 90 percent of the time, it’s fine to really enjoy yourself the other 10 percent,” says Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation’s Quinn, who sees patients in Oakland and Antioch. Read More

Atrial Fibrillation: Anyone Can be at Risk

14-ABSMC-0000617_CARD_A-fib_Event_FlyerTuesday, Nov. 11

6:30-8 p.m.

Claremont Hotel Club and Spa

41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley

Atrial fibrillation is a condition that affects your heart rhythm and is linked to an increased risk for stroke, heart failure and death. Some people with atrial fibrillation experience a sudden pounding heartbeat leading to dizziness, weakness or chest discomfort. Some have no symptoms at all.

To learn about risk factors, symptoms and treatment options, attend a free presentation by Steven Kang, M.D., heart rhythm specialist at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

Register online or call 510-869-6737 to save your seat.


Take Heart: See Your Doctor Before Beginning an Exercise Program

heart health 1There’s more to fall than back to school. For many it means beginning or resuming a regular exercise routine or even training for a competitive event.

We asked Vipul Gupta, M.D., a cardiologist with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation how athletes of all ages can safeguard their heart health before hitting the gym, pool, open road or wherever your energy takes you. Read More

Saving a Student’s Heart

Dr. lee - Cinthia stethoscope

In March, Cinthia Zapien became one of the first patients in the Bay Area to receive a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) that treats irregular heart rhythms. Cinthia’s physician, Dr. Michael Lee, a cardiologist with Alta Bates Medical Center expects Cinthia to have a full and productive healthy life.

A year ago, Cinthia Zapien – a 21-year-old college student with a bright future – learned that she had a genetic heart disorder that put her at risk of dying from sudden cardiac arrest. Cinthia has Long QT Syndrome, a rare abnormality of the heart’s electrical activity that causes dangerous heart arrhythmias. Cinthia started suffering fainting spells and other symptoms about five years ago and much of her father’s side of the family all suffers from the same disorder.

“My aunt and three of her daughters have the same condition and one of my cousins died when she was 11,” said Cinthia. “All of my sisters and my father are being monitored for Long QT Syndrome as well.”

Read More

A Heart Attack in Your Leg? Simple Test Saves Lives

Strong and fit, Erick Carlson led marine photography dives all over the world. So when he began to have severe leg pain just walking a few feet, he thought it was a nerve problem:

“If I kept moving, the pain would slowly go down my leg and then would start burning in my calf. … my foot would actually go numb, so that I couldn’t even feel my foot hit the ground.”

When he rested, the pain would go away. So Erick stopped all the activities he loved, until his Sutter Health doctor performed a simple blood pressure test for his legs, known as ABI (ankle-brachial index) screening.

The test revealed that he had peripheral arterial disease (also known as peripheral vascular disease): 90 percent of blood flow to his left leg was blocked. Watch Erick’s story:

Deep-sea diver photographing a sea otter

“Like angina or chest pain on exertion–which is caused by plaque buildup in the coronary arteries–peripheral arterial disease is caused by the same process in the peripheral vessels,” explains Vindhya Hindnavis, M.D., an internist with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (SEBMF), who is board-certified in cardiovascular disease and is affiliated with Sutter Delta Medical Center. Read More

New Technology Keeps Everyone Young at Heart

Sudden cardiac arrest claims the life of nearly one American every minute. Most often, its victims are middle aged.sudden cardiac arrest without a subcutaneous implantable cardiac defibrillator

At the age of 58, Tim Russert, the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” collapsed and died of sudden cardiac arrest.

But it can also strike the young, as the death of college basketball star Hank Gathers brought to the national forefront in the 1990s. Gathers, a 6-7 forward at Loyola Marymount, collapsed on the court and died of sudden cardiac arrest. He was 23-years-old. Read More