Has REDUCE-IT Resurrected Fish OIl Supplements (And Saved Amarin)?

The answers are no and yes. There is still no reason to take over the counter fish oil supplements. In fact, a study published Saturday found that fish oil supplementation (1 g per day as a fish-oil capsule containing 840 mg of n−3 fatty acids, including 460 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and 380 mg of […]

Blood Thinners (Oral Anticoagulants) For Atrial Fibrillation: Who Should Take Them and Which One To Take

The most serious  adverse consequence of having atrial fibrillation is stroke. Since we have safe and effective ways of preventing afib-related stroke with oral anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners), a major decision for the newly diagnosed patient with atrial fibrillation is “should I take a blood thinner?” To answer this question the afibber should engage in […]

Is September Really National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month (And Why Does It Matter?)

The skeptical cardiologist received an email from a woman telling him that September is atrial fibrillation awareness month and offering me the free use of an infographic given that I “care deeply about helping people living with AF.” Well, I do care about deeply about people living with atrial fibrillation and pretty much all cardiac […]

Atrial Fibrillation: How Many Times Can You Shock The Heart?

The most effective method for getting a heart that is in atrial fibrillation back to normal rhythm is a called an electrical cardioversion. I’ve tried to come up with a good alternative or descriptive term for this procedure for my patients, such as “resetting” or “rebooting” the heart, but the term that seems to best resonate […]

Stroke Risk Estimation in Atrial Fibrillation: Please Give Me Lip!

The best way we have of estimating a patient’s risk of stroke if they have atrial fibrillation (AF) is by the CHA2DS2-VASc scale. This scale take the factors we know that increase the risk of stroke and assigns 1 or 2 points. The acronym comes from the first letter of the factors that are known […]

Atrial Fibrillation: Initial Treatment Options

When I talk to my patient with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF), after  describing the disease and its consequences, there are two major discussions I go through. The first involves the fact that AF increases the risk of clots forming in the heart and subsequently going to the brain to cause stroke. The second involves whether […]

Why Does The TV Tell Me Xarelto is a BAD DRUG?

One of my patients called the office today concerned about a medication she was taking because she was “seeing about 4-5 commercials a day about how bad Xarelto is”. She is the latest of many of my patients who have been inundated with ads like these which state in very strident tones that a drug is […]

Take Your Pulse and Prevent A Stroke

Hopefully by now everyone has gotten the message that atrial fibrillation is associated with stroke (and, most importantly, that we have ways to prevent those associated strokes). Atrial fibrillation occurs when the normal, regular, synchronous action of the upper chambers of the heart becomes chaotic, rapid and inefficient. Take a look at this video to […]