2017-02-01 / Front Page

Mt. Sinai Health Systems Cardiologist & Cardiovascular Surgeons Offer Tips For Preventing Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). February is American Heart Month and Mount Sinai Health System experts are sharing tips on prevention for women and returning to exercise after cardiovascular surgery.
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More than 1 in 3 women — 43 million — are living with cardiovascular disease, many without knowing it. The good news is women can make lifestyle changes at any age to help prevent heart disease.

Mary Ann McLaughlin, MD,  Medical Director of the Cardiac Health Program a at Mount Sinai Heart, shares the following tips:

    •    Schedule a stress test. Women should ask their physicians about scheduling this test staring 10 years after menopause, if they have cardiac risk factors such as smoking, family history of heart disease, or obesity; if they want to start a vigorous exercise program, or if they have chest pressure or shortness of breath when they walk uphill.

    •    Drink plenty of water during airplane flights and move your legs as much as possible.  Dehydration and extended sitting can cause the blood to thicken and make it more likely to clot, which could result in deep vein Thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolisms.

    •    Reduce emotional stress through exercise, meditation, or yoga. Research shows emotional stress is a bigger risk factor for heart attacks in women than in men.

    •    Learn the symptoms of heart attacks in women, which differ from those in men, including nausea, jaw pain, shortness of breath and extreme fatigue.

    •    Drink alcohol moderately. Limited alcohol consumption has been shown to have positive effects on good cholesterol levels, but too much can lead to enlarged hearts, arrhythmias, and risk of stroke. From the OR to the Finish Line:  Mount Sinai’s Dr. Stewart Partners with Patient Athletes Recovery time after cardiac bypass or heart valve surgery can last between six and eight weeks. Performing low-level activity during recovery is equally important to bed rest, and regular exercise is vital for keeping your heart healthy and preventing future problems. Allan Stewart, MD, Director of Aortic Surgery and Co-Director of the Valve Repair Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital, has performed more than 2,000 cardiac procedures and is an avid marathon runner and tri-athlete. He has competed in New York City triathlons with several of his patients and is available to provide tips on returning to exercise after surgery for patients who are either new to fitness or accomplished athletes. In addition, he can comment on the impact of high stress jobs on heart health and what steps workers can do to reduce their risk for cardiac disease.

For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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