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NCMA Sonoma Cardiology welcomes Sheryl A. Garrett, MD

More doctors. Better heart health in Sonoma.

Welcome, Dr. Sheryl Garrett, to Sonoma Cardiology

NCMA Cardiology in Sonoma, Calif., is pleased to announce Dr. Sheryl A. Garrett has joined our practice. Dr. Garrett, who already practices at Petaluma Cardiology, now joins NCMA’s Dr. Thomas E. Dunlap at our 377 Perkins Street offices.

Dr. Garrett was delighted to join NCMA Cardiology in Petaluma and now Sonoma Cardiology. As a cardiologist with years of experience at Georgetown University, Stanford University and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, she believes in treating the whole person and looks forward to partnering with patients for their cardiac health throughout Sonoma County.

As part of NCMA Cardiology, Dr. Garrett and Dr. Dunlap are part of the North Bay’s leading team to offer comprehensive cardiovascular services, including:

  • nuclear cardiology,
  • electrophysiology,
  • prevention services,
  • interventional cardiovascular services,
  • thoracic surgery,
  • cardiac/peripheral vascular evaluations,
  • EKGs,
  • treadmill stress testing
  • echocardiography and
  • nuclear medicine studies.

Visit our cardiology services page to learn more about our expert physicians and heart health services. For scheduling at NCMA Cardiology in Sonoma please call 707-573-6199.

NCMA cardiologists Patrick Coleman and Keith Korver update TAVR progress in Sonoma County

Earlier this year, NCMA’s Patrick Coleman, MD, helped make Sonoma County healthcare history by participating in the area’s first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure with colleagues at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. TAVR is a less invasive option for patients with severe aortic stenosis who may otherwise not receive adequate treatment due to their high risk for open heart surgery.

As a leading expert in in TAVR procedures (also referred to as transcatheter aortic valve implantation [TAVI]), Coleman and Keith Korver, MD, spoke as part of a panel titled “Update on TAVR” at NCMA’s 2018 Physician Regional Symposium in Santa Rosa. Dr. Coleman’s presentation covered structural heart disease, valvular heart disease, structural modifications to minimize risk, and critical aortic stenosis factors.

Please view the embedded video above to learn more about TAVR from Drs. Coleman and Korver.

About the NCMA Physician Regional Symposium

Northern California Medical Associates, along with St. Joseph Health, held the annual Regional Primary Care Spring Symposium on March 24, 2018 in Santa Rosa. This well-attended conference plays a vital role in the local medical community, offering physicians and healthcare providers an opportunity to learn about cutting edge treatments, to collaborate, share research and gain fresh perspectives.

At this year’s event, physicians from a variety of backgrounds and fields of practice gave hot-topic educational lectures to an audience of healthcare providers that included; internal medicine and primary care physicians, emergency physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, staff RNs, and medical assistants; all from the northern California region. This event gives doctors the opportunity to also earn continuing medical education credits (CMEs) for their attendance.

Programs highlighted during the symposium gave in-depth overviews of the current state of healthcare, and included advanced treatments and new technologies from the experts as they continue to improve patient outcomes and provide exceptional patient experience in the process.

See all of the videos on NCMA’s YouTube channel

Complete episodes of these timely lectures are available online via NCMA’s YouTube channel. All videos are free and open to the public. This educational program is provided by Northern California Medical Associates and St. Joseph Health, Santa Rosa Memorial.

NCMA ENT Dr. Stephanie Su Huang invites donations to support rural Zimbabwe project

Dr. Stephanie Su Huang, Northern California Medical Associates Otolaryngologist (ENT) was originally part of a volunteer medical team led by Dr. Jim Palleschi to work at Chidamoyo hospital in June of 2017. Chidamoyo Christian Hospital is a remote hospital serving a rural poor population in northwest Zimbabwe. Despite many challenges and with the help of international volunteers, it has become a full-service hospital that serves approximately 70,000 patients a year through its in-patient and out-patient services.

Dr. Huang says she served patients at the Chidamoyo hospital for just two weeks, and the experience was life changing. “I watched firsthand countless patients walking in the dark from remote villages (some 200km away), and with no complaint, these patients waited patiently for hours to days to be seen. The resilience they exhibited left me speechless. Something magical happened on that trip, and from that moment, I knew that I had to return.  In April of this year my sons, Lucas and Julian, joined me on a second trip to help those less privileged.” Dr. Huang and her two sons have since set up a fundraiser with the goal of reaching $40,000 in donations with funds going toward the purchase of a new ambulance for the beleaguered community.

“The Chidamoyo Hospital is desperately in need of a new ambulance,” explains Dr. Huang. “The current ambulance is 12 years old and has traveled 273,570 miles on unpaved dirt rocky roads full of potholes that only continue to get worse every year.  And the only paved portion of the road has not been serviced or maintained in over 37 years. The ambulance is utilized about eight times per week and covers a range up to 200 miles per trip. On its most recent journey, two windows fell off, one on the poor patient (who fortunately was not harmed), and the other on the dirt road.“

*Photos courtesy of Kathy McCarty FNP

Zimbabwe is a country of around 13 million with over 90 percent unemployment leaving most people to live a life of poverty and struggle. Chidamoyo Christian Hospital has been in operation for more than 50 year and receives no funding or support from the Zimbabwe government. The hospital, clinic, outreach programs, and HIV research projects rely heavily on the lifelong dedication and support of Kathy McCarty. Kathy a Nurse Practitioner who has been working at the rural mission hospital for 38 years. She serves as chief medical officer and won the Pediatric Nursing Association’s Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2008 for her work with the rural poor children of Zimbabwe. Prior award winners include Paul Newman and former First Lady, Roslyn Carter.

“Please join us to help these poor and needy patients and give them a chance to receive the medical care that could save their lives by making a donation to the Chidamoyo hospital.” To make a donation visit the Help Chidamoyo Christian Hospital Purchase a New Ambulance page on the YouCaring network (or follow the Donate Now button below). Donations have so far exceeded $9,000 of the $40,000 goal. All donations are tax-deductible.

More about Chidamoyo hospital:
Excerpts from New York Times Article 12/19/2010 By CELIA W. DUGGER
https://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/19/world/africa/19zimbabwe.html

Here in this rustic outpost with no phone service and often no electricity, the Chidamoyo hospital and the people who rely on it have entered an unwritten pact to resist the tide of death that has carried away so many. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe, plagued by AIDS and poverty, has fallen to 47 years from 61 years over the past quarter century.

Patients provide the crops they grow and the animals they raise — food that feeds the thousands of patients who use the hospital — and the hospital tends to their wounds, treats their illnesses and delivers their babies. Its two doctors and 15 nurses see about 6,000 patients a month and have put 2,000 people with AIDS on life-saving antiretroviral medicines.

Short of cash like the people it serves, the hospital practices a level of thrift unheard of in the United States. Workers and volunteers steam latex gloves to sterilize them for reuse, filling the fingers with water to ensure against leaks. They remove the cotton balls from thousands of pill bottles to swab patients’ arms before injections. And they collect the tissue-thin pages of instructions from the same bottles for use as toilet paper.

Additional resources:

Friends of Chidamoyo Facebook Page

Chidamoyo Hospital in Zimbabwe

NCMA Welcomes John D. Hollander DPM and the new Foot and Ankle Center

Dr. Hollander and Dr. Korves

John D. Hollander DPM along with his well-established practice of more than 25 years joins Northern California Medical Associates to create the new NCMA Foot and Ankle Center.

Dr. John D. Hollander graduated from California College of Podiatric Medicine and specializes in podiatry, orthotics, diabetic wound care and limb salvage, biomechanics and sports medicine, and shockwave therapy. He is a board-certified foot surgeon and fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He is the director of the foot and ankle clinic at Sonoma County Indian Health and a consultant to the medical board for the State of California. Dr. Hollander is also a Qualified Medical Evaluator for the State of California to perform QME and AME exams.

Joining Dr. Hollander and the NCMA Foot and Ankle Program is Ashleigh Korves, DPM. Dr. Korves is originally from Annapolis, Maryland where she practiced for 7 years after completing a comprehensive foot and ankle surgical residency at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. She completed her doctorate of podiatric medicine at Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Korves also has a BA in mathematics with a minor in chemistry from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Dr. Korves specialties include conservative and surgical treatment of common foot and ankle problems such as bunions, hammertoes, and flat feet, foot and ankle trauma and sports injuries, wound care and limb salvage, and pediatric conditions.

About the NCMA Foot and Ankle Center

NCMA’s Foot and Ankle program emphasizes the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the lower limb and focuses on the use of scientific principles for the treatment of adults, children, diabetics and sports enthusiasts. NCMA’s Foot and Ankle provides conservative and surgical treatment of the foot and ankle as well as preventative diabetic foot care. Services offered include custom foot orthotics, wound care and other treatments for common food problems and conditions including;

  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Nail Fungal Infection
  • Foot Odor & Sweating
  • Warts
  • Bunions
  • Calluses and Corns
  • Hammer Toe
  • Neuromas
  • Sesamoiditis
  • Foot Ulcers
  • Charcot Foot
  • Gout
  • Heel Pain

Dr. Hollander’s practice is recognized in Northern California as specialists in Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, which is used to end heel pain. They also incorporate the latest technology available with laser treatments to treat tough fungal nail infections and warts. And, while diagnosis and treatment are only the first steps toward feet that feel great the NCMA Foot and Ankle Program offers Wine Country Foot Spa which is available for routine pedicures and relaxing spa treatments.

About NCMA Healthcare

At Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA), innovative medicine and patient care is more than just a profession; it’s a calling. As one of the leading medical associations in the North Bay, NCMA takes pride in offering a highly diversified, professional staff and comprehensive health services to patients. No matter the level of medical expertise a patient may require, the professionals at NCMA will deliver expert care with respect and compassion.

The NCMA Foot and Ankle Center, Dr. Hollander and Dr. Korves are available by appointment. The practice is located in Santa Rosa at 990 Sonoma Ave., STE 18. To learn more, visit the NCMA website or www.johnhollanderdpm.com, and call 707-578-1222 to schedule an appointment.

Research reveals new ways to preserve hearing loss after traumatic noise damage

It’s well known that exposure to extremely loud noises — whether it’s an explosion, a firecracker or even a concert — can lead to permanent hearing loss. But knowing how to treat noise-induced hearing loss, which affects about 15 percent of Americans, has largely remained a mystery. That may eventually change, thanks to new research from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, which sheds light on how noise-induced hearing loss happens and shows how a simple injection of a salt- or sugar-based solution into the middle ear may preserve hearing.

To develop a treatment for noise-induced hearing loss, the researchers first had to understand its mechanisms. They built a tool using novel miniature optics to image inside the cochlea, the hearing portion of the inner ear, and exposed mice to a loud noise similar to that of a roadside bomb.

They discovered that two things happen after exposure to a loud noise: sensory hair cells, which are the cells that detect sound and convert it to neural signals, die, and the inner ear fills with excess fluid, leading to the death of neurons.

“That buildup of fluid pressure in the inner ear is something you might notice if you go to a loud concert,” says the study’s corresponding author John Oghalai, MD, chair and professor of the USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery and holder of the Leon J. Tiber and David S. Alpert Chair in Medicine. “When you leave the concert, your ears might feel full and you might have ringing in your ears. We were able to see that this buildup of fluid correlates with neuron loss.”

Both neurons and sensory hair cells play critical roles in hearing.

“The death of sensory hair cells leads to hearing loss. But even if some sensory hair cells remain and still work, if they’re not connected to a neuron, then the brain won’t hear the sound,” Oghalai says.

The researchers found that sensory hair cell death occurred immediately after exposure to loud noise and was irreversible. Neuron damage, however, had a delayed onset, opening a window of opportunity for treatment.

A simple solution

The buildup of fluid in the inner ear occurred over a period of a few hours after loud noise exposure and contained high concentrations of potassium. To reverse the effects of the potassium and reduce the fluid buildup, salt- and sugar-based solutions were injected into the middle ear, just through the eardrum, three hours after noise exposure. The researchers found that treatment with these solutions prevented 45-64 percent of neuron loss, suggesting that the treatment may offer a way to preserve hearing function.

The treatment could have several potential applications, Oghalai explains.

“I can envision soldiers carrying a small bottle of this solution with them and using it to prevent hearing damage after exposure to blast pressure from a roadside bomb,” he says. “It might also have potential as a treatment for other diseases of the inner ear that are associated with fluid buildup, such as Meniere’s disease.”

Oghalai and his team plan to conduct further research on the exact sequence of steps between fluid buildup in the inner ear and neuron death, followed by clinical trials of their potential treatment for noise-induced hearing loss.


Story Source: Materials provided by University of Southern California – Health Sciences. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Read this article on Science Daily: University of Southern California – Health Sciences. “Simple treatment may minimize hearing loss triggered by loud noises.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2018. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180507153101.htm.


The-Hearing-Center

The ability to perceive sound enables one of life’s richest and most meaningful sensory experiences. Approximately 36 million people in the United States suffer from some degree of hearing loss. People of all ages experience symptoms of hearing loss, and these symptoms can lead to serious social problems and depression.

The Hearing Center at SRHN’s team of board ­certified otolaryngologists and experienced audiologists is devoted to finding the best, personalized hearing solutions and providing comprehensive care for all hearing and balance needs.

1701 4th Street, Suite 120
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Call (707) 523-7025 — for Appointments and Referrals Today!

– Learn more here –

NCMA dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey Sugarman reveals the true risks of melanoma

Pediatric melanoma has increased on average 2% per year since 1973, although its incidence seems to have decreased over the last few years. The biggest increase in recent decades has been in girls ages 15-19, possibly because girls are more likely than boys to sunbathe and use tanning beds.

Dr. Jeffrey Sugarman of Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) and Redwood Family Dermatology discusses the myths associated with sunscreens and tanning in a newly released video presentation.

According to the latest statistics more than 178,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma this year. A new video featuring Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey Sugarman sheds light on melanoma, sunscreen and tanning beds. For this presentation, Dr. Sugarman of Redwood Family Dermatology discusses how indoor tanning is a major contributor to the rising number of melanoma cases among young women.

Tragically, melanoma is the leading cause of cancer deaths in young women ages 25-30 and the second leading cause of cancer death in women ages 30-35. Some people have been led to believe that it is safer to get a tan using a commercial tanning bed. Dr. Sugarman says this is clearly not the case. “Indoor tanning beds are definitely not safer than tanning outdoors. Tanning beds emit UVA which is linked to melanoma. This is a huge risk factor for women under the age of 25 who are frequent tanning bed users.” Research suggests that exposure to tanning beds prior to the age of 30 can increase a person’s risk of developing melanoma by as much as 75 percent. “People who use tanning beds have a significantly higher risk of developing melanoma.”

Understanding Sunscreens

“While using sunscreen is important, sunscreens themselves can give people a false sense of security against melanoma,” explains Dr. Sugarman. “Many products that claim an SPF protection on the package do not always reflect the actual degree of sunscreen a person can expect to achieve.”

There are two basic types of sunscreen on the market today. Some contain chemicals to absorb ultraviolet radiation while others rely on particles of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to block or scatter sunlight. Both products in fact contain inert chemicals. The SPF rating of sunscreens measures the ability of a product to reduce the amount of UVB radiation penetrating the skin. A sun protection factor of 10 reduces UVB penetration by 90 percent, SPF 20 by 95 percent, and SPF 30 by 97 percent.

“The truth about the SPF rating is that it is determined in a laboratory setting where sunscreen is applied in a precise and controlled manner and thickness. People normally only apply about one quarter to one half the recommended amount,” he says. “This significantly reduces the protection of sunscreen products.” Dr. Sugarman recommends that sunscreen be applied as directed 10-20 minutes prior to sun exposure, and it must be reapplied every 3-4 hours to maintain a protective quality.

“The best prevention against melanoma is to be smart about how much time you spend in the sun. For prolonged periods of sun activities covering exposed skin with clothing and wearing a hat is by far the best form of prevention.”

Dr. Sugarman’s presentation is available for viewing online at the Northern California Medical Associates’ YouTube Channel. It can be accessed by following this link: youtu.be/3iyNSNTDQg0

About Dr. Sugarman

Dr. Sugarman is Assistant Clinical Professor in the Departments of Dermatology and Family and Community Medicine at U.C. San Francisco. Board certified in both pediatrics and dermatology, Dr. Sugarman has published many articles on topics ranging from cancer research to childhood eczema. His practice is evenly divided between pediatric dermatology and adult dermatology. To learn more visit the Redwood Family Dermatology website or call 707-545-4537 to schedule an appointment.

NCMA Wraps up 2018 Physician Regional Symposium – Videos Available Online

2018 physician regional spring symposium wrap-up

Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) has wrapped up the Physician Regional Spring Symposium and is offering a full library of healthcare lectures for viewing on YouTube beginning April.

Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) along with St. Joseph Health held the much anticipated annual Regional Primary Care Spring Symposium on March 24, 2018 in Santa Rosa. This well-attended conference plays a vital role in the local medical community, offering physicians and healthcare providers an opportunity to learn about cutting edge treatments, to collaborate, share research and gain fresh perspectives.

At this year’s event, physicians from a variety of backgrounds and fields of practice gave hot-topic educational lectures to an audience of healthcare providers that included; internal medicine and primary care physicians, emergency physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, staff RNs, and medical assistants – all from the northern California region. This event gives doctors the opportunity to also earn Continuing Medical Education credits (CMEs) for their attendance.

Programs highlighted during the symposium gave in-depth overviews of the current state of healthcare, and included advanced treatments and new technologies from the experts as they continue to improve patient outcomes and provide exceptional patient experience in the process.

Michael Johnson, D.P.M. of St. Joseph Health Medical Groups served as MC and NCMA’s Dr. Thomas Dunlap M.D. was co-course director along with Tucker Bierbaum, M.D. of St. Joseph Health for this year’s Symposium. NCMA physicians who spoke at the event included; Henry Huang, M.D. on Cardiovascular Updates, Yuichio Nakai, M.D. on Diabetic Updates/Medication Panel, Patrick Colman M.D. and Keith Korver, M.D. were included in a panel Update on TAVR, and Skin Lesions was presented by Jeffrey Sugarman, M.D.

Additional topics of presentations include;

  • Jack Boyd, M.D. – Current State of Robotics in Healthcare
  • Avinash Ramchandani, F.A.A.M.R., MD – The Opioid Conundrum – Angst, Anxiety and Answers
  • Elizabeth Tito, M.D. – How should you screen for breast cancer?
  • Ramzi Deelk, M.D., Sanjay Dhar, M.D., & Atoosa Molanazadeh, PA – Update on TAVR
  • Gerrard Ferrer, D.O. and Christopher Walker, D.O. – Concussions and Sports Medicine
  • Ian Anderson, M.D. – Lung Cancer Update – Screening

Complete episodes of these timely lectures are available online beginning in April via NCMA’s YouTube Channel where viewings are free and completely open to the public. The NCMA’s YouTube channel can be found at youtube.com/NCMAhealth. This educational program is provided by Northern California Medical Associates and St. Joseph Health –Santa Rosa Memorial.

About NCMA Healthcare

At Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA), innovative medicine and patient care is more than just a profession; it’s a calling. As one of the leading medical associations in the North Bay, NCMA takes pride in offering a highly diversified, professional staff and comprehensive health services to patients. No matter the level of medical expertise a patient may require, the professionals at NCMA will deliver expert care with respect and compassion. For more information visit the NCMA website.

Quality of life can be improved for people with chronic heart failure

Patients with chronic heart failure face related problems, such as depression and fatigue, that could be relieved by an expanded model of care, according to a recently published study.

Patients with chronic heart failure face related problems, such as depression and fatigue, that could be relieved by an expanded model of care, according to a recently published study led by a researcher from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The study, “Effect of a Collaborative Care Intervention vs Usual Care on Health Status of Patients With Chronic Heart Failure: The CASA Randomized Clinical Trial,” published in the current issue of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found benefit to some aspects of patients’ quality of life when conventional cardiac therapy is supplemented with a nurse and a social worker who collaborate with a team to address patients’ symptom and psychosocial needs.

“Many of the 5.8 million Americans with heart failure live with bothersome symptoms, reduced function and poor quality of life” said David B. Bekelman, MD, MPH, the study primary author. “Improving their care is important because many people with heart failure live with these challenges for years.”

Bekelman, an associate professor of medicine who practices at the Eastern Colorado Health Care System for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and his colleagues evaluated 314 patients, with half of them enrolled in a program that addressed those quality of life concerns.

The Collaborative Care to Alleviate Symptoms and Adjust to Illness intervention, also called CASA, offered 157 patients a nurse and social worker who collaborated with a primary care provider, cardiologist, and palliative care physician to address the patients’ needs. The CASA trial is the first clinical trial of such a collaborative intervention in heart failure and it included patients receiving care from VA, academic and safety-net health systems in Colorado between August 2012 and April 2016. Patients enrolled in the study were evaluated for a one-year period. The typical CASA intervention was three to four months.

The CASA intervention significantly improved patients’ depression and fatigue but did not result in significant changes in heart failure-specific health status, pain, shortness of breath, or number of hospitalizations. The number who died during the study was similar — 10 of the patients in the CASA intervention died, while 13 of those receiving the typical standard of care died.

The improvements in depression and fatigue are important results because they are both common, burdensome, and difficult to treat in heart failure, Bekelman said. Very few other studies have found treatments for these symptoms in patients with heart failure. Furthermore, the improvement in depression lasted the whole duration of the patient’s 12-month study period, months after the CASA intervention ended.

Bekelman discussed several next steps in the research, including studying the intervention in a higher-risk or more ill population, and using health technology, such as videoconference, to extend the reach of the CASA intervention.

Story Source: Read this article on Science Daily: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “Improving quality of life for people with chronic heart failure.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180226122454.htm>.


NCMA’s Internal Medicine Physicians diagnose, treat, and manage a full spectrum of health conditions. In addition to general internal medicine services, we also have expertise, special interest, and experience in the following areas: gastroenterology, endocrinology, health screenings, diabetes management and care, immunizations, and women’s health. Visit the Internal Medicine section of our website to learn more.

Annual Physician Regional Spring Symposium Gets Underway in March

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Northern California Medical Associates will be hosting the Annual Physician Regional Spring Symposium which will be held on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country.

This year’s event will feature Key Note Speaker: Jack Boyd, M.D., Stanford, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery – Current State of Robotics in Healthcare

Faculty Presenters include; Elizabeth Tito, M.D. – How Should You Screen For Breast Cancer?, Patrick S. Coleman, M.D., F.A.C.C. – Update on TAVR Christopher Walter, D.O., MMS – Sports Medicine, Gerrard Ferrer, D.O. – Concussions, Jeffrey Sugarman, M.D. – Skin Lesions, Ian, Anderson M.D. – Lung Cancer Update – Screening, Avinash Ramchandani M.D. – The Opioid Conundrum: Angst, Anxiety and Answers, Henry Huang, M.D. – Cardiovascular Update, and Yuichiro Nakai, M.D. – Diabetic Updates/Medication Panel.

RSVP by completing the online registration form. For more information call Debra Esposti at 707-569-7862.

2018 Symposium Agenda

NCMA Cardiovascular Services speaks out on American Heart Month

Northern California Medical Associates Cardiovascular Services explores national trends in cardiovascular disease and shares insight on staying heart healthy.

Northern California Medical Associates Cardiovascular Services explores national trends in cardiovascular disease and shares insight on staying heart healthy.

February is American Heart Month – a month-long event aimed at educating people all across the U.S. about heart disease and prevention. NCMA Cardiovascular Services is taking this opportunity to share some news about heart disease and offers some tips on how to have a healthy heart.

Heart Disease Statistics Never Get Better

Every year the American Heart Association updates the heart and stroke statistics and this year, the numbers are just as alarming as ever.

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD) (43.8%) is the leading cause of deaths attributable to cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the US, followed by stroke (16.8%), high blood pressure (9.4%), heart failure (HF) (9.0%), and other CVDs (17.9%).
  • Over the next two decades about 130 million adults in the US population (almost half) are projected to experience some form of cardiovascular disease, and total costs of CVD are expected to reach $1.1 trillion in 2035.
  • Stroke prevalence in adults is 2.7% in the US. The impact of hypertension management on stroke risk is evident with the greater risk reduction among those with more intense treatment.

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for both of men and women, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Improving heart health is paramount to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In this case, knowledge is power, and with just a little effort it is possible to protect against heart disease.

While education remains the best way to change a trend, getting people to take heart health seriously continues to be a challenge. “As long as a person is relatively healthy, making lifestyle changes aimed at improving cardiovascular function may not be at the forefront of most people’s minds,” says Dr. Henry W. Huang, M.D., of NCMA Cardiovascular Services. “But being proactive about heart health can have a significant impact on quality of life over a person’s lifetime.”

In addition to exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, controlling blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, making lifestyle choices to improve cardiovascular health will also improve quality of life, and lower the risk for heart disease. “You could say that these aspects make up the heart of heart health and represent a solid prevention strategy,” explains Dr. Huang “For people who have already had a heart attack and for those at high risk we also recommend taking a low-dose aspirin as part of their daily routine. This is a fairly simple measure anyone can take that has proven to inhibit clotting and lower the risk of future cardiovascular events.”

About NCMA Cardio Services

NCMA Cardiovascular Services offers patients a comprehensive range of cardiac services, interventional procedures and comprehensive care to meet the needs of patients with 11 offices, located in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma, Healdsburg, Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Gualala, Ukiah, and Lakeport. For more information, visit our website.