Cardiac Care: Men and heart health

Nominate a Top Woman in Business. Click here. Nominate an NEPA business professional under 40. Click here.

20 Under 40: JenniferDessoye

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:17 11:10:02

Dr. Jennifer Dessoye is assistant professor of occupational therapy at Misericordia University and owner of Bright Beginnings Early Learning Academy (BBELA). Discontent with the early education curriculum and understanding of human development and neurolo (read more)

20 Under 40: Amy Hlavaty Belcher

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:09 13:55:46

Amy Hlavaty Belcher, 39, owner and artistic director of Abrabesque Academy of Dancing, believes that for those who have been given much, much is expected. “I just try hard to do my best,” she said. I have been blessed with many opportunities and many gift (read more)

20 Under 40: Christopher Hetro

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 11:21:35

Chris Hetro, 33, works hard and plays hard. “A strong work ethic is important, but finding balance outside of work is important because life is too short and you need to enjoy it,” he explained. As an electrical engineer and project manager at Borton-Laws (read more)

20 Under 40: C. David Pedri

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 15:19:17

For attorney C. David Pedri, 37, it’s all about a combination of qualities that contribute to success. “My philosophy is simple: be open and honest, treat people the way you would want to be treated, with respect, and work hard to attain your dreams. The (read more)

20 Under 40: Ed Frable

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:09 11:13:04

Ed Frable, 28, believes “if I work hard and stick to my word, good things will happen. My crew will not be deterred. We will re-evaluate our game plan and not give up until the job is complete,” explained Frable, the owner/operator of Ed Frable Constructi (read more)

20 Under 40: William H. Bender II

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:16 13:11:08

William H. Bender II, CFP, CIMA, CRPC, loves what he does. “I’m lucky. I come to work every day excited to help the people and institutions we work with,” explained Bender, 34, first vice president at Bender Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch. The fam (read more)

20 Under 40: Angelo Venditti

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 16:09:11

Angelo Venditti, 38, heard a call to the helping professions early on. Geisinger Northeast’s chief nursing officer answer was to volunteer for his local fire company. After high school, he became a paramedic, then enrolled in nursing school. Three years a (read more)

20 Under 40: Donald Mammano

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:17 12:38:37

At 20, Donald Mammano began his own company, while attending the University of Scranton. Mammano, now 33, and president of DFM Properties, recalls, as a youngster, holding a flashlight while his father fixed the kitchen sink. “From that point on I was fas (read more)

20 Under 40: William J. Fennie III

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:15 09:50:19

William J. Fennie III, 27, is always knocking on the proverbial door, because he knows one day, one will open. As an investment specialist with Integrated Capital Management (iCM) he cannot take “no” for an answer. “I make cold calls every day to invite f (read more)

20 Under 40: Marcus Magyar

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 13:25:24

As an advisor at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, Marcus N. Magyar, CFP, 30, provides comprehensive wealth management and investment portfolio services to business owners, executives, families and high-net worth individuals. His multi-disciplinary team of pro (read more)

20 Under 40: Heather Davis

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:10 13:34:44

Heather M. Davis, 33, director of marketing and communication, is responsible for creating, overseeing and implementing a strategic marketing and comprehensive communications plan for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). She is also responsible for pr (read more)

20 Under 40: Alexandria Duffney

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 14:24:50

Alexandria Duffney, 30, is competitive by nature and loves a good challenge. These qualities have led her to her position as associate director of graduate admission at Wilkes University. Here she works with prospective students interested in enrolling in (read more)

20 Under 40: John Culkin

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:07 17:18:26

John Culkin’s tenets inform: “Less haste equal more speed; the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, it is all about what you are made of, not the circumstances surrounding you; and don’t ask someone to walk a mile in your shoes, bef (read more)

20 Under 40: Conor O'Brien

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 17:19:58

“What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it,” mused Conor O’Brien.” As co-founder and executive director of the Scranton Fringe Festival, O’Brien, 25, is responsible for leading the development of the overal (read more)

20 Under 40: Jessica Siegfried

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:10 14:12:08

Jessica Siegfried, 38, is senior designer with BlackOut Design Inc., where she is responsible for all creative design at the full-service agency, from traditional branding and print to collateral and front end web design. “I’ve always had an interest in t (read more)

20 Under 40: David Johns

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:08 10:15:37

David Johns’ career path has been shaped by his diverse experiences. As director of structural engineering at Greenman-Pedersen Inc., Moosic, Johns, 39, ensures that his engineering and consultant teams provide clients with their best effort. “We complete (read more)

20 Under 40: Robyn Jones

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 12:41:32

Robyn Jones, 38, president of ReferLocal LLC, has learned just as many lessons from her business successes as she’s had from her failures — and she believes it’s important to share that knowledge with her employees. After graduating from American Universi (read more)

20 Under 40: Nisha Arora

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 10:02:06

Nisha Arora, 36, tries to be the best version of herself every day. As general counsel for ERA One Source Realty Inc., she realized she cannot control other’s behavior so “I try to focus on myself and how I can be better,” she explained. Arora’s responsib (read more)

20 Under 40: Justin Sandy

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:10 14:59:27

Starting at a young age in Hazleton, Justin C. Sandy, 33, found a passion for running. He became a member then a coach for Misericordia University’s cross country and track and field programs. “It was at Misericordia that I also garnered the profound sati (read more)

20 Under 40: Dr. Ariane Conaboy

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:16 09:38:07

As a doctor of internal medicine at Physicians Health Alliance, Dr. Ariane M. Conaboy, 34, realizes the importance of human life and how fragile it can be at times. Conaboy graduated from Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton with a double major in (read more)

Find us on Facebook!

