Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We can avoid heart attacks!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The 3rd Harold Buchwald Memorial Lecture of Heart Health

Sharon Mulvagh delivered

3rd Harold Buchwald Memorial Public Lecture on

Heart Health in Winnipeg on Sept. 8th, 2011

To re-focus International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences emphasis on Prevention and Early Detection of Heart Disease, Dr. Naranjan Dhalla, Executive-Director, named Ivan Berkowitz as the “HEART HEALTH SCHOLAR”. We recognized the support of the Myles Robinson Memorial Heart Trust by honouring their founder and past president Harold Buchwald and organized the “Harold Buchwald Memorial Lecture on Heart Health”.

For the 3rd Harold Buchwald Memorial Lecture, we invited an exceptional cardiologist Dr. Sharon Mulvagh who is the Director of the Women’s Heart Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Dr. Mulvagh’s lecture was A STRATEGY TO AVOID HEART DISEASE!"

to enjoy her incredible talk, please click here

Our thanks to the following without whom this event could not have been the wonderful success it was:

Winnipeg Convention Centre, Sid Halpern,Lakeview Developments, Hon. Richard Kroft, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, Experimental Cardiology Lab, Pitblado LLP, Friends of Upper Fort Garry, Winnipeg Jewish Foundation, BMO NesbittBurns, Steingarten Schechter, Abe Anhang, PC Manitoba Fund, Manitoba Business Council, Winnipeg Jewish Federation, St. Boniface Hospital Federation and the Mayo Clinic


A short BIO


F.A.S.E., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A., F.R.C.P.(C)

Professor of Medicine, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine

Director of Women’s Heart Clinic

Consultant in Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic

Rochester, Minnesota

Dr. Mulvagh is Professor of Medicine, Mayo College of Medicine, Consultant in Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, and Director of the Women’s Heart Clinic at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. She is a clinical cardiologist active at the international, national, local and institutional levels in noninvasive cardiovascular imaging, specifically echocardiographic imaging using newer technologies including contrast echocardiography and myocardial perfusion imaging. Dr. Mulvagh also has a special interest in heart disease in women. She is an active investigator in clinical and translational imaging research, and an internationally recognized educator and speaker on cardiovascular imaging and women’s cardiovascular issues. Dr. Mulvagh evaluates and counsels patients in the Women’s Heart Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and has ongoing studies investigating the role of noninvasive testing for the diagnosis of coronary heart disease in women at risk, as well prospective assessment of the effects of hormone therapy on the heart and vascular system. Most recently, she has been actively collaborating with her endocrine colleagues, exploring the physiologic effects of varying glycemic states and insulin resistance on coronary blood flow, in order to gain mechanistic insights into diabetes and heart disease. She earned her doctorate in medicine, graduating magna cum laude, from the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. She completed her internship at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, residency in internal medicine at Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA, and fellowship in cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. She has practiced emergency and internal medicine in Ontario, Canada, and was a visiting scientist at NASA Johnson Space Center, and Clinical Instructor for the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, prior to arriving at Mayo Clinic in 1990.

Dr. Mulvagh is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology, the American Society of Echocardiography, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She is an elected member of Sigma Xi, and has served on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Echocardiography as well as having past elected membership in the Aerospace Medical Association. She has chaired and participated in numerous committees including the American Society of Echocardiography Task Force for Clinical Applications of Ultrasound Contrast, Committee on Live Programs, and NASA Scientific Working Group and Peer Review sessions. Dr. Mulvagh has moderated and chaired many scientific sessions for the American College of Cardiology, the American Society of Echocardiography, and the American Heart Association. She established, and was the medical chair for the First Inaugural Go Red For Women American Heart Association Luncheon in Rochester, MN in 2007, and has continued to play a driving role in investigation of the Rochester community epidemiology of heart disease in women. Her publications include numerous manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and invited articles and book chapters addressing investigative frontiers in echocardiography, and women and heart disease. She was the chair and primary author of the initial and updated consensus statements of the American Society of Echocardiography on the “Clinical Applications of Ultrasonic Contrast Agents in Echocardiography”.

