As a cardiologist/internist, Dr. Ellen Mellow provides expert care in a state-of-the-art facility at Maiden Lane Medical Cardiology on the Upper East Side in New York City. Dr. Mellow is a cardiac specialist who diagnoses and treats coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension, and valvular disease. She also specializes in diabetes and weight management. If you’re concerned about heart health, call her office today to schedule an appointment.
What is coronary artery disease?
Coronary artery disease is a type of heart disease caused by the buildup of plaque — consisting of cholesterol and other substances — in the arteries, which leads to narrowing and hardening. When this happens, oxygenated blood has a harder time getting to the heart, causing chest pain or a heart attack.
Other symptoms of coronary artery disease include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and fatigue. Over time, coronary artery disease weakens your heart, which may lead to congestive heart failure or an irregular heartbeat.
Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease and the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Eating right, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight may help prevent coronary artery disease.
Do I need to be concerned about hypertension?
Hypertension is when the force of the blood pumping against your vessels is higher than normal, causing stress on the arteries. Unlike coronary artery disease, your body doesn’t offer any warning signs for hypertension, which is why it’s often referred to as the silent killer.
When left uncontrolled, hypertension increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Getting your blood pressure checked regularly by a health professional can help you track your risk for developing hypertension.
There’s no cure for hypertension, but if your blood pressure is high, you can take steps to improve your numbers. Dr. Mellow may suggest lifestyle changes such as weight loss and reducing your intake of high-sodium foods. She also may recommend medications to help lower your blood pressure.
What is valvular disease?
The valves in your heart control the flow of blood in and out. Valvular disease is when there is a disruption in the flow through one of the valves. Causes include:
- Rheumatic fever
- Bacterial endocarditis
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
Symptoms of valvular disease depend on the rate of onset. If the disease occurs slowly over time, the heart adapts and symptoms are virtually nonexistent. But when the disease occurs rapidly, symptoms might include chest pain, heart palpitations, dizziness or rapid weight gain.
Treatment depends on the cause and severity of the illness and might include adopting a healthy lifestyle, antibiotics, blood thinners, surgery, or a wait-and-see approach.
To determine the right approach to any concerns you have about your heart, contact Maiden Lane Medical Cardiology today for an appointment.