Westchester Community College President Dr. Belinda S. Miles to Keynote Go Red For Women Luncheon

The American Heart Association announced Dr. Belinda S. Miles as the keynote speaker for the Westchester-Fairfield Go Red For Women Luncheon set for Friday, June 1st at the Hilton Westchester. The event will raise awareness and funds for the Go Red For Women campaign to fight women’s number one killer—heart disease. This is the 15th Anniversary of the Go Red For Women campaign nationally. Tickets are on sale now at westfairgoredluncheon.heart.org.

As president of Westchester Community College, Dr. Belinda S. Miles leads the largest college in Westchester County, New York, serving more than 26,000 students annually. Prior to joining Westchester Community College, Dr. Miles served as provost and executive vice president of Access, Learning, and Success at Cuyahoga Community College.

She is a board member at the Business Council of Westchester, the Westchester-Putnam

Workforce Investment Board, and the Westchester Medical Center Healthcare Transformation Workforce Committee. Dr. Miles also serves on the American Association of Community College’s President’s Academy Executive Committee (PAEC), the American Association of Colleges and University President’s Trust, the National Junior College Athletic Association Presidential Advisory Committee, the Board and faculty at the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS), and faculty at the Lakin Institute for Community College Leadership.

Dr. Miles provides community service as a member of The Links, Incorporated, Westchester County (NY) Chapter, is a lifetime member of the National Council of Negro Women Cuyahoga (OH) Section, and is an honorary member of the Rotary Club of New York.

Originally from Queens, New York, Dr. Miles attended public schools including York College City University of New York (CUNY), earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She attained a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Organization and Leadership Development from Columbia University Teachers College.

“We are so grateful to welcome Dr. Miles as keynote of the Go Red For Women Luncheon. Her insight as a passionate, community leader will be invaluable to our audience,” said Terri Ferri, Branch Manager of the Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Purchase Headquarters Office, Co-Chair of the Go Red Luncheon.

“Dedicated, dynamic women leaders like Dr. Miles are invaluable to our mission to change women’s lives,” said Go Red Co-Chair Grace Ferri, Vice President of Development & Marketing for United Hebrew of New Rochelle.

The Go Red For Women Luncheon aims to raise awareness for women’s number one killer. More than 80% of coronary events in women may be prevented with simple lifestyle changes, but prevention is hindered by the fact that many women don’t realize that heart disease is the number one killer of women—more than all cancers combined. For 15 years, the Go Red For Women movement has worked to close this knowledge gap and provide women with tools, resources and inspiration to build a healthier life. Women can access free resources at www.goredforwomen.org.

Go Red For Women is sponsored Nationally by Macy’s and CVS. Greenwich Hospital is the Signature Sponsor. Local sponsors include White Plains Hospital; Morgan Stanley; United Hebrew of New Rochelle, Willow Towers Assisted Living; Fujifilm; Key Bank; The Westchester Bank; NewYork Presbyterian; Tompkins Mahopac Bank; and Dr. Icilma Fergus. Media sponsors include 100.7 WHUD, Westchester Magazine, Buzz Creators, WAG Magazine, Westchester & Fairfield Business Journals, Professional Women of Westchester, and Examiner Media.

#GoRed914

 

Hundreds of Putnam Residents Walk at Heart Walk

 

More than 800 Putnam residents walked at the Putnam Heart Walk at Brewster High School on Sunday, April 22nd. The funds they raised will support heart disease and stroke research, along with the awareness and advocacy programs of the American Heart Association (AHA). Donations are still being accepted online at www.putnamheartwalk.org. Joseph Roberto, president and chief executive officer of PCSB Bank welcomed the crowd and thanked them for their support of the AHA’s lifesaving mission in the Putnam community.  

Kids and adults alike joined in the “Move More” activities at the Heart Walk geared toward getting people active while having fun. An active lifestyle can help heart disease and stroke. The AHA recommends 30 minutes of physical activity daily for adults, and 60 minutes for children.

Diana Mauro from Mahopac was honored as the 2018 Inspirational Honoree for the Putnam Heart Walk. Mauro was born with a congenital heart defect survivor but was only recently diagnosed. Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart which are present at birth.

