Holy Cross Cardiovascular Blog

Nationally Recognized for Quality Care for Stroke and Heart Failure...Again!

  • Posted Apr 30, 2014
  • hchadmin

Holy Cross Hospital's commitment to high quality care was evidenced by two recent national recognitions. For the fifth consecutive year, Holy Cross has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. Holy Cross also received the organization’s Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.

“We are proud to be among the hospitals recently recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for our commitment to excellent care,” said Holy Cross Hospital President and CEO Patrick Taylor, MD. “Get WithThe Guidelines programs include performance feedback reporting for continuous quality improvement which assists us in providing the latest evidenced-based care to our patients and driving advances nationwide.”

Comprehensive Stroke Care

Holy Cross received the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

The non-profit hospital earned the award by meeting specific quality and achievement measures for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients for 24 consecutive months.  These measures include aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.
       
Through its Comprehensive Stroke Center, Holy Cross provides round-the-clock personnel, infrastructure, expertise and programs to diagnose and treat stroke and transient ischemic attack patients who require a high degree of medical, surgical and endovascular care, specialized tests or interventional treatments. The center is certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Agency for Health Care Administration.

Leading Edge Cardiac Care

American Heart Association Get WithThe Guidelines-Heart Failure is an in-hospital program for improving care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest clinical treatment guidelines. Numerous published studies demonstrate the program's success in achieving significant patient outcome improvements and reductions in 30-day readmissions. The Silver Plus award is an advanced level of recognition for meeting achievement and quality measures within the program for 12 consecutive months.

The Holy Cross Hospital Congestive Heart Failure Clinic provides intensive personalized therapy and develops individual programs that educate patients about heart failure, optimize chronic medications and help patients manage their disease. Holy Cross Hospital, through its Heart Failure Clinic, is also a designated LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) shared care facility. The Clinic helps previously end-stage heart failure patients through LVAD, cardiac and heart failure management while they are traveling or moving to South Florida, away from their implantation site. The Clinic works closely with implantation sites around the country to ensure good quality of life and peace of mind for patients as they travel.


Holy Cross Hospital is the First in Broward County to Implant Reveal LINQ™ Miniature Cardiac Monitor

  • Posted Mar 18, 2014
  • hchadmin

Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is the first in Broward County to implant the Medtronic Reveal LINQ™ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) System in a patient, the smallest implantable cardiac monitoring device available.

The Reveal LINQ ICM is approximately one-third the size of a AAA battery, making it more than 80 percent smaller than other ICMs. While significantly smaller, the device is part of a powerful system that allows physicians to continuously and wirelessly monitor a patient’s heart for up to three years, with 20 percent more data memory than its larger predecessor, Reveal® XT.

Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiologist Rishi Anand, M.D., who serves as the medical director for the Electrophysiology department at Holy Cross Hospital, performed the surgery on Austin Stuart, a 67-year old man from Wilton Manors, Florida, on March 6.

“Often a patient’s heart must be monitored over time to determine what may be the cause of his or her symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations and fainting,” Anand explained.  “A recent study showed that the time to diagnosis was reduced by 79 percent for patients with implantable long-term heart monitors who experienced arrhythmias as compared to those with non-implantable monitors.”

Heart rhythm disorders, also called cardiac arrhythmias, can sometimes be managed with simple lifestyle changes.  Others, such as when a patient experiences recurrent fainting, palpitations, unexplained stroke or atrial fibrillation, can be more serious and potentially life threatening.

Implanted using a minimally invasive insertion procedure, Reveal LINQ ICM is placed just beneath the skin through a small incision of less than one centimeter in the upper left side of the chest, and is often nearly invisible to the naked eye once inserted.

LINQ Wireless Cardiac Monitor Implant Diagram
Following the procedure, patients can continue with normal daily activities such as bathing, swimming and other physician-approved exercise.  Patients can also undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) if needed.

Reveal LINQ Complete SystemIn addition to its continuous and wireless monitoring capabilities, the system provides remote monitoring through the Carelink® Network, which can alert physicians if their patients have had cardiac events.

The Reveal LINQ system also includes the new MyCareLink™ Patient Monitor, a simplified remote monitoring system with global cellular technology that transmits patients’ cardiac device diagnostic data to their clinicians from nearly any location in the world.

