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'vascular' posts

Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) occurs when a weak area in the aorta (the major blood vessel that sends blood through the body) dilates and quietly expands. The dilated area can rupture or leak. Often AAA is only discovered when it appears on an X-ray taken for some other reason – or when it ruptures.
 
AAA is the third leading cause of death in men ages 60 and older. Nearly 90 percent of the time, a ruptured AAA causes death, so it is important to discover and treat it early.
 
Risk factors include:

Varicose veins with summer on the way


Ah, spring in the Puget Sound region. Visions of warm days, shorts and skirts and being self-conscious about varicose veins may be dancing in your head. Is there anything you can do?

Some of us wear shorts and skirts anyway, ignoring furtive glances or curious comments, while others just hide their veins under hose or pants. A third option is available: treatment.

Whether you’ve got little red, flat spider veins, big, blue bulging varicose veins, or something in between, you’ve got the same problem – just of a different magnitude. Spider veins and varicose veins occur in the legs when the one-way valves in the blood vessels no longer work right, which lets blood collect in the veins instead of flowing back to the heart. This makes the veins widen, often becoming unsightly and uncomfortable. Most commonly varicose veins near the skin surface are caused by leaky valves in veins deeper in the leg. Untreated, varicose veins typically worsen over time.

To improve the appearance of your legs...

Hardening of the arteries is a disease for the ages

A couple of months ago the New York Times published an interesting article summarizing recent findings of researchers who performed CT scans on mummies from Egypt, Peru, the Aleutian Islands and the American Southwest. One of the striking findings was that 38 percent of Egyptian mummies and 29 percent of all other mummies had definite or probable evidence of hardening of the arteries. The incidence was higher in mummies of people of 40 years or older. The geography and diets for the mummies varied greatly and yet the rates of calcified arteries were fairly similar.

What you should know about atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries:

Hardening of the arteries (also known as atherosclerosis) is a disease that has been strongly associated with multiple risk factors. The risk factors in addition to age include smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. Many of these risk factors are associated with diets that are high in saturated fats or complex carbohydrates and thus to connect this study to modern times is not easy...

Swedish to Offer Free Class on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) at Ballard Campus Feb. 9

SEATTLE, Feb. 6, 2013 - Screenings for cancer, high blood pressure and cholesterol are probably on your doctor visit checklist. Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) probably should be, too, but many doctors don’t know about it. Vascular surgeons from Swedish are hosting a free community health education class about this silent killer and whether this important screening is right for you. The 90-minute program will be at Swedish Ballard (5300 Tallman Ave. N.W.) on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

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