When Jewell and his brother came to Arkansas Heart Hospital for Keep the Beat heart screenings, they were simply precautionary. Jewell’s brother’s screening came back fine – but Jewell’s found several previously undetected health concerns.

“He got a good report and mine was terrible,” he remembers. He had a severe multi-vessel blockage, calling for medications and further testing. “I really wasn’t having any significant warning signs. Maybe very mild chest discomfort.”

To repair the blockage, Jewell underwent a heart catheter procedure with Dr. Wesley Lane, as well as a bypass with Dr. Mark Hardin. He continues to follow up with KTB, recently starting cardiac rehab and anticipating peripheral procedures for bilateral leg pain.

Stories like Jewell’s are exactly why Keep the Beat exists – to help patients prevent heart disease before it becomes a threat. Jewell is just 49 years old and says he wants to live a long life to share with his kids and grandkids. Keep the Beat has already helped him commit to a healthier lifestyle, with changes like tobacco cessation, a heart-healthy diet and daily walks.

“I drive over 200 miles weekly to do my rehab at the Heart Hospital clinic,” he said. “I do this because I have that much faith in the Heart Hospital staff! I hope to live longer now that I’ve had the procedure so that I can spend more time with my grandkids.”

Schedule your Keep the Beat heart screening today!

Keep the Beat is a heart screening and educational program provided only by Arkansas Heart Hospital. The screening builds a cardiovascular risk profile based on nine components, eliminating uncertainty and helping patients move forward with a healthier lifestyle and risk management resources. Click here to learn more or schedule your heart screening appointment.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States – it kills more women than AIDS, lung disease, cancers and traffic accidents combined. Studies show that one in five women will die of heart disease – so how can they control the risks for heart disease to prevent it?

Common Risks for Heart Disease

While heart disease can be genetic, it can also develop as a result of certain lifestyles. One of the most powerful tools women can use to fight heart disease is an awareness of their own risk. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have a history of heart disease in your family?
  • Could certain foods be contributing to poor heart health?
  • Are you exercising regularly and properly?
  • Do you experience high blood pressure?
  • Are you overweight or obese?
  • Do you have high cholesterol?
  • Do you smoke?


If the answer is yes to any of these questions and you’re age 30 or older, you should consider a heart screening. Regardless of how a risk develops, Arkansas Heart Hospital’s Keep the Beat program builds a complete profile of a patient’s heart health and what their risk factors may be. The program even goes beyond identifying risks and helps patients become proactive in protecting their heart health through extensive, detailed testing, nutrition counseling and more. And best of all – Keep the Beat takes only an hour to complete.

Heart disease can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Symptoms of heart disease are different in women than men, and simply being aware of their risks for heart disease puts women a step ahead in living a healthier life. So schedule a Keep the Beat screening for you and your loved ones today.



Your heart is special. It powers us through our most important moments, and takes care of our bodies at our lowest. It can soar or it can skip a beat. That’s why Arkansas Heart Hospital is dedicated entirely to taking care of it – and why your heart deserves specialized care.

What is special about our approach?

We know how critical a healthy heart is to a healthy body. It’s through our highest expectations in quality and excellence through innovation that we’re able to keep our patients’ hearts healthy for years to come. Here are a few more reasons why our approach is special: 

  • We’re among the first in the world to perform many procedures
  • We’ve been named among the world’s best hospitals
  • Our providers are recruited from around the world and each specializes in cardiac care, meaning that patients are receiving the most thorough expertise available
  • Our dedicated model of patient-focused care that centers around taking services to the patient rather than transporting a patient to various services

Everything about the patient experience at Arkansas Heart Hospital – from the team we assemble to the meals our patients eat – is chosen with the goal of delivering the highest quality of care. 

Want to learn more about our patient-centered, specialized cardiac care? Discover our wide range of cardiac care services or ask your primary care provider for a referral today. You can also sign up for our Keep the Beat heart screening today — it’s a quick, painless way to assess and develop your personalized cardiovascular risk profile.

Something this special deserves specialized care

When Randy’s wife bought him a Keep the Beat heart screening, it was meant to just be precautionary – Randy was perfectly healthy and showed no symptoms of heart disease. But what the screening found changed everything for him.