“I hope my story will raise awareness for congenital defects in both children and adults, encourage people to seek medical attention when necessary, and give strength and hope to anyone going through a difficult time,” she said.

At the end of 2016, Mauro began feeling light headed, faint and had low blood pressure. At first, she thought she was dehydrated, but her symptoms persisted. She went to her primary care physician who detected a heart murmur. Further testing by a cardiologist showed she had a rare congenital heart defect known as Scimitar Syndrome, or Partial Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return. Three veins from her right lung were connected to the wrong side of the heart. Her body had been compensating for this defect her whole life.

On February 2, 2017, she had open heart surgery to relocate the veins so that the oxygenated blood could circulate correctly. The surgery was successful, requiring no further surgeries.

“I am very grateful and blessed to say that I am a congenital heart defect survivor. I am now left with a 6.5” scar on my chest to remind me of how strong I am, what I have overcome and what is truly important in life,” she said, adding, “To those families going through similar situations, I offer you words that helped me this past year: be strong, be brave, be fearless!”

Events like the Heart Walk fund the AHA’s critical research and awareness programs that help save lives from cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke – the number one and five killers in the U.S. The AHA’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Thanks to AHA advocacy, a law was passed NYS to ensure that every baby born receives pulse-oximetry testing, which can help identify heart defects immediately after birth. The AHA also creates guidelines for, and trains parents, caregivers, and medical professionals in infant and child CPR. www.heart.org/CPR.

Research and advanced can save many lives, but more than 80% of heart disease can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes like walking 30 minutes daily and eating a healthier diet including more fruits and vegetables. The Heart Walk is part of the AHA’s Healthy For Good movement designed to help Americans create lasting change in their health and life, one small step at a time. Learn more at healthyforgood.heart.org.

The Heart Walk is sponsored by PCSB Bank, Dr. Patrick W. Thomas and Mrs. Johanna D. Thomas, Putnam Hospital Center, PracticeMax, Lia Honda of Brewster, Stop and Shop, Marshall & Sterling, Park Ford, Unilock, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, VolzAuto, NewYork-Presbyterian and Spirelli Electric, and Always an Angel. Media sponsors are Examiner Media, Mahopac News, Hudson Valley Magazine, and WHUD Radio.

Learn more about congenital heart defects at www.heart.org/CHD. Parents of children with CHD may find support online at the AHA’s Support Network at http://supportnetwork.heart.org/congenital-heart-disease.

#PutnamHeartWalk

By |April 23rd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Heart Advocacy Update from Albany

Update from Caitlin O’Brien, NYS American Heart Association Government Relations Director

With New York State finalizing the State budget this past weekend, the Heart Association scored some great public health wins. With the Governor threatening to cut millions of dollars in funding to crucial public health programs, AHA staff and advocates worked hard to make sure this didn’t come to fruition. After months of email, calls, and meetings with elected officials, our hard work paid off and the cuts were rejected in the final budget. This means programs like the Hypertension Program, aimed at reducing rates of heart disease and stroke, will continue to get $692,000 in critical funding. Additionally, the Obesity/Diabetes Prevention Program received $5.9 million, which will help people in communities across the State live healthier lives. Lastly, our elected officials held steady funding aimed at tobacco cessation in the Tobacco Control Program.

As we look toward the rest of the legislative session, we have plenty of policy priorities to support. Here is what we will be focusing on:

  • Raising the minimum legal sales age of tobacco products to 21 through the passage of Tobacco 21.
  • Prohibiting flavored tobacco products which the tobacco industry targets to youth
  • Instituting healthy vending machines throughout state owned properties
  • Offering healthier, non-sugary beverages in children’s meals at restaurants

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Join us on May 8 for Lobby Day at the New York State Capitol to push for the passage of Tobacco 21. Email me at Obrien@heart.org to learn more or sign up.
  • Join You’re the Cure online at www.yourethecure.org 
  • Take action when you get an email from You’re the Cure! With one click, you can let your legislator know that you support the American Heart Association’s initiatives.
By |April 4th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Dutchess Residents Walk for Heart

