Rebecca Rundlett, M.D. FACC

Paying Close Attention to Heart Disease in Women


What should our focus be as women: grandmothers, mothers, wives, careerwomen, businesswomen, daughters, graduate students, college students. Yes, all of these women–different ages, stages in life, roles to fulfill, duties to perform— have some things in common. All may be at risk for heart disease, and all may not be aware of their personal risk. As the school year, academic year, and autumn activities get back into full swing, we need to remember to focus on the basics. The factors that contribute to the risk for and development of cardiovascular disease also form the basis of preventative strategies. These strategies have been developed over decades of research and experience in the treatment and prevention of coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease … Continue reading

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Kaitlyn Hemmingson, MS, RD, LMNT

The Carbohydrate Confusion

Cardiology, Wellness

Carbs have gotten a really bad reputation in recent years. Everywhere you turn there is a new low-carb diet promising amazing results. Although low carbohydrate diets can be helpful for weight loss, carbohydrates from natural sources are actually GOOD for you and can be helpful for long term weight management. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, low fat dairy products and beans are carbohydrate-rich foods that also contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals that have been shown to reduce inflammation, fight disease, improve gut health and aid in weight loss. The other “not-so-healthy” carbs coming from sugary beverages, candy, fast food, desserts, chips, crackers and highly processed grains (think white bread/buns, white rice/pasta) are often overeaten, which can lead … Continue reading

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Dr. Shirley L. Huerter

What You Need to Know about the New Cholesterol Guidelines


In late 2013, after an extensive review of evidence, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute updated cholesterol guidelines. Why did they do this? These new guidelines better identify those at risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), and also better diagnose people who already have ASCVD. Patients who have ASCVD are more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. To determine if someone is at risk of developing ASCVD a risk estimator is available through Cardio Source. Information including Systolic Blood Pressure, a patient’s race, HDL Cholesterol and more are entered. Depending on the level of risk, patients should take different courses of action. For all patients who are determined to be at risk for ASCVD there are behavioral … Continue reading

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Eric Van De Graaff, M.D.



They say all good things must come to an end. Such wisdom probably counts for mediocre things, too. This represents my final submission to the Alegent Cardiology Blog and I’d like to occupy some electrons on your computer screen to thank all the people who’ve helped me with my writing along the way. My gratitude goes out to Alegent Health for allowing me to have a voice for my opinions.  It’s not everywhere you’d find a large organization that provides blanket permission for an individual to spout off week after week.  I thank, in particular, Josh Di Lorenzo, Matthew McCahill and Jen Homan for their vigilant assistance in keeping up the blog for these past three and a half years. … Continue reading

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Eric Van De Graaff, M.D.

Doctors Behaving Badly


As odd as this might sound, my mother was upset when I declared my intention to go to medical school. It wasn’t the mountain of debt I was sure to incur since I’d already figured out how to get Uncle Sam to pick up the bill (a small deal that put me in a military uniform for a decade).  It wasn’t the fact that medical school would delay the litter of bouncing grandbabies she wanted to fawn over.  And it certainly wasn’t because she’d miss me—she’d already seen too much of me and my dirty laundry on weekends during college. No, my mother was legitimately disappointed in me for choosing to enter the medical profession simply because she had a … Continue reading

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