Heart disease, which results in 600,000 deaths annually, has become the
biggest health threat to men and women across the United States. The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently calculated that more than 720,000 Americans have a heart attack
each year. Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s world-renowned team
of cardiac physicians uses a selection of unique and specialized procedures
in an effort to stop the epidemic. Dr. Sang Yong Ji discusses misconceptions about
arrhythmias, as well as diagnoses and treatment.
Heart Hero: SANG YONG JI, MD
Cardiology and Electrophysiology Specialist
Do Americans have a misconception regarding heart arrhythmias?
There are a few, and the “skipped heartbeat” is one of the
most common complaints among the patients presenting to the Arrhythmia
Clinic. Although most of them are due to benign conditions such as premature
atrial or ventricular complexes (premature heartbeats originating from
the upper or lower chamber of the heart), I noticed that the fear about
sudden cardiac death is significant in this patient population.
A detailed discussion about the symptoms and simple, non-invasive tests
such as electrocardiogram and echocardiogram can help rule out many dangerous
conditions and reassure the patients about the benign nature of their
symptoms. These tests can also help diagnose some dangerous conditions
that can be treated.
People old and young, overweight and fit can all develop arrhythmias. Does
this make it harder to diagnose and treat?
Yes. Although the symptoms of arrhythmia could be similar across different
stages of life, many arrhythmic conditions have increased prevalence in
specific age groups. Therefore comprehensive discussion about the symptoms
and a tailored diagnostic approach are essential for a successful treatment
of different arrhythmic conditions.
While the diagnosis and treatment in young and fit patients can be straightforward,
the symptoms of patients with older age and multiple comorbidities (obesity,
obstructive sleep apnea, coronary artery disease) can be multifactorial
in origin, hence making the diagnosis more challenging and the treatment
less satisfying. The importance of a thorough history-taking and tailored
treatment approach can’t be over-stressed as we dedicate.
YOUR OTHER HEART HEROS: Michael Wyman, MD | Sang Yong Ji, MD |
Jack Sun, MD |
Christopher Matchison, MD |
Salman Azam, MD |
John Stoneburner, MD