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University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center emphasizes cardiovascular wellness during American Heart Month

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Heart and vascular specialist advocates awareness and prevention

Beachwood, Ohio – February is American Heart Month and Women’s Heart Health Month. During this month-long observance of heart health, University Hospitals (UH) Ahuja Medical Center cardiovascular clinicians advocate awareness and prevention of cardiovascular disease which remains the number-one cause of death among Americans.

“The three primary markers physicians look at are a patient’s blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol,” says Barbara Williams, MD, FACC, cardiovascular medicine specialist at UH Ahuja Medical Center and Director, Women’s Cardiovascular Center, UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. “It’s also important to keep track of your weight and exercise 150 minutes per week – ideally 30 minutes, five days a week to maintain aerobic fitness.” As an example of aerobic activity, Dr. Williams recommends a moderate-to-brisk walking pace of three to four miles per hour.

Routine cardiovascular risk factor assessments and healthy diet and exercise habits will help reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes and weight problems as you age. “For women, diabetes carries the highest risk for the development of cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Williams, a fellowship trained cardiologist. “Diabetic women in particular should be sure to keep their regular appointments with their internist.”

Dr. Williams recommends that women begin having regular cardiovascular risk screenings beginning at age 40. For those with a family history of heart disease before age 65, assessments should begin earlier. “In that case, it can be advantageous for a woman to begin blood pressure and cholesterol screenings at age 20, especially if she is already overweight or obese,” says. Dr. Williams.

UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute at UH Ahuja Medical Center offers a full range of the latest preventive, diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular care. “We provide the technology and expertise available at UH Case Medical Center here in a community setting,” says Dr. Williams. “For those patients with more advanced conditions requiring cardiovascular subspecialists, UH Ahuja Medical Center has immediate access to every resource of University Hospitals’ main campus just a few minutes away.”

To schedule a consultation with a heart and vascular specialist at UH Ahuja Medical Center, call 216-593-5500 or visit www.uhahuja.org.

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