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Heart Health Basics From Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital

By Ashley Lancaster

Heart Basics Courtesy of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital

The pulmonary artery carries blood out to the lungs, where it is oxygenated. The pulmonary veins transport the oxygen-rich blood back to the heart. The aorta then distributes this oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. Once depleted of oxygen, blood returns to the heart and the process restarts.

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  • Aortic stenosis. When it comes to the arteries, the aorta is the main work horse. This main artery is responsible for carrying most of the blood to the body. In a condition called aortic stenosis, calcium deposits can build up in the aortic valve, causing it to narrow and limit blood flow.
  • Atrial fibrillation.  In people with atrial fibrillation, the heart’s upper chambers beat erratically, causing an irregular pulse. When left untreated, it can double the risk of a heart-related death and dramatically increase the chance of having a stroke.
  • Heart failure.  In some cases, the heart struggles to pump enough blood to the body. Heart failure is measured by ejection fraction (EF), the percentage of blood pushed out with each heartbeat.  An EF under 40 may indicate heart failure.
  • Cardiomyopathy is a disease that causes the heart muscle to become enlarged or stiff. Both blood flow and maintaining a regular heartbeat become tough tasks. The condition can be inherited, or it can surface because of another medical condition, such as high blood pressure.

Free Heart Health Screenings 

Join us on Thursday, February 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Conference Center to learn your 10-year risk for heart disease and receive cholesterol and blood pressure screenings. Screenings are by appointment only, followed by an opportunity to speak to our specialists.  Registration required.  Register online at houstonmethodist.org/events or call 281-274-7500.

To schedule an appointment at Methodist Sugar Land Cardiology Associates, simply go to houstonmethodist.org/online-scheduling or call 281-491-6808.

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