Dozens of teams and hundreds of individuals walked for their hearts and to raise funds at the American Heart Association (AHA) at the annual Dutchess Heart Walk on Saturday, March 24th at Marist College. The Heart Walk event is the American Heart Association’s biggest annual fund raiser and awareness event locally, and it promotes healthier lifestyles as a way to prevent the number one and five killers—heart disease and stroke. Online donations are being accepted at www.dutchessulsterheartwalk.org

According to the AHA, walking briskly daily and at events like the Heart Walk, can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running. Adults need 30 minutes of physical activity per day, at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week for heart health. Kids need 60 minutes daily.

Pleasant Valley resident, Alexandra Scimeca was honored as the 2018 Heart Walk Honoree to help raise awareness and funds to fight heart disease, including congenital heart defects like the one she was born with. She had heart surgery the day before her 4th birthday. Thanks to early detection, Alexandra was able to go on with her life. She is now a happy, healthy 13-year old.

“I am thankful for my doctors and what they have given me the chance to have a long, happy and healthy life,” she said. Her Heart Walk team is called “Alex’s Angels.”

While genetics and family history are hard at escape for many, the majority of heart disease is preventable with lifestyle changes. The Heart Walk is part of the AHA’s Healthy For Good movement designed to help Americans create lasting change in their health and life, one small step at a time. The approach is simple: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well. Healthy For Good encourages healthier eating, including colorful fruits and vegetables, exercising 30 minutes daily, and focusing on whole body wellness including reducing stress and getting enough sleep. Learn more at healthyforgood.heart.org

Events like the Heart Walk fund the AHA’s critical research and awareness programs that help save lives from cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke – the number one and five killers in the U.S. The AHA’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Thanks to AHA advocacy, a 2013 law was passed in New York State to ensure that every baby born receives pulse-oximetry testing, which can help identify heart defects immediately after birth. AHA programs in schools help children to create healthy habits while they’re young. The AHA also creates guidelines for, and trains parents, caregivers, and medical professionals in infant and child CPR. www.heart.org/CPR.

For more information on supporting the American Heart Association’s mission, contact Danielle Schuka, Event Director, at the American Heart Association at (845) 867-5379 or by email Danielle.Schuka@heart.org.

The Heart Walk Presenting Sponsors are Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Northern Dutchess Hospital, The Heart Center, Laerdal, and the David Ping Group. Media sponsors include Townsquare Media, Now 97.7, Southern Dutchess News and Hudson Valley Magazine. #HVheartwalk

 

American Heart Lifestyle Change Award Presented

 

The American Heart Association (AHA) and Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union in Kingston presented the Lifestyle Change Award on Valentine’s Day to Deborah Garriga Stitt, from Rosendale. The AHA says that 80% of heart disease can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes, like the ones Deborah Stitt made.

Heart diseases and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death in the nation, but more than 80% of it is preventable. The American Heart Association established the Lifestyle Change Award to recognize individuals who have made significant and positive changes to improve their quality of life and overall health.

This award is presented annually to a deserving individual whether they have lost weight, started to eat better, improve their cholesterol through exercise and diet, or combination of these things and more, the recipient is chosen to inspire others to also improve their health.

“We hope that Deborah inspires others to make healthy lifestyle changes like she did, one step at a time,” said Danielle Schuka, AHA Regional Director, “She realized her health needed improving and took small but significant steps to improve her health. The results of her steadfast commitment are evident, and inspiring!”

Stitt said she decided privately to make lifestyle changes. She did what we all know we are supposed to do: eat lean meats, fresh veggies, get regular sleep, and exercise regularly. She not only lost 80 pounds in the process, but has become strong, fit and healthy.

 How did she do it? Stitt changed her eating habits completely. She cut out processed food and started eating lean meats and vegetables. When she started taking Zumba classes, progress was slow at first. Adding hiking several miles on the weekends with her husband gave her more stamina and strength. From there she increased her time at the gym, taking step classes, and high intensity training classes. She is now a regular at Kingston Athletics, challenging herself in Cross Fit.

