Dare To CARE

More than 150 people were in attendance at Warren General Hospital’s presentation of Dare to C.A.R.E. at the Holiday Inn in Warren last Wednesday night.

The program was developed by Warren native Dr. John D. Martin and assesses patient risk for cardiovascular disease.

The acronym C.A.R.E stands for four of the major risk factors in adults over 60, according to the program’s website. Carotid artery disease is the primary source of preventable strokes. Abdominal aortic aneurysms are the tenth leading cause of death in men. Renal artery stenosis is responsible for at least 20 percent of patients on dialysis. Extremity artery disease has a mortality rate significantly higher than breast cancer and affects more than 12 million Americans.

In an effort to fully inform the public, two lectures were provided centering on dietary management and vascular disease. Speakers at the event included Agnes McKenna, R.D. and Paul Bialas, M.D. as well as George Lilja, director of marketing and development at WGH, who gave the welcoming speech.

McKenna, a registered dietician on staff at WGH, spoke about the importance of healthy eating. “We don’t really recommend or suggest supplements because we hope you get the nutrients through your diet, since they are more readily absorbed than the pill form,” she responded to an attendee’s question.

The importance of paying attention to food labels was another item McKenna stressed. “They are a guide to the nutritional content of packaged foods,” she said, adding that the best foods are what she refers to as ‘the unpackaged foods.’

Following a lengthy question and answer session, Bialas took the floor to reveal shocking news about vascular disease and sudden cardiac death and hypertension. “High blood pressure is the enemy here,” he stated. “Approximately 50 million Americans have hypertension.” Of those 50 million, 72.6 percent (36.3 million) are uncontrolled or go without the proper combination of medications needed to treat the diseases properly.

Referencing the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bialas noted that approximately 3,000 people died that day as a result of the attacks. The shocking fact, he emphasized, was that 3,000 people die every day from cardiovascular disease.

In addition to the informative lectures, the Dare to C.A.R.E program includes lab work to measure lipid profile and blood glucose, an ultrasound of the carotid arteries, aorta, and circulation in the legs, along with a consultation from a nurse practitioner who will analyze the results and assess the patient risk for cardiovascular disease.