Heart Disease Affects Children, Too–Walk for Healthy Hearts

Heart Birth Defects Are #1 Birth Defect, but Survivable

Mila Rose on her 1st Birthday!

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the No. 1 killer of all Americans. In fact, someone dies from CVD every 39 seconds. Heart disease also kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. Congenital heart defects are the most common cause of infant death from birth defects. The American Heart Association invites the public to join the October 1st Heart Walk event at Kensico Dam to join the fight against heart disease, fund research, and help save lives. Registration is open online at www.westchesterheartwalk.org.

The Heart Walk is the AHA’s biggest annual event, raising more than $400,000 for AHA programs and research at last year’s event. Funds raised at the Heart Walk will support research to help prevent and treat heart disease, stroke, and pediatric heart disease.

Congenital heart defects, or CHD, affect nearly 1% of―or about 40,000―births per year in the United States. Early detection, advances in science and treatments of congenital heart defects help save lives. The Konow family of Ossining is grateful for early detection and advanced treatments for CHD. Their baby had lifesaving open heart surgery on the day of last year’s Heart Walk. They are sharing their story to raise awareness and will be honored at this year’s event.

Kailey and Ryan Konow showed up for their 20-week prenatal appointment with the anticipation and excitement of any expectant parents. The doctors confirmed they were having a girl—but that she had a rare congenital heart defect. Further tests confirmed her diagnosis: a double outlet right ventricle VSD, or ventricular septal defect (holes in the heart), and pulmonary stenosis, or narrowing of the heart artery. The doctors said she would need open heart surgery–it was just a matter of when.

Because of early detection, the neonatal intensive care unit team was ready and waiting to care for Mila Rose when she was born on August 3, 2016.

“My husband and I got to hold her for only a couple of minutes before she was whisked away to begin her tests,” said Mila Rose’s mother, Kailey, “After five days in intensive care, we took her home to get her strong for her impending surgery.”

After two months, they noticed the soft spot on her head was sunken, and took her to the pediatrician. By the time they arrived, Mila Rose’s eyes, mouth and lips were blue. Her oxygen levels were dangerously low and she was sent to the emergency room. A simple common cold caused her fragile heart to work overtime. Three days later, she was released, but within the week, the same symptoms returned, but worse.

“It was the scariest event yet. Her oxygen levels dipped and they needed to intubate her with a breathing tube and put her in a coma so her heart would stop working so hard,” she said.

Mila Rose had emergency heart surgery to have a shunt placed in her narrowed artery, but the other defect would require additional surgery in the future. Post-surgery, she was kept isolated at home to minimize the risk of illness. On January 6th, she had the surgery for her full heart repair, and went home after 15 days, her heart fully repaired.

“At first, we couldn’t believe this was happening to us. Why did they have to find something? Now we are so grateful for the technology and research that allowed the early detection. We’re so grateful for the doctors who continually focused in on her diagnosis and were always ready for her. She will be closely monitored for her cardiology team for the rest of her life, but her future is bright and our hearts are full,” said Konow.

CHD is the most common heart birth defect but it is survivable—the AHA journal Circulation that estimates about 1 million children and 1.4 million adults in the United States were living with a congenital heart defect (CHD) in 2010. The American Heart Association’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Learn more at www.heart.org. Money raised at events like the Heart Walk help fund research.

The Heart Walk is sponsored by White Plains Hospital, WMC Health/Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Fujifilm, Dr. Patrick W. Thomas and Mrs. Johanna D. Thomas, New York Presbyterian, Phelps Hospital/Northwell Health, New York Medical College, Stop & Shop, Examiner Media, The Peak, Buzz Creators, News 12 Westchester, and Westchester Magazine.

 

West-Fair Go Red For Women Luncheon Fights Heart Disease in Women

Heart disease in women can occur in the young and old, in seemingly healthy women as well as those with risk factors. The Westchester-Fairfield American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Luncheon on Friday, June 2nd aims to put a face on women’s heart disease by sharing local survivors’ stories, and, here’s a preview–none of the women have their AARP Card yet.

Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. Almost two-thirds (64%) of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.

Christine Wayne and Kim Salveggi, heart disease survivors

But the American Heart Association (AHA) is seeking to change that with prevention and awareness through their Go Red For Women Luncheon, set for Friday, June 2nd from 10AM to 2PM, at the Hilton Westchester in Rye. Tickets are available online at http://westfairgoredluncheon.heart.org/.