“We were honored to present this award to Deborah and learn more about her story. She is doing exactly what we all need to do to make a diff erence in our health—making small but lasting changes for health, ourselves and our families,” said Michelle McCourt, VP Operations at Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union.

The American Heart Association helps people understand the link between health and risk for heart disease and stroke, and helps to empower people with the tools to become healthier. For more information, visit www.heart.org/healthyforgood. For women’s health resources to fight women’s number one killer—heart disease—visit www.goredforwomen.org

The AHA invites residents to attend the Heart Walk on March 24th at Marist College in Poughkeepsie to walk for their heart health while raising funds for AHA research and programs. Individuals and teams can register online at www.dutchessulsterheartwalk.org. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Danielle.Schuka@heart.org or call 845-867-5379. Find inspiration to live a healthy life on Facebook with the hashtag #GoRedGetFit.

Have a Heart-Healthy Football Party

Family watching football game cheeringCan you keep it healthy at the tailgate party or football-watching bash? Yes!

Football season’s grand finale is here! And America’s most popular sport means enjoying many beloved traditions – including lots of fried and fatty meats washed down with calorie-laden drinks. Great fun, but not great for your heart-health! Your Big Game Party doesn’t mean you have to pack on the pounds and put your heart at risk. In fact, you can do a lot to keep your tailgating and other parties heart healthy – without giving up the fun or the flavor.

Check out these helpful tips:

The Meats

Do tailgates mean having a pile of meat sizzling on the grill? Well, if you’re eating meat, just be mindful of which ones you’re firing up. Choose lean or extra-lean beef burgers, and keep the patties to the size of a deck of cards. Or try turkey burgers or salmon burgers, which are tasty and give you the essential omega-3 fatty acids your body needs. If you crave the traditional fried wings, try replacing them with grilled chicken breast strips tossed in a small amount of your favorite sauce. Try this heart-healthy recipe for Tailgate Chili!

Picking the healthiest meat isn’t the only healthy choice you can make. Be careful about how you season it. Resist a heavy shaking of the salt shaker; instead, throw in some chopped onions or extra pepper to spice things up. Choose 100 percent whole-wheat buns or make a lettuce wrap. Or you can cut your burger in half and have just one side of the bun.

The Sides

At many football parties and stadium parking lots, there’s no shortage of chips or fries stacked high with chili, cheese and whatever else you can think of. However tempting they may be, you can fill up (and feel better later) by nibbling on vegetables throughout the game. “Load up on the veggies!” said Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., R.D., .a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and a volunteer for the American Heart Association. “Have vegetables for dipping rather than chips. Serve plenty of salsa and bean-based dips rather than other high-calorie dips.”

Skewers are also a fun and flavorful way to snack. Load them up with onions and peppers, or throw some corn on the cob or zucchini on the grill.

The Drinks

Beer and full-calorie sodas are usually plentiful at football parties and games. If drinking alcohol at games, just remember to use moderation.“Try not to overindulge on alcoholic beverages,” Johnson said. “Too much beer, wine or liquor impairs judgment and can cause us to eat more.”If you do get a beer at the game, try one with the least amount of calories and carbohydrates.For those who choose to drink alcohol, the American Heart Association recommends limiting to an average of one to two alcoholic drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. (A drink is one 12-ounce beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.)As far as soda goes, you’ll usually find no-calorie options wherever the full-sugar kind is. Water is the best choice, though, especially at games early in the season where dehydration is a concern. If you want a little more excitement then just plain water, throw in some fresh fruit to give it a refreshing taste.

Tailgating Do’s and Don’ts

  • Choose your sides in moderation. Try to make sure your plate is colorful, with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink lots of water. You may be feeling hungry, but you may actually just be dehydrated. Stay hydrated.
  • Remind yourself to only eat if you are hungry – not just for something to do at the game. It may help to keep track of what you eat.
  • Placement counts! Put your healthiest items up front so choosing the healthy foods is easier for your guests!
  • Sweet Endings: Never underestimate the power of the fruit kebob for dessert, or cut fruit with a drizzle of dark chocolate! Now, that’s a crowd pleaser!
  • Burn those calories: Do go for a halftime walk or have a heart-healthy halftime game of touch football! Include the kids for a family fun time!

