Blog Archive

5 Simple Changes to Boost Your Heart Health Jun 26th, 2024

Your heart works tirelessly day in and day out. And although it seems like an unstoppable force, it’s more vulnerable than you might think. In fact, heart disease accounts for one in five deaths in the United States. Heart disease, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular conditions are shockingly common,...

The Link Between Hormonal Changes and Heart Palpitations May 9th, 2024

Heart palpitations are sudden fluttering sensations in your chest. They make you feel like your heart is racing or that it’s skipped a beat, and when you notice these sensations, it’s normal to feel worried. Common causes of heart palpitations are stress, caffeine intake, and physical exertion — but what...

Are Varicose Veins Dangerous to My Health? Apr 2nd, 2024

Have you noticed twisted, bulging veins on your legs or feet? They could be varicose veins. About one in five adults will get them at some point in their lives — and their presence can make you wonder if they’re a sign of a more dangerous health problem. Varicose veins...

I'm Nervous About My Stress Test: What Can I Expect? Mar 1st, 2024

Are you scheduled for an exercise stress test? If you are, feeling anxious is entirely normal. The uncertainty of the procedure — coupled with concerns about your health — can leave you feeling on edge. Fortunately, there’s no need to stress out about your upcoming stress test. Kunal Patel, MD,...

The Dangers of High Blood Pressure Feb 1st, 2024

February is about more than love notes, roses, and candy hearts — it’s also American Heart Month: a time dedicated to promoting awareness and education about ways to live a heart-healthy life. Nearly half of all American adults are living with high blood pressure, also called hypertension. It’s extremely common,...

Chest Pain During Cardio: What You Need to Know Jan 2nd, 2024

Staying healthy is a delicate balance of nutrition, exercise, lifestyle choices, and medical care. Physical activity alone can help maintain healthy blood pressure, improve your mood, promote healthy cholesterol levels, and improve blood circulation. However, if you’re keeping active to stay healthy, you may experience problems that make that harder...

When to Worry About Shortness of Breath Dec 11th, 2023

Breathing is a vital and complicated process. The first step is inhaling (also called inhalation or inspiration) where your diaphragm contracts, causing a vacuum in your chest and drawing air into your lungs. The air enters through your mouth and nose, then moves through your trachea (windpipe) and into your...

How to Make Heart-Healthy Choices This Holiday Season Nov 1st, 2023

The holiday season is a time for joy, gratitude, and celebration. And it's also a time when many people tend to indulge in rich, decadent foods and let their usual healthy habits slide. While it's perfectly okay to enjoy some holiday treats, don’t let the coming months put your heart...

I Exercise Daily. Why Is My Blood Pressure So High? Oct 1st, 2023

It’s no secret that regular exercise is a cornerstone of any healthy lifestyle. It helps keep your weight in check, boosts your cardiovascular health, and even improves your mood — but when you exercise daily and you still face health issues, it can be frustrating and confusing. You’re not alone....

4 Lifestyle Habits That Can Lead to Heart Disease Sep 1st, 2023

Heart disease is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States, and it remains the top cause of death for both men and women. While certain risk factors — like age and family history — can’t be changed, heart disease is largely preventable. In fact, your lifestyle is one of...

Varicose Veins: Can They Signal Something More Serious? Aug 2nd, 2023

Varicose veins — those bulging, twisted veins you see just beneath the surface of your skin — are a common condition affecting 20% of all adults at some point in their lives. While they’re often labeled as simply a cosmetic concern, varicose veins can sometimes be indicative of an underlying...

Why Do I Have High Cholesterol If I Eat Healthy? Jul 1st, 2023

A healthy diet is often associated with a healthier heart. And while it’s true that your diet is an important element of heart health, it can be disheartening and confusing to follow a healthy eating regimen only to find yourself dealing with high cholesterol levels.  Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like...

Intermittent Chest Pain: When to Worry Jun 1st, 2023

Experiencing chest pain is scary. But when the pain comes and goes, it can be difficult to know whether it’s a cause for worry. Intermittent chest pain refers to any type of chest pain that occurs on and off, rather than constantly. It can be sharp or dull, lasting anywhere from a few...

The 4 Best Foods to Eat to Prevent Heart Disease May 2nd, 2023

Coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease, affects more than 20 million Americans. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women — but the good news is that it can be prevented. In fact, there are lots of ways to reduce your risk of...

Lifestyle Habits to Drop If You Have Hypertension Apr 1st, 2023

Nearly half of all American adults have hypertension, which is high blood pressure. It’s nicknamed “the silent killer,” because it doesn’t have noticeable early warning signs, but high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems like heart attack and stroke. If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, it’s important to...

