My Doctor Told Me I Have a Heart Murmur: Now What?

WHAT IS A HEART MURMUR?

Normally blood moves through the heart smoothly in a nearly fractionless fashion called laminar flow. However when the velocity of flow increases, flow becomes turbulent and friction increases making flow audible to the healthcare provider using a stethoscope. This noise is called a murmur. Some murmurs occur when flow velocity occurs in response to physical conditions such as pregnancy or fever and do not represent a heart problem. However many murmurs occur from heart valve abnormalities or congenital heart disease and should be evaluated. The most common abnormal heart conditions causing murmurs are when heart valves fail to open properly (called valve stenosis) or when heart valves leak (called valvular regurgitation). Read more

TAVR: A Non-Surgical Solution to Aortic Stenosis

The aortic valve is the gate-keeper for blood to circulate from the heart to all parts of the body.

Narrowing of the aortic valve is aortic stenosis. This is a condition that can be congenital or develop over time as a person ages. Most commonly, as people age, this valve is susceptible to calcification leading to its narrowing.

Eventually as time goes by, symptoms of aortic stenosis such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, heart failure, fainting spells, and even death can occur. Read more

Thyroid Nodules: Common, but Most Are Noncancerous

Typing “thyroid nodule” into Google generates more than 683,000 results. Lumps and bumps in the thyroid are exceedingly common, especially in women. By age 50, up to 70 percent of women have one or more thyroid nodules, the vast majority of these are noncancerous. In fact, of all thyroid nodules, up to 95 percent are ultimately characterized as benign.

Largely because of the increased use of radiologic imaging, the incidence of thyroid nodules, and the incidence of thyroid cancer, is increasing. Though this (possibly artificial) rise in thyroid cancer may seem alarming, the fact is that even if a nodule is cancerous, thyroid cancer is by far one of the most curable cancers. In fact, cure rates for the two most common types of thyroid cancer are in the high 90 percentile range, approaching 100 percent. The American Cancer Society estimates that of the nearly 63,000 cases of all types of thyroid cancer occurring in the U.S. each year, and fewer than 1,900 result in mortality. Read more

Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hosts Pediatrics Party

Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s pediatric inpatients from 2014, along with their families, were treated to a “Holiday Carnival,” funded by Protravel International, on Sunday, December 7, at the hospital’s Phillips Ambulatory Care Center. Nearly 100 Protravel volunteers participated in the annual event, which featured a DJ, a magician, face painting, arts and crafts, popcorn, hot dogs, and a visit from Santa. Patients and their siblings also received a variety of toys and games.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, in November, staff from The Tisch Cancer Institute and the Mount Sinai Lung Cancer Screening Program helped raise awareness of the disease. At a table near the Plaza Café, they distributed information about screenings and passed out giveaways and snacks. They also registered Mount Sinai staff to participate in the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Walk, scheduled for May 2015. For more information about the walk or to register, go to action.lung.org/goto/MountSinaiThoracicOncology or contact LaVerne Powell at 212-241-2420 or LaVerne.Powell@mountsinai.org.

The Mount Sinai Health System Establishes the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s Disease

Daniel S. Loeb, CEO and Founder of investment advisor Third Point LLC, and his wife, Margaret Munzer Loeb, recently made a $15 million gift to establish the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s Disease in memory of Daniel’s father. The Center’s mission is to advance research and clinical care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease through discoveries in genomics, neurobiology, stem cell engineering, and other disciplines. Read more

A Healthy Start With Help From The Diabetes Alliance

Elizabeth Peralta, a Laboratory Technician at The Mount Sinai Hospital, lost 55 pounds in five months and reversed her diagnosis of type 2 diabetes with help from The Diabetes Alliance at the Mount Sinai Health System. The Diabetes Alliance offers Mount Sinai staff and patients personalized diabetes education, nutrition, and counseling and support to achieve their health and wellness goals.

The quick turnaround for Ms. Peralta started in July, after a routine physical with her internist, Laurie Edelman, MD, revealed that her blood sugar level had significantly increased over the prior year, resulting in a diagnosis of uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. Dr. Edelman is an Associate Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Read more

Cooking Classes Help Cancer Survivors Make Nutrition Changes

When Ann Ogden was first diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2001, she had no idea that creating a cooking network for cancer patients would someday become her great life’s work. Ann was, professionally, a fashion designer, but she found her culinary knowledge to be particularly useful while managing the side effects of treatment for a later diagnosed breast cancer. She would swap recipes with other patients, who found her guidance helpful and encouraged her to do more with her skills. In 2007, Cook for Your Life–a website dedicated to providing healthy recipes, cooking tips and nutrition information to cancer survivors–was born. Read more

Tips for curbing a sugar habit in the New Year

If you think you eat too much sugar, you probably do, and you’re not alone in satisfying your sweet tooth. This infographic illustrates the extent to which Americans overindulge. On average, Americans consume 765 grams sugar, the equivalent of 17 12-ounce sodas every 5 days. Our typical intake is 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, compared to the American Heart Association recommendation of no more than 9.5 teaspoons. Read more