The ABCs of Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes

Dr. Paul Mather

Dr. Paul Mather

Jefferson cardiologist Paul Mather, MD, and Philadelphia Health Commissioner Donald Schwarz, MD, explain the ABCs of preventing heart attacks and strokes in an op-ed article for The Philadelphia Daily News.

The physicians want us to do our part in reaching the national goal of preventing 1 million strokes and heart attacks over the next five years. That means preventing 5,000 strokes and heart attacks in Philadelphia by 2017, they note.

And doing so could be a simple as following the ABCs of cardiovascular health for those at high risk:

Starting at the end with S.  We all know smoking is bad for your cardiovascular health and your overall health.

So, if you smoke, quitting is critical.

Smoking cessation is clearly a key to reducing your cardiovascular risk factor. While it isn’t easy to quit, there are resources out there for you. Our JeffQuit program, costs less than a month of cigarettes, and uses a proven approach with plenty of support to help you kick the habit.

Here’s what Drs. Schwartz and Mather say about A, B and C:

“One of the most important medications is Aspirin. It’s simple, cheap, readily available, and extremely effective. It can reduce the risk of a second heart attack or stroke by 20 percent, yet less than half of those who could benefit are taking aspirin regularly. Patients need to ask their doctors about whether aspirin is right for them.

And then there’s Blood pressure and Cholesterol. More than one-third of Philadelphia adults and nearly half of African-Americans have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Effective treatments are available, but most people with hypertension do not have their blood pressure under control.”

Jefferson Heart Institute

Jefferson has long been at the forefront of heart disease treatment, from the development of the first heart-lung machine that made open heart surgery possible, to groundbreaking studies on the effectiveness of angioplasty and the placement of coronary stents to treat blockages without surgery.

That tradition continues today as we strive to develop new techniques to make heart care simpler, safer, and better.

At the Jefferson Heart Institute, we emphasize the prevention and management of cardiovascular disorders, as well as advancing the use of innovative noninvasive approaches to treating patients without open-heart surgery.

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