Preventing and Treating Heart Disease from NY's Top Doc
New York Daily News
THE SPECIALIST: DR. SAMIN SHARMA
As the Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab and Intervention at Mount Sinai, Dr. Samin Sharma is a cardiologist who performs 1400-1500 interventions per year. In practice for 18 years, he has the highest angioplasty success rate in New York state.
WHO’S AT RISK:
Coronary angioplasty is a procedure that reopens the clogged arteries of the heart, allowing a healthy blood flow through the previously blocked artery. The heart’s arteries become clogged as fat builds up in and on the artery’s walls—a process called atherosclerosis.
Though patients and other laymen still use the term angioplasty, most doctors are now using the term PCI, for percutaneous coronary intervention. Patients who are at high risk of developing heart disease are the people most likely to need angioplasty one day. “These are the patients most likely to have a blockage in their coronary artery that will require something more than medication,” says Sharma.
Everyone should know the six risk factors for developing heart disease: age, family history, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.
Men are considered at higher risk once they reach the age of 45, or earlier for men with a strong family history. Women are considered at higher risk after they are over the age of 55, or whenever they have gone through menopause.
“Progesterone helps women prevent heart disease,” says Sharma.
People associate smoking with lung cancer, but it also acts as a contributing factor for heart disease; “18% of angioplasty patients are smokers.” Family history is also a good indicator, warns Sharma, “If both your parents have heart disease, you’ll be dealing in some form.”