HEART DISEASE IS THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF DEATH WORLDWIDE
Technology to the rescue on the fight against heart disease! Many phones, for example, already have accelerometers that measure physical activity like steps taken, while the Apple Watch and Fitbits use sensors to measure heart rate. Heart irregularities can be dangerous without causing obvious symptoms, so smart devices that can diagnose them could be helpful as a prevention strategy.
IRREGULAR HEART RATE
The most common heartbeat irregularity is called atrial fibrillation, or afib. Afib happens when the two upper chambers of the heart don’t beat in sync with the two lower chambers, and can increase the risk of everything from heart attack to kidney disease to dementia. But it can be hard to detect. New technology has come out to more accurately diagnose Afib and it’s all in the wristband!
The KardiaBand by AliveCor is a sensor that is compatible with the Apple Watch and can detect abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation (AFib). The user touches the sensor, which then takes a reading of the electrical activity of the heart, called an electrocardiogram (EKG) and then sends the information to an app. The AliveCor KardiaBand has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
In the past the Fitbits sensor was not as accurate in detecting abnormalities in the heart rate. In October of 2017, Fitbit presented data on an algorithm was developed to detect a atrial fibrillation, using a technology already built into its wristband trackers: photoplethysmography, or PPG. Fitness trackers have long used PPG devices to monitor pulse rates. The tiny sensors, which consist of infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) coupled with a sensitive light detector, measure infinitesimal gradations in light in human tissue, due to changing blood volume. This is used as an indicator to detect an irregular heartbeat or Afib.AFib such a good test case for the digital health revolution. It can often be treated cheaply and effectively with oral anticoagulants once it is detected. Discovering someone who has an undiagnosed arrhythmia could save a life! These wearables are well worth the investment! Not to mention they help keep you motivated to move more!
Is There a Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease?
Overall the data indicates that chronic gum disease may contribute to the development of heart disease, the nation’s leading cause of death in both men and women. Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect your over all health. In heart disease, one theory is that gum disease can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream where they attach to the fatty deposits in the heart blood vessels. This condition can cause blood clots and may lead to heart attacks.
The best thing that you can do is to prevent gum disease by practicing good oral health habits at home every day. An easy way to change your habits is to simply switch to an electric toothbrush. Studies have demonstrated that the power toothbrush removed significantly more plaque after a single brushing than the standard manual toothbrush (Kurtz, 2016). An electric brush simply moves faster than our hands and can cover more ground that way. So now is the time to switch and you are bombarded with mass amounts of toothbrush choices.
As a registered Dental Hygienist, I get the pleasure of testing oral care products. Then, I can recommend them to my patients based on my own personal experience. I have tried every brand and I strongly believe that the BURST toothbrush cleans the best! It has super soft charcoal bristles that remove stains and toxins that cause bad breath. This brush has some serious power and holds a charge up to 4 weeks! The best part is that the replacement heads are shipped to your door for only $6. Did I mention FREE SHIPPING!?
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Why Go Red? Cardiovascular disease in the U.S. kill approximately one woman every 80 seconds. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events may be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Support Go Red For Women by participating in National Wear Red Day® on Friday, February 2, 2018 and donate to help fund research during American Heart Month.
Go Red For Women is a movement that starts with you. Lead by example and make the time to “Know Your Numbers.” It’s knowledge that could save your life. Five numbers, that all women should know to take control of their heart health are: Total Cholesterol, HDL (good) Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI). Knowing these numbers can help women and their healthcare provider determine their risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. It’s time for all women to learn the most critical numbers in their life — their hearts depend on it.