Recently, Dr. Mulvagh was appointed to the Steering Committee which is developing the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences :GLOBAL NETWORK TO FIGHT CADIOVASCULAR DISEASES”

Her husband is also a cardiologist, and they have three children ages 14 through 20, four dogs, three cats, 2 mini-goats and mini-horse, numerous chickens and ducks, plus assorted rodents. As a family they are actively involved in soccer, hockey, gardening, beekeeping, and managing a honey business which has been recognized by Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine’s “Best of the Best”. Since medical school days, she has run recreationally, for stress relief and general fitness. While a resident in Boston in the early 1980’s, she assisted in the Boston Marathon Med-Ops at the finish line, which was set up in the basement of the Prudential Bldg, and always dreamed of one day running a marathon. In 2005, she finally found the time to expand her running program, and has subsequently run the Twin Cities, Chicago and Boston Marathons.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Personal Plan to Prevent Heart Attacks!

______by Ivan Berkowitz, International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences HEART HEALTH SCHOLAR, Winnipeg, Canada from CV Network Vol 9 No 2

Don’t worry, my vision of prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) will not use 5-syllable words and explore such topics as the potential of genomics or choice of medical devices. I believe that my personal experience has been successful enough to be worth sharing.

Without having had my DNA analyzed, I know that my genes forecast substantial risk of CVD. My mother was only 56 and my father was 62 when they succumbed to sudden cardiac arrest. Even before her death I realized that my mother had done an awesome job of bringing great joy to our lives, especially with the extraordinary food she loaded us with. Surprise … when I was 17, I realized, on my own, that I needed to lose weight and stopped some things like sugar, cream and then even milk in coffee; butter and, without even starting, smoking. However, the importance of food taught by my mother has never left my being. Unless I had significant control, I have tended to eat too much and weight loss was followed, gradually, by gaining most of it back.

1978 was an important benchmark. My older daughter was planning for her Bat Mitzvah so we agreed to lose weight. More significant was an invitation to a talk by Dr. Kenneth Cooper who ‘invented’ the system of counting aerobic points at his Cooper Clinic in Dallas. His talk was the highlight of the opening of the Reh-Fit Centre in Winnipeg. Also, plans were underway for the first Marathon in Manitoba. All these influences attracted me to join the Reh-Fit, seriously pursue their running program, follow an extreme diet and even try the Manitoba Marathon. At that point, I was only able to walk and run 6 miles but I was smitten. The next year, I had a great base and was able to finish my first of 22 full (26.2 miles) marathons. The training affected my taste for heavy foods and I have not eaten red meat since. The serious lifestyle change really got me into the best shape of my life over the next 20 years; even started training others so over 100 students finished their first of many marathons; and, most importantly, brought into my life the love of my life. The bottom line is that I feel I have enjoyed incredible health, vitality and ever- expanding interest in new ventures including my artistic spirit to create pottery.
Indeed I have followed a direction I read recently for Dr. Andrew Weil who gave 4 disciplines if living a long life is important: “You may want to adopt some of the habits that supercentenarians have in common. Supercentenarians - people who live to be 110 or older - share four lifestyle characteristics that may help explain their longevity. Throughout their lives, they have remained:
  1. Physically active. Even as you get older, daily physical activity should be a priority. Modify your routine to incorporate small steps, such as daily walks, using the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking up hobbies that involve exercise, such as gardening, playing tennis or hiking.
  2. Positive. Maintaining an optimistic outlook is important to managing stress and preventing related health issues such as heart disease. You can easily train yourself to start looking at the glass as half full. Begin with some simple self-reflection and meditation, and use humor for coping with negative thoughts.
  3. Social. A network of family and close friends is vital to optimum health. You can enjoy the benefits of a well developed social life by spending time with people who make you happy, joining community groups or clubs, volunteering, and participating in support groups.
  4. Spiritual. Regardless of your religious affiliation (if any), feeling a connection with nature, a higher being or purpose cultivates spirituality, and is an important part of graceful aging.”