The Medtronic Reveal LINQ ICM was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February. Learn more about the services offered at Holy Cross Hospital's Jim Moran Heart and Vascular Center by visiting HolyCrossHeart.com.


Holy Cross Hospital Reaches Milestone with 50th Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

  • Posted Feb 03, 2014
  • hchadmin

In 2012, the hospital was first in Broward County to successfully perform the minimally invasive procedure for patients deemed at too high risk for open heart surgery


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (January 15, 2014) – After having been the first hospital in Broward County to perform the minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) two years ago, Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale has reached another milestone with its successful 50th TAVR procedure.

On January 15, the TAVR Team performed the implantation on Boca Raton resident, Elaine Linden.

The TAVR procedure is designed to replace a patient’s diseased native aortic valve without the need for open-chest surgery and without stopping the patient’s heart. “It offers an opportunity for improved quality of life to patients needing an aortic valve replacement who are at high or extreme risk for open heart surgery” said Dr. Alan Niederman. TAVR patients at Holy Cross range in age from 67 to 96 years old, with an average age of 86.
TAVR is the first procedure utilizing a multi-specialty team consisting of:

•Interventional Cardiologists: Dr. Alex Llanos (Interventional/Structural Cardiologist), Dr. Alan Niederman, and Dr. Joshua Purow
•Cardiovascular Surgeons: Dr. Irving David and Dr. Imad Tabry
•Echo Cardiologist: Dr. Vicente Font
•Cardiac Anesthesiologist: Dr. Bijan Bavarian
•Cardiovascular Radiologist: Dr. Claudio Smuclovisky
•Structural Heart Program Coordinator: Chloe Lebron, Advanced Registerd Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), and
•Specially trained Cardiac Catheterization and Open-Heart Surgical staff.


The TAVR team at Holy Cross Hospital has outperformed the international outcome averages for this leading edge procedure. TAVR is performed in the hospital’s state-of-the-art hybrid interventional operating room which offers physicians the latest technology to perform a variety of cutting-edge procedures.

The Valve and Structural Heart Disease Clinic at the Holy Cross Jim Moran Heart and Vascular Center is located at 4725 North Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale.  For more information call Chloe Lebron or Ginger Mastrapa at (954) 229-7974 or visit www.HolyCrossHeart.com.

About Holy Cross Hospital
A member of CHE Trinity Health, Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. is a full-service, non-profit Catholic hospital, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. Since opening its doors in 1955, the 559-bed hospital has offered progressive services and programs to meet the evolving healthcare needs of Broward County. Today, Holy Cross has more than 600 physicians on staff representing more than 40 specialties and more than 3,000 employees. To learn more about Holy, visit holy-cross.com, “like” Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale on Facebook, or follow @holycrossfl on Twitter.


February / Heart Month Free Community Events Presented by Holy Cross Hospital

  • Posted Jan 30, 2014
  • hchadmin

Heart Disease remains the leading cause of death in Americans. February is American Heart Month, and to help with increasing awareness, Holy Cross Hospital is hosting free events focusing on heart topics all month. We hope you can join us!

Wednesday, February 5 | 4pm-5pm | Sister Innocent Conference Center at Holy Cross Hospital (4725 N. Federal Hwy., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308)
Dinner with the Doctor: Living with Congestive Heart Failure

When your heart does not pump as well as it should, your body does not get the oxygen it needs and may result in life-threatening complications. This condition, Congestive Heart Failure, is one of the leading causes of hospitalizations in those over 60 years old. Join Cardiologist Richard A. Goldman, MD, as he discusses the causes of CHF and how to successfully manage this condition. This program will be held in the Sister Innocent Conference Center on the main Holy Cross Hospital campus.

To RSVP for this free program, call 954-351-5886.
Complimentary valet parking is available. Canned good donations are accepted.


Friday, February 7 | All Day | Facebook
Go Red Day

Go Red Day raises awareness about heart disease in women. We invite you to wear red (clothes, accessories, shoes, etc.) on this day, take a photo of yourself, and then post it on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/holycrossfl with the hastag #GoRedDay or email it to us at info@holy-cross.com, and we will post it for you! Thank you for your support!


