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Cardiovascular disease prevention lags behind treatment advances

February 13, 2018 GMT

Dr. Fadi Alfayoumi, a cardiologist at Valley Baptist Medical Center, said he recently performed a procedure to save a patient suffering from a massive heart attack. The man weighed 300 pounds.

While the patient’s life was saved, Alfayoumi said there was a conversation missing from the scenario.

“No one asks the question, why did that happen? How did we get to that point?” he said.

Medical technology is advancing at incredible speeds, but Alfayoumi said local efforts to educate the public on preventing cardiovascular disease is lagging far behind.

Valley Baptist Health System is holding a series of events at both campuses focused on heart heath. February is American Heart Health Month.

The Women and Heart Health luncheon will take place noon Feb. 17 in Brownsville, followed by a heart-healthy dinner and discussion on heart disease prevention 6 p.m. Feb. 21. The Harlingen campus will hold a heart-healthy dinner 6 p.m. Feb. 21 and health fair 7-10 a.m. Feb. 24. All events are free, but reservations must be made by calling (844) 502-7055.

Alfayoumi said a tight heart valve would have to require open heart surgery 10 years ago but can be effectively treated without even fully sedating a patient today. But that advancement in technology doesn’t address the lifestyle habits that contributed to that patient’s condition in the first place.

“We’re not doing a good job educating the public” about the importance of healthy lifestyle changes he said. Everybody in the health care system, from doctors to insurance companies, needs to be involved, he added.

nadia@brownsvilleherald.com

A more complete version of this story is on www.myBrownsvilleHerald.com