3 Reasons Why You Have Chest Pain and Palpitations Mar 2nd, 2023

Feeling pain or fluttering in your chest is scary. Chest pain and palpitations are common symptoms that can be both alarming and worrisome — and if your first thought is that you’re having a heart attack, you’re certainly not alone. Chest pain and palpitations can be serious. But more often...

More Than Cosmetic: Why You Shouldn't Ignore Varicose Veins Feb 1st, 2023

Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen veins that appear just under the surface of your skin. They’re usually blue or purple, and they’re most commonly found on the legs and feet. Varicose veins form when faulty valves in your veins allow blood to flow backwards and pool up. All that excess blood...

What to Expect When Your Loved One Needs a Stent Jan 1st, 2023

A stent is a tiny mesh tube that fits inside an artery. It opens the artery to allow unobstructed blood flow to the heart, and it’s one of the most effective treatments for coronary artery disease. Getting a stent requires a minimally invasive procedure called angioplasty. And if your loved...

When To Be Concerned About Heart Palpitations Dec 1st, 2022

Flip-flopping in your chest. Pounding in your throat. Rapid beats that make you feel a little lightheaded. All these and more are signs of a common phenomenon: heart palpitations. Palpitations are irregular heartbeats, and they can draw your attention to your heart and make you wonder if something is wrong....

Four Changes You Should Make to Improve Your High Cholesterol Nov 1st, 2022

High cholesterol is a common — but serious — health problem. Cholesterol is a substance that your body uses to build cells, but having high cholesterol means there’s too much of it in your blood. Excess cholesterol can build up in your arteries, narrowing them and making your heart work harder...

Understanding the Variety of Diagnostics for Heart Concerns Oct 1st, 2022

Maybe you’ve noticed chest pain that wasn’t there before. Maybe you felt an irregular heartbeat. Or maybe, you’re worried that your lifestyle puts you at risk of developing heart disease, a condition affecting nearly 50% of American adults. Whatever your concern, your heart health matters — and you deserve to find answers. Kunal Patel, MD, and...

Panic Attack vs. Heart Attack: How to Tell the Difference Sep 1st, 2022

Crushing chest pain. Shortness of breath. Sudden lightheadedness. Breaking out into a cold sweat. There’s no denying these symptoms are scary. They come on suddenly, and if you’re experiencing them, your first thought might be that you’re having a heart attack. While it’s true that these are all signs of a...

Five Age-Related Heart Conditions Aug 1st, 2022

Your heart beats more than 35 million times in a single year. Over the course of your lifetime, you’ll clock over 2.5 billion heartbeats. And with every beat, your heart works hard. Your heart pushes blood into your blood vessels, throughout your body, and back with every heartbeat. It’s an essential process...

Understanding Your Treatment Options for Varicose Veins Jul 1st, 2022

Your circulatory system contains nearly 60,000 miles of arteries and veins. Arteries transport blood from your heart throughout your body, and veins transport blood back to your heart again with every heartbeat. Healthy veins are usually invisible, but certain venous conditions can make veins swell and become more noticeable under your skin....

How to Sleep Better for a Healthier Heart Jun 1st, 2022

How much sleep did you get last night? Did you wake up feeling rested and alert? Adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, 40% of Americans don’t get enough of it. In today’s world, quality sleep might seem like a luxury — but it’s an essential process that you...

When Are Palpitations a Cause for Concern? May 1st, 2022

A heart palpitation is an irregular heartbeat. It may only last a second or two, but it feels different than your heart’s normal rhythm. It can make you become very aware of your heartbeat — and you might begin to worry about your health. Palpitations are fairly common. In fact,...

Have Heart Disease? Start Making These Lifestyle Adjustments Today Apr 1st, 2022

More than 30 million American adults have heart disease. The term “heart disease” includes conditions that affect blood vessels, heart valves, heart rhythms, and your heart muscle itself. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease in the United States, but every type can have serious impacts on...

Three Things a Stress Test Can Tell Us About Your Heart Health Mar 1st, 2022

Have you been told you need a stress test? Also called an exercise stress test, this diagnostic procedure involves exercising for a set period of time while your heart and breathing are closely monitored. Stress tests are painless and noninvasive, and they offer valuable insight into your heart health. In...

Why Chest Pain Is Never Normal Feb 1st, 2022

Pain is a distressing, uncomfortable feeling. It’s a signal from your nervous system that something negative is affecting your body — and it’s a highly individualized experience. Pain often signals that something might be wrong, but it can be tempting to brush off mild or intermittent pain because you might...

