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Regina Greer-Smith MPH FACHE
"I grew up with Krispy Kreme in the Deep South. As a child, we would race to taste the freshly prepared doughnuts," says Dr. Yancy, originally from Louisiana. "But each doughnut is about 300 calories, and if you eat two, that's 500-600 calories. If you realize how hard you have to work in a gym to burn off that many calories — it's just not worth it."
American Heart Month is a chance to educate people about the need to pay attention to their lifestyle and prevent cardiovascular disease before it begins. Dr. Yancy's basic message about the state of our heart health is three-fold:
"We have reason for enthusiasm," Dr. Yancy says. "We can help people live longer lives free of heart disease and stroke. Discovery is going on constantly — more drugs, more devices, more
Along with those advancements is a much simpler strategy — prevention. Dr. Yancy is a major contributor and supporter of the American Heart Association including its Go Red For Women campaign, a
fundraising movement to increase awareness of heart disease in women.
"If you think about who can really change behavior in this society, it's women," Dr. Yancy says. "Whether it's women who control what's happening with their families, friends or in the workplace — it is remarkably women who seem to have their hands on the levers that can change behavior.
"So if what we want to do is improve the overall cardiovascular health in the community, what better direction to start than making women more aware of their risk for heart disease and engaging their energy in our fight against heart disease and stroke?"
Clyde Yancy, MD, is chief of cardiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Magerstadt Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He is also a past president of the American Heart Association.