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Million Hearts 2022 – The National Goal to Prevent Heart Disease

December 7th, 2018

Cardiovascular disease remains the nation’s leading killer due to heart attacks and strokes. In fact, the death rate due to heart disease has increased in a younger age range, adults 35 to 64 years old. Due to these scary statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have started a new campaign aimed at developing a downturn in the rate of cardiovascular death by focusing on major risk factors such as smoking and better diagnosis and treatment of high cholesterol and blood pressure. The initiative, known as Million Hearts 2022, looks to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes by 2022.

“If society continues on its current path, there would be 3.3 million preventable cardiovascular related deaths a year,” said Good Samaritan Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Director of the St. Francis Open Heart Surgery Program at Good Samaritan and Co-director of the St. Francis Heart Valve Center at Good Samaritan Christopher La Mendola, MD. “A good percentage of these deaths are related to obesity and diabetes, especially in the younger age range of 35 to 65 years old, in which the numbers of those afflicted with heart and stroke disease is greatly rising.” 

The positive… small changes related to diet, exercise and avoiding other risk factors such as smoking are very effective. In fact, controlling the obesity epidemic alone would lead to the greatest strides in this effort. Losing even 10 lbs. will decrease high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. La Mendola says, “Other important steps include reducing salt and sodium intake, quit smoking and slowly increase physical activity. Statins, and other cholesterol-lowering medications, have also been proven effective when changes in diet and exercise are not enough.”

Through small, simple steps, you can reduce your risk, increase your level of health and avoid becoming a statistic. Million Hearts 2022 is about spreading awareness related to cardiovascular disease and saving lives. The steps are not difficult and the pathway to positive health has been there for some time. Following it may save your life.

Good Samaritan’s Theresa Pantone Santmann Center for Cardiovascular Services provides comprehensive cardiac care through both invasive and non-invasive methods. Services include cardiac catheterization, emergency and elective angioplasty with the placement of coronary stents, pacemaker insertion, electrophysiology, echocardiology and much more. Through a partnership with the award-winning St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center, Good Samaritan also provides the residents of Suffolk and eastern Nassau County advanced treatments such as open heart surgery and minimally invasive heart valve replacement through transaortic valve replacement, or TAVR.

Click here for a referral to one of Good Samaritan’s experts in cardiology.

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