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February 24, 2015 

Five Tips from HHC Physicians to Improve Heart Health

(New York, New York – February 24, 2015) For “Go Red” month, the American Heart Association’s annual campaign to raise awareness of heart disease in women, clinicians from across the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) have compiled their top tips to help New Yorkers take positive steps toward a healthier heart. Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in New York, leading to more than 18,000 deaths in the City annually.

“Most heart disease risk can be attributed to avoidable behavioral factors such as obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet and excessive alcohol use,” said Norma Keller, MD, Chief of Cardiology at HHC Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan. Other factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are often preventable or modifiable. “Fortunately, that means the risk can be mitigated through behavior modification and by improving lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, heart disease continues to affect far too many people.

“There is also serious concern for the next generation of adults,” said Dr. Keller. “We are seeing more children suffering from obesity at younger ages due to poor food choices and less physical activity. Kids need less screen time and more active play time. Parents can help set behavior patterns now that will affect their children for the rest of their lives.”

For New Yorkers who have heart disease, or for those who want to prevent heart disease, HHC has primary care and advanced cardiovascular services for its patients regardless of their ability to pay, their immigration status, or other factors. To locate an HHC facility near you, call 311 or visit HHC on the web.

HHC’s Five Tips for Heart Health

  1. Keep Moving – Just a little bit of exercise can go a long way in improving cardiovascular health. Aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week. Choosing an activity you enjoy will help keep you on track. Small lifestyle changes such as walking instead of driving or taking the stairs instead of the elevator also make a difference.
  2. Eat Smart – Choose foods that are high in fiber and low in processed sugars. Healthy food choices include lean meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables. Another way to make sure you keep food choices healthy is by cooking more at home. Having healthy food readily available make it easier to eat smart.
  3. Know Your Numbers – Regular check-ups with a primary care physician will help you be aware of important indicators about your health such as blood pressure, Body Mass Index and blood sugar levels. Review these with your physician, understand what the numbers mean, and know what you can do to improve them and minimize your risk of heart disease.
  4. Small Things Add Up – Lifestyle changes can at first seem overwhelming, but small variations add up over time. Pay attention to daily habits and behaviors, and figure out where you can make small but healthy changes such as eating more vegetables or walking to work three times a week.

HHC is committed to keeping the communities we serve healthy and helping them to stay that way. Learn more by reading other HHC healthy living tips.


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HHC 2014 Stats

  • Staffed Beds: 6,684
  • Clinic Visits: 4,472,960
  • ER Visits: 1,179,436
  • Discharges: 205,791
  • Births: 18,564
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