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Stopping a Preventable Killer: Mount Sinai Cardiologists Stress Prevention for American Heart Month

Physicians announce new research on sleep and heart disease, and expansion of heart services in New York City

Newswise — (New York, NY – January 29, 2019) – Heart disease remains the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States, but according to the American Heart Association, it is preventable 80 percent of the time. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 610,000 people die from heart disease every year, accounting for one in every four deaths. February is American Heart Month, and cardiologists from the Mount Sinai Health System are sharing tips on prevention and lowering risk.

“It takes decades for heart disease to develop, so the earlier we can detect risk factors and diagnose, the sooner we can intervene to prevent a possible heart attack or stroke,” says Suzanne R. Steinbaum, DO, Director of Women’s Cardiovascular Prevention, Health, and Wellness at The Mount Sinai Hospital. “It’s important to make your doctor your partner in health when being treated for heart disease. Make sure to communicate how you’re feeling and the times you take your medication, along with giving details on your diet and exercise and stress to ensure the best possible management and treatment of the condition.” 

Everyone is at risk of heart disease, but people are more susceptible to getting the disease if they have high cholesterol or blood pressure, smoke, are overweight, and don’t exercise or eat a healthy diet. Age is also a factor, specifically for women over 65 and men older than 55. Those with a family history of heart disease are also at higher risk, as are those who sleep less than six hours a night. But illness can be prevented by taking simple steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

Mount Sinai Research Links Lack of Sleep to Heart Disease

People who sleep less than 6 hour a night, or have fragmented sleep could be at higher risk of atherosclerosis, according to a new study published in the Journal of The American College of Cardiology.  Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) can lead to the development of coronary artery disease, a major cause of heart attack and stroke.

Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital, and a team of researchers monitored the sleep of 3,974 patients over the course of seven nights (average age 46; 62 percent men).  Investigators used 3-D vascular ultrasounds and to analyze blood flow through the blood vessels. They discovered those who slept less than six hours a night had more accumulation of plaque in their arteries when compared to those who slept between seven and eight hours a night.  The study also showed those who had interrupted sleep also had more arterial plaque when compared to patients who slept through the night.

“We’re detecting disease in its earliest stages in apparently healthy young people,” said Dr. Valentin Fuster. “This is something that was done only at autopsy until now. This is an alarm system, telling you that there is another cardiovascular risk factor you should pay attention to.”

Tips for Lowering Risk

  • 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, eating nutrient-rich food and eliminating sweets
  • Limit alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day
  • Quit smoking
  • Watch your weight and exercise regularly
  • Learn the warning signs of heart attack and stroke, including chest discomfort; shortness of breath; pain in arms, back, neck, or jaw; breaking out in a cold sweat; and lightheadedness

Mount Sinai Heart Expands State-of-the-Art Services to Upper West Side

Mount Sinai Heart has expanded its services at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  The newly opened Center for Clinical Cardiovascular Care at Mount Sinai Heart offers comprehensive care, including cardiovascular disease prevention, general cardiology, and cardiac and vascular surgery.  Doctors from multiple cardiovascular subspecialties work together to diagnose, treat, and provide follow-up care to patients in one location, enhancing patient care and the patient experience.  The center also has state-of-the-art cardiac imaging to help identify conditions with greater accuracy.

The Center for Clinical Cardiovascular Care at Mount Sinai Heart is one of the only centers in the country specializing in multi-arterial coronary bypass surgery.  Because we use predominantly arterial grafts, instead of the vein grafts performed in 95 percent of cases across the country, patients see longer results and greater benefits.  Additionally, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s specializes in minimally invasive robotic coronary bypass surgery.

“This is the only center on the West Side of Manhattan to offer minimally invasive robotic coronary bypass surgery, which allows for a quicker recovery and nearly invisible scars,” says John D. Puskas, MD, Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Patients on the Upper West Side need access to these services, and now they have a convenient location that offers exemplary, individualized care.”

For more information about the Center for Clinical Cardiovascular Care at Mount Sinai Heart see the link below: 

For more information on Mount Sinai Heart see the link below:

Mount Sinai Heart is one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals in Cardiology/Heart Surgery

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest integrated delivery system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai's vision is to produce the safest care, the highest quality, the highest satisfaction, the best access and the best value of any health system in the nation. The Health System includes approximately 7,480 primary and specialty care physicians; 11 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 410 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools", aligned with a U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" Hospital, No. 12 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding, and among the top 10 most innovative research institutions as ranked by the journal Nature in its Nature Innovation Index. This reflects a special level of excellence in education, clinical practice, and research. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 18 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of top U.S. hospitals; it is one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Nephrology, and Neurology/Neurosurgery, and in the top 50 in six other specialties in the 2018-2019 "Best Hospitals" issue. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital also is ranked nationally in five out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 11th nationally for Ophthalmology and 44th for Ear, Nose, and Throat. Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, Mount Sinai West, and South Nassau Communities Hospital are ranked regionally.

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Journal of The American College of Cardiology