Thursday, February 13 | 6pm-7pm | Holy Cross Dorothy Mangurian Comprehensive Women's Center at Holy Cross HealthPlex (1000 NE 56th St., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334)
Time Out for Women: New Cholesterol Guidelines for Women

The latest cholesterol guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association may change how your heart condition is treated. Join Vicente Font, MD, Cardiologist, for a women-only event and learn how the new guidelines affect women's heart health, including your own. One lucky winner will go home with a "pamper me" gift basket.

This program will be held at the Dorothy Mangurian Comprehensive Women's Center - please use the Dixie Highway entrance due to construction in the area.

To RSVP for this free program call 954-351-7804.


Wednesday, February 19 | 4pm-5pm | Sister Innocent Conference Center at Holy Cross Hospital (4725 N. Federal Hwy., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308)
Cardiac Hour: Resistant Hypertention - A Growing Problem


Resistant Hypertension is a common and increasing medical problem and puts patients at high risk for stroke, heart attack and heart failure. Join Karan Munuswamy, MD, FACC, Clinical Hypertension Specialist, in discussing diagnosis and current treatment of resistant hypertension and the novel treatments on the horizon. This program will be held in the Sister Innocent Conference Center on the main Holy Cross Hospital campus.

To RSVP for this free program, call 954-351-5886.
Complimentary valet parking is available.


Wednesday, February 26 | 4pm-5pm | Sister Innocent Conference Center at Holy Cross Hospital (4725 N. Federal Hwy., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308)
The Cardiac Hour (Topic: Heart Panel on Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics at Holy Cross Hospital)

More information on the Heart Panel is coming soon! Check back on this post later!


Inspiration (Part 2)

  • Posted Dec 05, 2013
  • Ricky M. Schneider MD

Morris and Me
December 3, 2013

The famous internist Morris L. Jampol, MD, was born over 94 years ago. He is considered one of the great clinicians and medical educators of his time in New York. Despite the fact that I have practiced cardiology in South Florida for 28 years, I have serendipitously re-established a connection with this illustrious man. Here is my story:


In April 1974, I was a 22-year-old Yale freshman medical student planning to spend my first summer "clinical experience" at Yale-New Haven Hospital. However, my 45 year old mother, Renee, died suddenly of unrecognized aspiration pneumonia at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital three days after a hysterectomy for benign disease. Needing a last minute summer clerkship in New York so I could be near my father and two younger sisters, I sought the help of the Chief of Medicine at LaGuardia Hospital in Forest Hills, Queens (under the aegis of H.I.P. of Greater New York, which was my family's insurer for many years because my mother was, until her death, a Plainview, Long Island school teacher). That Chief of Medicine, Dr. Morris Jampol, became my clinical preceptor, a role that he generously and skillfully performed for me, for five (I believe) other Yale med classmates that summer, and for many other Yalies who first wore their short white coats on the wards in Queens over many other summers.


After running an internal medicine residency program at Cornell for 10 years, Dr. Jampol retired at age 80. He has since enjoyed an active and vigorous retirement, sailing, working out at the gym, writing, and listening to music, in Fresh Meadows, NY, and in Wynmoor Village, Coconut Creek, Florida. He lost his dear wife of 67 years in 2010.


In January 2011, I received a call in my Tamarac office from a retired internist who asked to be seen urgently for "possible pneumonia." He stated that his recently deceased former NYU classmate and friend, Dr. Emanuel Berson, my former patient, had advised him to call me if he ever needed a Florida doctor. (Dr. Berson, a dentist,  was the younger brother of the renowned Dr. Solomon Berson, who had developed the technique of radioimmunoassay with Rosalyn Yalow at the Bronx VA Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital; if he had not died in 1972, he surely would have shared the Nobel Prize, which Dr. Yalow won in 1977.)


I picked up the phone, heard Dr. Jampol's name, and reminded him that I had been one of his young Yale students at LaGuardia Hospital in the summer of 1974. As always, his diagnosis was spot on: he had right lower lobe pneumonia. He responded to dual antibiotic therapy and avoided hospitalization.


