Saturday, February 1, 2014
...is finally here!
Poems With Heart is a collection of poems contributed by a group of philanthropic poets who have joined together to raise awareness for heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. More than sixty million Americans suffer from some form of heart disease, including coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and cardiac arrhythmias.
Scientists that delve deeper into the pathologies of cardiovascular disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease are increasingly convinced that afflictions of the heart and brain share common triggers.
Join us in the fight against heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease with this poetry anthology. All proceeds from this anthology benefit the American Heart Association and Alzheimer’s Association.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Poems With Heart wishes you a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I realize that I've been a little lax about blogging. Still, I've tried to bring something relevant to the blog at least once a month. But I'm excited to tell you that I'm working on the print layout and e-book format for Poems With Heart. This month I'm always reminded to be thankful. It doesn't escape me that as we gather together this holiday season that many families won't be so lucky. Last month, I blogged about the pattern of increased heart attacks that coincides with the season. This month I wanted to share a BBC News article that suggests a new way of scanning the heart can identify those who may be at high risk of a heart attack. Don't ditch heart healthy habits this holiday season! Wishing everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving :)
Monday, October 21, 2013
Fall is upon us. Now more than ever it’s important to remember to take care of ourselves. Researchers have been intrigued by a disturbing pattern—deadly heart attacks increase during the winter holiday season. One study even found distinct spikes around Christmas and New Year’s Day.
What is it about cold weather that causes a rise in heart attacks?
Coronary artery disease stems from atherosclerosis which is a condition where fatty plaques narrow the arteries to the heart. When a plaque ruptures, it can trigger a blood clot that leads to a heart attack.
There was a study published in Circulation in 2004 where researchers at the University of California, San Diego, and Tufts University School of Medicine examined 53 million U.S. death certificates from 1973 to 2001. What they discovered was a 5% increase in heart-related deaths during the holiday season. When they looked at individual years they found varying increases in cardiac deaths for every holiday period they studied except for two.
Doctors have known for a long time that cold weather is hard on the heart. Blood vessels constrict and cause blood pressure to rise. Blood also clots more easily. Cold temperatures increase strain on the heart, and too much physical exertion can cause more of a burden on the heart and trigger a heart attack. Doctors have treated many patients whose heart attacks occurred after shoveling snow.
But cold weather does not account for the holiday spike in heart attacks.
Adding to the mystery, holiday heart attacks shoot up consistently across the country, even in balmy climes such as Los Angeles, where winter weather stays mild and no one wields a snow shovel.
In the 2004 study researchers suggested that people might delay in getting treatment because they don’t want to disrupt Christmas and New Year’s festivities. Another possibility is that holiday travelers might take longer to find competent medical care which adds to the risk. Other factors may play a role, such as emotional stress and overindulgence during the holidays. Holidays are prime time for eating too much and drinking more alcohol while ditching exercise routines. People tend to gain weight during the holiday season and take in more salt which can put additional stress on a weakened heart.
Suffice to say, this combination isn’t healthy for the heart.
How can you prevent a holiday heart attack?
While researchers are still trying to pinpoint the exact reasons for the Christmas coronary, there are some common-sense measures you can take during this special time of year:
Dress in Layers. Try to avoid exposure to very cold temperatures. Dress warmly.
Take a load off. Steer clear of heart stressors, including too much physical exertion (especially snow shoveling), anger, and emotional stress.
Make good choices. Avoid excess salt and alcohol. Too much drinking—for example, binge drinking—can lead to atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm in which disorganized electrical signals cause the heart’s two upper chambers to contract irregularly. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.
As Thanksgiving and Christmas approaches Poems With Heart wishes everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!
Thursday, August 15, 2013
It seems like summer flew by fast. I know that I've been absent and haven't posted anything new in several weeks as I've been juggling multiple writing projects.
But that doesn't mean that I haven't been hard at work on the anthology. Although, I almost spilled the beans as I watched my mother in-law lament on the six month anniversary of Billy’s (William Smith) passing, I kept the anthology under wraps until its release in February.
Prior to its release another poet has joined the ranks of writers that have gathered to show their support in this creative endeavor that supports heart health and Alzheimer’s disease. I’d like to welcome Bryan Paul who has contributed a poem to the anthology.
In addition, I would like to announce that the anthology will be formatted as of September 12th. If you have not submitted a poem or committed to doing so but have not sent it in please be sure to email it to me prior to September 10th.
This blog is dedicated to Billy Smith, Rose Lemardy, Evelyn Chiles and all those affected by either heart related health problems or Alzheimer’s Disease and the people who loved them.