Two reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association provide an update to obesity prevalence in the United States. Based on data from 2007-2008, researchers report that 68 percent of U.S. adults and 32 percent of school-aged U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese. On a Blog posted on April 13, 2010, Dr. Regina Benjamin, U.S. Surgeon General reported: “Last week, I participated in a meeting on childhood obesity at the White House to discuss ways to combat the growing health epidemic. I joined the First Lady, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan and experts and practitioners from around the country to discuss the challenges. I have been traveling around the nation, taking the message around the country and talking to people about the challenges they’re facing. I’ve traveled to Florida, where 43 percent of poor children and 45 percent of black children are either overweight or obese. I’ve met with Native American Tribal Councils, who are concerned about populations that have diabetes rates that are twice the national average. I’ve been to Durham, North Carolina, where the entire community is engaging in an effort to target obesity and other childhood health problems with unprecedented collaboration between public and private agencies. The problems are real, and so is the determination to solve them. I want to change the national conversation from a negative one that focuses on disease to a positive conversation about being healthy and being fit. But for people to act on these conversations, Americans need to live and work in environments that support their efforts. We need everyone’s help to support common sense, innovative tools and solutions. The meeting at the White House was an important step in that direction.” First Lady Michelle Obama has led the development of “Let’s Move!” which has an ambitious but important goal: to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation. Let’s Move will give parents the support they need, provide healthier food in schools, help our kids to be more physically active, and make healthy, affordable food available in every part of the United States.

To be specific, I have not written a book like the “South Beach Diet” or the “Pritikin Program”. But I am delighted to share a simple one-page which I call the “Trout Lake Diet”, named after possibly the most important influence on my continuing good CVD prevention – since my father’s investigation located Trout Lake, Ontario in 1944, I found the greatest environment including water we can drink right from the lake, physical activity and the extraordinary peace found without electricity, indoor plumbing and such toys as cell phones! On CBC Radio, I recently heard Diana Beresford-Kroeger, author of “The Global Forest”. She is a gardener who likes to combine her medical training with her love of botany. Having studied classical botany, medical biochemistry, organic and radio nuclear chemistry, and experimental surgery, Diana believes that the cures for cancer and other ailments can be found in her garden located in Merrickville, Ontario. She referred to research proving that pine forests (like the woods around Trout Lake): “Trees are a living miracle,” Ms. Beresford-Kroeger said. “Leaves can take in carbon dioxide and create oxygen. And all creatures must have oxygen Trees not only breathe and communicate; they also reproduce, provide shelter, medicine, and food, and connect disparate elements of the natural world.” She also talked about the Hawthorn trees whose berries are widely regarded in Europe to use to promote the health of the circulatory system and have been found useful in treating angina, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia.

At Trout Lake, we have hosted friends from all over the world – will you join us and hear my favourite sound – the call of our loons?

Ivan’s “TROUT LAKE” Diet*

One page is all you get = my simple approach for people on the go.
My friend/doctor Jack Rusen has introduced me to:
2 glasses of ice water before every meal.
Forbidden products: (direct or as ingredients): salt, sugar, desserts, butter, white flour, red meat, cream, white potatoes, white flour pasta, skin, deep-fried food, white rice, soft / high fat cheese, liquor (except the odd glass of red wine), soft drinks other than diet, juice, desserts with sugar
and / or milk products and / or white flour

Encouraged products: fruits, salads, vegetables (especially dark coloured ones), pulse vegetables (garbanzo, chickpeas, lentils), oatmeal, soy products, tofu, fish, white meat of chicken / turkey, salmon, prunes, bran products, vinegars, canola oil, flax oil or crushed, brown/wild rice, buckwheat, walnuts, almonds, skim milk, pepper, herbs, garlic, mushrooms, whole wheat flour products, green tea, chamomile tea (instead of coffee especially for an upset tummy).
Approaches to meals:
Breakfast – soy/skim milk, oatmeal, shredded wheat/bran, egg beaters, fruit
Lunch – salad, fruit
Dinner – veggies / salad, meat or fish (not huge portions), fruit

Exercise is strongly recommended. At least, walk 30 minutes every day. Weight workouts are good. Not necessary to train for and complete 22 full (26.2 miles) Marathons as I have done, but it helps!
and, NEVER, NEVER eat even a mouthful after 8:00 PM
*Based on personal experience over 50 years, losing probably a TON of weight (and recently another 20 pounds in 2 months concentrating on this approach!) but still fighting to lose the fat that creeps back, probably due to metabolism that attracts fat … and an innate LOVE of food!