Lee Kirksey, MD  
Cleveland , OH

Specialties: Peripheral Arterial Disease, PAD

Interests: vascular, specialist, treatment options
All Journal Entries Journals
Sort By:  

Low Vitamin D levels increase the risk of Heart attack

Jun 13, 2010 - 2 comments

Heart Attack






Chest Pain

Yet another worry for those folks who don't get enough sun exposure throughout the year. Low vitamin D levels may increase the risk for Cardiovascular disease ie heart attack and stroke

If you have low vitamin D levels, correcting the deficiency may reduce the risk for heart disease, new research suggests.

The studies build on the researchers' previous work linking low levels of vitamin D to an increased risk for heart disease.

The researchers, from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah, presented the new studies at the American College of Cardiology's 59th annual scientific session.

Vitamin D vs. Heart Disease: Study Details
The first study involved more than 9,400 patients whose blood tests revealed low vitamin D levels during a routine trip to the doctor.  Their average vitamin D level was 19.3 nanograms per milliliter; levels of 30 are generally considered "normal," according to J. Brent Muhlestein, MD, the Institute's director of cardiovascular research.

At their next follow-up visit, about half had raised their vitamin D levels to above 30 nanograms per milliliter.

President Obama Smoking addiction reflects national concern

Mar 15, 2010 - 10 comments

President Obama's recent physical examination documenting his ongoing struggle with tobacco addiction illustrates that the national problem has no boundaries. President Obama has struggled with attempts to stop smoking for over 20 years.

Democrat, Republican or Independent. For healthcare reform or against. Our President needs your support. President Obama like, 46 million other American , is a victim of nicotine addiction at the hands of the tobacco industry. The 1982 United States Surgeon General's report stated that "Cigarette smoking is the major single cause of cancer mortality in the United States." This statement is as true today as it was then. The CDC reports that cigarette smoking is responsible for one in five deaths in the United States. And because it is something that an individual chooses to do-it is an entirely Preventable cause of death.

In this year of vigorous healthcare debate, most Americans feel that something needs to be done about healthcare. Support our President and millions of other Americans in overoming this addictive, unhealthy and expensive habit.

Effects of smoking on how long you live and your quality of life
Based on data collected from 1995 to 1999, the CDC estimated that adult male smokers lost an average of 13.2 years of life and female smokers lost 14.5 years of life because of smoking. In 1988, the U.S. Surgeon General concluded the following:

Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are addicting.
Nicotine is the addicting drug in tobacco.
The ways people become addicted to tobacco are much like those that lead to addiction to other drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
These statements are as true today as they were then. All forms of tobacco have a lot of nicotine. It is easily absorbed through the lungs with smoking and through the mouth or nose with oral tobacco (spit, snuff, or smokeless tobacco). From these entry points, nicotine quickly spreads throughout the body.

Tobacco companies are required by law to report nicotine levels in cigarettes to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). But in most states they are not required to show the amount of nicotine on the cigarette package label. The actual amount of nicotine available to the smoker in a given brand of cigarettes is often different from the level reported to the FTC. In one regular cigarette, the average amount of nicotine the smoker gets ranges between about 1 mg and 2 mg. But the cigarette itself contains more nicotine than this. The amount people actually take in depends on how they smoke, how many puffs they take, how deeply they inhale, and other factors.

How powerful is nicotine addiction?

About 70% of smokers say they want to quit and about 40% try to quit each year, but only 4% to 7% succeed without help. This is because smokers not only become physically addicted to nicotine; there is a strong emotional (psychological) aspect and they often link smoking with many social activities. All of these factors make smoking a hard habit to break.

Why quit smoking?

Nicotine is a very addictive drug. People usually try to quit many times before they are successful. But the struggle can be worth the effort. In September 1990, the U.S. Surgeon General outlined what you gain when you quit smoking:

Quitting smoking has major health benefits that start right away. This is true for people who already have a smoking-related disease as well as those who don't.

Former smokers live longer than people who keep smoking. For example, people who quit smoking before age 50 have one-half the risk of dying in the next 15 years compared with people who keep smoking.

Quitting smoking lowers the risk of lung cancer, other cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Women who stop smoking before they get pregnant, or even during the first 3 to 4 months of pregnancy, reduce their risk of having a low birth-weight baby to that of women who never smoked.

The health benefits of quitting smoking are far greater than any risks from the weight gain or any emotional or psychological problems that may follow quitting.

Your risk of having lung cancer and other smoking-related cancers depends on how much you have been exposed to cigarette smoke over your lifetime. This is measured by the number of cigarettes you smoked each day, how you smoked them, how young you were when you started smoking, and the number of years you have smoked. There is no way to precisely measure a person's risk of getting cancer, but the more you smoke and the longer you do it, the greater your risk. The good news is that the risk of having lung cancer and other smoking-related illnesses can be reduced if you stop smoking. The risk of lung cancer is less in people who quit smoking than in people who keep smoking the same number of cigarettes every day. The risk decreases as the number of years since quitting increases.

Heart Disease and women: the myth

Feb 11, 2010 - 8 comments

Heart Attack


Chest Pain




Breast Cancer

There is a commonly held belief that heart disease falls low on the list of causes of death and disability in women. Far from the truth-the following article from the NY Times addressess some of that misperception by the public

Mention the term "heart attack" and most people imagine a pudgy, middle-aged man drenched in sweat and clutching his chest. Few people seem to consider cardiovascular disease (CVD) as a woman's disease.

But according to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of women over age 25. It kills nearly twice as many women in the United States than all types of cancer, including breast cancer. Only 13 percent of women think heart disease is a threat to their health.

The misleading notion that heart disease is not a real problem for women can be blamed in part on medical research. For a very long time, heart disease studies have focused primarily on men. Changes are under way, but some doctors still fail to recognize the warning signs displayed by female patients.


Studies have shown that women may have undiagnosed warning signs weeks, months, and even years before having a heart attack.

Significant differences may exist in the symptoms displayed by women and men. Men typically experience the "classic" heart attack signs: tightness in the chest, arm pain, and shortness of breath. Women's symptoms may resemble those of men, but on occasion nausea, an overwhelming fatigue, and dizziness are the main symptoms and are ignored or chalked up to stress. Women have reported that they have had a hard time getting their doctors to listen to them about these early warning symptoms.
Cut and paste for full article


Simple tool to Assess your Risk for Deep Venous Thromboses (DVT)

Dec 14, 2009 - 3 comments



Deep Venous


blood clot


Pulmonary embolus


Chest Pain


Heart Attack

Together Deep Venous Thromboses DVT and Pulmonary Embolus PE may be responsible for more than 100,000 deaths each year, but there is reason to believe that the true incidence rate could be significantly higher, as several studies suggest that these diseases are often undiagnosed. One thing is undeniably clear—DVT and PE are major national public health problems that have dramatic, negative impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands Americans each year.

Furthermore over 500,000 million people suffer from DVT or PE in the US each year. One thing is certain awareness of the risk factors for DVT can decrease the number of people that ultimately die from this disorder and increase the number of people who ultimately receive the appropriate treatment.

Did you know that simply stopping to take a break and walk outside your vehicle can reduce your risk of DVT during long trips or the use of medical grade compression stockings can be life saving?

Paste the link in your browser to get a free risk assessment the venous disease foundation.