Love Your Heart This February

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It’s February and love is in the air! It’s also the perfect time to love your heart health, as it’s American Heart Month.

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Its effects are something Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center Cardiologist Shahryar Mafi, M.D., FACC sees all too often. Cardiovascular disease is his specialty.

“People don’t realize, but there are things they can do to prevent many of these episodes from occurring,” explains Dr. Mafi. “The primary prevention involves diet and exercise. If applicable, weight loss and smoking cessation.”

According to the American Heart Association, the estimated annual incidences of heart attacks in the U.S. is 605,000 new attacks and 200,000 recurrent attacks. That means every 40 seconds someone will have a heart attack.

Staying on top of your screenings and testing are imperative for good health. “Screening for cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension are very important factors to reduce future cardiovascular events,” says Dr. Mafi.

Recent research has shown a direct relationship between the amount of calcium in the coronary arteries and the likelihood of a future heart attack.

“Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted yearly testing or imaging for identifying cardiovascular disease. Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring and Carotid Artery Ultrasound are recommended in certain populations,” explains Dr. Mafi.

Determine your heart attack risk: Get your Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring exam. Contact your primary care provider or cardiologist for a referral, and then call 703-523-1560 to schedule your appointment.


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