• 10,000+ Screenings
    10,000+ Screenings
    10,000+ SCREENINGS!
    Why wait? Sign up TODAY for your men's 
    health screening. We are Men's Healthcare. Evolved.
  • Expert Skill
    Epoch Health

    We are committed to providing the highest level of care for our patients.
    No one understands men’s health like we do.

  • Epoch Video Links
    Epoch Video Links

Locations and Hours

  • ANCHORAGE, AK (Tu/Thur, 8a-6p; W/F 7a-5p)
    907-202-8282
  • BENTON, AR (Tu 8a-6p; F 7a-5p)
    501-326-4309
  • COLUMBIA, MO (Tu/Thur, 8a-6p; W/F 7a-5p)
    573-818-3067
  • CONWAY, AR (Tu/Thur, 8a-6p; W 7a-5p)
    501-358-6062​
  • LITTLE ROCK, AR (Tu/Thur, 8a-6p; W/F 7a-5p)
    501-246-3423
  • N.LITTLE ROCK, AR (Tu/Thur, 8a-6p; W/F 7a-5p)
    501-945-0680​
  • ROGERS, AR (Tu/Thur, 8a-6p; W/F 7a-5p)
    479-202-6658
Find a Location Near You

Men's Healthcare. Evolved.

Epoch is the next evolution in comprehensive healthcare designed for men. We match your symptoms to appropriate medical treatments, regular screenings and lifestyle modifications that return you to a healthier, happier way of life.

Learn More
 

Sign up for your screening TODAY!

To sign up for your screening at Epoch Men's Health, call the location nearest you, or click the button below to schedule your screening online.

Sign Up Today

Patient Care Pathways

Latest News

18

February 2018

Here’s How Cold Weather Can Trigger a Heart Attack

By: Epoch

Chilling fact: Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack, according to the American Heart Association. Although the life-threatening event can seem random, a study presented in August 2017 at the European Society of Cardiology Congress found that the average number of heart attacks per day was significantly higher during colder versus warmer temperatures.

Your heart needs oxygen-rich blood to function. A heart attack happens when a buildup of plaque — a mix of fat, cholesterol, and other substances — in your arteries breaks free. A blood clot forms around the plaque to either completely block or restrict blood flow to your heart. And freezing weather can ignite this painful process.

The Connection Between Your Ticker and Subzero Temps

“Cold weather, especially a very rapid change in the weather, is more likely to cause your blood vessels to constrict. If you have narrowing of the blood vessels already because of underlying heart disease and your blood vessels are constricted further, it restricts the amount of blood that’s getting to vital organs,” says Lawrence Phillips, MD, cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health in New York City. In other words, cold weather can make heart attack more likely to happen.

Instead of triggering a full-blown heart attack, cold weather can also just minimize blood flow to the heart, causing chest pain (angina), which is a symptom of coronary artery disease. This is the main form of heart disease, a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to heart attack.

In addition to coronary artery disease, cold weather can put a strain on your heart and circulatory system, affecting other forms of cardiovascular disease, too.

“If you have a diagnosis of heart failure or advanced valve disease, you have to be very careful when the weather changes to the colder side as well,” Dr. Phillips says.

Moreover, research presented in August 2015 at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in London showed that cold weather may also increase the risk of ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder. Ischemic stroke — the most common type of stroke — occurs when ruptured arterial plaque causes a blood clot to block a blood vessel to the brain, cutting off its much needed blood and oxygen supply.

Sudden bouts of energetic activity, such as rushing around to get out of the cold or shoveling snow, in combination with chilly temperatures can put additional strain on the blood vessels that feed your heart or brain. This puts you at greater risk of having a cardiovascular event, especially if you’re usually sedentary.

Symptoms of heart attack include uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in your chest (angina) or other areas of your body and shortness of breath.

Stroke symptoms to watch out for include facial drooping, especially on one side, arm weakness, and difficulty speaking.

Cold Weather Cures for Preventing Heart Attack and Stroke

The good news? If you’re an average healthy person, the cold weather won’t increase your risk of a cardiovascular event, such as heart attack, stroke, or angina. Trouble is, you can have underlying coronary artery disease — the clogged arteries (atherosclerosis) that are the underpinnings of a heart attack and stroke — and not even know it. Cardiovascular disease doesn’t always have signs or symptoms. So you might not even know you have it until you have a heart attack or stroke.

