Tag Archives: Sarver Heart Center

Heart Health, WEB

7 tips to maintain a healthy heart

Every year 1.5 million men and women will have a heart attack or stroke.  Heart disease will kill as many Americans each year as all cancers, pneumonias and accidents combined. What can you do to prevent heart disease or minimize its impact on your life?

Charles Katzenberg, MD, a cardiologist with the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, emphasizes a healthy lifestyle, including diet, exercise, community engagement and stress management, as the best prevention against heart disease in his program called the Heart Series.

Dr. Katzenberg shares these seven tips for a healthy heart:

  • Find your own healthful diet.Eat as close to a whole-foods, plant-based diet as possible. Minimize meat and dairy, since these are associated with heart disease. Also, minimize calorie-dense oils, including olive oil, which contains 15 percent saturated fat and 1 percent omega-3, compared to canola oil, which contains 7 percent saturated fat and 11 percent omega-3. The first Mediterranean Diet study, called the Diet Heart Study, used canola oil, not olive oil. Avoid trans fats, added salt and added sugars. Learn to read food labels.
  • Avoid weight gain.While a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) is in the 18.5 – 24.9 range, the 25-30 range is reasonable for heart health, said Dr. Katzenberg. (A link to determine your BMI is on Sarver Heart Center’s “Heart Health” webpage.)
  • Get moving. Exercise aerobically (walk, jog, bike, swim, circuit weights, aerobic exercise classes) three to four hours each week. Include a few minutes of warm-up and cool down in each session.
  • Avoid smoking, including electronic-cigarettes.E-cigarettes are tools to help quit smoking, but long-term effects are unknown; so, use these short term while stopping cigarettes.
  • Know your numbers, especially blood pressure and cholesterol numbers and, if necessary, follow treatment prescribed by your doctor to keep these under control.
  • Manage your stress.Stress is a risk factor for coronary heart disease and is associated with elevated blood pressure and poor lifestyle choices in areas of diet, exercise, smoking and weight management. Learn to recognize unhealthy stress and use tools and mechanisms to modify your response. Some people relax by reading a book or listening to music. Others benefit from tai chi, meditation, yoga or exercise. Find out what works for you and do it 30 to 60 minutes each day to remove destructive stress from your life. Seek help if you need to learn ways to manage your stress.
  • Be involved in a community you enjoy.This could be as simple as sharing a meal with friends or family, volunteering, participating in an education or fitness class, a book club, or a religious group. Find what works for you.

What if you do your best to follow a healthy lifestyle and you still develop heart disease? There are risk factors for heart disease no one can control, such as advanced age and genes. It’s important to know the signs of a heart attack and to seek early heart attack care when symptoms occur to minimize heart muscle loss. For more information, visit the Heart Health webpage.

Know heart attack symptoms. Not all heart attacks look the same. Some people experience extreme chest pain that many consider the classic heart attack. Others experience milder symptoms where damage occurs over a period of hours. In such cases, symptoms may include chest discomfort, such as pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain that lasts a few minutes, goes away and comes back. Discomfort in the upper body – one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or upper stomach are other symptoms to watch for, as are shortness of breath, cold sweat, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, weakness and fatigue. People having heart attacks generally look unwell, so if a friend or loved one comments that you look ill, pay attention to your symptoms.

If you experience these symptoms or signs, call 911. Don’t drive yourself or have anyone else drive you. Time is heart muscle. Emergency transport to a cardiac receiving center gives a heart attack patient the best chance of saving heart muscle.

If the worst happens, a person may suffer a sudden cardiac arrest – suddenly collapses and is not responsive. Know the “3 Cs” of chest-compression-only CPR:

  1. Check for responsiveness- Shake the person and shout, “Are you OK?” Rub the chest bone with your knuckles.
  2. Call - Direct someone to call 9-1-1 and bring an AED.  If you are alone, call 9-1-1 yourself if the person is unresponsive and struggling to breathe.
  3. Compress- Begin forceful chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute. Position the victim backside down on the floor. Place the heel of one hand on top of the other and place the heel of the bottom hand on the center of the victim’s chest. Lock your elbows and compress the chest forcefully; make sure you lift up enough between compressions to let the chest recoil.

If an AED (automated external defibrillator) is available, turn the unit on and follow the voice instructions. If no AED is available, perform chest compressions continuously until help arrives. This is physically tiring so if someone else is available, take turns after each 100 chest compressions.

Chest-compression-only CPR, which was researched and developed at the UA Sarver Heart Center, has been shown to double a person’s chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest, compared to mouth-to-mouth CPR or doing nothing.

To learn more about heart health and chest-compression-only CPR, please visit the UA Sarver Heart Center website: heart.arizona.edu. You also can find us onFacebook (University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center) or follow us on Twitter @SarverHeart.

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Nancy K. Sweitzer – Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Nancy K. SweitzerDirector, UA’s Sarver Heart Center
Sweitzer, an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist and physiologist, hopes to build bridges between clinical and science enterprises and increase discovery in the areas of translational and personalized cardiovascular medicine.

Greatest accomplishment: “Becoming director of the Sarver Heart Center and chief of cardiology at the University of Arizona in March 2014.”

Surprising fact: “When visiting a new place, I always seek out local beer and yarn shops.”

Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue, Az Business Magazine celebrates the amazing women who make an impact on Arizona business.

Click here to see all of the 2014 Most Influential Women.

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Sweitzer Named Head of UA Sarver Heart Center

Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD, a board-certified advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist and physiologist, will become director of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and chief of the Division of Cardiology in the UA College of Medicine, Department of Medicine, effective March 1, 2014, announced Steve Goldschmid, MD, dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

“It is very clear that Dr. Sweitzer has a passion for professional excellence and delivery of high-quality cardiovascular care, combined with a curiosity that drives collaborative scientific discovery,” Dr. Goldschmid said.  “She also displays a deep commitment to seeking ways to improve. She personifies the UA’s ‘Never Settle’ vision – a vision that guides our strategic planning at the College of Medicine.”

Currently, Dr. Sweitzer is an associate professor of medicine and director of numerous programs, including clinical research, quality, and the heart failure and cardiac transplant programs (interim director) at the University of Wisconsin Cardiovascular Medicine Division in Madison. She also directs the cardiovascular medicine and heart failure and cardiac transplant fellowship programs there.

“Dr. Sweitzer is nationally recognized for her strong leadership and experience in clinical research. These unique talents will help her build impactful bridges between the clinical and basic science enterprises, and increase discovery in the areas of translational and personalized cardiovascular medicine,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, senior vice president for health sciences and professor of medicine at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Sweitzer has a clinical research program focused on the interaction of the dysfunctional heart muscle in heart failure with the vasculature and kidneys to better understand how to improve symptoms and organ function in heart failure patients.  She has done extensive work on the physiology of heart failure with preserved systolic function, a disease that disproportionately affects elderly women. She has led and collaborated on numerous studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health as well as studies supported by industry and academic sponsors. She also has served on numerous NIH committees and currently serves as a member of its Clinical and Integrative Cardiovascular Science Study Section and the American Heart Association’s Cardiac Biology and Regulation Committee.

“I believe in the mission of the current leadership of the University of Arizona, the College of Medicine, and The University of Arizona Health Network. Together, we are able to provide the highest level of unique advanced and specialized service to patients with heart disease in Tucson and the Southwest  and to support other cardiovascular and primary care providers in the region. The leadership at UA, combined with the strong faculty already in place, offer tremendous opportunity to grow the division’s regional and national presence and increase its prestige and recognition. I plan to build the cardiovascular division so that we will provide consistently excellent and comprehensive advanced and specialized cardiovascular disease services. As an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist, my focus has always been on providing the best care to the sickest patients with heart disease,” said Dr. Sweitzer.

“Dr. Sweitzer’s expertise will have a huge impact on the future advances that come from the Sarver Heart Center. Her experience as a translational researcher will be extremely valuable in terms of boosting collaboration between Sarver Heart Center members who have a strong basic science focus on cardiovascular diseases and those who understand the clinical advances that are within our grasp. We are grateful for the support we received from both the College of Medicine and The University of Arizona Health Network for making this recruitment possible,” said Carol C. Gregorio, PhD, director of the Molecular Cardiovascular Research Program and head of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the UA College of Medicine, who has served as interim director of the Sarver Heart Center since July 2013, following the retirement of Dr. Gordon A. Ewy, who served as director since 1991. Dr. Gregorio also chaired the director search committee.

“I am looking forward to the unique opportunity to lead both cardiology and cardiovascular research efforts, coupled with a successful center of excellence in the UA Sarver Heart Center. The potential to make a significant impact is far greater than most cardiology opportunities. This is largely due to the tremendous legacy of Dr. Gordon Ewy. His amazing work in both research and public outreach, saving lives and increasing understanding and awareness of cardiovascular disease is an awe-inspiring and motivating legacy. The Sarver Heart Center and the talented and dedicated staff are poised to be a real force in the Tucson community as well as the regional Southwest for improvement of care disparities and cardiovascular disease awareness, and large-scale preventive heart disease efforts,” said Dr. Sweitzer.