Move More To Fight Heart Disease

Move More To Fight Heart Disease

Move More To Fight Heart Disease

If Heart Disease Runs In Your Family, You Should Really Do This

Move more. The American Heart Association has designated April as “Move More” month. They suggest a starting goal of at 150 minutes a week. That breaks down to about 22 minutes a day. The activity can be light exercise or a workout, like a 20-minute walk during your lunch break. Pretty easy, right? This may sound simple (and it is) but adding activity time to your daily routine can also help you fight heart disease.

Last month a new British studied published in the American Heart Association Journal, Circulation, reported that high fitness levels were linked to a 49% lower risk for coronary heart disease and a 60% lower risk for atrial fibrillation. Even for those with a family history of cardiovascular trouble.

That’s right, if you have a history of heart disease in your family you might want to think twice about passing on the invite to join someone for a walk.

“The main message of this study is that genetic risk isn’t deterministic,” says Erik Ingelsson, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and lead author of the UK study. “Even if your parents died early of heart disease, you can reduce your risk to the level of someone with no family history of the disease by increasing your fitness.”

The study examined 482,702 people in England, Scotland and Wales who participated in a research project known as UK Biobank, which recruited participants between 40 and 69 years old. Researchers followed the participants for about a decade, tracking activity and exercise through questionnaires, grip strength measurements and other tests. They found that regular exercise can help level the playing field for people with a family history of the disease.

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Walking. Running. Bike riding. Anything you can do to increase your heart rate for 150 minutes a week with exercise or activity that increases your muscle strength and you can start reducing your risk of heart disease. Now, if we could only get this winter that never seems to end to make way for spring, sunshine, and the outdoors.

Written by: Michael Arce, Media Specialist

Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

Are E-Cigarettes Safe For Your Heart

Are E-Cigarettes Safe For Your Heart

Are E-Cigarettes Safe For Your Heart?

Connecting tobacco to heart disease

Since 1965 Americans have been warned of the dangers of smoking. According to 2014 Surgeon General’s Report on The Health Consequences of Smoking, the Surgeon General’s warning labels on tobacco products was effective in lowering deaths from cardiovascular disease over the last 54 years. While smoking rates amount adults and teens are less than half of what they were in 1964, 42 million American adults and about 3 million middle and high school studies continue to smoke today. Federal data shows that tobacco continues to be the most deadly legal drug our country faces claiming nearly half a million deaths each year.

Every year on May 31st, the World Health Organization promotes World No Tobacco Day. This year’s focus is “tobacco and heart disease.” According to Dr. Robert Benton, Clinical Research Director at Capital Cardiology Associates, smoking is one of the most powerful risk factors for the development of coronary heart disease. “If you had to look at the one modifiable risk factor that people can take charge of in their lives, it would be to stop smoking,” says Benton. Studies that date back to the 1940’s show that smoking as little as one cigarette a day impacts your cardiovascular health.

As Americans began searching for the easy or effective methods to quit smoking beyond nicotine replacement gum or patches, e-cigarettes and vaping technology arrived on the market. Billed as an alternative to cigarette smoking, e-cigarettes are considered tobacco products because most of them contain nicotine, which comes from tobacco. E-cigarettes have become very popular with young people since 2011. Their use, known as vaping, has grown dramatically in the last five years.

Until recently, the dangers of e-cigarette smoke has been unknown due to the lack of long-term safety data of the potential harm or benefit. In January, the National Academy of Sciences published a study where researches linked e-cigarette smoke to DNA damage in the lungs, bladders, and hearts of mice. Although this study was all done on mice, the researchers state that their findings have implications for humans as well.

Moon-shong Tang, Ph.D., professor of environmental medicine at New York University and one of the study’s authors, told The Guardian that while they’re beginning to work on long-term experiments to prove their theory, “The results may take years to come in because cancer is such a slow process.”

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Locally, Dr. Lance Sullenberger, Co-Medical Director of the Cardiovascular CT Scanning Suite at Capital Cardiology Associates, cautions our community on the dangers of smoking. “We see patients every day who are smokers who do have adverse outcomes. Problems like: heart attack, or stents, or by pass surgery. Many of these cardiac patients end up stopping smoking after their heart attack or heart surgery. What we would like to see as your cardiologist are changes in your lifestyle before your cardiac event happens.” His advice for heavy smokers who are considering using e-cigarettes as a method of quitting, “If your using e-cigarettes to step down from smoking, I think its acceptable. I certainly don’t encourage people to use e-cigarettes who aren’t smoking. E-cigarettes certainly do not eliminate all of the adverse effects of nicotine addiction or other respiratory problems that come with inhaling chemicals deep into your lungs.”

We can expect more research and regulation on e-cigarettes in the coming years. The Food and Drug Administration was granted the process of regulating the tobacco market in 2009. Their goal is to have e-cigarette manufacturers submit product information, like tobacco companies, to protect the public’s health. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has said he is open to exploring whether e-cigarettes can help people quit traditional cigarettes, alongside the other actions the agency will take. Last year the agency extended the deadline by four years for e-cigarette manufacturers to submit applications for products that went on the market after February 2007.

Written by: Michael Arce, Media Specialist
Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

National Walking Day

National Walking Day

Move More

Walk With A Doc This Month

The first Wednesday in April is National Walking Day. The American Heart Association sponsors this day to remind people about the health benefits of taking a walk, encouraging us all to take a 30-minute break from our day to walk.

Capital Cardiology Associates, Director of Clinical Research, Dr. Robert Benton recently spoke about the benefits of walking for cardiac patients. “One of the best exercises for people is to walk. It’s an activity that people can get started easily and it has the highest record for people being able to continue it. Often times we stop doing an exercise out of boredom but walking is one of those exercises that you can do and have high success rate.”

Walking for as little as 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, elevate your mood and reduce your risk of osteoporosis, cancer and diabetes.

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Since 2011, Dr. Benton and fellow Capital Cardiology Associates physician Dr. Scott Morris, along with two clinical nurses, have participated in the “Walk With A Doc” program in Troy. Walk with a Doc was started in 2005 by Dr. David Sabgir, a cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio who invited his patients to go for a walk with him in a local park on a spring Saturday morning. To his surprise, over 100 people showed up, energized and ready to move.

Locally the walks happen on the second Saturday of the month in the Robison Gym on the campus of Sage College during the winter or outdoors on the Troy Riverfront Park path near the Troy Farmers Market in the warm months. Registration begins at 8AM, walking starts at 9AM. Whether rain, snow, or sunshine you can enjoy a one-hour walk. “All you need is a good pair of sneakers, are walking on a nice surface that you are not going to trip on. It’s a very social activity that you can enjoy with other people! We talk about sports and politics, life… people get to know each other,” adds Benton.

L to R: Drs. Morris and Benton with walker, Pete.

Written by: Michael Arce, Social Media Specialist, Capital Cardiology Associates ® 2018

Walk with us!

Join Capital Cardiology Associates in walking to fight heart disease

Sign up to join our 2018 Capital Region Heart Walk team! Join Capital Cardiology Associates on the UAlbany campus, Sunday, June 3rd.


New Medicare Cards

New Medicare Cards

New Medicare Cards

Get help with the new Medicare cards

New Medicare cards arrive later this year

Social Security Numbers will be removed from the new Medicare cards to prevent fraud, fight identity theft, and keep your account safe. The new Medicare cards will arrive in New York after June 2018.

Why remove the SSN?

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019.

What number will I use?

A new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status, and claim status.

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“We’re taking this step to protect our seniors from fraudulent use of Social Security numbers which can lead to identity theft and illegal use of Medicare benefits.

“We want to be sure that Medicare beneficiaries and healthcare providers know about these changes well in advance and have the information they need to make a seamless transition.”

Seema Verma

Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

What do the new Medicare cards mean for people with Medicare?

The MBI won’t change your Medicare benefits. People with Medicare may start using their new Medicare cards and MBIs as soon as they get them.

The effective date of the new cards, like the old cards, is the date each beneficiary was or is eligible for Medicare.

Once beneficiaries get their new Medicare cards with an MBI, they can use their new cards to enroll in a Medicare health (Medicare Advantage) or drug plan. Those Medicare beneficiaries who do choose to enroll in Medicare health and/or drug plans will still also get an insurance card from their health and/or drug plans. As always, while beneficiaries are enrolled in health and/or drug plans, they should use the cards from those plans when they get health care and/or prescriptions.

Still have questions?

Click below to get more information on the Medicare Card changes

National Doctors’ Day

National Doctors’ Day

National Doctors’ Day

“Thank you” to our physicians for all that they do for us and our loved ones

March 30th is National Doctors Day.

The idea to recognize the contributions of physicians to individual lives and communities, came from Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond. Mrs. Brown felt a day should be set aside to honor physicians through acts of kindness, gifts and tributes. March 30th was chosen, in honor of the anniversary of Dr. Crawford Williamson Long’s first administration of anesthesia in surgery. Dr. Long had a theory on inhaling nitrous oxide (i.e. laughing gas) in surgical procedures. On March 30, 1842, a year after his idea, Dr. Long was able to successfully test his theory when he surgically removed a cyst from a patient’s neck, making it the first use of anesthesia in surgery.

For several years, Doctor’s Day was an unofficially marked with cards mailed to physicians and their wives. On October 30, 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed what became Public Law 101-473 designating March 30th as National Doctor’s Day.

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There is a special bond that exists between a doctor and their patient. This trust relationship relies on a health exchange of information to lead to treatment. Being in the right frame of mind helps foster a good beginning, “I think the most important thing is to go into your appointment with a positive attitude,” says Capital Cardiology Associates Dr. Lance E. Sullenberger. “Be ready to meet someone who interested in your overall cardiovascular health.”

As you prepare for your first visit with your physician at Capital Cardiology Associates, be ready to answer some questions about yourself. “The questions that you should be prepared to answer would be things like: your family history, your risk factors, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, if you exercise or don’t exercise, and if have any symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, or racing heart,” adds Sullenberger. “When it comes to your family history, the most important information would be from your parents or siblings. Some people like to get into their grandparents and great-grandparents. That has some relevance but it is not the most critical information which we call the first degree relatives.”

Health care has changed from the simpler days of the turn of the 20th century when Dr. Long began examining the use of anesthesia in surgery. Today most health care providers must follow the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. Dr. Sullenberger believes this federal law sets a positive baseline for safeguarding a patient’s identifiable health information. “Know that everything you say to your doctor is protected. That’s important to forming a good relationship so that the physician you are seeing can make good decisions about what medicines you should be on, what tests you need, and what your overall prognosis is.”

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

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