Friday Feb 2

The 30th annual Central Kentucky Heart Ball will celebrate the mission and work of the American Heart Association. The black tie preferred event will honor Linda Ball and will be chaired by Dr. Greg and Michele White. A reception and silent auction begins at 6 pm and dinner, live auction and live entertainment begins at 7:30 pm.

National Wear Red Day is February 2. Wear red to bring awareness to Women’s heart health. Cardiovascular disease in the U.S. kill approximately one woman every 80 seconds according to the American Heart Association. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events may be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Go Red For Women advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health.


Thursday Feb 8

Wellward Regenerative Medicine grand opening at 6 pm at 101 North Eagle Creek Dr.


Friday Feb 9

Bluegrass Council of the Blind presents a benefit concert featuring Glen Campbell music. 7 pm at Talon Winery.


Saturday Feb 17

The DanceBlue 2018 24 hour marathon will begin on Feb 17 in Memorial Coliseum. Over 1,000 students from the University of Kentucky will come together to fight pediatric cancer by standing and dancing for 24 hours to benefit the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic and research at the Markey Cancer Center.


Wednesday Feb 21

Are you interested in a career or looking for an internship in science, technology, engineering or mathematics? Bluegrass Community and Technical College presents their STEM Career Fair on February 21 at 10 am at the Leestown Campus, C Building Conference Room 136.


Wednesday Feb 28

Highgrove at Tates Creek presents the first annual Senior Health and Wellness Fair on Wednesday, February 28 at 1 pm. There will be complimentary health screenings, you can attend educational and fitness workshops, enjoy a massage and enter to win door prizes.



ilovekickboxing opens

There is a new way to exercise in Hamburg. On January 19 held their grand opening and ribbon cutting. Their classes are designed to be fun, melt fat, get you into the shape you envision for yourself. They are located in the Hamburg Pavilion between Regal Cinemas and Victoria Secret.


One Type of Heart Disease Requires Special Testing

By Laura Wright

High blood pressure – also called hypertension – is a dangerous condition which, if left untreated, can lead to stroke, kidney problems and/or heart attack.

A doctor may diagnose you with hypertension if your systolic blood pressure (the top number in the measurement) exceeds 130 mmHg, or diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) exceeds 80 mmHg. Although it’s normal to experience minor fluctuations throughout the day, 46 percent of all Americans experience high levels of blood pressure (exceeding 130/80) even without activity or stress. This increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and even death. This increased risk is compounded in people with diabetes, high cholesterol, or smokers.

Generally, patients with hypertension can help control their high blood pressure by adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as: Losing weight, Exercising more, Stopping smoking, Reducing stress and Eating a plant-based, low-salt diet.

When lifestyle changes aren’t adequate, prescription drugs can be used separately or in combination to reduce hypertension. However, according to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all Americans find that lifestyle changes and medications don’t work well enough.

If you are one of these people, there are two new therapies being tested that might help.

The SPYRAL trial is testing a new therapy that targets the nerves in the kidney responsible for signaling to the brain and playing a role in raising blood pressure. During the procedure, a small opening is made in the groin to access blood vessels in the kidney using a flexible tube called a catheter.  A special device is then used to alter these nerves surrounding the kidney artery and reduce the signals they send to the brain. Recent research indicates that this therapy, called renal denervation, reduced blood pressure an average of 10 points – a significant change.

The CALM trial targets another area responsible for regulating blood pressure present in the main artery in the neck, the carotid artery.  Microscopic “sensors” in the wall of the carotid artery sense blood pressure levels and signal to the brain to respond if that level gets too high. In this case, a catheter is positioned in the carotid artery and a tiny device is inserted where these sensors are to manipulate the signals to the brain, resulting in lower blood pressure.

Because it has no obvious symptoms, hypertension is known as the “silent killer.” The best first step is to know your blood pressure readings and work with your doctor to control high blood pressure if necessary. If you’ve exhausted all other options, talk with your doctor about clinical trials such as these that may contribute to better control of your hypertension, or call Alex Hunter at (859) 323-5259.

Dr. Khaled Ziada and Dr. John Kotter are cardiologists at the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute.



New Treatments for Drug Resistant High Blood Pressure

By Laura Wright

Today’s technology has made tremendous strides in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease but until recently it was tricky to diagnose a heart condition called Microvascular Coronary Dysfunction (MCD).

The most common type of heart disease is caused by plaques that begin to clog one or more of the large arteries that carry blood to the heart. When the heart gets too little blood to meet its needs, people have chest pain (called angina). If blood flow is restricted even further — usually due to a clot that lodges in the narrowed artery — a heart attack and death may occur.

Plaque is often involved in MCD too. But instead of accumulating in the larger coronary arteries, MCD occurs when the tiny blood vessels that branch off from the larger coronary arteries are blocked or damaged.

For unknown reasons, MCD occurs more frequently in women. In fact, it’s estimated that almost 50 percent of women who have persistent chest pain and low blood flow to the heart but no blockage of major arteries have undiagnosed MCD.

Unfortunately, standard tests for heart disease, such as stress tests and cardiac catheterizations, aren’t designed to detect MCD. These tests look for blockages in the large coronary arteries but MCD affects the tiny coronary arteries. That means that you can have a cardiac catheterization that finds no blockages yet still be at high risk for a heart attack.

Sadly, people who have been reassured that “everything was OK” because their cardiac catheterization was clear might not feel the need to make lifestyle changes that would reduce their coronary risk and/or ignore warning signs that a heart attack is imminent.

If you have persistent chest pain, see a doctor right away.  Your doctor may give you a stress test, which compares coronary circulation while you are at rest with your circulation during exercise. He or she may also recommend a cardiac catheterization, which involves threading a long thin tube from a small incision in your groin, neck or arm up into the heart to look for blockages in your arteries.

But if your catheterization shows no sign of blockages and you are still experiencing chest pain, ask for a coronary reactivity test which can identify blockages in the smaller coronary arteries that are the hallmarks of MCD.  Available at specialized centers around the U.S., coronary reactivity testing is the gold standard for diagnosing coronary microvascular disease.

And always, if you experience severe chest pain, if that pain radiates down your arm or to your back or jaw, and/or you are short of breath, call 911 right away.

Dr. Gretchen Wells is director of the Women’s Heart Health Program at the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute.


This article also appears on page 14 & 15 of the February 2018 printed edition of the Hamburg Journal.

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