by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters
It seems a cruel irony: the very thing that may have saved your life after a frightening cancer diagnosis is the same thing that can ultimately endanger your heart. I first heard of the known link between cancer treatments and later heart disease when I was a text editor of the palliative care textbook called Medical Care of the Dying.1 I learned about patients with end-stage heart disease caused by their cancer treatments, sometimes decades earlier. . .
Continue reading “When cancer treatment damages your heart”
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters ♥ March 31, 2019
This editorial, “What Women (and Clinicians) Don’t Know Hurts Them“, originally appeared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. As a woman with heart disease, I wanted to immediately read it to find out what might be hurting me.
But as is common practice in most medical journals, this editorial was behind a paywall, so it was not available for heart patients like me, or anybody else who wasn’t a subscriber to the journal.
I could pay a fee of $35 for the privilege of reading this one article, but the reality is that I can’t afford to pay for articles that aren’t being published in what’s known as an open access journal.* Continue reading “MDs often tell women to lose weight rather than address cardiac risk factors”
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters ♥ October 7, 2018
There are lots of cardiac risk factors that increase our chances of developing heart disease one day. Some are beyond our control (like having a family history) and many are not (like smoking or a sedentary lifestyle).
Some other risk factors are less familiar, so are often overlooked. Until two years after my heart attack, for example, I didn’t know that having pregnancy complications (like the preeclampsia I was diagnosed with while pregnant with my first baby) can mean women are 2-3 times more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease years later. But here’s a cardiac risk factor that was new to me until I learned about something called the ACE study. And this is a big one. Continue reading “Oh, great. Another cardiac risk factor to worry about…”
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters
“The doctor showed me an x-ray of my brain. He pointed to a small spot and told me, ‘That’s where the blood vessel burst in your brain!’ It was surreal.”
My heart sister Dina Piersawl (affectionately known to some of us as Dee Mad Scientist) had just celebrated her 41st birthday when she survived an ischemic stroke. A professional scientist – and a former athlete and personal trainer in Chicago who describes herself as “never been sick in my life” – Dina sure didn’t look or feel like any stereotypical stroke patient you might imagine. Continue reading ““Never been sick in my life” – so how could she have a stroke?”
Prepare yourself, ladies, for yet another news flash from the Department of the Bleedin’ Obvious. . . A research team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine tracked both male and female full-time workers, particularly the number of hours they worked outside the home, the work they did in the home, and the responsibility they felt for doing the housework.(1) They then examined the links between housework and health issues such as raised blood pressure. High blood pressure has long been identified as a risk factor in heart disease, so pay attention if you’re the person in your home who’s responsible for most of your housework. Continue reading “It’s official! Housework is bad for your heart”