Learn more:

By |January 30th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Ferri Sisters to Co-Chair Go Red For Women Luncheon

 The American Heart Association announced the new co-chairs for the 15th Annual West chester-Fairfield Go Red For Women Luncheon set for Friday, June 1st at the Hilton Westchester. Two sisters, Terri Ferri and Grace Ferri, will lead the Go Red campaign efforts to help raise awareness and funds to fight women’s number one killer—heart disease.

The Ferri sisters will lead fund raising and outreach for the Go Red For Women Luncheon and year-round campaign, including National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 2nd. The Go Red Luncheon event includes a health and wellness expo, local health experts, and a PURSEonality auction featuring sophisticated handbags, wallets and more. Ticket and event information is online at www.westfairgoredluncheon.heart.org.

More than 80% of coronary events in women may be prevented with simple lifestyle changes, but prevention is hindered by the fact that many women don’t realize that heart disease is the number one killer of women—more than all cancers combined. For 15 years, the Go Red For Women movement has worked to close this knowledge gap and provide women with tools, resources and inspiration to build a healthier life. Women can access free resources at www.goredforwomen.org.

Terri Ferri has been the Branch Manager of the Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Purchase Headquarters Office since November 2013, and has been with Morgan Stanley and its predecessor firms since 1993.

Terri Ferri

Grace Ferri

She was Assistant Branch Manager at Smith Barney’s Third Avenue office in 2004, and in 2007, became Smith Barney Regional Sales Manager in for New York City. In 2008, she served as Branch Manager of the Smith Barney office at 53rd and Lexington Avenue.

She served in senior management positions at Citibank and was the Region Sales Manager for the Westchester, Connecticut and Bronx, Citi Personal Wealth Management Advisors until she joined Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management Unit.

Terri Ferri serves on the Board of Directors of the Italian American Forum in Westchester County. She is a native of the Bronx, NY and holds a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University. She currently lives in Eastchester with her husband, Seth Marcus and her two daughters, Arielle and Toni.

“Over the next decade, women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. We know that managing stress and improving health measures will help women. That’s why I’ve made a commitment to support the mission of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement,” she said.

“It is my goal that our efforts with Go Red For Women will allow us the ability to raise awareness, not only to our clients, but to all women, the importance of a healthy lifestyle and how it can prevent heart disease,” Ferri added, “I am lucky to have my sister, Grace Ferri, as my partner in health. Together, we aspire to bring our financial and healthcare industries together along with the Go Red For Women campaign to raise awareness, educate and tell every woman that heart disease is our #1 killer. We want every woman to have a partner in health.”

Her sister, Grace Ferri, is Vice President of Development & Marketing for United Hebrew of New Rochelle. As an ambassador for United Hebrew’s campus of comprehensive care, Grace provides essential information and one-on-one counseling to help families and their loved ones navigate the complex pathways of health care and identify the level of care that’s right for them. She also oversees United Hebrew’s fundraising events and development plan.

Grace Ferri began her career at Calvary Hospital where she served as Director of Annual Giving and Special Events.  She was named the 2012 Professional Fundraiser of the Year by the Association of Development Officers and was the past president of the board of directors.

She has over 20 years of experience in healthcare and graduated summa cum laude from IONA College with a bachelor’s degree in health care administration.

“Strong institutions and healthy communities go hand in hand. United Hebrew of New Rochelle’s mission of caring for residents and their families is deepened by collaborating with Go Red for Women and its supporters. It’s important that women, who are often the caretakers for the family, are more aware of their own health. We are proud to be part of a women’s health care initiative to educate and raise awareness of heart disease on our campus as well as outside the community,” said Grace Ferri.

