They are also bringing awareness to fighting heart disease. Nearly half of adults in the United States — more than 121 million people — have some form of cardiovascular disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States; nearly 650,000 die each year. However, heart disease is preventable in 80% of cases.
Cardiac Arrest, CPR, and Disparities
Cardiac arrest – a sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness – made national headlines this year when Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills collapsed from the condition during a National Football League game. Paramedics immediately administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the field and revived him. However, the American population lacks widespread knowledge about CPR. A survey shows that while 54% of Americans say they know how to perform CPR, less than 10% know how to do it correctly.
Mount Sinai cardiologists say black and Hispanic adults are less likely to receive CPR, especially in public places, and less likely to know how to perform CPR. In fact, these populations, already at increased risk for heart disease and other heart-related problems, are nearly twice as likely to experience cardiac arrest as white adults, and their survival rates are twice as low when compared to white patients, according to the AHA. The organization is challenging all Americans to have at least one person in their immediate circle who knows the skill of saving lives.
Icilma Fergus, MD, director of cardiovascular disparities at Mount Sinai Health System, is trying to meet this challenge by going out into communities and providing education in different settings, including schools. “Hands-only CPR” – CPR with chest compressions only, not mouth-to-mouth resuscitation – has proven to be effective in treating people with cardiac arrest.
“Hands-Only CPR performed to the rhythm of ‘Staying Alive’ is an effective action that can be performed by anyone and can save lives, while doing nothing until EMS arrives can be harmful, which is why I am so excited to introduce this to as many people in the community as possible,” says Dr. Fergus.
Johanna Contreras, MD, an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist and Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Mount Sinai Hospital, partnered with the AHA National Hispanic Latino Cardiovascular Collaborative and the Inter-American Society of Cardiology to launch a training campaign called “ Héroes Salvando Corazones” to raise CPR awareness and conduct CPR training in English and Spanish to educate minority communities.
“As a heart transplant cardiologist, I give patients a second chance at life – but we can all give people that opportunity if we know about CPR. Performing Hands-Only CPR may give someone in cardiac arrest a chance to live. Every American should have at least one person in their family, office or group of friends who knows the skill of saving lives,” says Dr. Contreras.
Focus on emotional well-being to reduce stress and heart complications
Mount Sinai cardiologists say they are seeing more cases of stress and anxiety contributing to heart problems among patients. The number of people with high blood pressure, which poses an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, appears to be on the rise since the pandemic. Stress can increase hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which negatively affect blood pressure and heart rate. On the other hand, heart disease can also lead to anxiety, stress and depression, creating a vicious cycle of worsening outcomes and less interest in preventive actions such as a healthy diet and adequate levels of exercise. Doctors emphasize the need to focus on mental health and emotional well-being by taking the following steps:
- Pay attention – if you notice a lack of desire to do things you used to enjoy, seek help
- Engage in exercise and physical activities
- Eat fruits and vegetables; avoid fad diets and processed foods
- Hydrate properly with water and avoid sugary drinks
- Have a network of friends, family, or groups you can turn to, talk to, and seek advice from
“Patients seem to be swamped with multiple responsibilities – some enhanced since the pandemic – like going back to the workflow in the office instead of working virtually. I tell them to ‘put your own mask on first’ so they can be fit and able to handle everything else,” explains Dr. Fergus.
prevention of heart disease
Certain minority groups, including African Americans and Latinos/Latinas, are also at increased risk due to genetic predisposition, diet, lifestyle and socioeconomic factors. However, the disease in any population can be prevented by taking simple steps towards a healthier lifestyle.
Tips to reduce risk of heart disease
- Know your family history
- Be aware of five key numbers cited by the American Heart Association: blood pressure, total cholesterol, HDL (or “good”) cholesterol, body mass index, and fasting glucose levels
- Maintain a healthy diet by eating nutrient-rich foods and eliminating sweets
- Limit alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day for women and men
- Stop using tobacco or other inhaled substances, including smoking and e-cigarettes/vapes
- Watch your weight and exercise regularly
- Learn the warning signs of heart attack and stroke, including chest discomfort; shortness of breathe; pain in the arms, back, neck or jaw; break out in a cold sweat; and dizziness
“Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide. Practical steps everyone can take to help reduce death rates from cardiovascular disease include learning to perform Hands-Only CPR to help the loved ones around you. For heart health, knowing and managing your weight, blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, and getting adequate exercise and sleep every day can go a long way in reducing your cardiovascular risk. ” says Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Professor Dr. Valentin Fuster Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
About Mount Sinai Health System
Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the greater New York area, with more than 43,000 employees working in eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 laboratories, a school of nursing and a leading school of medicine and postgraduate studies. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere by addressing the most complex health challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer and more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by providing high-quality care to anyone in need.
Through the integration of its hospitals, laboratories and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive healthcare solutions from birth to geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics, keeping the medical and emotional needs of patients at the center of everything. the treatments. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialist care physicians; 13 partnered ambulatory surgery centers in the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by US news and world report‘s Best Hospitals, receiving “Honor Roll” status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Cardiac Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation and Urology. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 12th in ophthalmology.
US news and world reportThe company’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” rank Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital among the nation’s best across multiple pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of three medical schools that have distinguished themselves by multiple indicators: it is consistently ranked in the top 20 by US news and world report‘Best Schools of Medicine’, aligned with a US news and world report “Honor Roll” hospital and top 20 in the nation for funding from the National Institutes of Health and top 5 in the nation for various areas of basic and clinical research. Newsweek“World’s Best Smart Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Hospital #1 in New York City and in the top five worldwide, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 30 worldwide; Newsweek also ranks Mount Sinai Hospital in 11 specialties in the “Best Specialty Hospitals in the World” and “Best Physical Rehabilitation Centers in America.”
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