Cardiovascular Awareness

Drs. Mark Sheldon and Bina Ahmed

Drs. Mark Sheldon and Bina Ahmed

“He who cures a disease may be the skillfullest, but he that prevents it is the safest physician.” ~ Thomas Fuller

If I wagered, I would bet that unless you have had a cardiac event or are genetically disposed to cardiac disease, you have not given this subject much thought. Many of us are too busy and until you, a family member or friend are stricken, heart health becomes just another risk on which few people dwell.

On this week’s Awakening to Awareness radio show (podcast here), my guests were Mark Sheldon, M.D. and Bina Ahmed, M.D., both Interventional Cardiologists at the University of New Mexico Hospital and faculty at UNM’s School of Medicine. Dr. Sheldon is also the Cardiac Catheterization Lab medical director and Program Director for UNM’s cardiology fellowship training program.

We learned about cardiovascular disease and the risk factors (hypertension, obesity, diabetes, heredity, tobacco use, physical inactivity, high cholesterol levels) that contribute to the disease, as well as various treatments and prevention methods. In addition to some of the well publicized prevention approaches, we gained insight into how valuable common sense exercise is (and it is not the 30 minutes/day of strenuous gym activity that many believe is required), as well as the benefits of Mediterranean diets and simple eating – including minimizing one’s consumption of processed foods that are high in sugars and saturated fats. Yet you know this, right?

What may be surprising to many is that some of the more common risk factors are treatable or modifiable. Additionally, we scratched the surface of some procedures that take place in a “Cath Lab,” the amazing technology available today to treat cardiovascular disease, and what stents and angioplasty are. As complex as heart diseases is, we heard about the importance of and value in lifestyle choices that are available to us, to lessen risk now and down the road.

Having had your awareness politely heightened, do you need to address this? Might today be a good time?

12 thoughts on “Cardiovascular Awareness

  1. Eric, so true… absolutely true. And so hard to do! I have (apparently) quite bad heart disease, and yet, when I feel alright I think yippee-do! I’m just shifting house. I do hope I change my way of life as well. Thanks for the inspiration and motivation! Wonderful!

  2. Eric, I’m quite sure that most people don’t give this subject a second thought. They don’t want to give up those ready-made meals with all the preservatives and the temptation of the donuts is way too strong, or, at least, that’s what they claim.

    • Temptation can be a default; an easy excuse. It does take some will power, if one wants the benefits! Some of us have little choice and have learned to appreciate both the discipline involved and the favorable outcomes. Thanks for adding your poignant thoughts, Glynis.

  3. Excellent post, Eric. It is true I haven’t given it much thought as I just felt my body would keep doing, as has been doing. And me, blissfully unaware of the stress it may be under. A really good post.

    • I believe many, perhaps most, of us think similarly, Noeleen. It is not surprising that hypertension is called ‘the silent killer.’ Our physical bodies are remarkable vessels, capable of extraordinary resiliency, but stress — it’ll take its toll on all of us. Not an alarmist here, just being real.

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