Call for an appointment: (973) 586-3400
Cardiology Consultants of North Morris
356 US Highway 46
Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046
Tel: (973) 586-3400 * Fax: (973) 586-1916

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Disney: Let the Memories (and the diet) Begin

Longingly wishing that their dad would just buy them ice cream

I just returned from Disney World and while it was super packed, very hot, and kind of expensive, it was also awesome. The parks are immaculate, the staff is patient beyond what normal people should be, and despite the waiting (and a little whining), all 3 of my children thoroughly enjoyed it.

But as I schlepped my 5, 3 and 2 year old children along sun-baked paths, through crowds and onto various rides, I noticed that I was one of the younger (and thankfully thinner) child-schleppers out there. The percentage of obese grandparents, parents, and children that populate Disney World was somehwhat disheartening but not as much as the remarkably limited food options for the Disney goers.

It first hit me when I saw an elderly couple dividing up their pill box contents at lunch. I thought that many of these generous and loving grandparents were likely diabetic and hypertensive. And what would they eat? Finding healthy food options in Disney is harder than getting seats at the Princess Breakfast. I am certainly no Disney expert and this is just an opinion, but the vast majority of nourishment options were of the hamburger/hot dog/fried variety. There was a definite lack of fresh fruit and vegetables but you couldn't spit without hitting an ice cream/candy/frozen sugary concoction stand.

I know, I know. What should I expect? It's an amusement park, not a wellness center. But it also is supposed to be a magical place and it is indeed a family-oriented destination that prides itslef on making memories. It would be my hope that in the future they begin to provide healthier options for those grandparents and parents who may not want to bring their own food and stay healthy. There is a a movement afoot in this country to get healhtier and greener and our children are learning this in school. So where better than Disney World to set the example and begin providing healthier lunch, dinner and snack options to all those millions of people who love to make memories.

If any of you have differing opinions, or similar ones, we always love to hear from you! Comment below...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Future of Valve Replacments

Every year, tens of thousands of cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, and healthcare professionals gather to hear wonderful lectures from international experts, debate dozens of controversies in cardiology, and hear the latest study results in the Late Breaking Trials sessions.

One of this year's most interesting presentations at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 2011 Scientific Sessions concerned the the replacement of aortic valves using a catheter from the groin arteries as opposed to open heart surgery. Amazingly, this relatively new and incredibly cool technology was shown to be just as good as the tried and true standard surgical method of aortic valve replacement for the primary end point of mortality.

"These results indicate that [transcatheter aortic-valve replacement] TAVR is an acceptable alternative to AVR in selected high-risk operable patients," said Dr. Craig Smith, the principle investigator for the trial. "Future randomized studies should focus on lower-risk patients who are candidates for operation."

Dr David Moliterno (University of Kentucky, Lexington), another panelist who was not involved in the study, told members of the press: "You really are witnessing history in the making. This is one of the biggest steps in cardiovascular medicine in our lifetime."

Interestingly, these procedures are only done at selected major cardiovascular centers across the country, one of which is The Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Memorial Hospital, the only hospital in New Jersey to do so.