Dear Heart Owner,
The change of seasons is here and I urge you to maximize your quality of life through heart health. To help keep you at the cutting edge, we are providing you with a quick look a couple of issues Hot-Off-The-Press.  Take a moment and see if this information can help you live life to the fullest. Please contact our office if you have any questions (480.941.0800).

In Health,

A. Feyrer-Melk, M.D.

Flu Shot May Help Protect Against Cardiovascular Events.

Well, it's time.  With the change in weather comes the Flu Season.  Avoiding the flu and all the negatives inherent in the sickness is great, but did you know that a Flu Shot may help protect against cardiovascular events.  New Canadian research suggests that the influenza vaccine significantly lowers the risk of heart attack, strokes and dying from heart disease.

"In addition to leading a heart healthy life, having an annual flu shot could be another easy way to help prevent cardiac events," Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson said in a statement.

Researchers found that "those who got the flu vaccine had about a 50% reduction in heart attack, stroke or other major cardiovascular events (HealthDay, 10.29, Doheny).

Exactly how flu vaccinations might lower the risk of heart attack or dying from heart disease isn't known. But Dr. Jacob Udell, a cardiologist and clinician scientist at Toronto's Women's College Hospital and the University of Toronto, says there are several plausible explanations.  "Most people don't necessarily die of overwhelming pneumonia from the flu, but (rather) mostly from complications of the flu," Udell said.

Respiratory infections can affect the flow of oxygen through the blood and, by extension, to the heart.

"It's well-known that there are more cardiac events that happen around winter time, for whatever reason," said cardiologist Dr. Sheldon Singh, of the Schulich Heart Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

Although the findings are preliminary, we remain optimistic that more research will further support these results.  So go ahead, endure the poke and get your shot now.

Thank you for your support!

Madeline (Flute) and Madison (Clarinet) Feyrer-Melk thank all of our generous patients who contributed to the Fountain Hills High School Marching Band Fundraiser.  The proceeds go to fund a performance the Hollywood, California Thanksgiving Parade.  There is still time to donate in our office.  The band is publically funded and not a taxpayer extracurricular program.

Coffee or Soda?  For Cardiovascular Health there is a difference!
When you reach for a mid-morning “pick-me-up” you do have a choice if you want to have a positive impact on your cardiovascular health.  Two recent studies have documented that soda can raise stroke risk while coffee has benefits to heart failure patients, even decaffeinated versus soft drinks.

Researchers from Cleveland Clinic and Harvard University published a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and stated they found that greater consumption of sugar-sweetened as well as low-calorie sodas is associated with a higher risk of stroke.

Adam Bernstein, M.D., Research Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, said:
“What we’re beginning to understand is that regular intake of these beverages sets off a chain reaction in the body that can potentially lead to many diseases, including stroke.”

Although the exact relationship between soda and stroke isn’t clear, the connection may due to how soda can change blood pressure and blood sugar, driving up one’s stroke risk.  Interesting to note was that people who drank the most soda also ate more red meat and whole fat dairy products, leading to increased cholesterol which contributes to atherosclerosis, a factor for stroke.

The value of the coffee lies in the antioxidants* that are found within the drink.  These include chlorogenic acids, lignins, and magnesium.  If we compare coffee with one serving of sugar-sweetened soda and one serving of decaffeinated coffee, we see a 10% lower risk of stroke in the coffee drinker.

Even more evidence published in the journal Circulation: 
Heart Failure, coffee was found to protect against heart failure. They document that people who drank two 8 ounce cups of coffee experienced an 11% lower risk of heart failure than people who did not drink coffee.

Sounds like an endorsement to stop at your favorite barrista for a cup of coffee…but don’t get caught up in the designer coffees that are laden with fat and sugar.  A plain cup of coffee will do you best.  Talk with Dr. Feyrer-Melk if you have any questions of whether coffee should be part of your daily routine.

*Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that protect and repair cells from damage caused by free radicals. Many experts believe this damage plays a part in a number of chronic diseases, including hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), cancer, and arthritis.

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Wonderful, caring atmosphere!  Plenty of time to ask questions of Dr. FM.   -Judith M.

The easibility of talking to the doctor and the length of the office visits.  I am impressed with the cutting edge science.  -Anonymous

Dr. Feyer-Melk –Care! – Personal!  Her care gave me my life back.  -Marybeth G.

Knowing the program is getting my inflamed arteries and cholesterol under control.  Loved Dr. Steve’s help with fitness.  -Bradley B.

Excellent care, personable and caring staff.   -Florence K.

I feel like I have made great strides regarding my overall health.  I feel that I have received great diagnostic information and that I have an overall greater awareness/knowledge of my cardiovascular health. -Lela B.

I get optimal care as if I were her only patient.  Dr. Feyrer-Melk’s focus is on my overall well being and proper health practices.   Joseph F.

© 2012 Heart of Arizona Optimal Cardiac Care 7700 East Indian School Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 Phone: (480) 941-0800

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