Two local film students are producing a video to be debuted at the Go Red For Women Luncheon about the survivors, entitled, “Faces of Heart.” Jeanne Ronan and Marie Venezia are both long-time film students of the Jacob Burns Film Center’s adult courses in Pleasantville. Their 2016 Go Red survivor video won a MarCom Award in February.

“It was extremely rewarding to work on a film project that had a specific purpose in this world. It is also a cause that is personally near and dear to both of us. We were grateful for the opportunity to w

ork with such fantastic women – and we would do it again in a heartbeat!” said Ronan.

Kim Salveggi, 43, from Yorktown, and Christine Wayne, 37, of Stamford, CT will be featured in the short film. Salveggi, a married mother of two teenage girls, suffered a coronary artery dissection in March of 2015. She was previously diagnosed with depression and hypochondria when symptoms of extreme exhaustion began in September 2014. When more classic heart attack symptoms of chest, jaw and arm pain set in, she feared that nobody would believe what she knew all along—something was seriously wrong. At the emergency room, doctors believed her, and she survived after a stent was inserted during emergency cardiac catheterization. She recently returned to work.

Christine Wayne survived sudden cardiac arrest in December of 2016. She felt tired all day and while in the shower, she began to cough and was overcome with exhaustion and nausea. She said did not want to call 9-1-1, as is recommended. What if someone saw her? Why incur the cost when someone could just come pick her up? When she began to have trouble breathing, she finally called her mother, who said to call 9-1-1.

Another moment’s delay and she might not have made it. On route in the ambulance, her heart stopped four times. She awoke to people counting and shouting “CLEAR!” At the hospital, two stents were put in, and was released after a week in the hospital. She is now back to her daily routine.

ABC NEWS – Mara Schiavocampo. (ABC/Heidi Gutman) MARA SCIAVOCAMPO

Both are advocates for Go Red For Women’s lifesaving messages to learn about, prevent and know the symptoms of heart attack in women. In the video, Salveggi implores women to second opinion and never stop advocating for your health. Wayne wants women to know the symptoms of heart attack and not be embarrassed to call the ambulance—minutes count.

The Go Red For Women Luncheon includes a morning health and wellness exhibition featuring local health professionals, networking, and a keynote address by Mara Schiavocampo, an ABC News correspondent and author based in New York. Schiavocampo is a two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, and best-selling author of, “THINspired,” her personal journey of losing 90 pounds after the birth of her daughter.

Lisa LaRocca, News 12 Westchester reporter, will serve as emcee for the event.

Lisa LaRocca, News12 Reporter

An estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases, and 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke. The good news is 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. Small, incremental changes to lifestyle can go a long way in preventing these leading killers. Quitting smoking, exercising at least 30 minutes per day, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating more fruits and vegetables can help prevent heart disease and stroke. More information is available at GoRedForWomen.org and at this year’s Go Red For Women luncheon.

Go Red For Women is sponsored Nationally by Macy’s, and locally by Signature Sponsor, Stamford Health. Other sponsors include Greenwich Hospital, Morgan Stanley, New York-Presbyterian, Fuji Film, White Plains Hospital, Buzz Creators, Healthcare News, Professional Women of Westchester, WHUD, Westchester Magazine, and ABC7.

Tickets and event information are online at http://westfairgoredluncheon.heart.org/.

New York State Budget Can Target Issues to Help Improve Health

 

As the April 1 deadline looms for this year’s state budget, the American Heart Association calls on the state Legislature to keep the health of New Yorkers in the forefront.capital

Two-thirds of New Yorkers are overweight or obese, costing the state $11.8 billion in medical costs. Two initiatives that the American Heart Association has advocated to have in the budget would help New Yorkers combat obesity: The Empire State Trail and funding the Healthy Food, Healthy Communities Fund.

The $200 million that Gov. Cuomo has proposed to create the nation’s largest multi-use trail, would provide 750 miles of safe and attractive trail where people could walk, bike, push a baby stroller, rollerblade – or engage in any kind of activity they like. Groups like Parks and Trails New York, the Open Space Institute, Scenic Hudson, and the retailer REI, have also supported the trail.

The Healthy Food, Healthy Communities Program would provide funding to establish markets in areas where people have limited access to healthy food. It’s estimated that 1.7 million New Yorkers lack access to stores with healthy food options. Low-income neighborhoods have 50 percent fewer supermarkets than healthy neighborhoods.

“Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 killers of all Americans,” said Bob Elling, paramedic and chair of the New York State Advocacy Committee of the American Heart Association. “Investing in the Empire State Trail and the Healthy Food Healthy, Communities Fund could save New York real money in health-related expenses, while helping all New Yorkers live longer, healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”

In addition, the AHA would like to see Brianna’s Law included in the budget, providing for CPR training every two years for all police officers.