Here’s what to do to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, especially in cold weather.

Get a checkup. “As you’re gearing up for winter, make sure your health is optimized,” Phillips says. In other words, the start of winter is a good time for a routine physical to make sure your heart can take the cold. If you have a diagnosis of coronary artery disease, heart failure, or advanced valve disease, make sure to get the appropriate treatment and follow-up. You want to make sure your blood cholesterol and blood pressure are under control, too. High cholesterol and high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Cover your mouth. If you have heart disease, heart failure, or advanced valve disease, cover your nose and mouth with a scarf before going outside. “Wearing a scarf allows the air to naturally get warmed before it comes into your body,” Phillips says. “It won’t be such a shock to your body.”

Bundle up. To avoid getting too cold, which may increase the risk of heart attack, don’t forget to wear a hat, gloves, and multiple layers, which can help you stay warm by trapping air and body heat. But don’t overdo it. If you get hot, take off a layer. And remember to stay well hydrated.

Know your body. If you notice heart-related symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling winded, or fluttering in your chest, see your doctor. “If something feels different than normal, don’t ignore it. Get evaluated,” Phillips says. Similarly, if you’re having chest pain at rest, and it’s a new symptom, you need an immediate evaluation. Call 911. “Never drive yourself to the emergency department,” he says.

Don’t let snow-shoveling kick off your workout. “If you haven’t been exercising regularly, snow shoveling isn’t the best idea,” Phillips says. Because snow can be heavy, shoveling may be a lot more physical activity than you’re used to, which can put a strain on your heart. Anybody with a chronic medical condition, not just heart disease, should talk to their doctor about whether snow shoveling is a good idea. “I tell my patients with underlying heart disease not to shovel snow,” Phillips says. “But they can use a snow blower.”

Get a flu shot. A study published in October 2013 in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that a flu shot was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular events; getting a flu shot may reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke. Likewise, reduce your chances of getting the flu by staying away from people who are sick, washing your hands with soap and water often, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Source: Every Day Health

Author: Sandra Gordon



READ MORE

18

February 2018

5 Stroke Signs: Knowing Them Could Save Someone’s Life

By: Epoch

A stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked or bursts, and it stems from a cardiovascular condition such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation.

Time to medical treatment matters. A lot.

It can mean the difference between a person being able to walk and go home versus needing to move to a nursing home, says neurologist Shazam Hussain, MD, Director of the Cerebrovascular Center at Cleveland Clinic.

“Every minute in a situation of an acute stroke, you lose about two million brain cells and so it’s really a situation where every minute counts,” Dr. Hussain says.

The sooner you recognize the signs of a stroke and get someone to the hospital, the greater the chances of reducing the risk of disability and death.

Many of us wouldn’t recognize the signs of stroke. Fortunately, there’s a simple acronym to help:

BE FAST: Easy to remember, too important to forget

Look for these signs and act:

Balance — Loss of balance

Eyes — Changes in vision

Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Difficulty – Is the person’s speech slurred? Is he or she unable to speak or difficult to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence such as, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 911 – If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get him or her to the hospital immediately.

Awareness can make the difference

Increasing awareness about the warning signs of stroke and critical response steps could lead to happier endings for more stroke victims.

“There is much that can be done in the first hours after identifying a stroke to help improve blood flow to the brain and impact recovery,” Dr. Hussain says.

Risk factors for stroke

Strokes and cardiovascular disease share many risk factors:

  • Excess weight — Obesity can lead to heart disease and high cholesterol, which can lead to a stroke.
  • Heart problems — Strokes are six times more likely to occur in people with cardiovascular disease. Atrial fibrillation, one of the most common heart rhythm problems, increases your risk of stroke by about 5 times.
  • High blood pressure — Strokes are four to six times more likely in people with hypertension.
  • High cholesterol — People with high cholesterol are at double the risk of having a stroke.
  • Heavy drinking — This increases the risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease.
  • Smoking — If you smoke, you double your risk for stroke compared to nonsmokers.

Some people will actually experience warning signs before a stroke occurs, which is called an ischemic attack, or a mini stroke.