Arkansas Heart Hospital’s Keep the Beat program builds a nine-component cardiovascular risk profile that allows patients and doctors to determine appropriate next steps. Patients receive counseling from a qualified healthcare professional and educational materials related to the treatment and prevention of heart disease, catered directly to the findings of their testing.

Instead of gifting him with a nice dinner, Randy’s wife decided to purchase a Keep the Beat screening as a gift, to assess his risk for heart disease. His cardiovascular risk profile identified three blockages in his heart – this screening was a life-saving gift!

This came as a shock to both Randy and his wife, and he underwent triple bypass surgery to fix the blockages and prevent a heart attack. While this was never something he would’ve predicted, Randy feels grateful that Keep the Beat was able to identify his blockages before they became life-threatening.

Randy said “I think everybody should get it done, just to be on the safe side, whether they find anything wrong or not. If they go in there and find everything is clear, that’s great. But if they get in there and find you have a clot, you get it taken care of before you have a heart attack.”

Keep the Beat heart screenings are half off when purchased during the month of February, and can be redeemed at any point within the next year. These screenings are life-saving, even for patients with no visible symptoms of heart disease. To purchase a screening, click here.

We’re proud to welcome Dr. Mike Loguidice to the Heart Rhythm Institute, a team of expert electrophysiologists who study and treat heart issues connected to cardiac arrhythmia. Dr. Loguidice is a cardiologist who is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease.

Growing up in Pennsylvania, Dr. Loguidice completed both his undergraduate coursework and medical degree in Philadelphia.  He graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania before receiving his medical degree at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.  He then moved to Charlottesville, Virginia to complete his Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of Virginia Medical Center.  After residency, he moved to Dallas, Texas where he completed both his General Cardiology Fellowship and Advanced Fellowship in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Loguidice treats heart rhythm disorders such as supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation/flutter, and ventricular tachycardia with simple and complex atrial and ventricular catheter ablation therapy, cardioversions, and anti-arrhythmic medications.  He implants traditional and leadless pacemakers for bradycardia, traditional and subcutaneous defibrillators for prevention of sudden cardiac death, cardiac resynchronization therapy devices and cardiac contractility modulators for patients with severe heart failure, and the Watchman device in select patients with atrial fibrillation.

In his free time, he enjoys playing his guitar, seeing live music, and engaging in an active life style through hiking, running, kayaking and yoga.

With summertime activities in full swing, it’s more important now than ever to make sure you’re protecting your skin.  We sat down to talk with Dr. Peyton Card to ask a few common questions about sunscreen best practices.

Q. There are so many types of sunscreen out there, how do you know which kind to choose?

A. I recommend using a mineral-based (zinc oxide or titanium oxide) sunscreen. It’s the best option right now. Mineral-based sunscreens work by making a protective layer on top of your skin, so not as much is absorbed into your body. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF, or sun protection factor, of at least 30. There is debate over the efficiency of going above 50 SPF. Try to make sure the sunscreen is water and sweat resistant.

Q. How soon prior to sun exposure should sunscreen be applied?

A. Aim to apply sunscreen thirty minutes before sun exposure, if possible. If you can’t apply half an hour prior, just apply when you can. Any amount is better than none.

Q. How often should you reapply?

A. How often you reapply depends on if you’re in or out of the water. If you’re not in the water, you can apply every couple of hours. If you’re in the water or sweating, it will wear off quicker, so aim to reapply every forty minutes to an hour. The more frequent the better. Err on the side of caution when it comes to sun exposure.

Q. If you have darker skin and don’t burn easily, do you still need to wear sunscreen?

A. YES! All skin types benefit from sunscreen. You don’t have to burn in order for cancer-forming sun damage to occur. Sun rays can still damage skin through the clouds, too.

Q. What kind of sunscreen do you recommend for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin?

A. A zinc oxide sunscreen should be okay on sensitive skin. Those with acne may benefit from alcohol-based sunscreens to avoid breakouts. Clothing is another great option to minimize sun exposure. Long sleeved, dark, tight knit fabrics block sun rays best.

As you enjoy this summer with outdoor activities, don’t forget these sunscreen best practices. For more great advice on your health, check out our other heart health tips from Arkansas Heart Hospital’s experts.

Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease in the United States, with thousands of patients affected every year. Learn more about CAD from our cardiovascular surgery experts by reading below.