Since then, I have had the pleasure of a renewed relationship with Dr. Jampol, whom I consider not just a patient, but also a colleague and a friend. I enjoyed meeting his son Mark. He sent me his beautiful essay about Beethoven's acquired deafness last year, and more recently, he sent me his personal story about Mahler's consultation with the young Dr. George Baehr.


Coincidentally, I served my internship and residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. As a house office - and for all of my career since then - I have utilized a technique that I learned directly from Dr. Jampol in 1974. After interviewing and examining a patient in a hospital room or in my office exam room, I sit down with the patient to write my note in the medical record. Because I spend an extra five minutes in the patient's presence while doing so, we have time for casual conversation or for him to tell or ask me something that otherwise might have been forgotten. I owe this habit to my observation of Dr. Jampol - my first clinical role model.


ABSORB III™ trial studying “dissolving” heart device

  • Posted Dec 04, 2013
  • hchadmin

The Jim Moran Heart and Vascular Research Institute at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale is one of the first in the region to enroll patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) in a clinical trial studying a “dissolving ” cardiac stent to treat heart disease.


The ABSORB III™ clinical trial recently started in the United States. Interventional cardiologists at Holy Cross implanted the Absorb™ cardiac stent, a small mesh tube that is designed to open a blocked heart vessel, restore blood flow to the heart and then dissolve into the blood vessel over time. 


Since the 1970s, physicians have treated patients with CAD with balloon angioplasty, metallic and drug eluting metallic cardiac stents, allowing many patients to avoid open heart surgery. Unlike a metallic stent that remains permanently in the body, Absorb™ dissolves over time.


“The goal of the Absorb cardiac stent is to restore the vessel to a more natural state and enable natural vessel function for improved long-term outcomes,” said Joshua Purow, MD, Principal Investigator.


Absorb™, is an investigational (not FDA approved) bioabsorbable vascular scaffold manufactured by the healthcare company Abbott. Absorb™ is referred to as a scaffold to indicate that it is a temporary structure. Abbott's Absorb™ BVS is made of polylactide, a naturally dissolvable material that is commonly used in medical implants such as dissolving sutures.


ABSORB III™ is the first U.S. clinical trial to evaluate the potential benefits and safety of Absorb™ in comparison to a medicated metallic cardiac stent, also called a drug eluting stent, in patients with CAD. Absorb BVS™ is approved for use outside of the US. More than 25,000 patients worldwide have received an Absorb BVS™. The clinical trial will enroll approximately 2,250 patients, the majority expected in the United States.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease accounts for one of every six deaths in the nation. Patients with CAD can experience symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath when the demand for blood to the heart is more than the heart's ability to supply. These blockages are caused by the buildup of fat and cholesterol inside the vessel.


For more information, contact jmhvri@holy-cross.com, or  call 954-229-8400.


Inspiration (Part 1)

  • Posted Dec 03, 2013
  • Ricky M. Schneider MD

Thoughts from my first clinical role model,  Morris L. Jampol, MD:


Mahler and Me
November 30, 2013


The famous composer and conductor Gustave Mahler lived over a century ago.  He was considered one of the great geniuses of the time in Europe and the United States.  Despite the fact that I am not musical in any way except to enjoy listening to music, I have discovered that I have a slight tenuous connection with this illustrious man.  Here is my story:

 In the Year 1911 Mahler was invited to New York to conduct at the Metropolitan Opera House.  He had been feeling ill in Europe but his doctors there had not been able to find any cause for his symptoms of weight loss, fatigue and low grade fevers.  While in New York City he had been referred to the Mount Sinai Hospital, then known as a most excellent institution staffed by outstanding specialists.  A young intern named Dr. George Baehr was assigned to assist in Mahler’s care.  After his careful examination, Dr. Baehr suspected a blood stream infection and drew Mahler’s blood for bacteriologic culture.  This was a relatively new test and not universally available.  The blood culture came back strongly positive for Streptococcus viridans, a bacterium known to infect the heart valves and destroy them.  Mahler was known to have damaged heart valves as a result of childhood throat infections.  Dr. Baehr made the diagnosis of SBE- subacute bacterial endocarditis, a disease known to be uniformly fatal in three to six months. These were the days before antibiotics and there was no hope for patients with SBE.  Gustave Mahler returned to Europe and died several months later.