The American Heart Association urges all New Yorkers to contact their elected officials to ask for this funding through the You’re the Cure grassroots advocacy network. www.yourethecure.org ytc-life-is-why-dual-logo

By |March 28th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

NYS Public Health Groups Call on Governor and Legislature to Raise Tobacco Age of Sale to 21

 

In response to the American Lung Association’s recent “State of Tobacco Control” Report 2017, the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) today gathered with state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island), and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), at the State Capitol to call on the state to immediately pass “Tobacco 21” legislation, raising the age of sale of tobacco products to 21.  Both Savino and Rosenthal have introduced legislation to the Senate (S3978) and Assembly (A273).Copy of 18 (1)

“The key to reducing the number of citizens who smoke is to prevent initiation of tobacco use in the first place,” said Senator Diane Savino.  “Delaying children and young adults access to tobacco products will reduce the likelihood that they ever start smoking.  Raising the smoking age to twenty-one will largely remove cigarettes from high schools and will help eliminate a popular source of tobacco for children and young adults.  This legislation will help prevent a generation of New Yorkers from becoming addicted to smoking, and we can ultimately save thousands of lives.”

“Every year tobacco ensnares tens of thousands of young New Yorkers in its death grip,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “The statistics that surround youth tobacco use though, are not our fate. I am proud to have reintroduced legislation to increase the purchasing age for tobacco products across New York State from 18 to 21. With incredible partners like the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association, we have a real chance to protect generations to come.”

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., and increasing the sales age for tobacco products could have a big impact on youth tobacco use in New York State. According to a 2015 report from the National Academy of Medicine, raising the tobacco age to 21 nationwide would prevent 223,000 deaths among people born between 2000 and 2019, including 50,000 fewer dying from lung cancer, the nation’s leading cancer killer.

“More than 1 in 4 high school students in the state of New York currently use tobacco products,” said Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.  “This year’s State of Tobacco Control Report card gave New York State a “D” due to its failure to pass a statewide Tobacco 21 law.  We know that increasing the minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21 will not only give New York an A grade in this category, but more importantly it will significantly reduce youth tobacco use, long term addiction, and save thousands of lives.”

Every day, nationally, about 2,500 youth under 18 try their first cigarette and 400 kids become regular daily smokers. Two-thirds of 10th grade students and nearly half of 8th grade students say it is easy to get cigarettes. According to a National Academy of Medicine report, smokers age 18-19 years old are a major supplier for younger kids who rely on friends, classmates and peers to buy tobacco products. A comprehensive statewide law raising the age of sale would help reduce the number of high school students who have easy access to tobacco products because they would be less likely to have legal buyers ages 21 and older in their social networks.

Julie Hart, director of New York government relations of ACS CAN said, “Given that about 95 percent of smokers started before the age of 21, it is imperative to take action to help our young New Yorkers. Tobacco 21 is a promising strategy and could stop kids before they begin a deadly tobacco addiction, thereby saving lives and health care costs.”

“Smoking is a leading cause of heart disease, the No. 1 killer of all Americans,” said Dr. Suzie Mookherjee, cardiologist and member of the Founders Affiliate Board of Directors for the American Heart Association. “If a person doesn’t start smoking before they are 21, the chance that they will ever start decreases dramatically. This is a deadly habit that costs New Yorkers $16 billion per year. I urge the state Legislature to protect our youth by passing Tobacco 21 across the state. It is up to us to save young lives.”

“Increasing the tobacco age to 21 will prevent young people from using tobacco, save lives and help make the next generation tobacco-free,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, Northeast Regional Director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “This proposal will reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults – age groups when nearly all tobacco use begins and that are heavily targeted by the tobacco industry. It will also help keep tobacco out of high schools, where younger teens often obtain tobacco products from older students.”

“Every day as you leave Burnt Hills High School, will see a group of kids across the road in the church parking lot smoking,” said Conner McClernan, senior at Burnt Hills High School and member of Reality Check, a youth-led movement that helps fight back against tobacco.  “We’re no longer talking about just numbers on a piece of paper or spreadsheet. It is the kids you’ve had pictures of on your mantles since the day they were born.”

While several localities in New York acted to pass local legislation raising the age of sale to 21 in 2016, New York State earned a nearly failing grade of “D” in the Tobacco 21 category of the report for failing to pass comprehensive statewide legislation to keep tobacco out of the hands of young adults. This year’s State of Tobacco Control Report revealed that 28.8% of high school students in the state use at least one tobacco product.  The report also concluded that over $10 billion was spent on health care costs due to smoking in New York and 28,170 New Yorkers lost their lives to tobacco.