What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease is a progressive thickening of the walls of the blood vessels due to atherosclerosis (deposits of cholesterol, fats and calcium). The thickened wall causes the vessel to narrow, thus decreasing blood flow to heart muscle. This process can be compared to rust and sludge buildup in plumbing.

What causes coronary artery disease?

Some causes have been identified and associated with coronary artery disease. They are classified as changeable and unchangeable risk factors.


  •   Cigarette smoking
  •   High blood pressure
  •   High cholesterol
  •   High glucose levels
  •   Obesity
  •   Lack of regular exercise
  •   Stress


  •   Family history of coronary artery disease
  •   Gender (males are more prone)
  •   Age
  •   Diabetes

What are the symptoms of coronary artery disease?

The major symptom of coronary artery disease is angina. Angina occurs due to decreased oxygen to the heart muscle. Everyone can experience angina in a different way. It may be felt as chest pain or pressure that radiates to the neck, jaw or arms; shortness of breath; or indigestion. Usually angina is brought on by exercise, stress or excitement, exposure to the cold, or after eating a heavy meal when the heart must work harder. Angina can occur at rest, which may indicate more serious disease.

Women frequently have different signs of coronary disease than men. They may only notice increasing fatigue, decreasing activity tolerance or toothaches, but these symptoms can be as serious as angina. If the blood flow is severely restricted to an area of the heart muscle, a heart attack (myocardial infarction) may result, which is the death of a portion of the heart muscle. The pain associated with heart attack, unlike that of angina, is not relieved with nitroglycerin and rest.

How is coronary artery disease treated?

Your doctor may recommend heart surgery when the pain or other symptoms are not manageable by medications and lifestyle changes alone. Or, you may have critical narrowing in vessels that diminish the blood flow to a large portion of the heart muscle, placing you at risk for a disabling heart attack.

The surgeon must bypass the obstruction in the artery since it cannot be dissolved or removed. Bypassing the blockages will supply the necessary oxygen, thereby relieving angina and increasing the function of the heart.

At Arkansas Heart Hospital, our cardiovascular surgery team has over 60 years of collective experience and is equipped to perform all kinds of procedures to help patients with coronary artery disease. Learn more about cardiovascular surgery here.

Stress reduction is crucial to overall well-being. Why? Stress can take a physical and emotional toll on your overall health. Here are a few ways you can reduce the stress in your life:

1. Identify your stress triggers. Develop an awareness of your triggers and how you react to them. Try writing the triggers down and then developing a plan to address them individually.

2. Practice breathing. Just taking a moment to stop and focus on your breathing can calm and settle the mind. Try it yourself:

  • Sit up tall and comfortably; close your eyes.
  • Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth; relax your jaw, forehead and facial muscles.
  • With your mouth closed, inhale through the nose slightly deeper than normal.
  • Exhale slowly and fully through the nose while constricting the throat muscles to create an “ocean” sound in the back of the throat.
  • Continue this breathing exercise for 3-5 minutes.

3. Meditate. Quiet the mind by focusing all thoughts on a single object, mantra (word/phrase) or, most commonly, your breathing. Here’s how:

  • Find a quiet place to sit up tall and comfortably.
  • Place the top of your hands on your thighs or knees.
  • Close your eyes; relax your jaw, forehead and facial muscles.
  • Breathe in and out through the nose without effort; let the breath come and go naturally.
  • Focus your full attention on the object of your meditation. If it is your breathing, notice how the air enters and leaves the body. Observe how the chest, shoulders and ribs rise and fall with each breath. If your mind wanders, simply bring the attention back to your breath.

4. Eat well, sleep well and exercise daily. Nothing combats stress, anxiety and illness like healthy living. Take care of your body by making healthy food choices, getting plenty of rest and exercising daily. Even minor changes to your daily routine can have a major impact on your overall well-being.

Learning how to reduce stress is a discipline, but it’s made of small, simple steps that lead to major benefits. For more insights into living a healthy lifestyle, check out our heart health tips and our heart-healthy recipes today.

An autoimmune disease diagnosis can trigger lots of questions and can be tricky to understand — especially when other health concerns are involved, such as heart conditions. Autoimmune disease occurs when your body’s immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. This error leads to inflammation, cell injury or a functional disturbance with clinical manifestations. Here are some things you’ll need to know about autoimmune diseases:

What increases my risk for autoimmune disease?

  • A family history of an autoimmune disease
  • Women are more susceptible
  • Pregnancy
  • Exposure to sunlight or certain chemicals
  • Certain medicines, such as antibiotics and cholesterol medicines
  • Viral or bacterial infections

Signs and symptoms of autoimmune disease: 

  • Red, warm, painful, swollen area or joints
  • Joint pain, stiffness or reduced range of motion
  • Tiredness, weakness or muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Weight gain or loss, or no appetite
  • Diarrhea, stomach cramps or bloating
  • Hair loss
  • Rash or changes in skin color
  • Red, inflamed eyes

Autoimmune disorders that affect the heart: 

  • Atherosclerosis (plaque buildup)
  • Rheumatic heart disease: recurring infections cause the immune system to react against tissues in the body, specifically flaming and scarring the heart valves
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus: can cause inflammation in all parts of the heart (pericarditis, myocarditis, endocarditis and atherosclerosis)
  • Type 1 diabetes: antibodies attack beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin (a cardiovascular event is the No. 1 killer of diabetics)
  • Psoriasis: chronic autoimmune skin disease (not just a skin problem), it can lead to plaque buildup and coronary artery disease
  • Grave’s disease: autoimmune disorder where the thyroid becomes overactive (hyperthyroidism); the heart can overwork itself and weaken over time, and this can also lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat

How do you diagnose autoimmune disease?

  • A blood test can measure the amount of inflammation in your body, find specific antibodies and may even show signs of infection
  • An X-ray, CT or MRI can indicate joint or organ damage
  • A biopsy is a procedure used to take a sample of joint tissue or fluids; the sample may be tested for infection, inflammation or other causes of your symptoms

Treating autoimmune disease:

The autoimmune protocol diet (AIP) is a diet that aims to reduce inflammation, pain and other symptoms caused by autoimmune diseases. It focuses on eliminating inflammatory foods and replacing them with health-promoting, nutrient-dense foods that help heal the gut and, ultimately, reduce inflammation and symptoms of autoimmune disease.

Living with autoimmune disease:

An autoimmune disorder diagnosis is not the end. It is the beginning of understanding why you are experiencing the symptoms you have, and finding the right way to treat and resolve those symptoms.

Arkansas Heart Hospital is dedicated to not only treating heart conditions, but also educating the public on the best ways to live a heart-healthy life. Read through our heart health tips and and expert insights provided by our doctors.

Nearly half of all adults in the United States are battling the silent killer: high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to serious health risks including heart attack and stroke. In addition to medication, there are several other measures you can take to reduce or maintain optimal blood pressure. Here are some tips to manage or lower blood pressure:

Know your numbers — First and foremost, it’s very important to know your blood pressure. High blood pressure is oftentimes asymptomatic so awareness is key. The best way to know your blood pressure is to take it yourself twice a day — but no more than that. Take it two hours after breakfast and one hour after dinner. Keep a record of these numbers and take them to your physician to discuss.

Make sure you are taking your blood pressure properly — For an accurate reading, rest five minutes before taking your blood pressure. Keep both feet on the floor and do not talk to anyone. It has been said that 70% of blood pressure readings in doctors’ offices are inaccurate, often higher. Caffeine, smoking, physical activity, and talking will also falsely increase your blood pressure.

Incorporate a healthy diet — a healthy diet can have a huge impact on your blood pressure. Avoid fried foods and sugar and aim to broil, grill or bake when cooking. The Mediterranean diet is known to be one of the best for your heart (think extra virgin olive oil, fish, nuts, olives, and avocados to name a few). Check out our heart health recipes for meal ideas and inspiration.

Exercise regularly — regular exercise is very important for stabilizing blood pressure. Find an exercise partner to hold you accountable and to make it more fun! Check out these heart-pumping workout routines.

Meditate — meditation plays an important role in overall health and can decrease other symptoms associated with high blood pressure such as stress, anxiety and depression. Check out some simple yoga exercises to get you started.

We know how critical a healthy heart is to a healthy body. It’s through our highest expectations in quality and excellence through innovation that we’re able to keep our patients’ hearts healthy for years to come. Want to learn more about our patient-centered, specialized cardiac care? Discover our wide range of cardiac care services or ask your primary care provider for a referral today.

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