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Newsletters October 2011 - Jefferson Cardiology Happenings

What's in this Newsletter:


What to Know About Peripheral Artery Disease

The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association have recently updated guidelines regarding peripheral artery disease, PAD. Specifically, peripheral artery disease primarily refers to disease that may reduce arterial circulation to the legs. The following information is relevant to patients.
PAD is common and may affect 12 million Americans. Persons with PAD may have diseased arteries elsewhere in their body and are at risk for heart attack and stroke. The diagnosis is easily made by checking blood pressure in the lower legs and comparing this with arm blood pressure. Also, ultrasound equipment may image blockage of the arterial supply to the legs. Screening for PAD is to be encouraged in diabetics and persons over 65.

Early detection of PAD may result in treatment that can reduce heart attacks and stroke. Treatment including blood thinners such as aspirin and Plavix, may reduce heart attacks and stroke in patients with PAD. Stopping smoking can reduce heart attacks, strokes as well as reduce amputations in patients with PAD. Patients with severe PAD, at risk for leg amputation, may avoid limb loss with angioplasty or surgical bypass of the diseased arteries. Patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms can have treatment with catheter-based or surgical therapy to prevent fatal aneurysm rupture.


Prevention of Long -Term Weight Gain

Most Americans gain weight each year and are unable to lose this weight over their lifetimes increasing the risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Researchers have investigated the causes for this long-term weight gain and methods to prevent additional weight gain over time.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine followed 120,000 men and women over 10 years. On the average, there was a 3.5 pound weight gain every four years. The foods associated with weight gain were potato chips, potatoes, sugar-sweetened drinks, as well as processed and unprocessed red meats. Potato chips were the food most strongly associated with weight gain. Weight gain was also associated with watching television, sleeping less than 6 hours or more than 8 hours, smoking and excess alcohol use. Weight loss was associated with physical activity and intake of vegetables, whole grains, nuts and yogurt.

To avoid such long-term weight gain, the researchers recommended increased physical activity and a healthy diet.


Political Pressure to Raise Medicare Eligibility

In a front page story on September 30, the Boston Globe reported that hospital executives are urging Congress to raise eligibility for Medicare from age 65 to 67. The American Hospital Association is urging hospital administrators to go to Washington on October 4 to lobby congress. There is concern that as the deficit reduction super committee seeks methods of seeking $1.5 trillion in budget reductions that there will be large reductions in Medicare payments made to hospitals. The hospital association suggests raising the age for Medicare eligibility as a means of seeking savings without drastically reducing hospital payments.


Pre-Hypertension and Stroke

In the online edition of Neurology that appeared September 27, there was a report analyzing 12 studies including 518,520 persons for a relationship between pre-hypertension and stroke. Pre-hypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 or diastolic blood pressure between 85-89. Among those persons with systolic blood pressure under 130, there was not a significant increase in stroke risk. However, there was an increase stroke risk for those in the 130-139 systolic blood pressure range. This finding was particularly apparent in persons under age 65.

Staff Birthday

We would like to extend a very Happy Birthday to Diane Ranallo, medical assistant.

Happy Halloween

We at Jefferson Cardiology would like to wish everyone and their families a very happy and safe Halloween. And don’t forget to remember your favorite Cardiology practice when passing out candy!!

Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

1/3 cup Bisquick Heart Smart mix
½ cup rolled oats
1/8 cup soymilk
½ cup canned pumpkin
Artificial sweetener (to taste)
½ ounce raisins

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. In a large bowl, mix all your ingredients until incorporated
3. Spray a pan with PAM and scoop about 1 tbsp of the pumpkin mixture onto pan
4. Press cookies flat with a fork
5. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until done.

Calories: 23.5, Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 0.0mg, Sugar: 1.2g, Sodium: 28.6mg, Carbs: 4.6g, Protein: 0.8g

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