Now is the Time to Take Care of Your Heart 
Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital 
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 

February is widely known as American Heart Month, a time when people are urged to join the battle against cardiovascular diseases. Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital is offering a free seminar to discuss your heart health and how you can start living a healthier lifestyle today. Guest speakers Chaitanya Shah, MD, cardiologist on the medical staff at the hospital, and Cindy Hudgens, RN, BSN, the hospital’s Cardiovascular and Stroke Coordinator, will discuss warning signs and risk factors for heart disease, provide suggestions on making heart-healthy lifestyle choices, and provide informal health consultations. The event will be held Thursday, February 26, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the hospital’s front lobby at 10655 Steepletop Drive. Light refreshments will be provided. To reserve your spot, call 1-800-681-2733.

Approximately 80.7 million Americans have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure. Cardiovascular disease claims nearly 870,000 American lives each year. Some risk factors for coronary heart disease cannot be controlled, including:

·                     Advancing age – More than 83 percent of people who die of coronary disease are 65 or older.

·                     Gender – Men are more likely to have a heart attack than women.

·                     Heredity (including race) – Children whose parents have heart disease have a greater risk of developing it themselves. African Americans have more severe high blood pressure and higher risk of heart disease than Caucasians. Mexican Americans, native Hawaiians, American Indians, and some Asian Americans also have higher heart disease risk.

Fortunately, some major risk factors can be modified, including smoking, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity and overweight, and diabetes.

“One of the first lines of defense against cardiovascular disease is prevention,” says Dr. Shah. “People can take steps to lead more healthy lives, which include making changes to control high blood pressure.”

Dr. Shah offers some tips to control high blood pressure, or hypertension, through lifestyle changes, medications or both. “Hypertension is a silent killer that affects one out of three American adults,” adds Dr. Shah. “It often has no symptoms and requires lifelong treatment once it is diagnosed.”

  • Limit your salt intake.
  • Eat heart healthy.
  • Be physically active.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Take medications as prescribed.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Monitor your blood pressure.

Cardiovascular services offered by Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital are designed to address prevention, intervention, and treatment. These services include diagnostic imaging, nuclear stress testing, digital catheterization lab, cardiovascular surgery (open heart surgery), and cardiac rehabilitation. The hospital is a designated Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers and a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. HealthGrades, a leading independent health care ratings company, has also recognized Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital with a five-star ranking for treatment of heart failure and stroke. For more information about cardiology services offered at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital, visit