February is Heart Month and Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital is hosting a “Heart to Heart Talk” by Dr. Anthony Navone of the Marcus Daly Cardiology Clinic and the International Heart Institute on Thursday, Feb. 7.
The community is invited to hear Dr. Navone share about new guidelines, risks, choices and how to keep your heart in rhythm.
“I will focus on identifying risks, who is at risk, what are the risk factors for developing heart problems,” Navone said Monday. “Traditional cardiovascular risk factors include diabetes, hypertension, smoking, family history of heart problems and high cholesterol.”
New guidelines are out about hypertension and treatment for cholesterol.
“These are aggressive in the sense that blood pressure of 130 over 85 was considered normal and is now considered hypertension,” Navone said.
The guideline shifts help caregivers work on prevention of stroke and peripheral arterial disease with their patients. High risk groups include those with inherited cholesterol disorders, people with bad cholesterol, diabetics and people who have not had a first documented event.
“The previous guidelines focused on calculating your 10-year cardiovascular risk,” Navone said. “At the talk I will show a place on line to put in your numbers and they give you an estimate of your cardiovascular risk.”
He said if the numbers show an eight percent risk but the patient doesn’t believe in taking a statin the recommendation is to do a Coronary Artery Calcium Scan.
“They CT Scan the chest and estimate how much calcium is built up on the arteries,” Navone said. “Higher calcium will warrant a more aggressive treatment. If there is no calcium then it’s okay to hold off on treatments with statins.”
Navone said it is being proactive and people with high scores should get a more thorough exam.
“Over the years it has become better known that lifestyle changes can be part of a treatment plan,” he said.
Exercise, no smoking and the proper diet are critical and shared decision-making with the patient is important.
“A lot of areas are pushing towards that, not negotiation but a one-on-one discussion,” Navone said. “Medicine still has some heart to it.”
Navone will also discuss heart murmurs, what they are, the types and which are benign or concerning.
“Heart murmur is a noise your heart makes beyond the ‘lub-dub’ normal sound,” he said. “They are usually generated by valve issues, that’s why doctors listen to hearts.”
Navone will cover irregularities in the heart rhythm in his talk.
“Arrhythmias of the heart are electrical issues with the heart,” Navone said. “Where the hearts rhythm is out of sync from a regular rhythm. The most common is Atrial Fibrillation and I’ll talk about the types of rhythms, how to prevent it or treat it once it is diagnosed.”
Navone said that about a quarter of adults have Metabolic Syndrome also called Insulin Resistance Syndrome. It is a combination of three of the following five issues: 1. waist obesity – where you carry your fat; 2. elevated blood pressure higher than 130 over 85; 3. a fasting glucose over 100; 4. low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) - the good cholesterol); and 5. high fasting triglycerides.
“Metabolic Syndrome increases your risk for cardiovascular disease significantly,” Navone said. “I think the focus on primary care and cardiovascular care needs to shift towards prevention. Right now we spend most of our time treating the complication of these problems. Prevention is a paradigm shift because heart disease is the number one killer in the world and it is mostly preventable by following some good lifestyle changes.”
The more aggressive guidelines are part of the shift towards prevention that include identify heart disease early and addressing heart issues.
“Guidelines emphasize life style changes,” Navone said. “You don’t need pills to go for a walk, you don’t need pills to eat the right things. People are averse to taking pills.”
Enjoy the “Heart to Heart Talk” by Dr. Anthony Navone at 5:30 p.m., on Thursday, Feb. 7, in the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital - Blodgett conference room. Doors open at 4:45 p.m. for community members to come early and get their blood pressure checked.
For more information visit online mdmh.org or call 406-363-2211.