Some fifty years later I had been recommended as Chief of Medicine at a new hospital in Queens, N.Y.  This hospital was under the aegis of the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York, a pioneer Health Maintenance Organization.  In the intervening years Dr.Baehr had risen through the ranks of the Mount Sinai Hospital eventually becoming the Director of Medicine He had achieved an outstanding reputation as one of the great clinicians, researchers, and teachers of the nation.  After fifty years at Mount Sinai, he had retired and now started a new career as the President of the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York.  One of his duties was to approve the choice of Chief of Medicine of the Plan’s  newly acquired  hospital in Queens. And so I found myself being interviewed by the eminent Dr. Baehr.  He carefully reviewed my credentials, and asked many searching questions about my experience and my thoughts about developing a strong Department of Medicine.  Apparently I received his approval and subsequently enjoyed many fruitful years in my position.

After my retirement, I developed the hobby of writing short essays on the medical health of famous musician and composers.  To my surprise I learned that the Dr. Baehr who had approved my appointment was the famous clinician who made the striking diagnosis of Gustave Mahler. I now listen and enjoy the music of Mahler more intently as he and I have had a relationship with the famous Dr. George Baehr.


The Cardiology-Cancer Connection

  • Posted Nov 14, 2013
  • Jorge Arturo Flores, MD, FACC

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States after cardiovascular disease; the survival rate of all types of cancer has improved in the last 25 years from 50 percent to 68 percent as a result of more successful anticancer therapies by oncologists. There are currently over 12 million cancer survivors. This, however, comes with a price, as cardiac toxicity stemming from oncology treatments is a common adverse effect. It has resulted in more interaction between cardiologists and oncologists.

Cardiac Toxicity

Adverse effects include direct toxicity to the cardiac muscle cells (myocytes) from chemotherapy, resulting in defects in contractility of the heart and ultimately leading to congestive heart failure of varying degrees. Another source of toxicity is radiation therapy, which can cause valvular problems and pericarditis. Other drugs used in cancer treatment can also cause blood pressure and lipid abnormalities. There are situations in which more than one agent is used, therefore increasing the possibility of cardiac toxicity.

Two Types of Cardiac Toxicity

One type of cardiac toxicity is caused by direct action on the heart's left ventricle, causing heart failure as a final result. This is a direct effect from drugs of the anthracycline type, like doxorubicin, and its effect is nonreversible and generally dose-related.

A mediated cardiac toxicity is caused by monoclonal antibodies, such as protein kinase inhibitors (KI) like Herceptin. This adverse effect is reversible and not dose-dependent; outcomes are more favorable than in the other type.

An integration between clinical oncology and cardiology is essential to detect early signs of toxicity. This collaboration involves cardiac testing, such as echocardiography or nuclear cardiology, which facilitates the decision to delay or modify treatment as needed. The use of cardiac protecting agents (i.e., beta blockers, ACE inhibitors or ARBs, or diuretics) becomes necessary as soon as any cardiac dysfunction is detected. These therapies are also useful once heart abnormalities are present.

Direct communication between oncologists and cardiologists is vital in reaching a common goal: a cancer-free, heart-healthy patient. Be sure to discuss cardiac toxicity with your physician.

Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is one of the few facilities in the nation dedicated to minimizing cardiac toxicity during cancer treatment and cardiovascular risks during cancer survival. Click to learn more about Holy Cross' Cardio-Oncology Clinic.


Women: Lower Your Risk, Not Just Your Weight

  • Posted Aug 20, 2013
  • Richard Goldman, MD, PhD, FACC...

Heart disease and stroke continue to be the number one killer of women both in the United States and worldwide.  Heart disease is the cause of one in three women’s deaths each year, and 43 million women in the United States are affected by heart disease.  There were over 400,000 heart disease deaths in 2007, which claimed more women’s live than all forms of cancer, respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease and accidents, combined.  The economic cost of heart disease in the Unites State is estimated at over 100 billion dollars each year.

Heart disease death rates in U.S. women ages 35 to 54 appear to be increasing over the past decade, at least partially related to the increase in obesity.  Forty seven percent of African-American women over the age of 20 have cardiovascular disease, most likely secondary to the prevalence of  hypertension.  Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.  And finally, 55,000 more women than men suffer a stroke every year.

