Smart Heart: Myth versus Fact

By: Chris Curry Email
By: Chris Curry Email

In today's "Smart Heart" segment we're teaming up with University Hospital Cardiologist Doctor Abdulla Abdulla to talk about myths versus facts.

Our first myth is for patients taking cholesterol medication. Many patients say "I stopped taking my cholesterol medication because my cholesterol improved. I didn't think I needed them any more."

"Two things that we need to recognize. High cholesterol often has no symptoms until there's a coronary event. The moment you stop your cholesterol medicine, those plaques start building up again. And all the benefits you've achieved by taking it for years start going away in within a few days of stopping the medicine." said Dr. Abdulla.

The second myth involves blood pressure, one of our body's main vital signs. It's made up of two numbers. The top number is the systolic reading and the bottom number is the diastolic reading.

But is one number more important than the other? Many patients say: "I don't have high blood pressure. my bottom number has always been normal."

"Studies have shown that stiffness of the arteries is a cause of the high, upper number or systolic pressure. And stiffness of the artery predisposes that artery to developing plaques." said Dr. Abdulla.

It is true that the bottom number can be a marker for your risk of heart disease and stroke when you're younger. But as we grow older, an increase in the top number can show a risk for cardiac problems.


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