Maintaining Your Heart Health

Heart Disease Still #1 Cause of Death

February is American Heart Health Month and you’ve heard the statistics before. Across gender and most ethnicities, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. That means over 600,000 or one in every four Americans will die of heart disease this year. This information, coupled with the fact that 80% of heart disease related issues are preventable, makes one wonder if it shouldn’t be American Heart Health month every day of the year.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type is coronary artery disease, which can cause heart attack. Some people are born with heart disease. Other kinds of heart disease may involve the valves in the heart, or the heart may not pump sufficiently and cause heart failure.

"It’s important to realize that your heart is an amazing muscle and when it’s working well, you don’t really think about it,” says DCMC Certified Exercise Physiologist Sarah Traeger. “Unfortunately, it’s when people begin to have health issues that they take notice.”

You’ve had a heart event, now what?

Almost everyone with heart disease can benefit from cardiac rehabilitation. No one is too old or too young and women benefit from cardiac rehab as much as men. Traeger warns that people who have had a heart related event are at an increased risk of having a second. “Folks who have gone through this life altering event need to be proactive about their care. Sometimes it’s genetic, but you still need to keep up with it.”

If you have any of the following you could benefit from cardiac rehab:

  • Heart attack

  • Heart Failure

  • Bypass surgery

  • Angioplasty

  • Stents

  • Heart transplant

  • Heart valve replacement or repair

  • Stable angina

DCMC Cardiac Rehabilitation Services

Door County Medical Center provides a comprehensive program of cardiac rehabilitation for those who benefit. Our team of cardiac specialists and registered nurses combine exercise and education to create an active partnership with our patients and their families in pursuit of optimal heart health.

  • Inpatient Transitional Cardiac Rehabilitation. For inpatients we encourage low-level activity and preparation for discharge. Our staff emphasizes how to recognize signs and symptoms of developing problems, use of medications, a safe level of activity, when to call for emergency assistance, and the importance of follow up care.

  • Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Patients work weekly on aerobic fitness, muscle strengthening, and flexibility. Exercise is done wearing cardiac monitors so staff can identify any rhythm disturbances before they become a problem. “Exercise isn’t new to many people in the program, some used to be distance runners,” explains Traeger. “It’s not that they don’t know how to exercise but that they’re safe to exercise.” In addition to the monitored exercise program, education is provided in nutrition, stress management, and medication use. Individual risk factors are taken into account when developing a treatment plan.

  • Maintenance. “People enjoy the accountability of having to keep their cardiac rehab appointments, which can be mentally easier than going to the gym,” says Traeger, “but eventually the program ends and we do everything we can to prepare patients for that transition.” To that effect, DCMC partners with NWTC to provide the Hearty Conditioning program for folks 62 years and older. Hearty Conditioning is affordable and encourages a lifetime of fitness by providing a safe environment for exercise and social interaction.

You Heart Health Resource

In addition to cardiac rehabilitation, our skilled cardiac specialists & providers offer stress tests, EKG, and placement of a Holter monitor, which tracks your heart activity.

Honor American Heart month by being proactive in your own heart health. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 920-746-3591. Please note an order from a physician is required for participation in cardiac rehabilitation.

Published 2/18/2019 11:04:11 AM
Tags: cardiac, heart, heart healthy, news

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