By |January 31st, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Teach Kids to Leave Healthy Treats for Santa and His Reindeer

The big night is almost here! Santa and his elves at the North Pole are getting ready for the big night–Christmas Eve! And children all around the world are doing their very best to be good, not fight with their siblings, and clean up their rooms to prove they’re worthy of receiving the gifts on their Christmas lists. As a sign of gratitude and profound love for that jolly, old elf, millions of plates of cookies and glasses of milk will be left by the tree for Santa.

According to the History Channel, the tradition of leaving cookies and milk in the U.S. dates back to the 1930’s when parents, struggling with rations and the Great Depression, aimed to demonstrate gratitude to their children to be thankful for all they would receive. When you give, you receive. Say thanks. Be grateful. Share what you have–all timeless lessons.healthy-santa

But the roots of leaving gifts for Santa and his reindeer go as far back as Norse mythology when children would leave gifts for Odin (yes, comic book fans, that Odin) and his eight-legged horse, Sleipner, to entice them to leave gifts in the midwinter Yule celebration.

All these years later, cookies and milk are the go-to treat for Santa. It doesn’t take a mathematician to understand why Santa’s belt gets a wee bit tight around the holidays! That’s a lot of cookies!

This holiday season, let’s take a health lesson from the treat plate next to Santa’s that’s left for his reindeer, and add color and a few more veggies to Santa’s plate! It’s a great opportunity to show kids the importance of healthy snacks, for themselves, and for people they love, like Santa.

It’s a great opportunity for a lesson in giving and giving thoughtfully with an eye on health.

What are some healthy treats kids can make and leave for Santa’s to energize him on his late night journey? Peanut butter and all-fruit jam on whole wheat bread or crackers! Almond butter on whole
grain graham crackers! Turkey and spinach roll-ups in a whole what wrap! Happy face orange slices! A bunch of grapes and a banana! Apple slices with yogurt! A smoothie with fruit, veggies and low-fat milk or yogurt! Or a fancy yogurt parfait with granola and berries! And, of course, for his reindeer, healthy carrots, celery and broccoli!

This Christmas, give the gift of health for you, your children…and, of course, Santa. May he live a long and healthy life!

Happy Holidays from the American Heart Association! Get more tips for healthier living at www.heart.org/healthyliving 

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By |December 15th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

American Heart Association Supports Tobacco-21 Bill in Orange County NY

Studies show the higher age will reduce the number of first-time, young smokers

This week, the Orange County Health & Mental Health Committee unanimously passed the “T21” bill proposed by Orange County Legislator James DiSalvo, which would raise the age to purchase cigarettes, tobacco products, liquid nicotine, or electronic cigarettes to 21. The Rules Committee also passed the bill which means the bill will go to the full Legislature for a vote on December 1st. The American Heart Association strongly supports this proposal.18-2

 The law would prohibit the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, liquid nicotine, or electronic cigarettes to minors and young adults under the age of 21.

“It’s imperative that we raise the age to purchase tobacco, tobacco and nicotine products to 21,” said Kristin Salvi, New York State government relations director for the American Heart Association.

“Studies have shown that raising the tobacco sale age to 21 will significantly reduce the number of teens and young adults who start smoking,” Salvi said. “It will also reduce smoking-caused deaths.”

“Smoking is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death in the United States. More than half a million people in New York have a disease caused by smoking, resulting in about $8.17 billion in health care expenditures annually. An estimated 24,500 New Yorkers die of smoking-related deaths each year,” said Jonathan Schiller, AHA Heart Walk Chair, and Chief Operating Office at Orange Regional Medical Center.

“New York continuously leads the nation in pursuit of quality tobacco control, like with our high tobacco tax and clean indoor air policies,” Salvi said. “One hundred localities nationwide have raised the age for tobacco sales to 21. Orange County’s smoking rate is still 15%, and the Orange County Legislature has an opportunity to further ensure the good health of its residents by making this deadly habit unavailable to our youth.”

The American Heart Association invites members of the community support voice support of this legislation to create a healthier community in Orange County by calling their legislators before December 1st. Join www.yourethecure.org to sign up for grassroots action alerts.

