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Knowing Your Numbers
Health Tip: Getting Help When You Try to Quit
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Top  Fall 2009
Cardiovascular Health Center for Women

Happy fall! Hope you are enjoying the cooler weather, the turning leaves, and all that this season of change and new beginnings has to offer. 
As you prepare for the holidays right around the corner, we want to invite you to our first Cardiovascular Health Center for Women "Eat, Mingle and Learn" event. Join us for a dinner and workshop on Monday, November 2, where Lahey nutritionist Holly McCarthy, MS, RD, will give a talk on Heart Healthy Nutrition for Women. The event will take place from 6 to 8 pm (with registration starting at 5:30 pm) in Lahey's East Lobby. Parking vouchers will be provided for a flat parking rate of $5.00 for the evening. Preregistration is required as seating for this event is limited. Please register online by clicking here or call 781-744-2460 to reserve your spot. Feel free to forward this email and bring a friend!
Our second e-newsletter is full of helpful information, including a feature story on knowing the numbers that could save your life; answers to your questions about the link between vitamin D and heart disease; and a health tip on smoking cessation.
In case you missed the good news, a recent report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association shows that one year after passing smoking bans (including one here at Lahey that went into effect in July 2008), communities in North America and Europe had 17 percent fewer heart attacks compared to communities without smoking bans - and overall the number of heart attacks has continued to decrease over time.
Happy reading and hope to see you on November 2nd!
The Lahey Cardiovascular Health Center for Women
Knowing Your Numbers
Know Your Numbers
You know the routine: You go to the doctor. Roll up your sleeve. Extend one arm.
But did you know that the results of a simple blood pressure exam, when combined with the results of a blood cholesterol screening, add up to critical information that doctors use to determine your risk for heart disease and heart attack?
Getting Help When You Try to Quit
Anyone who has tried to quit smoking knows that it can be difficult. Still, if quitting is something you are thinking about Health Tip- or want your loved ones to think about - the benefits are certainly worth the effort. 
Ask the Doctor: I keep hearing that Vitamin D is important for my heart. Why?
Recent research shows that vitamin D has health benefits that go way beyond just strong bones. A growing number of studies suggest that vitamin D has an important role in keeping heart disease at bay. The most recent study of this type showed that low levels of vitamin D in younger women tripled their risk of high blood pressure 15 years later.
In another recent study, researchers found that older adults with sufficient levels of vitamin D were less likely to die from heart disease than those with lower levels of the vitamin.
Current guidelines for vitamin D call for an intake of 400 international units (IU) for people under age 60, and 600 IUs for those age 60 and older. Sun exposure is the most potent way to increase your vitamin D levels. Fatty fish such as wild salmon and milk and milk products fortified with vitamin D are other good sources as well. A simple blood test can determine if you are vitamin D deficient. Talk to your health care provider if you have questions or concerns.

Ask the Doctor invites you to submit your questions to All questions should be impersonal in nature, related to heart health and address topics others might want to know about as well. Due to the large volume of submissions expected, we will most likely be unable to answer every question. We will, however, answer as many questions as possible and post the questions and answers in future e-newsletters, as well as on our Web site at
Lahey's Cardiovascular Health Center for Women
We understand that women can have unique needs when it comes to matters of the heart. Although all of our physicians are highly qualified to meet those needs, sometimes, and for some patients, having a female doctor can make a difference. Our team of five female clinical cardiologists and one female cardiothoracic surgeon set Lahey apart in an era when, unfortunately, not many women are entering these specialties. So whether you're concerned about your risk of heart disease, dealing with a frightening heart arrhythmia, or in need of bypass surgery, we invite you to become familiar with us. Patients already diagnosed with a cardiac condition who are looking for a cardiologist or a second opinion can request an appointment by calling 1-877-LAHEY-96 (524-3996) or by emailing

Lahey Clinic