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Heart Health

How Low Can You Go: Is Low Blood Pressure Dangerous?

Posted February 27, 2023 by Smita I Negi, MD


Each time you visit a doctor’s office, your blood pressure is probably taken. This is one of the many vital sign checks that helps your provider keep tabs on your health. Just as some people are prone to heart disease based on their genetics and family history, blood pressure is an important predictor of future heart disease. While the risks associated with high blood pressure are well known, blood pressure that’s too low also can cause problems.

Blood pressure is…

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4 Ways to Balance Your Blood Sugar - No Prescription Required!

Posted December 05, 2022 by Andrew Chema, M.D.


Balancing blood sugar isn’t only for people with diabetes. Lowering blood sugar can help prevent a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a growing problem in this country. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates almost half of Americans battle high blood sugar on a daily basis. According to the ADA, about 11 percent of Americans have diabetes, while another nearly 35 percent have prediabetes. People with high blood sugar, known as hyperglycemia, are at an…

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8 Common Myths About Blood Donation Debunked

Posted September 12, 2022 by Diana Lishnevski, M.D.


Donating blood is a life-saving gift. Every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood, according to the American Red Cross.

While it’s a fact that your blood donation can save the lives of up to three people, you may be fearful of it because of several myths surrounding blood donation. Summa Health debunks 8 common myths about donating blood to ease your mind and encourage you to give this year. There is always a need for donors. Blood has a short shelf life, so…

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Blood Clots What You Need to Know and How to Help Prevent Them

Posted August 22, 2022 by Roger Chaffee, M.D.


When you cut yourself and injure a blood vessel, blood clotting is an important process that seals your wound and prevents excessive bleeding. Once your injury is healed, the body naturally dissolves the blood clot.

Blood clots can also form inside the blood vessels without an injury and do not dissolve naturally. This can become life-threatening and cause long-term effects, such as breathing problems or chronic swelling.

Any blood clot that forms in your veins or arteries can…

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A Guide To High Blood Pressure To Help You Lower Your Numbers

Posted May 23, 2022 by Joseph F. Pietrolungo DO, MS, FSVM, FACC


There’s good reason why blood pressure readings are taken first at all routine doctor visits. Almost half of American adults have high blood pressure, known as hypertension, according to the American Heart Association. It’s a very common condition, especially as you age.

Your blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heartpumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your…

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Atrial Fibrillation... What you should know

Posted October 25, 2021 by Sahil P. Attawala, MD and Lori O'Shell APRN-CNP


Atrial fibrillation (also called AFib) is a chaotic, or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), at least 2.7 million Americans are currently living with AFib and it is estimated that by 2030 more than 12 million Americans will have AFib.

With normal electrical conduction, impulses originate from an area in the top right corner of the heart…

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7 Tips to living better with lupus

Posted May 31, 2021 by William C McCord, MD


Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder where the immune system’s antibodies mistakenly attack the body’s healthy cells. Because it can affect nearly any organ in the body, symptoms vary widely and can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Skin rashes, such as a malar rash that stretches across the cheeks and bridge of the nose (also known as a butterfly rash)
  • Joint pain
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Hair loss
  • Organ complications, such as inflammation in the lining of the heart, abdomen or lungs, and…
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    What is angina and how is it treated?

    Posted March 22, 2021 by Justin M Dunn, MD


    In times of intense stress, does it ever feel like someone is squeezing your heart? Do you feel pain or numbness down your left arm? Does it seem like you get indigestion each time you exercise?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from angina. Angina occurs when the heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen-rich blood. The pain can be mild or severe and often follows exertion or stress.

    Angina is not a disease, but instead a symptom of a more…

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    The Effects of COVID-19 on Heart Health [Podcast]

    Posted March 15, 2021 by Dr. Roger Chaffee


    Healthy VitalsListen to this episode of the Healthy Vitals Podcast featuring Roger Chaffee, MD.

    Listen now

    The Modern Guide to Heart Health [Podcast]

    Posted September 02, 2020 by Peter Bittenbender, MD


    Dr. Peter Bittenbender shares his insight on the modern guide to heart health.

    Listen now

    What Causes High Blood Pressure?

    Posted August 12, 2019 by Joseph F Pietrolungo, DO, Peripheral Vascular Disease Cardiology


    Almost half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure, but many are not aware of it. High blood pressure is dangerous and can be a silent killer if gone untreated. That’s why it’s so important to understand what causes it and how to keep it controlled.

    First – what is high blood pressure?

    In order to survive, your tissues and organs need oxygenated blood to circulate throughout the body. When your heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes…

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    What Happens During A Vascular Screening?

    Posted June 24, 2019 by Drazen Petrinec, M.D. Summa Health Vascular Surgeon


    Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the US. Over 600,000 people - roughly 1 in 4 individuals - die each year. Heart disease can place you at a much higher risk for stroke and other vascular diseases.

    Carotid arteries are blood vessels in the neck that supply blood flow to the head and brain. If vascular disease develops in carotid arteries, that can lead to a higher risk of stroke. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) are dilations or swellings of the main blood vessel in the abdomen. As AAAs enlarge, the wall becomes thinner and is at risk for bursting which can be a life threatening emergency. 

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    Lowering Your Blood Pressure, Naturally

    Posted October 11, 2018 by Roger B. Chaffee, M.D., FACC Medical Director, Summa Health Heart and Vascular Institute


    Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)

    So you just found out that you have high blood pressure (HBP). Well, you’re not alone. Almost half of adults in the U.S. have it – and most don’t even know it.

    Fortunately, hypertension – the medical term for HBP – can typically be controlled with the right medication and lifestyle changes. In fact, lifestyle modificationslike healthier eating and regular exercise may be able to do more than just…

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