By |November 17th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Tickets On Sale for Go Red For Women Luncheon

The American Heart Association announced tickets are on sale for the Go Red For Women Luncheon, set for Friday, October 28th at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie.go-red-luncheon153

Go Red For Women Luncheon tickets may be purchased online at www.dutchessulstergored.heart.org or by calling the American Heart Association at 845-867-5379. Email Danielle Schuka, Go Red For Women Director, at Danielle.schuka@heart.org for sponsor or volunteer information. Tickets are $125 each and table sponsorships are still available.

The Go Red For Women event–now in its new fall time slot–includes educational breakout sessions, a health and wellness expo, and “It’s in the Bag,” a unique auction featuring sophisticated handbags, wallets, and other exclusive items including Broadway Show tickets, signed memorabilia and more.

The 13 participants in the BetterU Challenge, sponsored by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, will also be celebrated at the event. Participants have been blogging about their healthy lifestyle challenge experience at http://blogs.poughkeepsiejournal.com/betteru/. The women have been working out at Gold’s Gym in LaGrange and participating in numerous health seminars with the intention of doing and learning everything they can about preventing their number one killer-heart disease.

“By the time I leave class, I’m exhausted, but I feel like my body is strong,” said Tina Vaitkus, BetterU challenger from Poughkeepsie on the BetterU blog, “I can do this! I’m stronger every day in fact!  When I wake up the next morning, I’m sore–the best kind of sore that cheers out, ‘your body is getting strong and healthy!’”

More than 80% of coronary events in women may be prevented with simple lifestyle changes, but prevention isbetteru2016luncheongroup 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 more than a decade, the Go Red For Women campaign has worked to close this knowledge gap and provide women with tools, resources and inspiration to build a healthier life. www.goredforwomen.org

Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and locally by Signature Sponsors, The Heart Center, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, and Northern Dutchess Hospital.  Additional sponsors include Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, Gold’s Gym, the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, The Grandview, and media sponsors, the Poughkeepsie Journal, Hudson Valley Magazine, and Q92. Geeta Gorwara and Dr. Simon K. Gorwara are serving as co-chairs of the Go Red For Women Luncheon.

 

By |October 7th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Summer Heat Stroke Warning

The weather forecast this week is calling for hot, hot, hot temps in the 90’s–and humidity. Whatever brings you outside — a bike ride with friends, a jog in the park or just a stroll around the block — it’s important to stay safe when the temperature rises. The American Heart Association offers these tips to stay safe in the summer heat.

Tips for heart patients
If you’re a heart patient, older than 50 or overweight, you might need to take special precautions in the heat, according to Gerald Fletcher, M.D., professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Check with your healthcare professional before starting an exercise routine if you are experiencing symptoms or have a specific medical question or chronic disease. Certain heart medications like beta blockers, ace receptor blockers, ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and diuretics (which deplete the body of sodium) can exaggerate the body’s response to heat, Fletcher said.

But Fletcher points out that it’s important to keep taking your medications —and taking them when you’re supposed to.

Even if they’re not on medications, older people also need to take precautions in the heat.

“If you’re older than 50, you may not be aware that you’re thirsty,” Fletcher said. “If you’re going to be outside, it’s important to drink water even if you don’t think you need it.”

Tips for everyone
Think you’re ready to brave the heat? Watch the clock and buddy up, Fletcher said. It’s best to avoid the outdoors in the early afternoon (about noon to 3 p.m.) because the sun is usually at its strongest, putting you at higher risk for heat-related illnesses.

If you can, exercise with a friend, because it’s safer — and more fun — to have someone at your side. Here are some other tips:

  • Get off on the right foot. You probably sweat the most in your shoes, so choose well-ventilated shoes and look for socks that repel perspiration. Foot powders and antiperspirants can also help with sweat.
  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a synthetic fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat and/or sunglasses.
  • Drink up. Before you get started, apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply it every two hours. Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after your exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
  • Take regular breaks. Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again.

Whatever you do, don’t throw in the towel, Fletcher said. “Don’t NOT exercise — adapt!”

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:http---prod.cdata.app.sprinklr.com-DAM-261-hot_weather-027d6d50-6600-4f35-a7bd-8895112c08bd-2124490860-2016-07-06 14-51-07

  • Headaches
  • Cool, moist skin
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dark urine

If you experience these symptoms, move to a cooler place, stop exercising and cool down immediately by using cool wet cloths, compresses, and fanning. You may need to seek medical attention.

Symptoms of heat stroke:
The symptoms of heatstroke include (call 911 or the local emergency number right away):

  • Fever (temperature above 104 °F)
  • Irrational behavior
  • Extreme confusion
  • Dry, hot, and red skin
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Learn More:

By |July 6th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments