FEBRUARY 9, 2017 – February is known as the American Heart Awareness Month and being a very passionate heart doctor about fighting Heart Disease and Stroke. I wanted to first share some facts about hear disease in America. It is still number one cause of death in USA and is number one killer among African Americans, Hispanics, Whites as heart disease alone claims more lives than all cancers combined with most common cause for heart disease is Coronary Artery Disease claiming 400.000 lives annually
There is a heart attack every 34 seconds and every minute someone dies of a Cardiovascular cause. Many of the Heart attack victims do not make to the hospital (about 326000 persons per year) and die of cardiac arrest. Only about 10% survive as a result of successful resuscitation with early defibrillation as a result of hard work by certified individuals in Basic life support and Advanced Life Support.
With regards to Women, one out of three American Women will die of heart disease while one in 31 will die of breast cancer, but only heart disease in women gets a small fraction of attention and education giving its prevalence and fatal nature if not treated!
There are estimated 43 million Women with heart disease in America, but only few realize that they need to be educated. There are more women die of heart disease than men and could be partially explained by the fact that women tend to have more risk factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol or triglycerides, diabetes, depression in addition to late presentation with typically smaller sized coronary arteries compared to men. Women also have atypical symptoms such as shortness of breath, pain in the arms, fatigue or feeling lightheaded, so it is easy to be missed or brushed off!
This is exactly opposite to men who have typical chest pain symptoms as discomfort that is brought about by exertion and resolves with rest. Because of that, Most women ignore symptoms and do not seek medical help early and thus they have late presentation.Women tend to take care of everybody in the family first and delay seeking medical help even with onset of symptoms.
So for women to have regular exercise, weight reduction, stop smoking, risk factor modifications including stress management are all very essential preventive measures.
Broken Heart syndrome seen mostly in Women with severe emotional trauma who are post-menopausal leading to Temporary Severe Congestive Heart Failure ( or Stress Cardiomyopathy). Women will benefit equally as men from various treatments such Angioplasty, stents, Coronary Bypass Surgery , Cardiac Rehab across the board.
Everyone should know that Heart disease is mostly preventable and thus we can save much of the $320 billions spent on heart disease by early detection, and intervention to modify risk factors especially with Lipid lowering therapy to successfully stop the progression of the atherosclerotic plaque which causes ( hardening of the arteries from head to toe). Thus preventing heart attacks, strokes and Peripheral Artery Disease as well. This is exactly the approach we adopted and have been delivering through our Concierge Health and Wellness Program going now its 7th year.
The clinical trials have confirmed similar clinical outcome for optimal medical therapy versus implanting coronary stents for the treatment of stable chronic Coronary Artery disease ( Courage Trial) with consistent data 15 years out and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2015.
This will have drastic implications that will limit the number of stents deployed which will be justified only for the treatment of Acute Coronary Syndrome or Acute Myocardial Infraction ( i.e heart attack presenting in the first 24 hours). As a matter of fact,The American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 is a composite measure of seven modifiable heart–healthy factors including cigarette smoking, physical activity, diet, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels which have showed saving billions of Healthcare dollars spent unnecessarily.
During the Heart Month February,many will also Celebrate the Black History month with the struggle and Sacrifice that inspired millions. Also Celebrate Valentine Day which should not only be about flowers and chocolate, but having a caring heart toward family, friends, community,Country and humanity by giving back ,helping those in need or simply giving a smile to uplift someone or do a random acts of kindness. I often joke about this with my patients as to have these random acts of kindness to be included in the overall therapy to enhance Wellness of the Heart. Happy Heart Month everyone!
Dr Adel Eldin,MD, FACC,FACP
Board Certified Cardiologist
Affordable Quality Healthcare Program
Wesley Chapel , Florida
Tel 877-DR ELDIN
President ,Society of Physician Entrepreneur, Tampa Bay Chapter