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Newsletters March 2010 - Jefferson Cardiology Happenings

What's in this Newsletter:

Vitamin D and Heart Disease

Research has shown that people who take moderate to high doses of vitamin D have a lower risk of heart disease. Calcium supplements have little effect on preventing heart disease.

Vitamin D is produced in the body as a response to sunlight and is also found in fortified dairy products. Vitamin D is known to play an important role in calcium absorption and bone maintenance. Now there is information that vitamin D supplementation may lower the risk of heart disease.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in the elderly. It is recommended that for persons over age 50 that 400-600 in-ternational units of vitamin D and 1200 mg of calcium be taken daily.

Researchers analyzing six pub-lished studies demonstrated a consistent reduction in heart-related death in persons taking vitamin D supplementation. Analysis of other studies failed to demonstrate a statisti-cally significant reduction in cardiac risk among those taking vitamin D supplements. A recent article in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that vitamin D may be beneficial in reducing cardiac risk but more studies are needed.

Prediabetes Precautions Ignored

A recent study revealed that 30% of all adults in the United States have prediabetes and 90% are unaware. Only half with prediabetes are doing anything to reduce their risk such as losing weight or exercising more.
Persons with prediabetes have blood sugar levels higher than normal but not quite in diabetic range. Their risk of diabetes is high if no corrective action is taken.

It has been shown that diabetes can be delayed or prevented in persons with prediabetes by weight loss or in-creased exercise.

A recent study revealed that only 7% of prediabetics had been informed by their physician of their condition. Less than half of these people had their blood sugar tested in the previous three years.

Adults with prediabetes were more likely to be male, older and have less education than those with normal sugar levels. Also they were more likely to have an immediate family member with diabetes. Only about half had tried to lose weight, reduce dietary calories and fat or increase physical activity. Those instructed by a doctor to lose weight or increase exercise were more likely to do so. Intervening early in the stages of prediabetes may reduce the growing threat of diabetes.

Cardiac Rehab and Survival

Cardiac rehabilitation is a medi-cally supervised program for persons who experienced a heart problem such as heart attack, angioplasty, coronary bypass or heart failure. Cardiac rehab professionals help participants deal with adapting to new lifestyles and coping with stress leading to anxiety and depression. Instruction is also available regarding diet and medications.

A recent study demonstrated that persons participating in 36 or more ses-sions of cardiac rehabilitation are less likely to die compared with those taking 24 or fewer sessions. Those completing 36 sessions had an 18% lower chance of death compared to those attending 24 sessions, a 29% lower chance of death compared to those attending 12 sessions, and a 58% lower chance of death to those attending only one session. Each additional session was associated with a 6% lower chance of a heart attack. Other studies demonstrated a 26-31% reduction in all cause mortality compar-ing those attending cardiac rehabilitation compared with those not attending.

Cardiac rehabilitation is available at Jefferson Hospital. Other programs can be located by contacting the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation or at the website and click on resources and searchable certified program directory.

Staff News

We would like to wish Dr. Michael Nathanson, our Nuclear Technologist, Donna Jobe, and our Ultrasound Technican, Valerie Rhall, a very happy birthday as they celebrate their special day this month.

♣Happy St. Patrick’s Day♣

One Pan Whiskey-Flavored Pork Chops

2/3 cup fat-free sour cream 4 (6oz) bone-in center-cut pork chops
½ cup water ¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon dried rubbed sage ½ cup chopped onion
¼ teaspoon black pepper 1 (8oz) package sliced mushrooms
½ cup Whiskey

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees

2. Combine first six ingredients in a small bowl

3. Sprinkle pork with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; sauté for 5 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove pork from pan. Add onion and mushrooms to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Carefully add whiskey to pan. Cook for 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir sour cream mixture into pan. Return pork to pan; spoon sauce over pork.

4. Wrap handle of skillet with foil. Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour. Serve im-mediately.

A publication of Jefferson Cardiology Association
Alan D. Bramowitz, M.D. | Michael S. Nathanson, M.D. | Gennady Geskin, M.D.

Jefferson Hospital Medical Building
Suite 403, Coal Valley Road
P.O. Box 18285

Belle Vernon Office
1533 Broad Ave
Belle Vernon, Pa 15012