Go Red For Women is sponsored Nationally by Macy’s and CVS. Greenwich Hospital is the Signature Sponsor. Local sponsors include White Plains Hospital; Morgan Stanley; United Hebrew of New Rochelle, Willow Towers Assisted Living; Fujifilm; Tompkins Mahopac Bank; and Dr. Icilma Fergus. Media sponsors include 100.7 WHUD, Westchester Magazine and Examiner Media.

French Toast Casserole with Honey-Glazed Fruit

Have you bought your snowstorm milk, bread and eggs? Great! You can try our healthy French Toast Casserole with Honey-Glazed Fruit recipe, from the American Heart Association and American Diabetic Association’s Cookbook! It gives you the satisfaction of that snowy day French toast but it’s healthier with whole wheat bread and low-fat milk. Fruit gives you a sweet but fiber and nutrient rich topping.

Type 2 diabetes is nothing to joke about, of course! Battling diabetes starts with a healthy diet and lots of exercise, and management of the disease with your doctor. An estimated 87.3 million Americans have pre-diabetes. If you are middle-aged and your A1-C numbers are drifting toward pre-diabetes, but the brakes on that trend by putting your feet in motion with 30-45 minutes of exercise daily, and a diet full of high fiber, low-sugar choices. The DASH diet is also recommended. The DASH diet can also help lower high blood pressure–which also creeps up in mid-life.

Research shared at the AHA’s Scientific Sessions showed that low sodium-DASH diet combination dramatically reduced systolic blood pressure in hypertensive adults.

Learn more at www.heart.org/diabetes. Start taking small steps today to become healthier tomorrow!

 Ingredients

Cooking Spray
6 slices whole-wheat bread (lowest sodium available), halved lengthwise
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 1/2 cups egg substitute
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 (15 oz) can light fruit cocktail, drained
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp light tub margarine (make sure it is trans-fat-free)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Place the bread halves with the cut sides (the crustless sides) touching the bottom of the pan and the crust sides resting on the slice beneath them. The slices should overlap slightly. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg substitute, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over the bread. Using a spoon, press down the bread to soak up the milk mixture. Spread the fruit cocktail over the bread. Drizzle with the honey. Using a teaspoon, dot with the margarine.
  4. Bake for 55 minutes-1 hour, or until the center of the casserole is set (doesn’t jiggle when the casserole is gently shaken.) Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

Cook’s Tip: If you prepare this casserole ahead of time, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 10 hours. Uncover it, put the cold casserole in a cold oven, set the temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake for 1 hour 5 minutes – 1 hour 10 minutes, or until the center is set (doesn’t jiggle when the casserole is gently shaken). Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

(Try cooking it over low-medium heat in a nonstick pan if you’re in a hurry!)

Choices/Exchanges: 2 Carbohydrate, 1 Lean Meat

From Diabetes and Heart Healthy Cookbook by The American Diabetes Association

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 2/3 cup

  • Calories180
  • Carbohydrate27 g
  • Protein12 g
  • Fat3.0 g
  • Saturated Fat0.5 g
  • Sugars18 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol<5 mg
  • Sodium150 mg
  • Potassium410 mg

This Recipe Serves 6

By |January 4th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Know the Signs of the Holiday Heart Attack and Get Help Fast

According to a study published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association (AHA), the winter holiday season is considered a risk factor for cardiac and noncardiac death. Knowing the signs and seeking emergency treatment quickly are key to saving lives from the “holiday heart attack.”

Common Heart Attack Warning Signs (click to enlarge)

While researchers don’t know exactly why heart attacks are more common around holidays, they note possible reasons, including changes in diet and alcohol consumption during the holidays; stress from family interactions, strained finances, travel and entertaining; respiratory problems from burning wood; not paying attention to the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, and delaying emergency treatment when it’s a holiday.

An analysis in 2004 of 53 million death records over 26 years from across the United States pinpointed more specifically that more cardiac deaths occurred on December 25 than any other day throughout the year, followed by December 26 and January 1.

Consider the case of Julie Rickman, a super busy 41-year-old stay-at-home mom.

“I felt like we were running around, going everywhere, and I just couldn’t catch my breath,” Rickman said. “I remember, two days before Christmas, we thought I was allergic to my live Christmas tree, and we took it down and got an artificial tree.”