All women need to understand the major risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and stroke, since it is estimated that 80% of these risk factors are modifiable with early screening methods, lifestyle modification and medications.  

Risk Factors

These risk factors include well-established Framingham criteria which include:  1. Age,  2. Total Cholesterol,  3. HDL cholesterol, 4. Systolic Blood Pressure, and 5. Smoking History.  Additional factors beyond the Framingham risk criteria include: 6. Medical, Lifestyle and Family History, 7. Markers of Preclinical Disease (coronary calcium score, carotid artery plaque) 8. Physical exam including  blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist size, 9. Obesity, Poor Diet, Physical Inactivity and Metablic Syndrome, 10. Systemic Autoimmune Disorder, 11. Laboratory markers includingGlucose & Kidney Function, 12. High Risk Factors which include documented cardiovascular disease or stroke, peripheral arterial disease, diabetes or end-stage or chronic kidney disease.

The role of new biomarkers of cardiovascular disease, such as advanced lipid testing, high sensitivity CRP, and coronary calcium score are not included in the initial assessment of CV risk, but may play an important role in refining the risk estimates of women who are at intermediate risk on the initial screening factors outlined above.

Lifestyle Recommendations

There are many Lifestyle recommendations, which have been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke risk in women.  These include the following:

1.    Complete Smoking Cessation—combination of office and formal cessation program, group counselling, nicotine replacement and pharmacotherapy.
2.    Physical Activity—150 minutes per week of moderate exercise (brisk walking) or 75 minutes per week vigorous exercise or combinations of the two, plus muscle strengthening exercise at least two days per week.
3.    Nutrition—diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain, higher fiber foods, fish (oily fish such as salmon and mackerel), poultry, lean meats, dry beans, eggs, and nuts. Avoid saturated and trans fats (partially hydrogenated fats) such as deep fried foods, bakery products, crackers, margarine, packaged snack foods, red meats, dairy products, coconut and palm oils.
4.    Weight Maintenance/Reduction—maintenance or lose weight through a combination of physical activity, appropriate caloric intake and behavior modification goal for a BMI less than 25 kg/m2 or waist size less than 35 inches or other related weight metrics.  Weight reductions of 10% may decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels and reduce risk of diabetes
5.    Health screenings for:
A.    Blood pressure—optimal BP reading less than 120/80—weight control, physical activity, sodium reduction (less than 2,000mg/day), alcohol reduction.
B.    Cholesterol levels—should be checked at least once every five years starting at age 20, or should be checked at a younger age in children with family history of heart disease, or more frequently in women with elevated cholesterol levels. (Optimal levels: Total Cholesterol less then 150, Triglycerides less than 150, HDL cholesterol greater then 50, LDL cholesterol less then 100).
C.    Diabetes screening—check fasting blood sugar (optimal glucose less then 100) usually between ages 30-40 and retest every 3-5 years.

Drug Therapies

1.    Aspirin (75-325 mg/daily) for women with heart disease or stroke or diabetes unless contraindicated.  May be useful in women over 65 at increased risk for heart disease/stroke.
2.    Lipid lowering medications—recommended for women with coronary disease/stroke/diabetes to reach goal LDL cholesterol less than 100 and may be less than 70 in high risk patients.
3.    Blood pressure medications---In addition to regular exercise, good nutrition, and low sodium (less then 2000 mg sodium/daily), pharmacotherapy is indicated for women with blood pressure readings over 140/90, or women with diabetes and blood pressure readings over 130/80.

References:
Effective-based guidelines for prevention of cardiovascular disease in women. Circulation. 2011;123:1242-1262.
Managing heart disease risk at any age. www.goredforwomen.org.


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About the Center

The Jim Moran Heart and Vascular Center at Holy Cross offers the latest in high-tech cardiac care. Holy Cross was the first in Broward County to offer Induced Hypothermia, which has shown to increase the odds of surviving cardiac arrest, and has been shown to improve neurological outcomes after such an event. We were also the first in Florida to use the Prime ECG Vest which, in select patients, may give physicians additional data beyond a traditional electrocardiogram. Our outstanding cardiovascular team, utilizing cutting-edge technology, can treat any heart and vascular situation especially in an emergency.

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