||Winter/Spring 2010 |
Happy belated Valentine's Day!
You're probably already
aware that February is American Heart
Month. Hopefully you're making
your heart health a priority every month, but if not, now's the time to start!
Eating right and exercise
are crucial to keeping our hearts in good shape, and these are two topics we
address in our newsletter. In recognition of DVT awareness month in March, our
feature story is about deep vein thrombosis - a condition that affects more than
2 million Americans each year.
And, as always, we offer a
heart healthy recipe: yummy low-fat brownies with raspberry sauce.
We also want you to be the
first to know that we're in the planning stages for our next Heart of a Woman
event, scheduled for Saturday May 1, 2010. We've taken many of the suggestions
from last year's attendees and are looking forward to hosting an even bigger
and better event this year! We'll keep you posted on the details.
Yours in good heart
The Cardiovascular Health
Center for Women Team
Thrombosis: Are You At Risk?
days before his death in 2003, NBC correspondent David Bloom complained of a
pain behind one knee. Bloom, who was covering the war in Iraq, had spent long
days crouched in a military vehicle, a sedentary position that doctors say led
to the blood clot that ended his life.
|Health Tip: Exercise That Raises More Than Your Heart Rate |
People exercise for many reasons: to lose weight, improve
cardiovascular fitness or flexibility, maintain overall health, and even for
sheer enjoyment. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans do not get enough
exercise. In fact, Americans have steadily become more sedentary - and more obese
- in recent years. Aside from the commonly reported lack of time barrier, many
people lack motivation to keep moving.
Well, here's a different way to energize your exercise plan, which
may help you add miles - and meaning - to your workout: exercise for a cause. The
benefits include achieving your personal fitness goals and raising money and
awareness at the same time. And you won't be doing the job alone; exercising
for a cause usually provides a social outlet as well. So, to get you started,
here is a sampling of the countless opportunities that are available.
Walks for Hunger
In cities throughout the United States, thousands of people come
together to raise awareness and funds to help alleviate hunger in their area.
The Walk for Hunger in Massachusetts, for instance, is the oldest pledge walk
in the country. Pledge walks are those in which the walkers collect donations
that are then submitted to the sponsoring organization
Cancer Research and Awareness
Some of the most well recognized national events are intended to
support survivors of breast cancer, to honor those who have passed, and to
raise awareness and money for research. Popular walks and runs include the
Breast Cancer 3-Day, the Komen Race for the Cure, and the Avon Walk for Breast
Cancer. Breast cancer is not the only cancer cause, however. The "Light
the Night" Walk is a nationwide evening event organized by the Leukemia
and Lymphoma Society to raise awareness of blood cancers and fund research for
leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma. During the event, in which
both adults and children are welcome, participants carry illuminated balloons
to celebrate and honor the lives of those touched by cancer. There are similar
national events for prostate, lung, colon, ovarian and other cancers. Of course
there are also local events like Lahey Clinic's own 5K cancer walk held each
Go It Alone
You don't necessarily need to participate in an organized event in
order to exercise for a cause. If you are passionate about a cause, you can set
your own fitness goals for "meaningful movement." For instance, one
woman was not particularly self-motivated to exercise, but did feel compelled
to act in honor of those who died in the 9/11 attacks. So she set a personal
fitness goal: to run one mile in honor of every man or woman who was killed.
She achieved this goal, in so doing showing respect for both her own health and
the lost lives of others.
It's Your Choice
Whatever causes you are interested in, there is likely an active
event-be it walking, running, cycling, or swimming-that you can find to
participate in. An excellent source for identifying events is the Web site:
http://active.com. This site offers an expansive list of both individual
and team events that occur all around the country throughout the year. Some
events have sponsorship and simply require registration fees, while others are
pledge events, which require that you collect donations to submit to the cause.
In addition to working on personal fitness goals through both
training and participation in these events, getting involved will enrich your
life by allowing you to meet new people, have fun, and contribute to worthy
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|Ask the Doctor: I don't have blood pressure or heart disease. Do I really need to worry about how much salt I eat?|
Good question. While you don't have to worry as much
as someone with high blood pressure or heart disease, it helps to be aware of
how much salt, or sodium, you are eating.
There is some debate among nutrition experts regarding
what the appropriate sodium recommendations should be. Some believe that all
people should limit their sodium intake to less than 5.8 grams (2,300
milligrams of sodium), with 3.7 grams a day preferable.
Other nutritionists advise that only people with high
blood pressure or those who are believed to be "salt sensitive" need to limit
sodium in their diets. "Salt sensitive" people make up about 30 percent of the
population and are those whose blood pressure is likely to increase when they
eat a high-sodium diet. You may or may not be particularly sensitive to the
effects of sodium and because there's no way to know who might develop high
blood pressure as a result of a high-sodium diet, it's best to err on the side
Interestingly, a recent research study in the online
edition of the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that slashing
salt intake by 3 grams a day (approximately a half teaspoon) could dramatically
reduce the incidence of heart disease and death in adults in the U.S.
The researchers reported the projected reductions would be a similar to the
benefits accruing from a 50 percent drop in the smoking rate and a 5 percent
decline in body mass index among obese adults. Taken a step further, these
researchers then predicted that the reduction of 3 grams of salt per day would
cut the number of new cases of coronary heart disease by 60,000 to 120,000;
stroke by 32,000 to 66,000 cases; and heart attacks by 54,000 to 99,000.
Click here to learn how to reduce your
Ask the Doctor invites you to submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
|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 email@example.com.