John P Higgins

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, United States

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Publications (27)75.41 Total impact

  • John P Higgins
    International journal of cardiology 07/2013; · 6.18 Impact Factor
  • John P Higgins, Kavita M Babu
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    ABSTRACT: Caffeine consumption has been receiving increased interest from both the medical and lay press, especially given the increased amounts now available in energy products. Acute ingestion of caffeine usually increases cardiac work; however, caffeine impairs the expected proportional increase in myocardial blood flow to match this increased work of the heart, most notably during exercise. This appears to be mainly due to caffeine's effect on blocking adenosine-induced vasodilatation in the coronary arteries in normal healthy subjects. This review summarizes the available medical literature specifically relating to pure caffeine tablet ingestion and reduced exercise coronary blood flow, and suggests possible mechanisms. Further studies are needed to evaluate this effect for other common caffeine-delivery systems, including coffee, energy beverages, and energy gels, which are often used for exercise performance enhancement, especially in teenagers and young athletes.
    The American journal of medicine 06/2013; · 5.30 Impact Factor
  • John P Higgins, Michael W Montgomery
    Southern medical journal 06/2013; 106(6):343-4. · 0.92 Impact Factor
  • Southern medical journal 04/2013; 106(4):291-2. · 0.92 Impact Factor
  • John P. Higgins, Aldo Andino
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    ABSTRACT: Sudden cardiac death (SCD) in young competitive athletes (<35 years old) is a tragic event that has been brought to public attention in the past few decades. The incidence of SCD is reported to be 1-2/100,000 per year, with athletes at a 2.5 times higher risk. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, played by people of all ages. However, unfortunately it is cardiovascular diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy that have subtly missed screening and claimed the lives of soccer stars such as Marc Vivien Foe and Antonio Puerta during live action on the field and on an internationally televised stage. This paper covers the physiological demands of soccer and the relationship between soccer and SCD. It also reviews the most common causes of SCD in young athletes, discusses the current guidelines in place by The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) for screening among professional soccer players, and the precautions that have been put in place to prevent SCD on the field in professional soccer.
    Journal of Sports Medicine. 03/2013; 2013.
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    ABSTRACT: The study of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in athletes has received more interest in the medical and lay press over the past few years. Professional athletes represent ideals of fitness and health, and the sudden death of prominent athletes can come as a shock. Underlying occult cardiovascular disorders are the most common cause of SCD in athletes. Unfortunately, because these disorders rarely present clinically, their initial manifestation is often a fatal event. Due to this, much attention has turned to both primary and secondary prevention. Primary prevention includes preparticipation screening and secondary prevention includes having automatic external defibrillators available at sporting events. This article summarizes the most common causes of athletic-related cardiac arrest and evaluates the screening methods used to screen for these conditions. The general sentiment is that we need to more effectively identify athletes who are at risk for SCD, but how to do so using an efficient screening system and in a cost-effective manner have not been determined.
    The Physician and sportsmedicine 02/2013; 41(1):81-93. · 1.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this article were to review the anabolic androgen steroids, specifically the direct and indirect effects on the cardiovascular system of the individuals who use them, and to summarize the evidence regarding the effects of androgens on the cardiovascular system. A search of the English-language scientific literature from 1976 to March 2012 was performed primarily by searching the MEDLINE and Embase databases and Google. Anabolic androgenic steroids are associated with direct effects such as cardiac muscle hypertrophy and myocardial fibrosis and indirect effects, including dyslipidemia, hypertension, arrhythmia, and myocardial infarction. It is likely that chronic exposure to these agents can result in significant alterations in the cardiovascular system, and their safety has not been fully established.
    Southern medical journal 12/2012; 105(12):670-4. · 0.92 Impact Factor
  • International journal of cardiology 09/2012; · 6.18 Impact Factor
  • Source
    John P Higgins, Susan T Laing, Zhongxue Chen
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 08/2011; 58(9):990-1; author reply 991-2. · 14.09 Impact Factor
  • Source
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    ABSTRACT: Exercise is making a resurgence in many countries, given its benefits for fitness as well as prevention of obesity. This trend has spawned many supplements that purport to aid performance, muscle growth, and recovery. Initially, sports drinks were developed to provide electrolyte and carbohydrate replacement. Subsequently, energy beverages (EBs) containing stimulants and additives have appeared in most gyms and grocery stores and are being used increasingly by "weekend warriors" and those seeking an edge in an endurance event. Long-term exposure to the various components of EBs may result in significant alterations in the cardiovascular system, and the safety of EBs has not been fully established. For this review, we searched the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases from 1976 through May 2010, using the following keywords: energy beverage, energy drink, power drink, exercise, caffeine, red bull, bitter orange, glucose, ginseng, guarana, and taurine. Evidence regarding the effects of EBs is summarized, and practical recommendations are made to help in answering the patient who asks, "Is it safe for me to drink an energy beverage when I exercise?"
    Mayo Clinic Proceedings 11/2010; 85(11):1033-41. · 5.79 Impact Factor
  • John P Higgins, Troy Tuttle, Johanna A Higgins
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    ABSTRACT: Our aging population combined with the ease of travel and the interest in high altitude recreation pursuits exposes more patients to the acute physiologic effects of high altitude and lower oxygen availability. Acute exposure to high altitude is associated with significant alterations to the cardiovascular system. These may be important in patients with underlying cardiovascular disease who are not able to compensate to such physiologic changes. Exacerbating factors pertinent to patients with cardiovascular disease include acute hypoxia, increased myocardial work, increased epinephrine release, and increased pulmonary artery pressures. This review summarizes the physiology and clinical evidence regarding acute altitude exposure on the cardiopulmonary system with practical recommendations to address the question: "Is it safe for me to ski in the Rockies or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?"
    American heart journal 01/2010; 159(1):25-32. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • J. Jason West, John P. Higgins
    Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise - MED SCI SPORT EXERCISE. 01/2009; 41.
  • Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise - MED SCI SPORT EXERCISE. 01/2009; 41.
  • Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise - MED SCI SPORT EXERCISE. 01/2009; 41.
  • J. Jason West, John P. Higgins
    Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise - MED SCI SPORT EXERCISE. 01/2009; 41.
  • John P Higgins
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    ABSTRACT: With a growing awareness of the tragedy of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in young athletes, more extensive pre-participation examinations are being performed prior to competitive sport participation. In addition to a history and physical, young athletes often have a 12-lead resting electrocardiogram (ECG) to better identify heart disease associated with SCA. Complicating this process is that certain "abnormal" resting ECG findings are considered normal variants in healthy children and young adults. The ability to recognize these normal variants is often useful in preventing excessive referral of patients to cardiologists for evaluation of resting ECG's that are benign variations of normal and in making sound decisions regarding appropriate clearance to exercise. This review describes these normal variants. Keywords: normal variants; early repolarization; athlete's heart.
    The Physician and sportsmedicine 12/2008; 36(1):69-75. · 1.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Certain stress-induced ancillary findings on myocardial perfusion scintigraphy increase the likelihood that the patient has coronary artery disease (CAD); furthermore, among CAD patients, they indicate more severe and extensive disease, placing these patients at higher risk for future cardiac events. Indeed, in studies with no obvious perfusion defect yet with serious CAD--for example, balanced ischemia--it can be these high-risk findings that necessitate invasive intervention. DISCUSSION: Besides reversible perfusion defects, such findings include increased pulmonary radiotracer uptake, transient cavity dilatation, increased end-diastolic or end-systolic volume, decreased post-stress ejection fraction, and increased right ventricular tracer uptake on stress images. The pathophysiology underlying these findings is clearly different as they do not always occur together, and each independently predicts more severe and extensive CAD. In the current review, these findings are defined and their significance in diagnosing patients with suspected or known CAD is discussed.
    European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging 05/2007; 34(4):584-95. · 5.11 Impact Factor
  • John P Higgins, Johanna A Higgins
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    ABSTRACT: Routine exercise testing is frequently ordered to evaluate a patient's cardiovascular performance. The test is more direct and less expensive than imaging technology, and derives valuable information. New variables such as dyspnea and heart rate recovery, as well as integrated scores, provide incremental value to conventional analysis of exercise-induced angina or electrocardiographic changes. Considerations relating to test accuracy in women need to be weighed. This paper seeks to make physicians aware of the current status of the test, and improve their understanding of and ability to integrate new variables and scores to more effectively manage their patients.
    International journal of cardiology 05/2007; 116(3):285-99. · 6.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myocardial perfusion scintigraphy is a well validated noninvasive method of evaluating for significant coronary artery disease, especially in cases where electrocardiographic changes are nondiagnostic, including left bundle-branch block. However, such testing with a technetium Tc 99m agent is often confounded by left ventricular septal-based false-positive perfusion defects. These defects can be either reversible or irreversible in the septal or anteroseptal wall, problematically then, in the territory supplied by the left anterior descending coronary artery. Mechanisms explaining false-positive defects include decreased perfusion via impaired microvessel flow and normal perfusion with apparent decrease in counts in a relatively thin septum (partial-volume effect). Key findings in myocardial perfusion images in the presence of left bundle-branch block that define true positives (ischemia) are reversible perfusion defects (especially at end diastole), a concomitant apical defect, and systolic dysfunction matching the perfusion defect.
    American heart journal 11/2006; 152(4):619-26. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • John P Higgins
    Journal of Nuclear Cardiology 10/2006; 13(5):725-7. · 2.85 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

202 Citations
75.41 Total Impact Points


  • 2012–2013
    • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2008–2013
    • University of Texas Medical School
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2007
    • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2006
    • Harvard Medical School
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2003
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, MA, United States
    • University of Tulsa
      Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
    • Oklahoma State University - Tulsa
      Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
    • University of Oklahoma
      Norman, Oklahoma, United States