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Newsletters March 2011 - Jefferson Cardiology Happenings

What's in this Newsletter:

2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Periodically, the federal government reviews recent research and sets forth recommendations known as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The current guideline focuses on several key recommendations.
As the majority of American adults and one third of children are over-weight, the current edition of the dietary guidelines stresses the importance of achieving a healthy weight and balancing food consumption with physical activity. Americans currently consume 523 more calories than were consumed 40 years ago. The number of meals eaten away from home has doubled over this period and large restaurant-size portions is one factor. Packaged food also contains lar-ger portions. Thus, it is recommended to avoid oversized portions.

Another recommendation is to make half your plate fruits and vegeta-bles. Vegetables and fresh fruits add nutrients without adding excess fat or sugar. Switching to fat free or 1% milk is recommended. Keeping saturated fats, usually found in food or animal sources, under 10% of total fat is advocated.
Sodium should be kept under 2300 mg daily. Those with risk factors should keep their salt under 1500 mg or the amount of salt in 2/3 of a teaspoon. As over 75% of sodium intake for many people comes from packaged foods, reading labels may be very helpful.

Substituting water for beverages with added sugar content is strongly recommended. Drinks such as soda, sports drinks and sweetened fruit juices add extra calories without increased nutrition. Replacing sugary drinks with water may quench thirst, maintain hydration and reduce calories.

In addition to these tips, the Guidelines contain 23 recommendations for all people and seven for special populations. To read the complete 2010 Dietary Guidelines, go to

Evidence Linking Inflamed Gums and Heart Disease

The February 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology includes a study demon-strating a link between inflamed gums and plaque build-up in arteries. About 40% of Americans have gum disease. It has been previously recognized that persons with gum disease were more likely to have heart disease. In recent years, researchers have recognized the role of inflammation in creating threatening blockage of the coronary arteries.

The recent study from Harvard Medical School tried to analyze a con-nection between inflamed gums and inflamed arteries. The researchers used an imaging technique called PET scan. This technique may demonstrate inflammation with recording brighter signals.

The study included 112 patients and analyzed images from the patient’s gums and carotid arteries. The study demonstrated a strong link between in-flammation of the gums and the carotid arteries. As the images of the gums got brighter, the carotid images also got brighter. This suggested inflammation in both places. Those patients having carotid surgery had examination of tissues removed at surgery. Those with bright images of the gums were found to have cells causing inflammation in the surgical specimens.

What is the connection between gum disease and heart disease? This is not really known. One theory is that the inflamed gums may allow bacteria to enter adjacent arteries and provoke re-lease of chemicals that can cause inflammation. Perhaps, the lesson to be learned is the importances of maintain-ing healthy gums. If you suspect a gum problem, see your dentist or a periodon-tal specialist.

Can Flu Shots Protect Cardiac


If coronary disease and gum dis-ease can be linked by inflammation, can flu also cause inflammation to increase cardiac events?

To evaluate this concept, researchers gave 221 cardiac patients a dose of flu vaccine to see if cardiac events could be reduced. After 12 months, the vaccinated cardiac patients had half the cardiovascular events, including heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and death when compared to similar patients who were not vacci-nated. This study reinforces the need for cardiac patients to get annual flu shots.

Staff News

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

Sweet-Spicy Glazed Salmon


3 tablespoons dark brown sugar 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
4 teaspoon Chinese-style hot mustard 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
4 (6 oz) salmon fillets ¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Combine brown sugar, soy sauce, mustard, and vinegar in a sauce pan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
Place fish on a foil-lined jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 12 minutes. Remove from oven.
Preheat broiler.
Brush sugar mixture evenly over salmon; broil 3 inches from heat for 3 minutes or until fish flakes away easily when tested with a fork.

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