Start Eating These Heart-Healthy Foods Today Jan 1st, 2022

Food is your body’s main source of fuel. The foods and drinks you consume every day contain calories and nutrients, which your body converts into energy that keeps you alive. Eating a healthy diet is one of the most important elements of living a healthy life. Healthy foods contain essential...

My Child Has a Heart Defect. Now What? Dec 1st, 2021

Of every 1,000 births in the United States, about nine babies are born with congenital heart defects. A congenital heart defect is a problem that originated when a baby’s heart was developing in the womb, and it’s the most common birth defect in the country. A baby’s heart is fully...

Three Whole-Body Health Impacts of High Cholesterol Nov 1st, 2021

Cholesterol is a naturally-occurring substance found in your blood. It plays an important role in cell building and hormone production, but cholesterol levels that get too high can start doing more harm than good. About 2 in 5 American adults have high cholesterol. It’s a leading risk factor for heart...

Everything You Didn't Know About Your Heart Oct 1st, 2021

Your heart works hard. It beats every minute of every day, pumping some 2,000 gallons of blood through your body daily. It delivers oxygen and nutrients to your body through your blood, and it’s what keeps you alive.  You probably know that taking care of your heart is important for...

What Every Woman Should Know About Heart Health Sep 1st, 2021

One American dies from heart disease every 36 seconds. It’s the leading cause of death in the United States, and it impacts men and women of every race. Heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease, is a group of conditions that impact your heart’s ability to do its job. It develops...

A Closer Look at Aneurysms Aug 1st, 2021

Your arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Healthy arteries are strong, muscle-lined tubes that keep blood flowing smoothly. But if part of an artery wall gets weak, it can balloon out and form an aneurysm. Aneurysms are abnormal bulges in arteries. They typically...

Is Chest Pain Ever Normal? Jul 11th, 2021

Chest pain takes many different forms. From an ongoing dull ache to sharp pains that come and go, experiencing chest pain can make you worry that you’re having a heart attack. While chest pain can indicate a heart attack, there are lots of other possible causes, and they’re not all...

Lifestyle Adjustments for High Blood Pressure Jun 8th, 2021

More than one-third of American adults have high blood pressure. It’s a common condition that carries serious health risks. Having high blood pressure increases your risk of suffering a stroke or a heart attack, but the good news is that it’s treatable. At NJ Cardiovascular Institute, Kunal Patel, MD, and...

What's Included in the Heart Smart Program? May 19th, 2021

The heart is the hardest-working muscle in the human body. It beats more than 100,000 times and pumps 2,000 gallons of blood each and every day. You rely on your heart to send oxygen and other nutrients throughout your body, so it’s no surprise that your heart health affects your...

Assess Your Varicose Veins Using Ultrasound Apr 13th, 2021

Do you have twisted, puffy, discolored veins on your legs or feet? You’re not alone — almost 25% of American adults have varicose veins — but you don’t have to live with them. Varicose veins are one of the most common vascular conditions, and they form when the valves inside...

Should I Worry About Heart Palpitations? Mar 12th, 2021

Your heart beats an average of 100,000 times each day. You’re not aware of it most of the time, but heart palpitations can suddenly call your attention to your chest. Heart palpitations are unusual or irregular heartbeats. Palpitations can feel like your heart is racing, fluttering, or that it skipped...

Preparing for a Stress Test Feb 11th, 2021

Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease — and it’s the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. It isn’t easy to recognize on its own, but partnering with a cardiologist can help you enjoy a longer, healthier life. Early...

How Can an Echocardiogram Help? Jan 14th, 2021

Your heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout your body and fueling your muscles, organs, and tissues with oxygen. Comprised of muscle tissue with four chambers and valves, your heart also relies on its internal electrical system and a complex system of blood vessels. Problems with any part of your...

What Makes Varicose Veins Worse? Dec 15th, 2020

Varicose veins are large, twisted veins just below the surface of your skin. They’re an extremely common vascular problem, affecting an estimated 23% of American adults. The top complaint regarding varicose veins is that they’re unsightly or embarrassing, but symptoms can go beyond being simply cosmetic. Varicose veins can cause...

Little-Known Causes of Chest Pain Nov 6th, 2020

Chest pain is one of the most common reasons for emergency room visits. Experiencing chest discomfort can be scary, and many people assume it means they’re having a heart attack. Angina is the kind of chest pain that accompanies a heart attack, and it’s caused by decreased blood flow to...

How to Know if a Loved One Has a Congenital Heart Defect Oct 7th, 2020

An estimated 2 million people in the United States are living with a congenital heart defect. Congenital heart defects, sometimes called congenital heart disease, are problems in or around your heart that affect how it works. The term “congenital” means present from birth, but that doesn’t mean that all congenital...

