heart health

Join NCMA at AHA’s 2018 Sonoma County Heart Walk

AHA Sonoma County Heart Walk NCMA

Join Northern California Medical Associates teams at the American Heart Association’s 2018 Sonoma County Heart Walk, Sunday, Sept. 23 at Howarth Park.

We’re proud to be part of this wonderful annual community event to support healthy hearts in Sonoma County and beyond. Adults, kids, dogs on leash, and strollers are all welcome. Teams are forming now and it’s not too late to join!

Pick your NCMA team

  • Fountaingrove Cardiology (team leader: Debra Esposti) 707-569-7865
  • Fountaingrove scheduling / front office (team leader: Kaitlynn Wills) 707-573-6199
  • Spring Creek Family Medicine (team leader: Alicia Brophy) 707-544-3811
  • NCMA Rheumatology, suite 300 (team leader: Renee Briggs) 707-573-6942
  • The Heart Beats (team leader: Tina Chavez) 707-569-3226

Event info

  • Registration and expo opens at 8 a.m.
  • Warm up begins at 8:30 a.m.
  • Walk begins at 9 a.m.
  • Event ends at 12 p.m.

Visit the AHA’s 2018 Sonoma County Heart Walk site for more info.

AHA Sonoma County Heart Walk NCMA 2018

NCMA Cardiology — Sonoma Valley welcomes Sheryl A. Garrett, MD

More doctors. Better heart health in Sonoma.

Welcome, Dr. Sheryl Garrett, to Sonoma Cardiology

NCMA Cardiology — Sonoma Valley 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 in Sonoma Valley. 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 — Sonoma Valley please call 707-573-6199.

Waist and hip size associated with heart attack risk in women

NCMA Cardiovascular Services offers patients a comprehensive range of cardiac services, interventional procedures and comprehensive care to meet the needs of our patient

Higher waist and hip size are more strongly associated with heart attack risk than overall obesity, especially among women, according to research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

In a study of nearly 500,000 adults (aged 40-69) from the United Kingdom, researchers found that while general obesity and obesity specifically around the abdomen each have profound harmful effects on heart attack risk in both sexes, women were more negatively impacted by higher waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio than men.

This study suggests that the differences in the quantity and distribution of fat tissue not only results in differences in body shape between women and men, but may also have differential implications for the risk of heart attack in later life, researchers noted.

“Our findings support the notion that having proportionally more fat around the abdomen (a characteristic of the apple shape) appears to be more hazardous than more visceral fat which is generally stored around the hips (i.e., the pear shape),” said lead author Sanne Peters, Ph.D., Research Fellow in Epidemiology at the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Additional research on sex differences in obesity may yield insights into the biological mechanisms and could inform sex-specific interventions to treat and halt the obesity epidemic.

According to statistics in the AHA’s 2018 Statistical Update, 40 percent of American women age 20 and older and 35 percent of men were considered obese in 2013-14 national surveys. Being obese puts you at a higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain cancers.


Story Source: Read this article on Science Daily: American Heart Association. “Higher waist and hip measures may add up to greater risk for heart attack among women.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2018. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180228085425.htm.


NCMA Cardiovascular Services team is comprised of highly skilled physicians, specialists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals dedicated to our patients’ health care needs. Since 1975, the group has focused on sub specialization within cardiovascular health to provide services by the most highly trained and experienced physicians and staff.  We provide cardiac care in three counties, with 11 offices, located in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma, Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Ukiah, and Lakeport.

FountainGrove Cardiology Supports Go Red For Women

FountainGrove Cardiology Celebrated Go Red For Women

FountainGrove Cardiology Celebrates Go Red For Women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Go Red For Women

In 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA) faced a challenge. Cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet women were not paying attention. In fact, many even dismissed it as an older man’s disease. To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease & stroke as the number one killer of women, the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women, a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health.

What is the goal of Go Red For Women?

Go Red For Women encourages awareness of the issue of women and heart disease, and also action to save more lives. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them the tools they need to lead a heart healthy life.

In 2010, the AHA set a strategic goal of reducing death and disability from cardiovascular disease and strokes by 20 percent while improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent by the year 2020.

Learn more at Go Red For Women … 

Facts About Women and Cardiovascular Disease from AHA

Cardiovascular diseases, which includes stroke, claim the life of a woman about every 80 seconds. But about 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be prevented.
As the No. 1 killer of women — claiming the lives of one in three women — cardiovascular diseases force us to consider that a woman we know and love may be affected at any age. In fact, today heart disease claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
There is good news: heart disease and stroke may be prevented by understanding your family health history, knowing your numbers and making simple lifestyle changes.

Learn Your Family History.

You can control some risk factors such as blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol and lack of regular physical activity. You can’t control factors such as age, gender and family history.
Know Your Numbers and Act.

The five critical health numbers all women should know are:

1. Total cholesterol
2. HDL cholesterol
3. Blood pressure
4. Blood sugar
5. Body mass index (BMI)

Now is the time for women to take control of their health by Learning their Family History and Knowing their Numbers. Beating heart disease and stroke means more time for women to be change makers, business leaders and innovators, and more time to be moms, sisters, partners and friends. Beating cardiovascular diseases means more time to be here and be you.

When you support Go Red For Women by advocating, fundraising and sharing your story, more lives are saved. Every dollar raised helps fund lifesaving research and awareness that adds more time to women’s lives.

Facts about cardiovascular diseases

FACT 1: Cardiovascular diseases kill one woman about every 80 seconds and about 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be prevented.

  • Prevention starts with Knowing Your Numbers: Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI).
  •  Less than 20 percent of women meet the Federal Physical Activity Guidelines.
  •  More than 66 percent of women age 20 and older are overweight or obese.
    About 63 percent are non-Hispanic whites.
  • About 82 percent are non-Hispanic blacks.
  • About 77 percent are Hispanics.
  • More than 50 percent of high blood pressure-related deaths were female.
  • About 42 percent of women in America age 20 or older have total cholesterol of 200 mg/dl or higher.

FACT 2: Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly one in three women each year.

• Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
• More than one in three women is living with some form of cardiovascular disease.
• Women account for almost half of all cardiovascular deaths.
• Mortality from peripheral artery disease, or PAD, was nearly 11 percent higher in women than men. The prevalence of PAD for adults age 40 and older is greater than 6.8 million.

FACT 3: About 4.1 million stroke survivors alive today are women.

• Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 people a year. That’s roughly one in every 20 deaths.
• Each year about 55,000 more females than males have a stroke.

FACT 4: Heart disease and stroke affect women of all ethnicities.

• Among women age 20 and older:
• About one third of non-Hispanic whites have CVD.
• Nearly half of non-Hispanic blacks have CVD.
• About one third of Hispanics have CVD.
• Only 17 percent of women consider heart disease or stroke to be the greatest health problem facing Americans today.
• African-American women are the least likely among all women to consider heart disease or stroke to be the greatest health problem facing Americans today – only 13 percent consider it the greatest health problem.
• 15 percent of Hispanic women and 15 percent of Asian women consider heart disease or stroke to be the greatest health problem facing Americans today.
• 18 percent of Caucasian women consider heart disease or stroke to be the greatest health problem facing Americans today.

*Facts from Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2017 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association

About Go Red For Women

In the United States, cardiovascular diseases kill approximately 1 in 3 women each year. Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. Cardiovascular diseases in the U.S. kill approximately one woman every 80 seconds. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events may be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Go Red For Women advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and CVS Health, with additional support from our cause supporters. For more information, please visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278).


About FountainGrove Cardiology

At NCMA Cardiovascular Services, our goal has been to create one of the most comprehensive and cost-effective health care groups in the nation.

From cardiac catheterization to open-heart surgery, from electrophysiology to rehabilitation and prevention, the Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) Cardiovascular Services team is dedicated to delivering the highest quality care and the best patient results.  Our professional staff not only maintains its commitment to our patients’ health and well-being but to maintaining a tradition of excellence and expertise in our practice of the most current, innovative treatments in cardiovascular medicine.

The Cardiovascular Services team is comprised of highly skilled physicians, specialists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals dedicated to our patients’ health care needs. Since 1975, the group has focused on sub specialization within cardiovascular health to provide services by the most highly trained and experienced physicians and staff.

FountainGrove Cardiology
3536 Mendocino Ave. Suite 200
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

(707) 573-6166 Main Number
(707) 573-6199 Scheduling
Fax: (707) 573-6165

NCMA cardiologist shares insight on a new study linking high blood pressure to common heart valve disorder

NCMA cardiologist Dr. Noel Santo Domino discusses the latest findings pointing to a clear link between high blood pressure and a life-threatening condition that may be preventable in some cases.

Mitral regurgitation is a term that describes a medical situation where blood backflows into the heart resulting in symptoms such as shortness of breath, tiredness, dizziness and chest pain. “It is generally more common in older adults and can lead to death,” explains Dr. Noel Santo Domingo, MD NCMA cardiologist.

A new study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, detailed the heart history of 5.5 million adults over 10 years. Researchers discovered that those who were diagnosed with higher blood pressure in early life have a significantly greater risk of developing mitral regurgitation later in life. Mitral regurgitation is a condition which makes the heart less efficient at pumping blood throughout the body and can lead to heart failure in severe cases.

Dr. Noel Santo-Domingo

Mitral regurgitation is a term that describes a medical situation where blood backflows into the heart resulting in symptoms such as shortness of breath, tiredness, dizziness and chest pain. “It is generally more common in older adults and can lead to death,” explains Dr. Noel Santo Domingo, MD NCMA cardiologist.

The crux of this study indicates that mitral regurgitation may in fact, be preventable in patients who are diagnosed early with high blood pressure. “If this is the case, then as cardiologists it becomes our task to encourage those patients that are presenting with high blood pressure to take measures to adopt healthier lifestyle habits – thereby greatly reducing the chance that they will ever develop this deadly and debilitating disease.”

The deadly consequences of mitral valve regurgitation

Mitral valve regurgitation often progresses slowly and is accompanied in the early stages by very mild symptoms. A patient may have no symptoms for years, even decades. Depending on how advanced the disease is when diagnosed, signs and symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation can include:

  • Heart murmur
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea), especially with exertion or when at rest
  • Fatigue, especially during times of increased activity
  • Heart palpitations (experienced as rapid, fluttering heartbeat)
  • Swollen feet or ankles

A diagnosis of mitral valve regurgitation sometimes happens only after a doctor discovers a heart murmur. In other patients the problem develops quickly and in these cases, the patient may experience a sudden onset and exhibit severe signs and symptoms. In the medical community, mitral regurgitation has been largely considered a degenerative disorder, viewed as resulting from a weakening of the valve over time due to ‘wear and tear’. When viewed as a degenerative disorder doctors generally focus on treatment such as surgery to repair or replace the valve — rather than prevention.

“This new study is exciting and provides hope for many of our patients,” said Dr. Santo Domingo. “It also suggests additional research is needed to determine whether lowering blood pressure — through exercise, diet or blood pressure-lowering drugs – will in fact reduce the risk of the disorder occurring. In the meantime, advising patients who already exhibit signs of high blood pressure to take measures to improve their health will only lead to better outcomes in the long run.”

The deadly ramifications of HBP

High blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is often called the “silent killer” in that symptoms are very subtle and not always detectible in an otherwise healthy person. In this way it quietly damages blood vessels and leads to chronic health conditions. While there is no absolute cure, medications prescribed by a cardiologist can help, and choosing to pursue healthier lifestyle changes can not only enhance quality of life, it will help to reduce the overall risk of developing heart disease and related symptoms such as stroke, kidney disease and more.

The American Heart Association recommends taking these steps to manage high blood pressure naturally:

  • Eat a well-balanced, low-salt diet
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Adopt a routine that includes regular physical activity
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Take prescription medications properly
  • Monitor your heart health and know your blood pressure

The best way to find out if a person’s blood pressure is in a healthy or unhealthy range is to get it checked.

About the NCMA Cardiology Team

From cardiac catheterization to open-heart surgery, from electrophysiology to rehabilitation and prevention, the Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) Cardiovascular Services team is dedicated to delivering the highest quality care and the best patient results. The NCMA Cardiology staff not only maintains its commitment to patients’ health and well-being but also maintains a tradition of excellence and expertise in its practice of the most current, innovative treatments in cardiovascular medicine. To learn more, visit the cardiology section of the NCMA website.

 

 

Dr. Ashwani Bedi on Heart Health for Life and the Results of Decades of Research

Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) Dr. Ashwani Bedi discusses the results of this month’s study on heart disease.

Earlier this month researchers from the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project released results of a study focused on 25,800 people who had turned 65 by 2010. Pulling data from the same participants who also made up a study from 1967 to 1973, researchers looked at heart health during younger years and how that played out over time.

They found that people with favorable heart health at younger ages lived about four years longer altogether, survived about five years longer before developing a chronic illness such as cancer or heart failure and spent 22 percent less of their senior years with a chronic disease compared to people with two or more heart risk factors earlier in life. This group also saved almost $18,000 in Medicare costs.

“Cardiovascular health is a lifetime concern,” says Dr. Ashwani Bedi, NCMA Cardiologist. “The American Heart Association says that about 41 percent of the U.S. population will have cardiovascular disease by 2030. That is a shocking statistic. This study clearly demonstrates that life-long heart health can be achieved, if patients make it a priority early in life. It’s hard to imagine a simpler solution than that.”

Cardiovascular disease includes conditions that affect the structures or function of the heart. It is the leading cause of death in the U.S. causing more than 800,000 deaths per year and $300 billion in direct medical expenditures. “The best way to prevent cardiovascular disease is to learn about it early and to take steps to prevent it from occurring,” says Dr. Bedi.

As a practicing Cardiac Electrophysiologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms, Dr. Bedi understands the importance of prevention and the need to make lifestyle changes early in life to help ensure a healthy heart for life. “It’s human nature to not focus on our cardiovascular health until later in life when it becomes a problem. This study shows the importance of making lifestyle changes to support heart health earlier in life.”

How to prevent heart disease

Heart failure is a major health problem for both men and women in the U.S., affecting nearly 5 million Americans. About 550,000 people are diagnosed with it each year. It is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65. The hallmarks of prevention for heart disease include:

  • Eating healthy
  • Getting active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Manage cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Take steps to manage stress

“Ultimately, it’s never too early or too late to learn about heart disease. The earlier in life a person can take steps to prevent cardiovascular disease, the better the chances that person has for staying healthy for life,” Dr. Bedi said.

About Dr. Bedi

Dr. Bedi is board certified in cardiac electrophysiology, cardiovascular disease and internal medicine. He brings specialty expertise in all aspects of cardiac electrophysiology including SVT and VT ablations, atrial fibrillation ablations, pacing (including BiV pacing) and defibrillation as well as intracardiac echocardiography. Dr. Bedi was the recipient of the Health Care Hero Award and received multiple WOW designations at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. He has a professional interest in cardiac ablations, prevention and awareness of sudden cardiac death in communities and has been actively involved in cardiac screening for college athletes.

For more information about the full range of services offered by Northern California Medical Associates, visit the NCMA Health website. To make an appointment with Dr. Bedi, call (707) 573-6199

New Research Highlights the Connection Between Brain and Heart Health, Encouraging People to Get Fit

Northern California Medical Associate’s Cardiovascular Services discusses the latest research on heart health and offers some pointers for patients interested in improving both heart and brain function.

fitness is a factor for people of all ages and this research pointing out that heart health may also impact cognitive, or brain function helps to drive home the importance of taking an active approach to managing heart health, for patients and physicians alike. The Journal of the American Heart Association just released research indicating that a healthy heart may have major benefits for preventing the decline in brain function often associated with aging. Findings indicate that people who work to maintain optimal cardiovascular health have better brain processing speed and less cognitive decline over time. The study followed 1,033 participants with an average age of 72, for about six years.

To facilitate the study researchers adopted the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple Seven®” definition of cardiovascular health. These guidelines include tips for maintaining optimal heart health and include recommendations for tobacco avoidance, ideal levels of weight, physical activity, healthy diet, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.

“We have long understood that regular physical activity combined with avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and maintaining a healthy diet helps to reduce risk of strokes and heart attacks,” says NCMA Cardiologist Dr. Allan Garfield. “Studies like this help to underscore the importance of taking an active approach to heart health. If adopting a regime as recommended by the AHA helps to improve heart heath as well as brain health over the long haul, that’s a win-win for our patients.”

Heart Health is a Serious Concern

According to the AHA cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally. More than 17.3 million deaths are attributed to the disease annually, and more than 800,000 people in the U.S. died from heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases in 2013 alone (the most recent data available).

Lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, a trend that is wide spread among the population. According to the statistics, a full half of all Americans fail to get enough exercise, much less the recommended 150 minutes/week of vigorous to moderate physical activity. “This number might look challenging at first, but when you break it down to a daily routine, we’re talking just over 20 minutes per day – a number most everyone is capable of achieving,” Dr. Garfield pointed out. The AMA also recommends incorporating weekly strengthening activities, at least twice a week.

Increasing Activity Levels has Many Benefits

Adopting a more active lifestyle can have a very positive impact on a person’s health, regardless of age or if they suffer from chronic illness. Even people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes who pursue a more active lifestyle are much less likely to die prematurely than their inactive counterparts. Studies have proven that as people become more active, health benefits go well beyond just heart health. Physical fitness is known to reduces the risk of many diseases associated with aging including;

  • bone loss high blood pressure
  • stroke
  • breast cancer
  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • cancer
  • depression
  • anxiety

Ultimately, fitness is a factor for people of all ages and this research pointing out that heart health may also impact cognitive, or brain function helps to drive home the importance of taking an active approach to managing heart health, for patients and physicians alike.

About NCMA Cardiology Services

From cardiac catheterization to open-heart surgery, from electrophysiology to rehabilitation and prevention, the NCMA’s Cardiovascular Services team is dedicated to delivering the highest quality care and the best patient results. The professional staff not only maintains its commitment to patients’ health and well-being but maintains a tradition of excellence and expertise in the practice of the most current, innovative treatments in cardiovascular medicine. For more information, visit the NCMA website and to make an appointment call 707-573-6166.


 

More info:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160316194211.htm

NCMA Cardiology Launches “Be Heart Smart” Campaign During National Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, and Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) Cardiology is kicking off its “Be Heart Smart” campaign to do its part to spread heart health awareness. Since 1975, NCMA Cardiology has focused on educational outreach in addition to providing a comprehensive range of cardiac services from highly trained, elite physicians. With the “Be Heart Smart” campaign, NCMA Cardiology aims to educate the public about various aspects of heart health in order to empower people to make the right choices and to live a heart healthy life.

Be Heart Smart fb masthead

Heart disease has been the number-one killer of Americans for the past 80 years. In 2015, it isn’t news to most people that heart disease is the leading cause of premature death in the United States. It also isn’t news to most people that heart disease is preventable. The shocking news is that even though people know the risks of heart disease and that it is preventable, the incidence of heart disease and related deaths continues to grow. According to the American Heart Association, one in seven deaths is related to coronary heart disease, and one in nine is caused by heart failure. In light of the growing problem, February has been deemed “Heart Month” in America. NCMA Cardiology has launched its “Be Heart Smart” social media campaign this month as a means to help people realize the power of preventative healthy living to reverse the trend of rising heart disease.

While there are some risk factors you can’t control such as age, gender, heredity, and race, people can significantly mitigate their risk for heart disease by making healthy lifestyle choices. With its campaign, NCMA Cardiology hopes to reach as many people as possible and to cause them to stop and think about their hearts when making health-related choices. NCMA cardiologists have identified seven interrelated goals that will help people reduce their risk for heart disease. In essence, the “Be Heart Smart” campaign is about (1) managing diet and weight, (2) exercising regularly, (3) quitting smoking, (4) reducing stress, (5) keeping blood pressure in the healthy range, (6) managing cholesterol levels, and (7) controlling blood sugar.

First and foremost, managing diet and weight is the most important step towards minimizing one’s risk of heart disease. NCMA Cardiology strives to redefine the meaning of ‘diet’ in popular culture. One’s diet encompasses everything he or she ingests over a lifetime. Alternatively, when one ‘goes on a diet,’ this most likely means the dieter is resisting the foods that he or she prefers to eat for a set period of time for the sake of losing weight. This type of dieting is not an effective way to sustain weight loss, as once the diet ends, the person rewards themselves with the unhealthy foods they resisted while dieting. To truly have a healthy diet, NCMA cardiologists recommend eating smaller portions at meals, and snacking on vegetables and fiber-rich whole grains during the day. Allow yourself to indulge in high-fat, and high-sugar foods, but don’t overdo it. Your diet does not have an end-date.

While obesity poses one of the most serious threats to heart health, you don’t have to be obese to have an increased risk of heart disease due to a poor diet. Everyone’s body processes food differently. Although it is unlikely, some people can appear slim and fit while sustaining themselves on potato chips and soda pop. This does not change the fact that these people are increasing their risk for heart disease through their diets. What foods are really the best for your heart? Recent studies have shown that the “Mediterranean diet” can reduce the risk heart disease by about 20% in both men and women.

“Just taking a walk in the morning or the evening will put you on your way to better heart health.”

After maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly is the next most important step towards reducing hearth health. Not only will living a sedentary lifestyle reduce muscle strength and endurance, it will also contribute to metabolic problems such as high blood sugar and cholesterol. Much scientific research has gone into how much exercise is enough, and today’s leading experts recommend getting at least 60 minutes of continuous, moderate aerobic exercise each day of the week. NCMA cardiologists recognize that this recommendation is more than what many Americans are willing to do or have time for, so they level with patients and tell them the raw facts—true up until the extreme, the more cardiovascular exercise people get everyday, the more they reduce their risk for heart disease. While 60 minutes a day brings about excellent health benefits, even just 20 to 30 minutes of continuous, moderate aerobic exercise five days a week has been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease by 30-50%. Just taking a walk in the morning or the evening will put you on your way to better heart health.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that smoking dramatically increases your risk of cardiovascular heart disease. Like it says on every cigarette box today, smoking causes heart disease. Smoking accelerates the progression of heart disease in people predisposed to having it, and drastically increases the chances of it developing in people who would otherwise be at a very low risk. In conjunction with the Northern California Center of Well-Being, NCMA offers smoking cessation classes. Even if you aren’t ready to quit, it is important to talk to your NCMA physician about your smoking habit so that he or she may provide you with all of the resources, clinics and classes offered through NCMA.

When it comes to reducing stress, it is important to clarify what kind of stress is most necessary to reduce for the sake of improving heart health. Reducing physical stress such as exercise, for example, should not be thought of as an effective means to reduce one’s risk of heart disease. Emotional stress, such as work-related, relationship, and financial stresses, has long been suspected and recently confirmed to increase one’s risk for heart disease. These types of stresses, however unpleasant or dangerous, cannot always be avoided. Reducing stress, therefore, is ultimately about finding ways to relax when confronted with stressful situations. No two people will ever react to the same type of stress the same way, so it is also important for individuals to determine the stresses that affect them most. Avoid them when you can, and find relief through deep breaths and communal support when you can’t. Include your doctor in conversations about your stress levels for further feedback and advice.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and off-balance, volatile blood sugar levels are all relatively common in our society and can significantly increase one’s risk of developing heart disease. While the best way to mitigate these risks is through exercise, healthy eating, and not smoking cigarettes, treatment may require management with drug therapy and careful monitoring by your physician. Other contributing factors other than lifestyle choices such as genetics and metabolic disorders are often unavoidable and may warrant even closer care with your doctor.

Improving your heart health and reducing your risk for heart disease doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Simply making an effort to be conscious of heart health in your day-to-day living can go a long way. To start, NCMA Cardiology encourages everyone to pick two or three goals on the “Be Heart Smart” list to go after. In addition, keeping regular appointments with your cardiologist before any serious heart issues arise is the best way to stay on top of your heart health.

NCMA Cardiology is comprised of 14 cardiologists, two cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons, and one electrophysiologist—all board-certified in their fields. Since 1975, the group has focused on sub specialization within cardiovascular health to provide services by the most highly trained and experienced physicians and staff. In accordance with its practice of providing comprehensive cardiovascular health care, NCMA offers HeartWorks, pacemaker and defibrillator clinics, anti-coagulation clinics, congestive heart failure clinics, pulmonary hypertension clinics, lipid clinics, and an adult congenital heart clinic in addition to general check-ups with cardiologists. NCMA’s HeartWorks Cardiac Rehabilitation Center provides each patient with a personal diet and exercise plan supervised by a team of physicians, nurses, and cardiac exercise specialists.

Be Heart Smart IconNCMA Cardiology provides cardiac care in three counties, with 11 offices, located in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma, Healdsburg, Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Gualala, Ukiah, and Lakeport. Visit our website at www.ncmahealth.com for more information on NCMA health services and contacting NCMA offices. Please call (707) 573-6166 to schedule an appointment with NCMA Cardiology, and visit NCMA’s Facebook page to follow the “Be Heart Smart” campaign.

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Northern California Medical Associates receives IAC Accreditation in Nuclear Cardiology

IACTwo Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) locations, Santa Rosa and Ukiah, received accreditation from The Intersocietal Accreditation Committee in the practice of Nuclear Cardiology. This three-year accreditation is awarded to those facilities that provide the highest standards in patient care.

NCMA Nuclear Medicine has passed the rigorous application and needed for accreditation as well as compiling with national standards. Accreditation ensures patients that the facility has been carefully critiqued and all aspects of operations in the field of Nuclear Cardiology are up to medical standards.

With cardiovascular disease the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, early detection of life threatening heart disorders and other diseases is possible with the use of nuclear cardiology in hospitals, outpatient centers and physician’s offices. NCMA has met the requirements for nuclear cardiology testing as well as the standards demanded for other contributing factors including the skill of technologists preforming examinations, the equipment used and the background and knowledge of practicing physicians.

The Intersocietal Accreditation Committee is a widely respected organization within the medical community with support from national medical societies that include industry leaders of physicians, technologists and medical physicists. The IAC continues its twenty-year accreditation divisions by developing standards and methods for the overall evaluation of the quality of care delivered. The IAC also provides peer review processes for multiple imaging modalities within the medical community.

NCMA has led the way in exceptional patient care since 1975.  It holds the only establish cardiac rehabilitation, lipid treatment, congestive heart failure and adult fitness program north of the Golden Gate. With highly respected primary care physicians and specialists in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino Counties NCMA is the premier provider of cardiovascular surgery state-wide and is committed to the improvement and health of its community and patients and will continue to establish and hold the highest standards for patient care.