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cardiac

For Those Living with Heart Disease

  • Posted Feb 20, 2018
  • hchadmin

White Hearts in a circle image

Learning that you or a loved one has heart disease changes your life. However, educating yourself about this disease is the first step toward feeling better and making choices that can help you live a longer and healthier life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11.5 percent of Americans have been diagnosed with heart disease. February is American Heart Month and the National Institues of Health offer the following suggestions to help navigate treatment if you or a loved one has been diagnosed:

•Making lifestyle changes. Not smoking, following a heart healthy eating plan, maintaining a healthier weight and becoming more physically active can go a long way in helping to keep your heart disease from worsening. 

•Taking medication. Medications are often used to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure or heart disease itself. Be sure to take your medication exactly as your doctor prescribes. If you have uncomfortable side effects, let your doctor know. 

•Following doctor’s orders. Your doctor may recommend procedures to open an artery and improve blood flow. These are usually done to ease severe chest pain or to clear blockages in blood vessels.

As you know, having a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

When you’re being treated for a disease or condition, it may not always be easy to decide where to go for care. For anything that is considered a life-threatening situation (like chest pain, major injuries or sudden and severe pain) it’s best to go to the emergency room. 

For less severe matters that still require immediate attention, if you can’t get in to see your PCP, going to an urgent care facility can save you time and money. 

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to helping you Live Your Whole Life by nurturing well-being through body, mind and spirit.

 


Regular Screenings and Knowing Your Numbers Can Help Catch Heart Disease Early

  • Posted Feb 04, 2019
  • Christine Walker



According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year – that's one in every four deaths. That’s why, during American Heart Month, Holy Cross Hospital would like to encourage you to care for yourself and your loved ones by reminding you of the importance of regular health screenings.

Heart disease affects different populations in different ways. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, both Hispanic-American adults and Asian-American adults are less likely to have heart disease than non-Hispanic White adults. African-American adults are more likely to have high blood pressure and more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites.

For people of all ethnicities, knowing and properly managing your biometric numbers such as your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, can prevent or delay heart disease and its complications.

Of special interest regarding blood pressure numbers, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have revised the guidelines for the detection, prevention, management and treatment of high blood pressure. The new guidelines – the first comprehensive set since 2003 – lower the definition of high blood pressure to account for complications that can occur at lower numbers and to allow for earlier intervention. Blood pressure categories in the new guidelines are:

•Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg

•Elevated: Systolic between 120-129 and diastolic less than 80

•Stage 1: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89

•Stage 2: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg

•Hypertensive crisis: Systolic over 180 and/or diastolic over 120, with patients needing prompt changes in medication if there are no other indications of problems, or immediate hospitalization if there are signs of organ damage

The best way to find out if your numbers are within a healthy range for your gender, height and age is to have annual health screenings. 

Additionally, having a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. 

A PCP typically specializes in family medicine, internal medicine or general practice. If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy. Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

If you have any changes in your health and you’ve got questions, call the nurse line offered by your medical plan. 

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to helping you Live Your Whole Life by nurturing well-being through body, mind and spirit.

 
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Cardiac Rehabilitation Anyone?

  • Posted Jan 17, 2011
  • Vicente Font, MD, FACP, FCCP, FACC

treadmillCurrently, only 20% of patients who could benefit from cardiac rehabilitation are referred to outpatient rehabilitation facilities. The gap in referral of patients to cardiac rehabilitation represents the largest gap in care for patients following a cardiac event. Regardless of whether the patient had a heart attack, has stable angina, had heart surgery, or had a coronary stent implanted, the goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to slow or even reverse the progression of cardiovascular disease by educating patients about their disease and having them follow a medically supervised exercise program.

Medicare recipients are typically entitled to 36 cardiac rehab sessions following hospitalization for heart attacks, bypass surgery, or many other heart-related events.

In an effort to determine if more is better when it comes to cardiac rehabilitation, researchers analyzed data from 5% of the nation's Medicare beneficiaries, including more than 30,000 heart patients who had participated in at least one cardiac rehabilitation session between 2000 and 2005. Interesting information came out from this analysis.  About half of the patients attended 24 sessions or fewer. The-more-the-better principle was found to be correct. Over, roughly, four years of follow-up, patients who attended all 36 reimbursed sessions were:

47% less likely to die and 31% less likely to have a heart attack as patients who attended just one.

22% less likely to die and 23% less likely to have a heart attack than patients who attended 12 sessions.

14% less likely to die and a 12% less likely to have a heart attack than patients who attended 24 sessions.

These findings indicate that more cardiac rehabilitation is better in almost every situation. It may be that people who finish the entire program are already in better shape or more attentive about their health. But, in any case, it looks like these programs really do change behaviors and lower risk.

So, what is cardiac rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) is a medically supervised program that helps improve the health and well-being of people who have heart problems. Rehab programs include exercise training, education on heart healthy living, and counseling to reduce stress and help you return to an active life.

Cardiac rehab helps people who have heart problems:

Recover after a heart attack or heart surgery.

Prevent future hospital stays, heart problems, and death related to heart problems.

Address risk factors that lead to coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease) and other heart problems. These risk factors include high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, overweight or obesity, diabetes, smoking, lack of physical activity, and depression and other emotional health concerns.

Adopt healthy lifestyle changes. These changes may include a heart healthy diet, increased physical activity, and learning how to manage stress.

Improve their health and quality of life.

Our cardiac rehab team at Holy Cross Hospital is a multidisciplinary program that includes doctors (primarily a supervising cardiologist), nurses, exercise specialists, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians or nutritionists, and psychologists or other mental health specialists. So, if you’re a cardiac patient, you really need to ask yourself this question: should I be participating in cardiac rehab? Ask your cardiologist whether cardiac rehab can help you prevent a future heart problem and improve your health.

To read future blog posts by Dr. Vicente Font, visit the Jim Moran Heart & Vascular Center Blog.


About Holy Cross Hospital

Holy Cross Hospital is a nonprofit, Catholic hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, dedicated to innovative, high quality and compassionate care. For nearly six decades, Holy Cross has continuously expanded its services to provide leading-edge care for their patients in Florida and for those from elsewhere in the United States. Holy Cross also offers an International Services program to ensure that patients from outside the U.S. receive the care they need.

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