MANHASSET, NY —
Supermodel and actress Carol Alt joined a large gathering of doctors, nurses, former patients and those currently living with heart disease in a discussion about risk factors for cardiovascular disease and prevention efforts during Northwell Health's annual participation in Go Red for Women.
Held at the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at North Shore University Hospital, the event coincides with the American Heart Association's (AHA) National Wear Red Day. It's a reminder to take care of your heart and understand risk factors that you can control – such as blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol and lack of regular physical activity – along with some you can't control like age, gender and family history.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women each year, according to the AHA – more than all cancers combined. However, Northwell cardiologists Stacey E. Rosen and Jennifer Mieres, co-authors of the new book, "Heart Smart For Women," who spoke at the event, emphasized that 80 percent of cardiac events may be preventable with education and lifestyle changes.
"It's important to understand that the symptoms of heart disease and heart attack may present differently in women, which can result in misdiagnosis and treatment delays," said Dr. Rosen, vice president for women's health at the Katz Institute for Women's Health. "We want to educate women and give them positive messages that they can often change a bad outcome into a good one."
An advocate for women's health and wellness, Ms. Alt discussed strategies for women in search of a new roadmap to health. "When it comes to heart disease prevention, a healthy lifestyle is key! A nutritious, well-balanced diet is one of your best weapons against heart disease," she said. The author of "A Healthy You," and "Eating in the Raw," Ms. Alt offered her audience tips that she used to combat headaches, exhaustion, stress and other ailments.
Also addressing the audience was Theresa Guarino, 57, who described her critical cardiac issue that almost ended her life in December 2016. After collapsing at her Malverne, LI, home, Ms. Guarino was treated at North Shore University Hospital where it discovered that she had suffered from an arrhythmia (ventricular tachycardia) that could lead to sudden cardiac death. After having a cardioverter defibrillator implanted, Ms. Guarino is back to work, jogging and has "A new appreciation of life."
Women and men can improve their heart health by knowing their numbers and scheduling an appointment with a health care provider to discuss all risk factors, including the five numbers that can change your life: total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI).
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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, more than 600 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 66,000 employees – 15,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.