Florida Hospital Hosts Heart Health Events for Women

VOLUSIA & FLAGLER COUNTIES, Fla., February 8, 2018 — Sporting their favorite red attire, nearly 250 guests joined Florida Hospital in raising awareness for heart disease, Florida’s #1 killer, accounting for nearly a quarter of all deaths in the state.

On Feb. 1, Florida Hospital rolled out the red carpet and hosted free events at the Sanborn Activity Center in DeLand and the LPGA International Clubhouse in Daytona Beach.

Over a heart-healthy dinner a physician panel discussed the newest blood pressure guidelines and explained how stress affects the heart, as well as offered insight on the latest treatments and interventions.

At the LPGA International Clubhouse, the panel included family medicine physician Dr. Sharrell Cooper, cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. John Holt, and cardiologist Dr. Nathaniel Valin.

At the Sanborn Activity Center, the panel included cardiologist Dr. Chad Broome-Webster, cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Utpal Desai, and family medicine physician Dr. Joanna Wierzbicki.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, killing one in three women,” said Cooper during the event in Daytona Beach. “Approximately 90 percent of women have at least one risk factor for heart disease.”

One of the leading risk factors for heart disease is a very common condition with no symptoms: high blood pressure.

“Nearly half of all American adults are at risk for major health problems because of high blood pressure,” said Wierzbicki while speaking at the at the Sanborn Activity Center. “Also known as hypertension, this condition makes the heart work harder than normal, and if left untreated, it can scar and damage the arteries and lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, eye damage, heart failure and fatty buildups in the arteries, called atherosclerosis.”

“People with readings of 130 as the top number or 80 as the bottom number are now considered to have high blood pressure, according to new guidelines released by the American Heart Association,” Valin said during the physician panel presentation at the LPGA International Clubhouse. “High blood pressure used to be defined as 140/90. The new guideline is designed to help people take steps to control their blood pressure earlier, and hopefully avoid developing other serious medical conditions.”

This change means that 46 percent of U.S. adults are identified as having high blood pressure, compared with 32 percent under the previous definition.

“About 10 years after menopause, there is an overall increase in heart attacks among women,” Broome-Webster said during the event in DeLand. “A decline in the natural hormone estrogen may be a factor among post-menopausal women. Estrogen is believed to have a positive effect on the inner layer of artery wall, helping to keep blood vessels flexible. That means the arteries can relax and expand to accommodate blood flow.”

Various interventional procedures to treat heart disease were discussed.

“There are many interventional options for heart disease treatment at Florida Hospital,” Desai said during the event at the Sanborn Activity Center. “This includes minimally invasive cardiac, thoracic, and vascular surgery and catheter-based intervention for coronary artery disease and atrial fibrillation. It also includes Pacemaker/Defibrillator placement, endovascular treatment for peripheral vascular disease and aneurysms, and structural heart intervention including TAVR and Watchman.”

While more than one in three female adults has some form of cardiovascular disease, there is some good news.

“There are some 43 million women living with heart disease,” said Holt during the event at the LPGA International Clubhouse. “The factors that lead to heart disease can start in young women and develop over time. However, with the treatment options available today, patients are living longer and with a better quality of life than ever.”

About Florida Hospital Central Florida Division – North Region
A member of Adventist Health System, Florida Hospital’s mission is to extend the healing ministry of Christ. Encompassing seven Florida Hospitals in Flagler, Lake and Volusia counties, the Florida Hospital Central Florida Division – North Region is the largest hospital system in the area, with 1,226 beds and more than 7,800 employees. The Florida Hospital Central Florida Division – North Region includes Florida Hospital DeLand in DeLand, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City, Florida Hospital Flagler in Palm Coast, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida Hospital Oceanside in Ormond Beach, Florida Hospital New Smyrna in New Smyrna Beach, and Florida Hospital Waterman in Tavares.

Photo Caption:
Family medicine physician Dr. Joanna Wierzbicki addresses attendees at the Sanborn Activity Center in DeLand for a heart-healthy dinner and physician panel hosted by Florida Hospital. “Nearly half of all American adults are at risk for major health problems because of high blood pressure,” she said. “Also known as hypertension, this condition makes the heart work harder than normal, and if left untreated, it can scar and damage the arteries and lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, eye damage, heart failure and fatty buildups in the arteries, called atherosclerosis.”