It’s important to get regular checkups and report any symptoms or risk factors to your doctor. A doctor can help evaluate your risk for developing stroke and help you get any risk factors under control.

Source: Cleveland Clinic

Author: The Brain and Spine Team

READ MORE

11

February 2018

All Those Late Nights at the Office Might Be Taking a Big Toll on Your Heart

By: Epoch

It’s no secret that working long hours can take a toll on employees’ moods, stress levels, and even their waistlines. Now, a new study suggests a hidden heart danger, as well: People who put in more than 55 hours a week on the job may have an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation—an irregular heart rhythm linked to stroke and other health problems—compared to those who work 40 hours or less.

The new analysis, published in the European Heart Journal and led by University College London researchers, combined data from eight previous studies including more than 85,000 men and women from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. None of the participants had atrial fibrillation (also known as AFib) at the study’s start, but 1,061 people developed it over the next 10 years.

Those numbers were equivalent to 12.4 AFib cases per 1,000 people in the study. But when the researchers looked specifically at those working 55 hours a week or more, that rate jumped to 17.6 per 1,000 cases.

In other words, those who worked the most were 40% more likely to developing AFib, compared to those who worked 35 to 40 hours a week—even after the results were adjusted for factors such as age, gender, obesity, socioeconomic status, smoking status, risky alcohol use, and leisure-time physical activity.

What’s more, 90% of those cases occurred in people who did not already have cardiovascular disease—suggesting that it really was the excess time at work, and not any pre-existing condition, that was responsible for the rise in AFib.

The authors point out that a 40% increased risk of AFib may not be a big deal, depending on how high a person’s overall risk for heart disease already is. “In absolute terms, the increased risk of atrial fibrillation among individuals with long working hours is relatively modest,” they wrote. But for someone who already has several risk factors (like being older, male, diabetic, or a smoker, for example), any added risk could be important.

The researchers can’t say how, exactly, extra time on the job might trigger irregular heart rhythms. But they suspect that stress and exhaustion may play a role, making the cardiovascular and autonomic nervous systems more vulnerable to abnormalities.

They also say their finding could help explain, at least partially, why people who work long hours have been shown to have an increased risk of stroke. ( AFib is known to contribute to the development of stroke, as well as heart failure, stroke-related dementia, and other serious health problems.)

The study did have some major limitations, including the fact that work hours were only recorded at one point in time, and that people’s specific occupations were not included in the analysis. In an accompanying editorial, researchers at St. Antonius Hospital in The Netherlands noted how these factors may have influenced the findings.

“It is conceivable that job strain and night shifts may be more frequent in the long working hours group, which in turn may have confounded the risk association,” the editorial authors wrote.

Physically demanding work could also contribute to an increased risk of AFib and other heart problems, but the editorial writers point out that manual labor jobs are often well regulated so workers don't put in more than 55 hours a week. “It is often in higher management jobs and self-employed businesses that there is no constraint on working hours,” they wrote in the editorial, “and mental stress may be more important than direct physical demand.”

The editorial also notes that none of the original studies included in the new analysis had statistically significant results on their own—likely because of their limited sizes. Only when all of the data was combined did a meaningful pattern emerge.

“[T]he authors should be congratulated for the impressive collaborative effort required to integrate patient level data from multiple studies to increase the power,” they wrote. However, they added, the study is still not able to draw definitive conclusions as to whether working long hours is an independent risk factor for AFib.

The study authors acknowledge these shortcomings, but still believe that their findings “raise the hypothesis that long working hours may affect the risk of atrial fibrillation,” they wrote in their conclusion. More research is needed, they say, to determine why this could be the case, and whether their findings would apply to other groups of people.

Of course, there are other ways that working overtime can be hazardous to your health, regardless of whether these findings are confirmed in future studies. In a 2016 study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, people who worked 60 or more hours a week had higher rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma, and arthritis, compared to those who worked 30 to 40. Some increased health risks were observed in both genders, but the effects were “tremendously more evident in women,” the study authors said.

Source: Health.com


 







READ MORE

Movember Facial Contest

Epoch Men's Health is dedicated to helping saving the lives of men across the country! Show us your facial hair for the month of November and you can win a Yeti prize pack.

Learn More