5 Things You Should Do About High Cholesterol Sep 8th, 2020

Cholesterol is a waxy substance naturally found in your blood. It’s an essential building block for healthy cells, but having too much cholesterol in your blood can lead to buildup in your arteries. This buildup can narrow the arteries, making your heart work harder to pump blood throughout your body....

What's the Difference Between a Stress Test and an Echocardiogram? Aug 20th, 2020

A strong, healthy heart is essential for a long and healthy life. But more than 30 million Americans are living with heart disease, a term used for a group of conditions that compromise heart health.  Heart disease and other heart problems are common, but it doesn’t mean you have to...

Potential Dangers of Varicose Veins Jul 24th, 2020

About one in four Americans has varicose veins — those large, twisted veins that appear just below the skin’s surface on the legs and feet. Varicose veins range from purplish red to blue, and they’re a source of embarrassment for many people. Varicose veins form when valves inside your veins...

Are you At Risk for Hypertension: The Silent Killer? Jun 22nd, 2020

Hypertension is a contributing cause of nearly half a million deaths in the United States each year. It’s a chronic medical condition that’s diagnosed when the pressure inside your arteries is higher than normal, and only one in four people with hypertension have the condition under control. Hypertension is often...

What Women Need to Know About Subtle Heart Attack Symptoms May 4th, 2020

Heart disease is the cause of about one in every three deaths in the United States. It’s the leading cause of death for men and women, yet it’s a common misconception that men are at greater risk for heart problems than women. Many people assume that only older individuals, particular...

AFib Screening Can Help Older Adults Avoid a Stroke Apr 15th, 2020

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a type of heart arrhythmia that affects as many as 6 million Americans. This common heart condition causes rapid, irregular heartbeats, and your risk for having it increases as you get older.  Some people with AFib don’t have any symptoms and don’t know they have it,...

Who's at Greatest Risk for Cardiac Arrest? Mar 3rd, 2020

About half a million Americans suffer cardiac arrest each year. It’s a serious medical condition that develops quickly and without warning. Cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.  Cardiac arrest occurs when your heart stops beating, which halts blood flow throughout your...

10 Heart Healthy Foods to Work into Your Diet Feb 1st, 2020

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women of all races in the United States. Also known as cardiovascular disease, it’s caused by inflammation and plaque buildup inside blood vessels. This leads to narrowing or blockage inside the vessels, which causes heart attacks and strokes. American...

How Serious Are Heart Palpitations? Dec 31st, 2019

Most of the time, your heart beats regularly and you don’t notice it. But sometimes, a skip, flutter, or change in heart rate can catch your attention. These irregular heartbeats can happen while you’re active or at rest, and they might make you worry about the health of your heart....

7 Tips for Combating High Cholesterol Dec 1st, 2019

By now you don’t have to be a nutritionist to know that too much cholesterol is bad for your heart health. If you have high cholesterol, you certainly aren’t alone. About 95 million adults in the United States have unhealthy cholesterol levels. This makes fighting high cholesterol a health priority. ...

When Do Chest Pains Warrant a Trip to the ER? Nov 14th, 2019

Chest pain is a common symptom in the United States. Each year more than eight million Americans visit the ER because of chest pain. It’s the second biggest cause of ER visits. Our team at NJ Cardiovascular Institute, which includes board-certified cardiologist Dr. Kunal Patel, knows that chest pain can...

Should You Have a Stress Test? Oct 1st, 2019

Our hearts beat between 60 and 100 times a minute on average — and more if we're exercising. Doesn't it make sense to make sure your ticker is working as efficiently as possible? A stress test can do just that. Here at NJ Cardiovascular Institute, with offices located in Secaucus...

6 Risk Factors for Heart Disease You Can Change Sep 1st, 2019

Your heart is one of the most important organs. It pumps blood throughout your whole body, supplies oxygen and nutrients to your other organs and tissues, and removes waste products like carbon dioxide. Medical conditions that make it difficult for your heart to do its job are collectively known as...

Could You Be One of the Millions of Americans Who Has High Blood Pressure and Doesn't Know It? Aug 7th, 2019

Many serious ailments come with warning signs like a lump or pain. High blood pressure, however, can often be a "silent killer" with no symptoms. Here at the NJ Cardiovascular Institute in Secaucus and Newark, New Jersey, Dr. Kunal Patel and our highly trained team offer state-of-the-art treatment in our...

Your Varicose Veins May be More Than Just a Cosmetic Concern Jul 8th, 2019

Varicose veins are a common issue affecting approximately half of men and women by the time they reach 50. It’s easy to identify these twisted, enlarged veins on your legs because they usually bulge and appear blue or dark purple in color. Varicose veins usually aren't cause for concern, aside...