Run for your life

Run for your life

Runners now live three years longer than non-runners

Even a 5-minute run can help prevent heart disease.

The best (and cheapest) exercise you can do to prolong your life is… running. The findings were published by the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Disease after researchers found that “in general, runners have a 25%-40% reduced risk of premature mortality and live approximately 3 years longer than non-runners.” While running regularly can’t make you immortal, the review says it is more effective at prolonging life than walking, cycling or swimming.

How fast, how ofter, or even how far do not make a huge difference in the benefits either. The data showed novice runners who ran less than 51 minutes, fewer than 6 miles, slower than 6 miles per hour, or only one or two times per week still had a lower risk of dying than those who did not put on running shoes. Consistency though is the key, researchers point to running for more than six years to have the most impact of lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%.

How to get started

The best way to start an active lifestyle is to just start! The Capital Region Run/Walk season unofficially started earlier this month with the CDPHP 2017 Workforce Challenge. The annual run/walk is held at The Plaza at the Capitol and attracts corporate and office teams. Capital Cardiology Associates is proud to be a sponsor of the American Heart Associate Heart Walk and Run. The event will take place Saturday, June 3rd at the University of Albany. Learn more and sign up for the event here.

Before you invest too much into shoes, gear, and accessories — try a brisk walk around your neighborhood in broken in sneakers or running shows. When you feel that you can handle more of a challenge, set a goal to start with a brisk walk, working up to a jog for a portion then returning to a brisk walk for a finish. On my neighborhood run, I use mailboxes, traffic signs, and trees as my run and walk goal areas. It is possible to condition your body and mind to go from “the couch to a 5K” — finishing a 3-mile run in 30 minutes with 9 weeks of training. As with all exercise, make sure you speak with your doctor to address any concerns or questions before beginning your training.

Running for life

When the weather is nice, a run is always on my weekend “to-do” list. Nothing brings the feeling of accomplishment out more than the final stride back in the driveway when completing the 3-mile run on my road. I’ve never considered myself a runner, matter of fact, running the mile was one of my LEAST favorite parts of P.E. in school. As part of my long-term health and fitness goals, getting at least one run in during the week has helped me maintain my weight loss, reduced my cholesterol levels, and I like to think that the open air and sunshine have aided in reducing my stress with some “self-reflecting” quality time. If you are looking to start or want to get out with more runners in the Capital Region, the Albany Running Exchange for local runs, upcoming events, and info on their running club.

Have a great run!

Written by: Michael Arce, Social Media Specialist, Capital Cardiology Associates.

TEE Cardioversion Suite

TEE Cardioversion Suite

Now Open: TEE Cardioversion Suite

The latest news from Capital Cardiology Associates

Now Open: TEE Cardioversion Suite

Capital Cardiology Associates announces the opening of “first of its kind service” in New York State

Cardiac patients in the Capital Region now have a choice on where to receive their transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) test. Capital Cardiology Associates opened our TEE Cardioversion Suite on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. “We could not find any evidence that anyone else is doing this. The suite is the first of its kind in New York State,” announced Capital Cardiology Associates board-certified cardiac physician, Dr. Lance E. Sullenberger. The suite allows patients to receive the same specialized outpatient procedure usually performed at a hospital in a custom suite at CCA with their physician attending.

What is transesophageal echocardiography?

A TEE is a non-surgical outpatient procedure, where a small, flexible tube containing a probe is inserted into the esophagus to provide live images of the heart. The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes to complete. Dr. Sullenberger noted the benefit to cardiac patients focuses on the quality of care and expert level of service provided at CCA. “Hospitals by definition are more expensive and less efficient. Whereas you might spend half a day in the hospital for a thirty minute procedure, here it’s closer to one hour.”

TEE Scan Prep

During the procedure, physicians, nurses and specialized staff observe your heart’s structure and function. Special attention is placed on the upper and lower chambers of the heart, the heart valves, and blood flow. After a stroke, this procedure is used to look for blood clots in the chambers of your heart as well as examination of of the heart after recent surgery.

Same day service

CCA patients also benefit from additional comforts that ease stress on the day of treatment. Not having to find a parking spot in a garage or walk a long distance to the building is a plus. There is also the familiarity with the staff that treats them for their regular appointments and visits. Dr. Sullenberger has a special interest in cardiac imaging, particularly CT coronary angiography, as well as in cardiovascular disease prevention. “At CCA, there is a board certified cardiac anesthesiologist present for our TEE scan. We use the latest technology in the hands of staff that specialize in this level of care and advanced medicine,” added Dr. Sullenberger. In the procedure I observed, the patient commented on the level of care he received.

Dr. Jeffrey Uzzilia TEE Scan
TEE Scan

The care is unbelievable here. I’ve never had to use medical care since my heart condition was detected. I tell everybody the care in this area is amazing, just amazing.

CCA Patient

TEE Scan Heart Image

Capital Cardiology Associates TEE/Cardioversion Suite is located on the 4th floor of our Corporate Woods, Albany location. Talk with your doctor to schedule an appointment or receive a referral for treatment.

Written by: Michael Arce, Social Media Specialist, Capital Cardiology Associates. Photo credit: Michael Arce, CCA.

Have a Heart to Heart Discussion

Have a Heart to Heart Discussion

Have a Heart to Heart Discussion

Why do heart disease patients stop taking their medications?

You’ve had a heart attack. What started as chest pain ended in a life changing moment. You survived. You recovered. Now, you have to learn to live with some changes in your life. I sat down with Capital Cardiology Associates’ Clinical Pharmacist, Dr. Kate Cabral to discuss the importance of taking your medications after a cardiac event. A recent study from The Journal of the American Medical Association found that many patients stop taking their statin medication as early as 6 months after their heart attack.

Unfortunately this is a common problem with cardiac patients.

“After recovering from a heart attack, a patient will begin to feel better, get back to their everyday routines and may not feel like they need to take their medicine anymore,” noted Dr. Cabral. Statins are a cholesterol lowering drug that have been directly associated with reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Statin therapy is recommended for most patients following a heart attack. See how cholesterol drugs work here.

“If a patient does not understand what the medication does or why they are on it, they may be less likely to take it” added Dr. Cabral. A cardiac patient may not be on any medications before their heart attack, yet afterwards leave the hospital with five new medications. “Between getting information about the medicines at the hospital, at the pharmacy, on the internet or even television, it is easy to feel overwhelmed,” stated Dr. Cabral. Additionally, a patient that does not fully understand the important benefits of a given medication may hear about the potential side effects associated with that medication and decide to discontinue its use. Some patients stop taking their medications after they become convinced that unrelated symptoms are due to side effects. Still other patients suffer from the so called “nocebo effect,” when a side effect is anticipated to the point that the patient develops it. A conversation with a clinical pharmacist is an opportunity to address these concerns.

Dr Kate Cabral

Kate Cabral, PHARM.D., BCPS

It takes time to process surviving a heart attack. When patients have their follow up appointment with their cardiologist after their heart attack, they have had the time to understand their heart attack, what the prescriptions do for their body and most importantly why they are on them. This is also the prime opportunity to have your questions answered.

Getting answers

Dr Kate Cabral

Dr. Cabral illustrates “how the heart works.”

Capital Cardiology Associates is unique in that we have a Clinical Pharmacist on staff to meet with patients upon request. Patients spend on average, 40 minutes during a “heart-to-heart” consultation with Dr. Cabral. “Patients just had an event, are overwhelmed, and have questions on their new medications. My background is actually in-patient pharmacy, where I would teach the patients about their medications before they left the hospital. Now, I work with the CCA cardiologists and staff to share information about cardiac medications, including how they work, their effects and evidence from research, with the patient after they have returned home and see how new medications are affecting their routine lifestyle.”

Family members and caretakers are also invited to participate in these sessions. “Yesterday I had a patient and their spouse come in with questions on herbals and supplements. They wanted some information on the 20 other medications they are taking that were not cardiac related. I was able give them some information they could use during their next visit with their primary physician.” You can read more on our Pharmacist Consultation here.

Making medications part of your life

“A study I just read showed that majority of patients who do not take their medications as prescribed do so because they simply forget,” said Dr. Cabral “If ‘not remembering’ is the main reason, how can we help? We try to come up with a way to link your medications to daily routines, such as brushing your teeth, taking the dog out, eating meals… if the prescription bottle was by the coffee maker, would you remember to take it?”

A heart attack should not be a setback. The journey to recovery includes changes in diet and exercise along with taking medications and attending your appointments. As Dr. Cabral noted, it is also critical to have a strong support network. “At Capital Cardiology Associates we have a support team built for patient success. Our health care team includes a pharmacist to make sure you are filling your prescriptions, understand your medications, and know why you are taking it.” To schedule your heart to heart pharmacist consultation with Dr. Kate Cabral, call 518-292-6000 or ask your doctor for more information.

Hands Making Heart
Written by: Michael Arce, Social Media Specialist, Capital Cardiology Associates.

JAMA Cardiology | Brief Report: Adherence to High-Intensity Statins Following a Myocardial Infarction Hospitalization Among Medicare Beneficiaries – published online April 19, 2017

3 Ways To Boost Your Heart Health

3 Ways To Boost Your Heart Health

3 Ways to Boost Your Heart Health with Fruits and Vegetables

Three healthy tips that taste great

Fruits and vegetables play a key role in heart health. The trick is, how do we get the recommended five servings a day (about two-and-a-half cups) in our daily diet? Better yet, if we could squeeze in 10 servings a day (doubling our intake), we could benefit from a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases by 28% and premature death by 31%, according to a new study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology.

First, let’s target on the power foods highlighted in the findings that offer the greatest nutritional benefits: apples, pears, oranges and other citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower), and green and yellow vegetables (such as green beans, carrots, and peppers).


Tip 1: Boost Breakfast
Omelets are a great place to add broccoli and peppers. Substitute your chopped veggies for ham and add some mushrooms to give your omelets a savory taste. Apples and oranges are great “grab and go” breakfast items. Fall and Spring are the perfect time of year to throw one in your bag, as you leave for work, to snack on in the office. Swapping that afternoon can of Coke for a juicy pear is one more healthy step to hitting your fruit goal.


Tip 2: Double down on Veggies
Most recipes call for a certain amount of vegetables – double the amount! In soups and salads, adding more than the called for serving will not ruin the recipe. It will add more flavor, pump up your nutritional value, add to your daily vegetable service goal, and give you a meal with more substance. A half cup of chopped vegetables and a whole cup of dark leafy greens is another serving!

Your lunch sandwiches will enjoy a break from a routine. Turkey with cheese tastes so much better with sliced apples, cucumbers, sprouts, and spinach. A half-cup of these add-ons score you another serving toward your goal!

You can pile broccoli and peppers on pizza. Casseroles call for more carrots, cauliflower, and peppers. Puree cooked cauliflower, winter squash, or red peppers can be stirred into sauces, replace mashed potatoes, or add some depth to marinara sauces.

In every dish, there is always room to toss in an extra handful of our power veggies.


Tip 3: Make Monday your make-ahead start day
No one wants to come from work on Monday and make dinner. Use the weekend as your time to prep and sneak more fruits and vegetables in your diet. A spring/summer recipe that is popular with Capital Region home cooks is a delicious fig salad that can be prepped in less than fifteen minutes!

Fig, Prosciutto and Burrata Cheese Salad

Fig Burrata Prosciutto Salad

1/4 cup of store-bought fig compost or jam
8 slices of prosciutto (we roll the prosciutto up and slice it to make it easier to eat)
4 cups of arugula
2 cups quartered fresh figs
8 ounces burrata cheese
Olive oil

Combine the fig compote with 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking occasionally, until warm and thinned slightly.

Place two slices of prosciutto on each of four serving plates.

In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, to taste. Divide the dressed arugula among the four plates, placing it atop the prosciutto.

Carefully slice the burrata and divide it among the four plates. Scatter the quartered fresh figs among the plates then drizzle each salad with the warmed compote.

Fruits and vegetables contain many healthful nutrients, especially fiber, which seems to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and improve blood vessel function. Make sure to talk with your doctor for more ideas on how to improve your nutritional health and to answer your questions.

Augustin DeLago, MD, FACC, FSCAI Receives Recognition from the American Heart Association and CDPHP

Augustin DeLago, MD, FACC, FSCAI Receives Recognition from the American Heart Association and CDPHP

Dr. Augustin DeLago recognized by American Heart Association

Recipient of the "Physician of Excellence in Interventional Cardiology Award"
Dr. Augustin DeLago

The American Heart Association has recognized Dr. Augustin DeLago with the “Physician of Excellence in Interventional Cardiology Award”. Dr. DeLago, the Director of Interventional Cardiology at Albany Medical Center, has long been in the forefront of technological advances in his field. He has broadened the use of angioplasty as a substitute for open heart surgery. His interests have included intracoronary radiotherapy, the exploration of the use of lasers to treat myocardial ischemia and the use of intravascular flow assist devices to treat congestive heart failure. He has published extensively in this field and has been a mentor to a generation of cardiology fellows and medical residents.

Most recently, Dr. DeLago led a multidisciplinary team of physicians and surgeons to launch Albany Med’s TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) program in December 2011. Under his direction Albany Medical Center became one of the nation’s first providers of TAVR, performing the first two just a month after the procedure was approved by the FDA.

The CDPHP Physicians’ Academy was established as a means of harnessing the energy and excellence of the CDPHP physician network to shape and improve the future of health care in our service area.  The Academy recognizes physicians who serve as role models to their medical colleagues and who act as ambassadors in fostering the delivery of high value health care.  Honorees are nominated by their peers and selected by an esteemed panel of judges.

This year, Dr. Augustin DeLago, Interventional Cardiologist, President of Capital Cardiology Associates and Director of Interventional Cardiology and the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Albany Medical Center, has been chosen for the 2014 class for his outstanding contributions to the medical field and dedication to the community.

Congratulations to Dr. DeLago for all of his outstanding achievements.

Thank you to the American Heart Association, Howard Carr and the Selection Committee and CDPHP Physicians’ Academy, Dr. John Bennett and Dr. Bruce Nash for these honors.