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

"Like" us on Facebook for all of the latest news! (read more)

Follow us on Twitter!

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Follow us for constant updates! (read more)

Best and worst side jobs for extra holiday cash

Photo: Peter Spirer/Dreamstime/TNS, License: N/A

The holidays are a time for giving, but giving can be expensive. The season can put tremendous financial pressure and stress on average families. The good news, however, is that it’s also a great time to make some extra cash and pad your annual income wit (read more)

Article Tools

Font size
Share This

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

By Dave Gardner

America’s men may be their own worst enemy with heart health, but they also are benefiting from advancements in cardiac science that resembles technology from science fiction.

Men are often resistant to reporting heart symptoms and their compliance with physician instructions may lag, but all patients are enjoying superior diagnostic technologies such as MRI movies of blood flow within the heart. Genetic scientists are also “reading” individual DNA codes that identify higher risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which may avoid cardiac events.

On the treatment front, cardiac electrical problems that cause atrial fibrillation can now be treated by a technique known as ablation. During this procedure physicians heat or freeze problem tissue in heart with a catheter inserted through an artery, thereby curbing the troublesome electrical impulses.

Through related technology, pacemakers have been reduced to the size of a coin and may include a monitor that activates the device only when it is needed. External vests can also be used by a patient after the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. Stents placed through arteries in the wrist or groin to open blocked heart arteries are bio-absorbable and have a medicated coating to prevent further blockage at the site, and heart valve implants are accomplished through an artery without open heart surgery. This exciting procedure, known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), uses a collapsible valve that expands when in place and presses the malfunctioning natural valve against the sidewall of the heart.

Big news also marks physician efforts to lower patient harmful cholesterol, known as LDL. This involves the administration of new drugs, known as PCSK9 inhibitors, that work by inactivating a specific protein in the liver and requires only a simple injection in the thigh twice a month.

Difficult diagnosis

For the cardiologist, men can still be frustrating to diagnosis. David Fitzpatrick, M.D., cardiologist with Great Valley Cardiology, confirms that both sexes can benefit from the new global cardio technology, but men may avoid contacting a physician even though they are experiencing classic cardiac symptoms such as pressure or tightness in the central or left chest, neck or arm discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea and sweating.

According to Fitzpatrick, diabetes can also cause heart problems to be “numbed” because the associated nerves which would communicate symptoms to the brain have been blunted.

“Anyone can present with a silent attack, but diabetes is frequently behind a lack of symptoms,” Fitzpatrick said. “From the standpoint of risk factors, smoking still tops the list, but diabetes from obesity is definitely a problem.”

Compliance in post cardiac event patients is another problem, with men making up a large percentage of those patients who do not follow the instructions of their cardiologist. Fitzpatrick explained his caregiving team emphasizes the importance of proper compliance after surviving an event and the caregivers seek to motivate the patient to exercise and consumer a healthier diet.

“Some patients do change their ways, but various degrees of compliance exist and most patient behavior involves various shades of grey,” he said

Alfred Casale, M.D., cardiovascular surgeon and chair of the Geisinger Heart & Vascular Institute, said many men may hesitate to seek care despite the onset of classic heart attack symptoms. For these men, their responses may include only taking an antacid because they believe they are still physically bullet-proof.

“Martyrdom is really an over-rated behavior,” Casale said. “Pseudo-bravery kills.”

He urges anyone with cardiac symptoms considering calling an ambulance to do it. Medical science can only fix what it becomes aware of and even though death from heart attack used to happen 25 to 30 percent of the time, survivor numbers are now booming.

Casale emphasized that because of the recent boom in cardiac science, no single physician can keep up with all of the progress. Therefore, a team approach has become the norm, as input is attained from various cardiac specialists.

“Often one clear-cut treatment approach will emerge,” said Dr. Casale. “In other cases, where multiple possibilities exist, the patient must make decisions about which path to follow.”

Cardio education

When it comes to training tomorrow’s physicians to handle cardiac problems, student time spent in clinical interaction with patients is vital, according to Sridhar Sampath Kumar, M.D., assistant professor of medicine with the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Substantial practice is needed for a physician to effectively learn how to recognize a patient’s body language and detect subtle clues to disease.

“It takes years to hone these observational skills,” Kumar said. “Just because a patient is in the office does not necessarily mean they have a cardiac problem. Anxiety, depression and poor coping skills can mimic heart problems and male patients are definitely included in this.”

He also described how women, as a group, participate in more physician visits than men, and often serve as the catalyst to nudge a male into a doctor’s office. When this happens, the physicians receives an opportunity to make an intervention, but must act like a friend of the patient and definitely not a superior.

Controllable risks may become the focus of the patient and physician interaction, as the doctor helps the patient understand the realities of their situation. By time they are 50, many men have been long-term smokers and may have diabetes due to obesity.

When heart disease has been established, the cardiologist’s goal is to reduce the progression of the disease. In the case of openly self-destructive patients, the physician must recognize that root problems are at work and then play the role of psychologist to identify problems with work, spouse, children or possibly parents.

“It’s not always easy to achieve patient compliance,” Kumar said. “If we ask a patient to give up red meat, it may come down to simply telling them they’re not 19 years old, not still growing and don’t need all of that protein.”

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.