The day after Christmas, Rickman got winded while folding laundry. She thought it was exhaustion but decided to go to the emergency room, anyway. That trip saved her life. Along with two blockages in her heart, doctors also discovered she had suffered a heart attack.

“I have no idea when the heart attack happened. I was one of those women who attributed feeling bad to the holidays and thinking I was exhausted,” she said.

“The progression of heart disease doesn’t happen overnight, so an uptick in cardiac death during the holidays is actually more the acute manifestations of the disease,” said Jorge Plutzky, M.D., a volunteer with the American Heart Association. “Factors like cold weather, stress and dietary indiscretion can contribute to a chain of events leading to more stress on the heart. A cardiac event might be triggered because the heart is working harder.”

Heart attack signs include uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away. Delaying treatment can be the difference between life and death.

Rickman, an AHA Go Red For Women volunteer, has since changed her approach to the holidays and to life. She cut out processed foods and limits sugar. She also limits social engagements and time spent on social media during the holidays and makes a conscious effort to realize being a supermom might not be reality. Stress reduction is key.

“Stress sets off a cascade of events that can over time contribute to hypertension, irregular heart rhythms, higher cholesterol, weaken the immune system, and can contribute to the progression of coronary heart disease. The good news? Just like taking care of your body regularly helps you medically, taking care of your mind regularly helps you mentally and physically,” said Lubna Somjee, PhD, Clinical/Health Psychologist and Executive Coach in the Hudson Valley.

“Be careful who you spend time with as they can impact your medical health. Positive social interactions, mindfulness meditation, deep breathing and practicing gratitude are some great initial steps towards managing stress.

The AHA recommends positive self-talk to help you calm down and control stress. Try stress-stoppers like deep breathing and counting to ten before you speak. Find time for joy and gratitude every day, or take up a hobby you like. Exercise to relieve stress and start meditation practice.

Free American Heart Association resources for stress reduction are available at www.heart.org/stress.

If you’re a heart patient, you’re at higher risk for a heart attack. Remember to take medication as directed, have a follow-up doctor’s appointment, complete a cardiac rehabilitation program, manage risk factors and try to develop a strong support system.

To learn more, visit heart.org/heartattack. Get healthy information at www.heart.org/gettinghealthy.

 

By |December 20th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Share Go Red For Women Messages Online

Be a Go Red Social Media Ambassador by sharing the Life-Saving Messages of Go Red For Women with your friends and family on social media to help save women’s lives!

You know heart disease is the No. 1 killer in women. You know it’s time to fight back. And now it’s time to share your knowledge with others! Together, we have the power to save lives.  Help us spread the word by sharing our suggested social media content and help educate the women in your life about the power of Go Red!  Please tag your messages with #GoRedHV and tag us! On Facebook: @AHANewYork and on Twitter @HVHeartAssoc

SUGGESTED MESSAGES

  • Go Red For Women encourages women and their families to take action and live a healthier life.  Let’s get started. Let’s unite. Together we are stronger and unstoppable. Join us at GoRedForWomen.org and Go Red. #GoRedHV
  • Every 80 seconds a woman will die of heart disease or stroke. Know your risk and know the signs and symptoms. Learn more at goredforwomen.org  #GoRedHV 
  • While you can’t change risk factors like age and family history, you can make changes to your diet and lifestyle that can improve your heart health and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. You can own your heart health. Learn how at goredforwomen.org. #GoRedHV
  • Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. Know the warning signs. It could save your life or the life of a woman you love.  goredforwomen.org #GoRedHV
  • Women sure know a lot of numbers by heart, like phone numbers, birthdays, pins and passwords. But do you know the most critical numbers for your heart health? That knowledge could just save your life. Schedule a visit with your doctor to learn your personal health numbers including Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI). #GoRedHV  goredforwomen.org

Right-click to save one of the suggested images below. Then upload to your social media platforms!  Remember to tag your posts with #GoRedHV.

THANK YOU for helping to save women’s lives by sharing these life-saving messages from Go Red For Women!

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By |December 4th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments