Heart health

Heart health

By Chris Strub

Heart disease takes the lives of approximately 600,000 Americans each year - a staggering figure representing about 25% of all U.S. deaths.

Fortunately, advances in early detection are helping to educate our community about cardiac disease and turn those daunting statistics around.

Dare to C.A.R.E.

The Dare to C.A.R.E. program at the Arnot Health Heart and Vascular Institute offers complimentary vascular screenings, as well as educational seminars aimed at teaching the community about cardiac disease and its early detection.

According to the Arnot website, Dare to C.A.R.E. stands for:

C - Carotid artery stenosis (responsible for more than 300,000 strokes each year)

A - Abdominal aortic aneurysm (affects over 2.3 million Americans, the 13th leading cause of death in this country)

R - Renal artery stenosis (affects over 5 million Americans, rarely detected before symptoms, and causes kidney failure, severe hypertension or high blood pressure)

E - Extremity artery stenosis (with a mortality rate higher than breast cancer and affects 12 million Americans)

The staff at Arnot Ogden provide extensive screenings that include blood pressure checks, non-invasive ultrasound examinations of carotid arteries and abdominal aorta, an evaluation of leg circulation and a review of results by a vascular specialist.

Periodic seminars about carotid artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysms, renal artery stenosis, extremity artery disease and cholesterol are also held periodically by a quintet of physicians and surgeons from Arnot Health.

Disease management

Unfortunately, for tens of thousands of Twin Tiers residents, messages of preventative maintenance come too late. Learning to live a quality life after heart failure is a complex and ongoing endeavor that challenges patients on a daily basis, as they work to avoid becoming one of the 325,000 Americans per year who, according to the CDC, experience an additional heart attack after their first.

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Certified nurses at the Heart Failure Disease Management program at Arnot Health's Heart and Vascular Institute helps patients manage their conditions by providing direct care and coordinating treatment with a cardiovascular physician.

The program offers a broad base of benefits to patients in need, including access to advice from heart failure management professionals. The need for hospitalization and emergency department care is effectively diminished as the patient works consistently with trained professionals in the field.

Another benefit of the management program is the opportunity to optimize recommended medications, easing concerns that can further stress a patient seeking comfort. The patient's condition is frequently assessed by the certified nurses, who persist in supporting and assisting in the implementation of crucial lifestyle changes to manage the patient's condition.

Living Healthy

Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle is important for both those potentially at risk for a heart condition and those looking to recover from one. A tailored exercise program paired with a dietary strategy that fits your profile can help manage risk factors that exacerbate the chance of cardiovascular issues.

Arnot Ogden features a Cardiac Wellness Center, coordinated by a case manager who works with patients daily to develop the right components for a program designed specifically for them.

The wellness center provides educational resources about cardiovascular health, private risk factor screenings and cholesterol reduction management guidance.

Stress reduction is another focus at the wellness center. According to WebMD, stress has been linked to changes in blood clots, which increases the risk of a heart attack. Chronic stress can cause patients to exercise less and eat more unhealthy foods, and may also increase your exposure to stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

For those who have traditionally dealt with stress with a cigarette, Arnot offers a Tobacco Cessation Center that serves the four-county area of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties. The cessation program held there includes support classes and referrals, nicotine replacement therapy, continuing medical education credits and a broad base of educational material. Cessation classes are also held monthly.

Exceptional affiliations

Arnot Ogden Medical Center is affiliated with the Columbia University College of Physicians. It was the first medical center in the country to become a partner institution in the Columbia Heart Network, which now includes nine hospitals throughout the Northeast.

Methodologies of patient care and key elements of Columbia's successful program are shared with the local team in Elmira, where surgeons have access to specialties in aortic surgery, cardiac transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, percutaneous aortic valve procedures, minimally invasive and robotic cardiac surgery, surgical atrial fibrillation, and pediatric cardiac surgery.

Facts about cardiovascular disease

Credit - The World Health Organization - www.who.int

• CVDs are the number one cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause.

• An estimated 17.3 million people died from CVDs in 2008, representing 30% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.3 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.2 million were due to stroke.

• Low- and middle-income countries are disproportionally affected: over 80% of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries and occur almost equally in men and women.

• By 2030, almost 25 million people will die from CVDs, mainly from heart disease and stroke. These are projected to remain the single leading cause of death.

• Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity, raised blood pressure, diabetes and raised lipids.

• 7.5 million deaths each year, or 13% of all deaths can be attributed to raised blood pressure. This includes 51% of deaths due to strokes and 45% of deaths due to coronary heart disease.


As the only comprehensive cardiac center in the Elmira/Corning area, Arnot Health provides a wide variety of diagnostic tests, including:

• Echocardiography
• CT Scan
• Stress Echocardiography
• Nuclear Medicine Stress Test
• Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE)
• Intravascular Ultrasound
• Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
• Holter Monitoring
• Electrophysiology Study
• Tilt Table Test
• Cardiac Catheterization

For more information

Call the Heart and Vascular Institute at (607) 737-4130.