New Director Named to Enhance Programs in Heart Failure, Transplantation

Sean P. Pinney, MD, was recently named the first Director of Heart Failure and Transplantation for the Mount Sinai Health System. He will also continue to serve as Director of Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation at The Mount Sinai Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he has led a number of clinical trials in heart failure, cardiac transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support. Read more

Mount Sinai Goes Red for Women

On February 6, 2015, Mount Sinai Heart’s Magnet recognized nurses partnered once again with the American Heart Association and other Departments at The Mount Sinai Hospital to organize and host the annual “Go Red for Women” Community Heart Health Fair with free screenings. February is “American Heart Month” and every year for the past 13 years, Mount Sinai Heart’s nurses have been the driving force behind the Go Red for Women health screening, which is aimed at raising awareness of heart disease among women.

This year Go Red health fair events were offered at five health system locations: The Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Queens, Mount Sinai Saint Luke’s, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, and Mount Sinai Beth Israel in Brooklyn. Read more

Women Need to Know Their Risks for Heart Disease

Heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in women. While awareness has doubled over the last 15 years, still only 56 percent of women identified heart disease as the leading cause of death in a 2012 survey by the American Heart Association.

One in three women dies from heart attack and stroke, but many of these deaths can be prevented. Women often come to the emergency room too late because they attributed their symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux or the flu.

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The Most Common Inherited Heart Disease: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common inherited heart disease; it causes thickening of the heart muscle without a clinical cause to explain the extent of thickening observed.

HCM causes symptoms of dyspnea or shortness of breath, chest pain, exercise intolerance, syncope or fainting, and uncommonly, sudden cardiac death (SCD). It affects individuals of all ages but most commonly presents after age 30. Many patients with HCM have a relatively benign course and can have normal life expectancy, and symptoms can be managed with first-line pharmacologic agents like beta blockers or verapamil. However, a quarter of patients will experience in their course either severe disabling symptoms or SCD. Read more

Attention Statin Patients: Are You Experiencing Muscle Aches, Weakness, Decreased Exercise Capacity, “Brain Fog”, Impaired Clarity, or Memory Loss?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have statin intolerance.

What are statins?

Statins are a class of cholesterol lowering medication therapies that have been extensively evaluated in controlled clinical trial studies. These medications have been consistently shown to reduce the risk of a first cardiovascular event including heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease. Also, the drugs can reduce recurrent (two or more) cardiovascular events in people with a prior heart attack, or other acute coronary syndromes that result from a reduction in blood flow to the heart muscle, or stroke. In addition, studies show statins have helped reduce the total amount of deaths worldwide overall from cardiovascular diseases. Read more

Teaching Heart-Healthy Habits to High-Risk Children and Families

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has received a $3.8 million grant from the American Heart Association (AHA) to promote cardiovascular health through early education and intervention programs targeting high-risk children and their parents in Harlem and the Bronx.

Mount Sinai researchers will study the genes and lifestyles of 600 preschoolers and their parents or guardians who live in these communities, which are associated with high rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The investigators will track whether the interventions lead to healthier eating habits and additional exercise. They will also examine the participants’ DNA and RNA to understand how genetics plays a role in the development of cardiovascular disease.

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“Heart Disease And Cardiovascular Disease, In General, Is A Function Of Age…and The Guidelines Say Let’s Treat Them.”

“Do you really need to treat all of these patients?”

Modern Healthcare article reported that: “ More than half of adults between ages 40 and 75 who need help managing cholesterol would be eligible for statin therapy for the prevention of heart disease on the basis of the newest American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guidelines…The new guidelines have the potential to increase the net number of new statin prescriptions by 12.8 million.”

“With more than 115 million U.S. adults estimated to be between the ages of 40 and 75, the analysis suggests the total number of potential statin users could expand to 56 million, and the majority would be above age 60.”

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Blazing a New Trail in the Treatment of Heart Disease

An injectable nanoparticle that delivers HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins, which directly inhibit atherosclerotic plaque inflammation could represent a new frontier in the treatment of heart disease. This novel approach is being developed by researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who have seen promising results in mice models and plan to translate their findings to humans within the next few years.

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A Leader in Cardiovascular Care for HIV Patients

What started as a casual observation among physicians almost a decade ago—that patients with HIV tend to develop hypertension and have a greater risk of heart attacks than the general population—has become a formal area of study and treatment within the Mount Sinai Health System.

Under the direction of Merle Myerson, MD, EdD, Director of the St. Luke’s Roosevelt Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, and Director of the Cardiology Section of the Spencer Cox Center for Health, patients with HIV are being closely monitored and treated for heart disease and stroke. In fact, cardiovascular care has become increasingly critical to the overall health of HIV patients, as more of them live well into their 70s and 80s.

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